SHIELD #1 – Review

SHIELD 1 cover

When I saw that Agents of SHIELD wasn’t returning to my TV until March, saying I was disappointed would have been an understatement. This season, Agents of SHIELD has been so good that I didn’t want to have to wait that long for the next new episode. Thankfully, Marvel has brought Team Coulson into the Marvel Universe in their new comic SHIELD. With the success of the Agents of SHIELD TV show, it shouldn’t be surprising that Marvel brought Coulson and his team to the main Maravel comic book universe, aka Marvel-616. The new comic launched on New Year’s Day. Marvel enlisted a very high quality creative team, signing on Mark Waid as the writer and Carlos Pacheco on art.

The comic focuses on the core of Coulson’s team from the Agents of SHIELD TV show: Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. There’s no sign of Grant Ward, which makes sense considering his status with the team since the end of season one. Also, none of the new team members from this season are here. I did think Mockingbird was the mystery lady on the plane, but that turned out to be a far more powerful character. I won’t spoil the reveal here, except to say it’s definitely not Mockingbird.

SHIELD 1 Not Mockingbird

The walls between the nine realms (aka Asgard, Hel, etc – think Thor stuff) is fading, and gods and monsters are appearing all over the world. While the world’s major superheroes deal with the big bads, Coulson’s team is sent to the Middle East to find the cause of the problem. Once the cause of the problem is revealed, the identities of the new, mysterious field agents for this mission also are, and their being there goes to show what a great tactician Phil Coulson is.

Mark Waid writes an excellent Phil Coulson. The first few pages establish Coulson as a human encyclopedia for superhero knowledge. It almost feels like Waid is writing himself as Phil Coulson. Waid is the guy who has competed (and won) at superhero trivia at multiple comic cons. Because of this, he really seems like the perfect writer for this comic.

SHIELD 1 Coulson Trivia King

I’ve missed Carlos Pacheco’s art. He was one of my favorite artists of the 1990s, but he seemed to disappear sometime in the 2000s. I hope he stays on SHIELD for a while. If the rest of the series is similar to this first issue, Pacheco staying on the book means fans of his art will be able to see his take on some Marvel characters for the first time.

If I have any quibble with the comic, it’s when Coulson calls Fitz by his first name, Leo. It just seems to read so unnatural. I feel like he’s Fitz, not Leo. It only happened once, and during a moment of quiet downtime, but for some reason, it just jutted out at me as not being right. But who knows, maybe Coulson has called Fitz by his first name on the show and I just don’t remember it.


The second issue of SHIELD is coming out next Wednesday, January 14 and guest stars my favorite new character, Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel (which was one of my top comics of 2014). I will definitely be back for issue #2.  If you’re a fan of Agents of SHIELD going to withdrawal,  you should definitely pick up this comic.