Review: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Published on June 7th, 2011

S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to completely redefine what you think you know about world history in the Marvel Universe and Jonathan Hickman is the one teaching class, so sit down and take notes! This book has woven its tale through world history and has shown us how Imhotep quelled a Brood invasion in 2620 B.C. to form Shield. S.H.I.E.L.D. further investigates history to redefine the historical perspectives of Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo and now a man named Leonid. How is the first issue of the second volume of this epic series by Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver? Read on to find out!

shield1The last issue of S.H.I.E.L.D. left us with many questions and even the one issue follow up felt like a tease to bigger, better things. When last we saw The Immortal City, far below the streets of Rome in 1960, it was embedded in chaos. The two factions of thought were literally embroiled in hand to hand combat as Newton’s believers and Leonardo Da Vinci believers clashed, leaving Leonid to watch as these events unfolded before his eyes. Now that we are caught up, let’s see how this issue redefines what has already been redefined!

At the start of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 we see Leonardo Da Vinci talking with Michelangelo in Rome, 1502 Da Vinci pleads with Michelangelo to join the secret organization called Shield. Hickman then jumps forward in time to the battle taking place in the Immortal City, while a glowing Michelangelo and Leonid watch helplessly from the sidelines. Hickman then makes another jump in time to an alien capital with what looks like a human child being taken away by the glowing Michelangelo. Then we jump yet again to what appears to be an alien world where this child is delivered to a woman and asked to guard him. After that, we see the glowing Michelangelo watching over Galileo Galilei seconds before he disappears and then we are taken back to Rome, 1502 where Da Vinci and Michelangelo are talking. Hickman then incorporates the idea that time and space mean nothing to Michelangelo and that is when Di Vinci begins to realize that this man standing before him is so much more than what he seems.  This issue closes out with the epic battle back in 1960 in Rome where a few familiar faces make a return in a BIG way.

Hickman, yet again, changes the game within his own book. He has written these characters with so much depth and given his story so many twist and turns that you can’t help but stay on board just to find out where in the hell this book will go. Along with Hickman’s brilliant writing is the artwork of  Weaver, who gives so much of an epic feel and design to Hickman’s writing that his artwork begins to define the lines and vision that Hickman has for this book. Together they are doing something so unique S.H.I.E.L.D. When I read this series, I can’t believe sometimes that Marvel gave it the green light because it is just so specific and so unlike anything else that is a big seller out there right now in the comic book industry.

Final Verdict: This isn’t just a comic, or a study in fictional history. It is the long form view of what ends up making the Marvel Universe. It is as though Hickman is building the foundation to a house that was already built, but even more, he is doing it where there is still mystery left after you close the book. He is crafting a story the way any of the great historical artist  mentioned in this book did and that makes this a book worth reading.

Sheldon Lee