SHIELD

Crossovers galore

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Comics -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Pub­lisher: Marvel Comics Writer: Mark Waid Artists: Car­los Pacheco, Hum­berto Ramos, Alan Davis

Q: When is a

spin- off comic not a spin- off comic? A: When it’s part of Marvel’s on­go­ing quest to copy as­pects of their Cin­e­matic Uni­verse in their comics, with­out go­ing so far as ac­tu­ally pub­lish­ing a spin- off ti­tle. The lat­est ex­am­ple is SHIELD, a new on­go­ing se­ries star­ring the Marvel Comics uni­verse ver­sion of Phil Coul­son, which also brings fel­low Agents Of SHIELD char­ac­ters Melinda May, Fitz and Sim­mons into the fold.

Pre­sented as a col­lec­tion of largely stand­alone ad­ven­tures ( with an over­all link­ing story arc), the ba­sic set- up is “What if Agents Of SHIELD had an un­lim­ited bud­get?", although the first three is­sues some­times play more like block­buster ver­sions of the less en­gag­ing episodes that clut­tered the show’s first sea­son.

The prob­lems to be faced in­clude rogue As­gar­dians, hay­wire su­pervil­lain weaponry and a raid on Doc­tor Strange’s home, while there are high- pro­file ap­pear­ances from he­roes like Spi­der- Man and the new Ms Marvel. At its best, this is frothy su­per­hero spec­ta­cle with eye­catch­ing and en­er­getic art, but it’s in­con­sis­tent in style and ex­e­cu­tion.

The se­ries’ em­pha­sis on over- the- top ac­tion means there’s lit­tle room for the char­ac­ters to make an im­pres­sion, while the dif­fer­ent artists work­ing on the ti­tle don’t al­ways seem to agree on what Coul­son ac­tu­ally looks like. But de­spite the flaws there’s still a lot of po­ten­tial here, and if SHIELD can de­liver more ad­ven­tures like is­sue two’s en­gag­ing team- up with Ms Marvel, this se­ries could be­come an ideal and ac­ces­si­ble jump­ing- on point for su­per­hero movie fans. Saxon Bul­lock Mark Waid’s on­line se­ries In­suf­fer­able is loosely in­spired by the fall­ing out be­tween Grant Mor­ri­son and Mark Mil­lar.

We can only hope he’s a good parker.

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