Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

The Red Circle: The Shield # 1 (of 1)

By Koppy McFad
August 29, 2009 - 01:18


The Shield, the first star-spangled superhero, is given an updated revamp in his second foray in DC Comics. This time Joe Higgins is a US lieutenant, horribly wounded in Afghanistan, who is changed by the military into a superhuman being. But of course, this is all part of a nefarious conspiracy involving a power-hungry US officer and Higgin's missing father. It will all make sense later, once the Shield gets his own comic.

Despite its complexity, the story is fast moving and interesting enough. The focus is kept on the lead character who takes to heroics quickly, even if concerns about his missing father still weigh heavily on his mind.

But the creators fail to fully exploit the dramatic potential of the character. The Shield smashes tanks and aircraft but his feats of strength seem almost routine. Strangely, the creators do not do the obvious thing by having the Shield go after the Afghan guerrillas who wounded him and massacred his men. So there is no sense of the character getting any payback.

There is also a sense of sameness in the story. An ordinary man gets amazing powers, to become a weapon for the government-- but only as part of a dark conspiracy: how many times have we seen that before? It certainly looks similar to the last attempt by DC Comics to revive the Shield, back in the days of !mpact Comics in 1991. The whole "conspiracy" thing is getting a bit overdone in today's comics. Right now, it looks like the entire US government is evil. Frankly, the original 1940s version-- with a young man devising the Shield forumla on his own to redeem his father's name-- is actually more original and interesting.

The art is a bit blocky, especially in the scenes set in Afghanistan which don't look anything like the place we see on CNN and other news shows. However the scenes showing the Shield in action do capture the power and excitement of the character. Whatever the book's shortcomings, the Shield himself does look like a great superhero.



Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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