S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (Marvel)


Rating: 4/5 – The TV Series–With a Limitless Budget.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Gabe Bustamantez.

Agent Phil Coulson is the surprise break-out character from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe films. He’s a very level headed and calm under pressure guy who has been able to hold his own against a snarky Tony Stark, had an awkward fanboy moment with Captain America, and even sacrificed himself to form the Avengers. He’s been such a successful character that his character has transitioned over to TV in his own show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Yet, there is still very little we know about the mysterious Phil Coulson.

Mark Waid has been given the chance to introduce the characters from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D series into the regular 616 universe and provide them with a Marvel comics universe spin. In S.H.I.E.L.D #1 Mark Waid gives us the origin of Phil Coulson. An origin many of us can relate to. As a child he read comics and kept a catalog of all the characters’ stats and powers, which he carried and regularly updated throughout his career in S.H.I.E.L.D. All this knowledge of super humans has helped him earn his new title as Special Ops Supreme Commander and even saved his life as a Field Agent. In this comic we get to see Coulson use that knowledge to handle a situation where a crazed Terrorist has Heimdall’s sword and all the Norse creatures descend to Midgard. Coulson needs to piece together the perfect group of Avengers to bring down the terrorist. Seeing the special guest star characters that Coulson chose for his team was the best moment in the story. This issue shows us just how great the TV series could be if the show’s budget was limitless for actor salaries and special effects and had access to the entire Marvel Universe of characters. Carlo Pacheco’s art is this book was serviceable, but no where near as well rendered as I’ve come to expect from him. I was relieved that Pacheco actually drew the characters as opposed to using photo references that make the drawings look like stiff images of the t.v actors, but the line work is kind of messy and inconsistent and the storytelling gets very unclear in some parts that made me confused on what happened and what was going on.

I felt that this issue was a charming and accessible first issue. Even for someone like myself who is not very familiar with the TV show, since I checked out after the first few episodes of Season 1. I know–I’ve been told the series gets much better later on. This is how I hoped the TV series would have been. S.H.I.E.L.D is the first comic series about the organization Marvel has put out in a long time, and I enjoyed the done-in-one format of this issue, I hope it stays going forward with this series, with Coulson and his team being assigned a mission and calling in any Marvel characters he needs to get the job done. This series reminds me of a Marvel Super Heroes version of Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency series. The next issue features the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, so I will be back to check that out.

Reviewed by: Gabe Bustamantez
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