Review: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (2014) (Marvel Comics)

SHIELD 1In Marvels’ S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, Agent Coulson stars in a new ongoing series from dream-team of Mark Waid (Daredevil) and Carlos Pacheco (Avengers Forever), but it provides more than cursory fan-service and instead pays homage to everyday Marvel fans.

SHIELD 1Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Carlos Pacheco
Price: £2.99 from Comixology

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #1 opens with a brief look into Coulson’s childhood, all the way up to his present day, and shows the reader just how long he’s been following the exploits of superheroes and, essentially, doing his job – his entire life. This is a nod to Marvel’s fanbase, no matter how long they’ve been following the comics, be it from the original Human Torch in ‘39 or from Kamala Khan’s debut last year. Every fan can find a bit of themself in Coulson and this sets the scene for the world-invasion scenario that plays out during this first issue.

Waid’s writing emulates the Coulson fans know and love from the wider cinematic Marvel universe. This Coulson is just an extension from the TV show, but in terms of crossover events, for now at least readers could just pick up the comic and not have to worry about missing out or having no clue what’s going on. However, if you didn’t enjoy the TV show or if you’re not particularly enamoured of Coulson, you probably won’t enjoy S.H.I.E.L.D #1.

The art is bold and uncomplicated. Playing “spot the hero” in the battle scenes is fun and only adds to the story as it unfolds. The artwork throughout the book is genuinely beautiful. Characters are in their proper proportions and seem more realistic than in other books (as realistic as skin-tight latex and superpowers can get).

While S.H.I.E.L.D #1 doesn’t have the hard-hitting moral or ethical undertow that a lot of Marvel books have at the moment, it does have interesting potential in terms of story-telling and artwork. With some truly beautiful artwork festooned within its pages, S.H.I.E.L.D #1 is worth a look.

pd_review3half“S.H.I.E.L.D #1 pays homage to old and new fans alike through the characterisation of Coulson. However, the beautiful artwork and spot-on character writing will do little to sway those who aren’t fans of the TV show or Coulson himself.”