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

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By Mark Waid, Carlos Pacheco, Marino Taibo, Jason Paz & Dono Almara

Mark Waid is one of Marvel’s strongest writers right now and his work on the current Daredevil series is excellent, so it’s interesting to see him tackle a comic that incorporates characters from the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that doesn’t have to be constrained by the budget of the show. We’ve got Melinda May, Leo Fitz, Jenna Simmons (all making their first appearances in the Marvel comics universe) and Phil Coulson in the first issue alone, as well as cameos from a vast number of Marvel superheroes. It’s safe to say, if you’re a fan of the TV show (which has improved a lot from its initial outing), then you’ll get something out of this series as it’s great to see the characters interacting with people who they probably won’t meet in the show.

That’s probably the biggest appeal of the comic, and the fact that Mark Waid is writing it, whose reputation for helming quality books has made him a must-read writer in this reviewer’s eyes at least. Whilst SHIELD hasn’t quite hit the same bar as Daredevil yet, it’s a pretty confident opener with Waid getting the characters right. It’s great to see Fitz and Simmons appear in the Marvel Comic-Verse proper, with May being an interesting addition as well. It’ll be interesting to see how they interact with other SHIELD agents going forward and how their progression in development will change from the show.

This book is the closest that we’ve come to a proper SHIELD comic in a while and it’ll be great to see the focus switch to the agency itself (hopefully) rather than the superheroes because Secret Avengers is already doing an excellent job of that. There’s lots of room to give the SHIELD organization some much needed depth, flesh out its ranks a bit more, which would hopefully allow for a pretty good series.

Carlos Pacheco is on penciling duties for this comic and he doesn’t disappoint, delivering some awesome panels as it’s great to see the characters from the screen come to life on the pages. It’s a book that looks good and it’s clear to see which characters from the show are which, and it’ll be great to see what Pacheco can deliver going forward. We also get Marino Taibo and Jason Paz working wonders on the inks, and Dono Almara’s colours make a good addition to an already strong lineup. So it’s great to see that the book not only tells a good story, but also looks just as great.

There are a few downsides to this book however. Because of the vast amount of cameos that it includes, we don’t get to see much of the SHIELD team itself apart from Coulson, with Fitz, Simmons and May not getting enough time to show what they can do. Hopefully this will change in the issues going forward though and it’ll be interesting to see how the comic will progress going forward.

So S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 is certainly a welcome addition to Marvel’s large amount of titles that they have on shelves right now. Fans of the TV show will love this, but if you haven’t been watching it, then you’ll be able to understand what’s happening just fine. Waid and Pacheco make an excellent creative team and it’s good to see that this book has certainly started off on an interesting note with lots of promise.

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