Usually here at Touring the Cosmos, we look at titles and characters that are much more space faring than a book like S.H.I.E.L.D, but it is just impossible to ignore when you have a book that has content like this! S.H.I.E.L.D. has been restarted at #1, but definitely has not missed a beat. Jonathan Hickman has hinted at having planned for this story to play out in particular volumes, but whatever his plans are, many readers are definitely here for the whole ride.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Dustin Weaver
Cover: Gerald Parel, Dustin Weaver, Christina Strain
I really hope that coming into this review you have read the last volume of S.H.I.E.L.D. Not only was it a fantastic read, but it’s necessary for you to not be totally confused. The character biographies at the back are a nice touch for catching readers up, but a true read is necessary. S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up right where the last volume left off. Leonid, the son of Isaac Newton and Morda, is smack dab in the middle of a war. The brotherhood of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has protected the Earth for centuries, is undergoing a change of philosophy and guard. Newton is at odds with Da Vinci, because both figures want to take mankind in different directions. To go any further would spoil a lot of the intrigue of the story, but needless to say a lot of back story is revealed, but many more questions are given.
Jonathan Hickman seems to be really brewing up quite the tale. Each character is of great importance, and being so full of natural history, it is a lot of fun seeing how Hickman puts his little twist on the motives and abilities of all involved. It is easy to tell how much effort and research Hickman has put into this title. For him to be able to introduce his own characters amidst these already plot heavy ones is pretty genius. At times it is easy to get a little lost, but taking a moment to absorb what you have read really helps. The frustrating part of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the fact that readers are left with a LOT of questions. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but lends to a lot of the confusion while reading. Like I mentioned earlier, the stories at the back really help catch a reader up.
Dustin Weaver has an amazing grasp on the characters and how to portray them. A lot of these historical figures look the same in the history books with big bushy beards and white hair, but Weaver has managed to catch the essence of what made each figure so important. From Nostradamus’s tattooed hand to Newton’s electrically charged sword, the pencil work in this title is amazing and extremely detailed. It doesn’t end there with the art, though. Sonia Oback’s colors really shine in a lot of scenes, and have a very impressive glow. Glow, you ask? Well take a look at Michelangelo and that bird-lady. They have this amazing vibrancy to them that just draws the eyes. Oback also did a good job of using the colors to display the environment and era really well. From Rome to Ashomia to Bendy Time, you can really tell the difference in landscape. Let’s not forget Parel’s amazing covers, which have been bang-on since S.H.I.E.L.D.’s inception.
S.H.I.E.L.D. vol. 2 #1 is a must read. If you enjoy sci-fi, history, drama, and action, it’s all here. The only reason why I could see someone missing this is it may be too much of an intellectual read for some. Not to be taken as a bad thing, because you really do have to think while reading this, and some like to read comics while their brain is turned off. This is not that kind of comic. The art is fabulous from back to front. The detail in everything from environment to characters is only enhanced by the fitting colors, all topped with a beautiful cover. Hickman and Co. have really put together a great read here, and it is not to be missed.