Thursday, April 8, 2010

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - WOW!

Where did S.H.I.E.L.D artist Dustin Weaver come from!? The first issue of Marvel's SHIELD hit comic stores yesterday and I thought it would be a good story as writer Jonathan Hickman has been writing a very entertaining Fantastic Four comic for some time now, but I wasn't prepared for how gorgeous this book would look. SHIELD is supposed to be bi-monthly (meaning it's supposed to come out every other month), but unless Dustin Weaver has had a head start before this title launched, I don't see how he can even meet a bi-monthly schedule with the amount of work he puts into each page (please prove me wrong though!).
S.H.I.E.L.D (I'm going to just call it SHIELD from now one because it takes too long to type the correct title), in the current Marvel universe is a somewhat secret C.I.A. type orginization headed by the eye patch wearing Nick Fury. It's unclear with the first issue of this new SHIELD series where it fits into the Marvel universe "proper" (but I guess one could say that about any number of titles like the X-Men titles that seem to exist independent of other Marvel characters that they hardly ever interact with), but based on this first issue, wherever Hickman and Weaver are going with this series, it looks like it's going to be a fun, great ride.

The title of the story in SHIELD #1 is "The Unholy Resurrection of Leonardo da Vinci" so right there you know you're in for a different kind of superhero comic. The first issue of SHIELD takes place in different time periods and Galileo (as well as other historical figures) also makes an appearance, so SHIELD looks like it's going to be Hickman and Weaver's version of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, but I think that's okay because really, how much of anything in any medium is truly original and I think that a good writer can make a seemingly similar concept their own by other ideas they bring to the work.

I'm certain that SHIELD #1 will sell out pretty much everywhere because the art by Dustin Weaver just pops out that much. Even comic store retailers, such as myself, who ordered well above what the suggested initial interest (sadly I should say lack of interest) by pull and hold reserves suggested I should order (but as I mentioned above, Hickman has recharged the Fantastic Four so I thought some of those people might like other things he writes) will be clamoring for a second print to build on the word of mouth SHIELD will be receiving. Marvel has always had waaaaaaay too many titles, and they're even amping up their number of titles, which is just totally overwhelming their customer base so I totally understand people throwing their arms up in the air when they see a new sign up sheet with the myriad title offerings (such as something like seven Avengers titles!!,four Deadpool titles, six Iron Man titles, and ten Spider-Man titles!!) and have to make hard decisions on which ones will get selected to be on their pull list and which ones they'll have to skip. Also understandably, people want to look at a first issue before committing to that title, but with there being so many titles vying for shelf space (but no company produces the title onslaught that Marvel does) retailers are also playing a guessing game in regards to what will click with our customers (if I'd seen this first issue of SHIELD before ordering, I would have probably ordered almost twice as many as I did).

Anyway, if the creative team of SHIELD #1 can maintain this level of quality, more people are going to be dropping one of the Avengers, Spider-Man, or X-Men titles they get to follow SHIELD (and I'm sure there will be a second printing and of course a trade collection once the first story arc ends).


kilmoonie said...

"WOW!" is right.

What a fun comic book. I mean, I've grown to expect at the very least something interesting when Hickman is involved (you are spot on about his FF run), but this thing blew my mind. Just crazy ideas flowing all over the page, from beginning to end. Exciting. Imagine my surprise to find out this was IN CONTINUITY however, which blew my mind even more. I know that Hickman says he has a finite story planned for this thing (whether it continues beyond him is up to Marvel I guess), and that's exciting to me too.

No doubt he will continue to get Grant Morrison comparisons.

Re: Dustin Weaver
I'm a big X-Fan so I've seen his name a couple of times in that world recently. He did the covers to the Nation X mini-series (all cool) and did some interiors on X-Men Legacy when they were embroiled in that lame crossover with the Dark Avengers. The riots in San Francisco storyline.

A quick internet search found this blog, if you are curious:

Some nice sketches and what not on there.


Ralph Mathieu said...

JR, I don't recognize your name abbrev. or your blogger comment handle. Did you buy this at my store? Glad you dug it either way!

kilmoonie said...

Hey Ralph,

Sorry for delayed response, but no, I didn't buy this at your store although I would have if I still lived there! You know me by Jaime, guy that used to shop there and moved to Los Angeles some 7 years ago now. I was just in there on Dec. 30th taking advantage of your TPB sales!

I always enjoy your takes. Take care!