SHIELD #2 – Review

shield 2 cover

After reading SHIELD #1, I was very excited for more from Mark Waid and Carlos Pacheco, especially from Pacheco, who was one of my favorite comic book artists in the late 1990s, but seems to have disappeared over the past decade. Sadly, Carlos Pacheco does not join Waid on SHIELD #2.

Humberto Ramos steps in on art, and a more perfect artist could have not have been picked for this issue. Issue #2 of SHIELD sees Simmons go undercover as a high school substitute teacher in Jersey City, NJ. What superhero highschooler happens to live in Jersey City? That’s right, Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. After reading this issue, Ramos is now my second favorite artist of Kamala, behind only Kamala Khan co-creator Adrian Alphona. Ramos’s style of exaggerated hands and feet is perfect for a shape-changing, often-stretchy character like Ms. Marvel.

Waid delivers another great script. He introduces us to Simmons’s father, who does not know his daughter is a secret agent for SHIELD. Waid uses Jemma’s need to lie to her parents about what she does for a living as a bonding moment between Simmons and Ms. Marvel. Kamala doesn’t like lying to her parents about her superheroing as much as Jemma doesn’t like lying to her parents about her secret agenting. I would love to see Kamala and Jemma meet again, as I can see Jemma being a great mentor for Kamala.

The plot centers around Simmons and Coulson trying to find a black marketer of stolen supervillain tech operating out of the Kamala’s school. The tech that shows up leads to Coulson and Ms. Marvel having an obscure villain trivia-off, noting the variations in the tech that villains used over the years. They both get the chance to one up each other in the trivia, and like Coulson’s scenes in issue #1, plays to Waid’s own strength in comic book trivia.

If the first two issues are any indication, SHIELD will be one of the best books that Marvel puts out this year.