In the Spring I did some comic reviews for the site Pop Culture Shock. They recently have shut down even though their site is still up, it will not be updated anymore. So I will now post the reviews I did over there on here and maybe continue with doing a couple from time to time on the few series I still decide to read.
This was originally posted on April 9th 2010
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Dustin Weaver
Hmmm, how does one explain S.H.I.E.L.D. #1. Well it is the beginning of story that shows that man can overcome any obstacle that threatens him. From tying in historical figures known for their intelligence into one long conspiracy of good to save us from any threat from the heavens. In short this isn’t your pappy’s Steranko Nick Fury and SHIELD book. In fact there is no Nick Fury. We meet in the first page a brand new character in the late 50’s called Leonid and how he’s taken into this whole new world under Rome. Now if you’ve been following Hickman’s FF you know he’s been playing with secret science cities on Earth. This is one whose purpose is to house S.H.I.E.L.D. the ancient order started in honor of Imhotep (yes the Egyptian guy) who stopped the very first Brood infestation with a Spear and Shield like golden Shaka Zulu (Yes I know He’s white in the comic but that is a coloring mistake). Also the classic symbol of the organization now has an origin. Leonid is offered to be in this brand new order because for some reason he is special. He’s all starry like Genis-vell. During the talk with whom I’ll call the “Council of Shield” we learn of past members of Shield in the past of civilization and their interactions with celestials, Galactus and his herald. They set up Leonardo Da Vinci as some kind of Renaissance Tony Stark. Later we are introduced to Leonid’s father the Night Machine. He gets no introduction, he just appear and gives his son a key. By the way the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent react we are led to believe he is a bad guy. The key leads Leonid to a discovery that who knows what will be. But that is the point. Leonid is the point of view character for us. He’s discovering more about S.H.I..E.L.D. as we are. The back of the book like most Hickman books has diagrams and charts to give you information on the ins and out that really just leaves you asking more questions to what this is all about.
Hickman here has crafted a very dense and concept rich comic book that I will say I’m not used to seeing from the House of Ideas. It’s kinda like if you mixed Morrison’s 7 Soldiers with Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with a side of Da Vinci Code in a Marvel comic candy coated shell. This book has my interest piqued; I’m down for this at least for now. Now I can’t talk about this book without talking about Dustin Weaver’s art. It’s very airy and clean. His line is smooth and crisp with a confidence I usually see mostly in European comics. Also a little Kaluta. He also uses gray wash very well in the book. See I bought the black and White variant. So I can’t really tell you how well the colorist did on the book. But I did like the lettering, for me it read old, like on parchment. And the setting captions were bold enough yet felt like if this was a show it type across the screen for a file. So Todd Klein gets another high five.
I’d tell anyone out there to buy this comic. I think it’s the most interesting new comic from Marvel since New X-Men and X-Force (Milligan and Allred version) debuted.