Tony Stark’s technology is on the web, available for download and use by any and all evildoers. How did such a breach occur? And who’s going to clean up the mess? Your Major Spoilers review of Agents Of SHIELD #1 awaits!
Previously in Agents Of SHIELD: The success of mainstream Marvel Comics led to a slew of blockbuster films featuring Captain America, Thor and more, leading ABC Television to develop a television series featuring characters existing in that Marvel Universe. Centered around fan-fave Phil Coulson, the series explains what SHIELD is up to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has now sparked Marvel Comics to adapt the characters from TV inspired by the movies inspired by their comics BACK into the comics to the delight and confusion of geeks and comic nerds everywhere. It’s the circle of synergy, Faithful Spoilerites! But, is the book any good?
NOT EXACTLY LIKE THE SHOW
This issue opens with a very exciting and explodey sequence, as the Pentagon is attacked by someone wearing bootleg Iron Man armor (seemingly a kludged-together amalgam of the Mark V and Mark VII suits, and yes, I’m using the old designations because I am old) leading to a lovely moment where Tony Stark and Melinda May tensely argue about the whereabouts of Phil Coulson. Stark actually gets out-gunned (literally) by Melinda, even asking her out before we find that Coulson is in the field with his agents (Deathlok, Quake, Mockingbird, Fitz and Simmons), infiltrating a hidden HYDRA base. The issue has lots of lovely touches that make it clear that we’re in the comic Marvel U, including the use of an old Fantastic Four pogo-plane, the traditional blue-and-white SHIELD jumpsuits and a new Deathlok (who has to be something like number 17, if my counts are right.) Coulson discovers that the source of the lost technology is an old acquaintance/fiancée, Simmons discovers unnerving truths about her own health, and Fitz discovers guts his TV counterpart doesn’t, asking Melinda May out to dinner…
THE SECRET OF LOLA
As one who still watches the SHIELD television show regularly, it’s nice to see them working in some of the best parts of the show (Coulson is spot-on, May stands toe-to-toe with frickin’ Iron Man), but I also have the usual issues of trying to un-remember what parts of that continuity aren’t going to be applicable here. The art is very nicely handled throughout, though, and while it doesn’t give you picture-perfect likenesses of the actors, that’s actually a plus in this context: These Agents aren’t actually the same Agents, and their reality will quickly show that. On the downside, there’s little to no time spent with Deathlok, Bobbi or Daisy (the dangers of a large cast in a first issue), there are a couple of moments that fall incredibly flat for me (Fitz’ new attitude is nice, but having his macho posturing work on Melinda May feels questionable) and having Tony Stark’s technology once again be the impetus for badness really calls into question whether Iron Man is a force for good or just an agent of chaos…
THE BOTTOM LINE: INTERESTING STUFF
All in all, this issue serves as a good chapter of ongoing story, but less well as a first issue, but the successful parts of it are those that best capture the tone and attitudes of the Agents of SHIELD TV show, good news for fans of that property looking to cross over. Agents of SHIELD #1 isn’t an unqualified success, but it’s got strong art and the makings of something different for the comics incarnation of the Marvel Universe, and more Phil Coulson will never be a bad thing, leaving the book with a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. Given a chance to grow past Armor Wars Part XVII, this book could be a real winner…[taq_review][signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog”][/signoff]