|| Of course none of them care that Coulson dies, but Nick Fury, in true Nick Fury fashion, lies to them and puts blood on the old cards. They realize this person they barely knew thought SO MUCH of them that they owe it to the WORLD that looks up to them. Phil Coulson was a symbol for comic book fans like all of us, and losing that, is the "push" they needed. That's the "push that made the avengers save the world" not their love for a dead agent.|
But he didn’t think so much of them - he thought so much of Cap. He looked up to Cap because Cap is the golden boy, the hero whose only motivation for heroism is that he dislikes people who try to unfairly place themselves on a pedestal above others using unfair/tyrannical/violent means and wants to stamp them out so that peace and good can prevail.
All the other heroes are entirely self-serving, and Coulson never made any indication that he cared for any of them, no matter what tricks Fury might have up his swanky leather sleeve. As far as we can tell, to Coulson, Natasha and Clint, who are the ones he would have been closest with of the team given the circumstances, are just more agents of SHIELD (albeit valuable ones). To add to that, Stark even commented that Coulson’s views, aka “he died still believing in heroes”, were outdated and he didn’t subscribe to them.
Plus, honestly, Banner gave the strong impression that he was more than ready to bolt at a moment’s notice, so in that case it’s not realistic that he would stick around after Coulson’s death, even with the blood trick/guilt trip, considering A) he figured out that the cage provided by this team that was trying to make him trust them and which Loki had been held captive in had been meant for him, “in case you had to kill me”, and B) he didn’t want to be there in the first place, so to now have a heartless supernatural killer on the loose who has their group as a target, specifically Bruce, who knows the most about gamma radiation and so would most likely be able to fuck with the Cosmic Cube, it’s probable that he would want to make himself as scarce as possible, as quickly as possible, so that he doesn’t A) suffer horribly at the hands of the Avengers, or B) suffer horribly at the hands of Loki.
Now with Barton, this was one of the things that I mentioned before, and which really bothered me. Whedon took characters who had had established personalities in previous films and flattened them to make them slide more easily into his chalky script (Hawkeye had more personality in his three-minute cameo in THOR than he had in the entirety of the Avengers movie, and Loki’s personality skipped about a thousand miles from where it had been in THOR without any apparent reason or gradual, believable development - he almost seemed more like the sort of villain you would find in a Rocky & Bullwinkle special than the well-rounded character with clear motivations but twisted methodologies and ambiguous morals that he was in THOR).
In THOR, Barton and Coulson exchange this short, quippy banter wherein their relationship is established as a sort of structure wherein Barton is a good agent who does what he’s told but he gives Coulson guff in a well-meaning, playful sort of way, and Coulson accepts it with a sigh because he knows Barton is good at what he does and means well, and plus he’s Coulson and he can take a lot of abuse and still wind up on top with his frozen supernanny smile. We can believe they’re friends, and that that Hawkeye would be upset if something were to happen to Coulson, his unspoken buddy, especially if it were by his own hand.
But then in the Avengers, they completely squash that entire established relationship by turning three-dimensional Barton into this agentbot who regards everyone in SHIELD with a short of stiff, standoffish, entirely un-fun front. This is not the same Barton from THOR, and this Barton is clearly not anybody’s buddy. So then, when he is informed of Coulson’s death he doesn’t go “Oh, he was my friend, what has Loki done, this is all my fault and I’ll never forgive myself, I must avenge Coulson”. He goes “This was my fault”, Natasha replies “No it wasn’t” and Barton basically goes “Oh good because I was starting to worry for a second there” and drops it, moving on to the motivation of wounded pride to seek out Loki and end his reign of terror, rather than avenging a fallen friend/comrade.
Realistically, even with the whole “he died believing in heroes” guilt trip bit, the bloody cards that Steve never signed apply to Steve, alone - i.e., “he believed in you, Steve, and you, Steve, let him down”. Which might motivate Steve, but would not realistically push anybody else into immediate action for feeling awful for having let down someone who looked up to them as larger than life, because nobody did. Coulson, to these people (apart from Cap), was not someone who looked up to them as heroes, he was someone who pushed them around, which could potentially be translated as him having been trying to push them to be their best after the fact, but honestly that’s grasping at straws.
So even if Fury were to try to appeal to their sense of vanity/heroism/guilt/pity/etc. with this whole “Coulson died believing in you guys” schtick, I just don’t believe it would hold water.
But again, maybe that’s just me.