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.