SHIELD #1 review

Didn’t anyone tell Mark Waid and Carlos Pacheco that spin-off comics aren’t supposed to be more enjoyable than the parent material?

But that’s what SHIELD #1 is, as it gives us a version of the TV show set in the heart of the Marvel Universe comics continuity, with no constraints on budgets or available characters. So it is that we get dozens of Marvel mainstays, from the Vision to Hercules, pitching in when the Nine Realms of Norse mythology begin crashing through to Earth. It’s Frost Giants and dragons a-go-go after something shatters the Rainbow Bridge between Asgard and Midgard, throwing the sentry Heimdall right out of whack. And leading the fightback? Phil Coulson and his Agents of Shield.

Fitz, May and Simmons aren’t integral to the resolution, but it’s nice to have them around, and I’ve no doubt Waid will do fascinating things with them going forward. We do get a wee focus on Coulson before the main event kicks off, I’d not be surprised were the other lead agents to get similar spotlights.

For now, Waid gets everyone’s voices spot on as he tells a satisfying done-in-one while laying out a new mystery. The big fight is bags of fun, and he brings in one of my favourite Defenders and a classic Avenger as secret weapons.

Pacheco has a great time with the wide canvas provided by Waid, mingling appropriate splash pages with nice character work and good storytelling. Mariano Taibo inks, with help from Jason Paz, keeping things clean and sharp. It’s great that Marvel Comics can use character likenesses, though Simmons and one of the guest stars are confusingly miscoloured in one panel. I don’t know if that’s colourist Dono Almara or a print house problem, but it’s a bugger.

Still, I enjoyed this story loads, as a slice of Marvel life that uses the TV characters to good effect. With 29 pages to play with in this $4.99 first issue, Waid, Pacheco and co have room for a more than decent adventure. It’ll be interesting to see how Waid and his rotation of artists cope with the regular 20-pagers. Let’s hope the stories are brilliant as I resent paying a dollar more for Marvels than DC’s same-sized books.

This issue is rounded out with a couple of one-pagers involving Fitz and his new AI monkey, which are a waste of space.

Julian Totino Tedesco’s cover is well done, clever and effective in its message.

Overall, a fine first issue. Not as earth shattering as its bad guys, but good enough to guarantee a purchase of the second issue. 

7 thoughts on “SHIELD #1 review

  1. this was a great issue mart also any idea on what this black prism is and it's terrible master my best guess shuma-gorath and fello multi-angled ones


  2. This one didn't work as well for me as it did for you. Perhaps I was thrown by the miscoloring — incredibly annoying, especially with one character whose appearance was supposed to be something of a surprise — but it might just be that I wanted to read about the TV characters interacting with the Marvel U, and we didn't get enough of that for me. I thought Pacheco did gorgeous work on the big action splashes, and really struggled with likenesses.

    I came into this as a fan of the show, a fan of Mark Waid, and a fan of one-shot team ups, and I'm simply not yet sold on issue 2…which is astonishing to me. I think the issue tried to do so much logistically, with all the superheroes involved, that it didn't have any payoff emotionally. I expected much better in that regard.


  3. actually have another theory back waid's indestrucible hulk series vol 3 there was this whole time travel mess going on the day was saved but the 2 villains who caused this where sucked intot he timestream with hulk and they were grabbed by a big silvery hand and on of them call the it master and begged forgiveness wiad did no follow up on this cause he left hulk after the relaunch so best bet he is following it up here on his new series


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