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Call For Reviews: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

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Daringd

Review Grouper

Postby Daringd » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:14 pm

SHIELD #1= Everything a comic book should be...nuff said.
10/10

Seriously, Hickman and Weaver owned fucking owned.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:17 pm

Flynn the Pirate wrote:So is it worth checking out?

Nightly News pretty much single handedly changed what I thought a comic could be, Pax Romana is great (don't let McKegan tell you otherwise) and Transhuman was a lot of fun.
So yeah.
User avatar

Zero

Zombie Guard

Postby Zero » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:10 am

The ending to Pax Romana was great, not exactly a twist but certainly a great way to play with our expectations and set up the intended sequels. Whether or not we'll ever get them is another thing though. Ditto the last issue of Red Mass for Mars, a comic that Image re-solicited because it had been comically under ordered. It's kinda ridiculous that they haven't managed to get the last bit done by now, it would sell very well in trade compared to his other Image books.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:01 am

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - 'The Unholy Resurrection of Leonardo da Vinci' - Hickman, Weaver and Strain

Story - I'm not going to pretend to be cool and tell you I've been a fan of Jonathan Hickman for years, and I read his Image work in single issues. Like everyone else who's not lying through their teeth, I first discovered Hickman's work when he went to Marvel and started Secret Warriors, and then after being wowed by that and Fantastic Four, I went back to his Image stuff in trades. He's a very good writer, with strong ideas, and has shown himself to be adept at both Indie stuff and working in the Marvel Universe. Which brings us to perhaps his most ambitious Marvel project yet, S.H.I.E.L.D. (I'm going to go without the fullstops when referring to that from now on, it's too much effort, so when I type SHIELD don't bloody well complain).

SHIELD is the most venerable of Marvel institutions, but this is a book with a difference, instead of seeing Nick Fury, Dum Dum and the Contessa jetting around the world doing spy stuff (see Secret Warriors), you get something a lot more far-reaching. Hickman has revealed that SHIELD was not formed in the 1960s by Nick Fury, but actually goes back all the way to Ancient Egyptian times, when Imhotep (and Apocalypse, cool cameo) fought a Brood invasion. Ever since then SHIELD, or 'The Shield' have protected and furthered the cause of man. Ancient China fought of a Celestial, Galileo defeated Galactus, and of course, Leonardo da Vinci was an agent. Comparisons with the likes of Planetary and the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen are apt, seeing this classic Marvel iconography juxtaposed with real human history and real historical figures is very exciting, and makes me intrigued as to what else SHIELD has done. I also liked the refrain of 'This is not how the world ends'. But it does beg the question, how does the world end?

But this isn't just an alternative history lesson, there are events in the modern age too. Well, not modern, the 1950s. We meet a central character, Leonid, who is drafted into SHIELD and serves as our viewpoint character. He seems to have some sort of superpowers, and his dad is powered too, and a former agent of SHIELD himself. I actually feel that this is where the book falls short, the events in 'the present' are just not gripping. Leonid is not particularly well developed, and I just didn't care about him. Hopefully he will be fleshed out in coming issues, this is only #1 after all, but I think this is a problem with Hickman in general. In Secret Warriors, he often gets too tied up in the epic backstory of the war between SHIELD and HYDRA and LEVIATHAN and forgets to develop the main characters of the Secret Warriors themselves. The same is true in his Fantastic Four run to some extent, he gets too tied up in the big ideas and forgets the basics of character. Luckily his big idea stuff has been really good, so I can forgive it, but it's a problem. SHIELD cannot just rely on the fun of seeing the secret history of the Marvel Universe, it needs to have compelling characters in it's main plotline too.

But still, this is one of the most promising debut issues I've read in a long while, probably since The Unwritten #1, it's clear that Hickman has the vision to carry out such big ideas, and I'm certainly excited to see where this goes, and how it ties into the revelations about SHIELD Hickman has used in Secret Warriors. It's not perfect, but it's something different and exciting, you can't really ask for more than that.

Art - Where has Marvel been hiding Dustin Weaver? This was really good stuff, reminding me of such stellar artists as Leonard Kirk, Chris Weston and even Steve McNiven at times. Seriously impressive stuff, excellent costume designs, and interesting panel layouts (Hickman and Weaver are credited as 'Written and Illustrated by', did Hickman have a hand in some of those? I'm glad this book is bi-monthly, if it allows Weaver to deliver work of this standard every issue.

Best Line - 'Science. Magic. How do you define one without the other?'

8/10
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:25 am

Punchy wrote:S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - 'The Unholy Resurrection of Leonardo da Vinci' - Hickman, Weaver and Strain

Story - I'm not going to pretend to be cool and tell you I've been a fan of Jonathan Hickman for years, and I read his Image work in single issues. Like everyone else who's not lying through their teeth,


Before I get to the rest of your review, this annoys the hell out of me. First of all, we reviewed at least one of his Image books here in the Review group, so guess what you have somehow managed to not only be wrong, but made a hateful statement about the rest of the group.

Second of all, I, personally, have been a big supporter of him from day one and that shouldn't be a big surprise given the amount of comics I read and the attention I pay to smaller press books.

Have you just decided to be an ass for the entire week now?
User avatar

Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:32 am

thefourthman wrote:Before I get to the rest of your review, this annoys the hell out of me. First of all, we reviewed at least one of his Image books here in the Review group, so guess what you have somehow managed to not only be wrong, but made a hateful statement about the rest of the group.

Second of all, I, personally, have been a big supporter of him from day one and that shouldn't be a big surprise given the amount of comics I read and the attention I pay to smaller press books.

Have you just decided to be an ass for the entire week now?


It was a joke!
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Mr_Batman

Review Grouper

Postby Mr_Batman » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:34 am

This book absolutely sucked.
[spoiler]No, just kidding :-D [/spoiler]
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:35 am

Other then what I already bitched about, good review Punchy. Although, Hickman did take a couple of issues showing quieter family moments and his first issue specifically dealt with developing Reed, but pretty spot on.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:37 am

thefourthman wrote:Other then what I already bitched about, good review Punchy. Although, Hickman did take a couple of issues showing quieter family moments and his first issue specifically dealt with developing Reed, but pretty spot on.


In the Prime Elements arc it's all about the ideas over character, he can get away with it more on FF because those characters are very well established, but with an all-new character like Leonid or the Secret Warriors, it's more noticable.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:37 am

Jude Terror wrote:I think you're taking his statement personally. I took it as more directed in general towards people who jump on bandwagons. Hickman is a popular writer now, so he has a bandwagon to jump on. I don't think he would specifically call out you people who are known indie book readers.* :P




*losers

maybe, he should have added smilies. and it was a weird thing to put in the review group review. maybe, if it was its own entity, then sure, yeah, but here it is weird and off putting and there are no smilies how was I to no it was a joke. Especially when he has been super pissy.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:39 am

Punchy wrote:In the Prime Elements arc it's all about the ideas over character, he can get away with it more on FF because those characters are very well established, but with an all-new character like Leonid or the Secret Warriors, it's more noticable.

there are arcs to his FF? holy shit, I thought it was a never ending sequence of one shots. I said he has spent moments, not arcs.

Yes it is noticeable, but at the same time, Leonid is your introduction to this world, he is supposed to be an everyman... his character would develop after these events, not before. Plus it would be rather hard to have much character development when Helmet guy talks pretty much the whole issue.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:39 am

thefourthman wrote:maybe, he should have added smilies. and it was a weird thing to put in the review group review. maybe, if it was its own entity, then sure, yeah, but here it is weird and off putting and there are no smilies how was I to no it was a joke. Especially when he has been super pissy.


I actually had heard about Hickman before though, my friend Jim (who is cooler than me), read Nightly News as it was coming out, and recommended it to me, I just didn't get around to it until after reading Secret Warriors. I was exaggerating and joking, maybe I was referring to certain people who try and be Indie (not you), maybe I wasn't...

Actually, the first Hickman I read was actually a Living Mummy story he wrote and drew for a Marvel Monsters one-shot, it was pretty bad actually. :P
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:42 am

thefourthman wrote:there are arcs to his FF? holy shit, I thought it was a never ending sequence of one shots. I said he has spent moments, not arcs.

Yes it is noticeable, but at the same time, Leonid is your introduction to this world, he is supposed to be an everyman... his character would develop after these events, not before. Plus it would be rather hard to have much character development when Helmet guy talks pretty much the whole issue.


The last 3 issues are a sort of 'arc'.

But how can Leonid be an everyman when his dad is a superhero and he has weird star-powers? I just feel no connection to him, now it will probably grow over time, but there are characters who are well developed from the get go in all sorts of comics, Ultimate Peter Parker, Tom Taylor, Gus from Sweet Tooth, Invincible, Jesse Custer. It can be done.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:45 am

Punchy wrote:The last 3 issues are a sort of 'arc'.

But how can Leonid be an everyman when his dad is a superhero and he has weird star-powers? I just feel no connection to him, now it will probably grow over time, but there are characters who are well developed from the get go in all sorts of comics, Ultimate Peter Parker, Tom Taylor, Gus from Sweet Tooth, Invincible, Jesse Custer. It can be done.

that's the point... (powers aside)... if you make him a strong character before the change it can make him less sympathetic. If you leave him a blank slate, whatever metamorphasis he goes through in six issues is believable, because he had no convictions to hold him back.

I'm not arguing that there is a lack of characterization there, just that it isn't a mar against the book.
User avatar

Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:50 am

thefourthman wrote:that's the point... (powers aside)... if you make him a strong character before the change it can make him less sympathetic. If you leave him a blank slate, whatever metamorphasis he goes through in six issues is believable, because he had no convictions to hold him back.

I'm not arguing that there is a lack of characterization there, just that it isn't a mar against the book.


I think it does.

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