By Andy Frisk
April 7, 2010 - 20:29
In a tale narrated by “the Immortals…the high council of the SHIELD” and Leonid, their latest recruit, which is set for the most part in the 1950’s but reaches as far back in narrative as 2620 BC, Jonathan Hickman brings his sharp storytelling skills to bear, and in the process redefines the Marvel Universe. SHIELD, as in “Nick Fury, Agent of…” is not nearly as recent in origin as any follower of the exploits of the Marvel Universes’ superheroes and villains could have ever imagined. Of course, until Hickman dreamed up this multi-millennia spanning tale, no one could have imagined it. SHIELD is an organization that for generations has been “protecting humanity from the known and unknown” while “pushing” humanity to achieve all that it is capable of. Imhotep, Zhang Heng, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, and many others not yet mentioned have served The SHIELD and saved the world in the process over the eons. Now, in the time shortly before Nick Fury and his version of SHIELD comes on the scene, a new recruit, named Leonid, who is possessed of an unrevealed power, must embrace his destiny and place in the hierarchy of the world’s oldest defense force, but he has to face many obstacles, the least of which being “The Night Machine” (his father) and the “Unholy Resurrection of Leonardo da Vinci…”
Jonathan Hickman, best known for his powerful debut comic book work, The Nightly News (and soon to be known for his true break out Marvel Comics work, SHIELD) is really going to get to cut loose with this new series. His work in Secret Warriors and Fantastic Four has been spectacular, but with SHIELD, Hickman will have a whole new field to play on. It’s a field that spans the entirety of the Marvel Universe and its characters. We’re talking serious, “secret Marvel Comics history” here. It’s a history that Hickman is going to get to fill in. Everything is fair game. Actual historical characters, such as Galileo, battling Galactus? What more could a fan of history, sci-fi, and the Marvel Universe ask for! Epic in span? Definitely. Hickman is the man for the job though. His attention to detail, minutiae, and facts is perfectly suited for pulling off a book like this. This is gonna be a blast folks.
Artist Dustin Weaver, like Hickman, is perfectly suited for a tale of this scale of well. His attention to detail and historical accuracy, as well as the ability to create the fantastical, make SHIELD truly epic in span visually as well. Ancient Egyptians battling the alien Brood, Han Dynasty warriors confronting a Celestial, Leonardo da Vinci launching into space, Galileo preparing to repel Galactus, and Leonid confronting his destiny are examples of what this series is going to require of its artist. Weaver pulls it off masterfully.
The organization known as SHIELD is about to get a major redefinition. In Hickman’s hands, and with no Nick Fury in sight (at least not yet), SHIELD’s readers are going to be taken where no Marvel Comics’ fan has been before. Not only is this series gonna to be a blast, it’s gonna be huge.
Rating: 9.5 /10