Review: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

SHIELD1S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Written by MARK WAID
Art by CARLOS PACHECO
Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
Variant Cover BY MIKE DEODATO
Variant Cover BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
Set of 6 Young Guns Variant Cover BY MAHMUD ASRAR, NICK BRADSHAW, DAVE MARQUEZ, SARA PICHELLI, VALERIO SCHITI & RYAN STEGMAN
Blank variant cover
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Variant Cover

40 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T+

SOLICITATION:

• High-tech weapons. High-stakes missions. High-octane adventure! For the men and women of S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s just another day in the field!
• Special Agent Phil Coulson brings together the best and the brightest, the gifted and the elite, normal people and superhumans from across the Marvel Universe on an as-needed basis to confront, combat and curtail dangers beyond the scope of any conventional peace-keeping force!
• Writer Mark Waid (DAREDEVIL) and a rotating crew of mission-specific top flight Marvel artists make you one promise: Every issue: Twenty pages. One mission. Unlimited budget. Unlimited imagination. Six periods. And a helper monkey. Welcome to Level Eight. Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D.

SHIELD1p2REVIEW:

I am a fan of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, so I am the perfect audience for this book. It does differ from the TV series in that here, the Marvel universe is fully established and S.H.I.E.L.D. is intact and a massive organization. The Phil Coulson of the comics is a character that has spent a lifetime learning all about the super-heroes and super-villains of the Marvel Universe. His knowledge is almost encyclopedic, and in many ways serves as a analog of Mark Waid himself, a renowned reservoir of precise comics knowledge. It’s a nice character to see portrayed, one that has no super-powers but relies solely on the power of his mind to meet the threats he faces. My favorite line of the book is “Remind me to tell you sometime how Quicksilver could kill the Hulk if he wanted to.” That sums up Coulson’s abilities in a nutshell.

The art is exactly what you expect from Carlos Pacheco, with fluid motion, grounded environments and believably epic scenes. It serves here best with characters facing circumstances that are mind-boggling in their scope. If there is one failing it’s that he seems torn on whether or not to make the characters that come from the TV show look like their counterparts. Other than that I have no problems with the art.

Joe Quesada provides two back up pages featuring Agent Fitz and a holographic “Helper Monkey.” The last of which is my favorite part of the book.

If I have a problem it’s that while Coulson and his agents are the main characters they seem overly reliant on their ability to summon super-heroes to help. I desperately want to see them face down a threat without calling on anyone to help. I want to see Coulson face down someone like Doctor Doom and walk away with a victory. If they constantly resort to calling in an Avenger to save the day.