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April 13, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Written by: mike
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S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist(s): Dustin Weaver and Christina Strain
Cover: Gerald Parel and Dustin Weaver


Here we are again with another installment of Touring the Cosmos! Here we look at the stories among the stars, exploring cosmic characters, universes and… S.H.I.E.L.D.!?!? I know, I know, it’s weird and don’t really know what to make of that.

Well, let’s take a look at S.H.I.E.L.D to find out its cosmic ties. The Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate, a.k.a. S.H.I.E.L.D., has always closely been associated with Nick Fury. For most readers, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a government sanctioned group that Nick Fury led. They sometimes employed superheroes, but generally stuck to military tactics to take down super-human threats. Nick Fury supposedly created S.H.I.E.L.D., and has run it all the way up until Norman Osborn took over and re-dubbed the organization H.A.M.M.E.R.

Now, most of that stuff is common knowledge. We know Nick Fury and his history, and S.H.I.E.L.D. and its functions within the Marvel Universe. What most readers may be confused about is why Jonathan Hickman has attempted to create a huge historical overhaul, and give S.H.I.E.L.D. a much deeper and richer history.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 starts with a new character named Leonid. The year is 1953, and there is clearly something special about this young man. He is ushered into a car by two men, and brought to a secret city below Rome called The Immortal City. Here in this secret city, we are introduced to the High Council of the Shield. Now apparently, this council started thousands of years ago in Egypt with Imhotep. It was Imhotep’s shield that has been passed on, symbolizing the great “shield” that has protected Earth from other-worldly invaders throughout the ages.

#1 alt. cover

It was cool to see Egyptians up against the Brood. Then we got to see Zhang Heng up against a Celestial. All the while we are seeing these ancient figures who represent S.H.I.E.L.D., as the High Council of the Shield is explaining to Leonid the importance of this group. They represent the future of man, his will and his way. They eventually ask Leonid to join the council, as we are privy to see Leonardo Da Vinci devise a flying device in order to battle the threat of Galactus.

S.H.I.E.L.D. closes out with an interesting twist. Leonid’s father, who is called The Night Machine, visits Leonid in The Immortal City with two goals. One, to show Leonid the Iter, a secret chamber in The Immortal City. And two, to tear The Immortal City apart. His reasons for both actions are secret, but he looks to be quite the intriguing character.

Dustin Weaver has really outdone himself with this book. These are some of the most fitting pencils I have seen in any comic in a while. He sets up a very mystical yet tech-like look for S.H.I.E.L.D. almost flawlessly, with a gorgeous array of new characters and new cities. He actually makes Leonardo Da Vinci look cool, and I don’t think that would be an easy task for anyone. The scene between the Brood and Egyptians was just glorious, all the way through to Da Vinci on the last page. Christina Strain’s colors on the book were also very well done, giving a space-like texture to The Immortal City, even though it lies beneath Rome. She could easily display the light of day in Rome, in complete contrast to the dark caverns of The Immortal City.

Jonathan Hickman is one of Marvel’s up and coming writers. He is trying to make his own waves within the Marvel U, and I must say he is doing a damn good job. Between the interesting covert ops book Secret Warriors, to Marvel’s first family The Fantastic Four, Jonathan Hickman is doing a lot of work to add depth and more character to already established names. I have no problem with Hickman changing the landscape of S.H.I.E.L.D., because let’s be honest, it’s a pretty one-dimensional idea. With a history as complex and deep as what Hickman is creating, S.H.I.E.L.D. may turn out to be one of the most interesting histories in the Marvel U.

I have to say, for a fairly obscure creative team, this book will definitely have me coming back for more. I want to know why Leonid is so special, how Da Vinci beat Galactus, and where the High Council of the Shield is today. These are only a few questions among many others, and I want to know the answer to them all. Hickman is definitely hitting his stride with this book, even only one issue in. He incorporates Marvel histories into a whole new idea, and keeps it fresh and exciting the entire way through. I would definitely suggest this book to someone looking to add a new title to their list.

One last thing, I want to know if anyone noticed the mutant in this book; you know, the one that has been around since the beginning of time?

Rating: 3.8/5

Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. teaser.

Mike Parente



  1. Only a 3.8!? This one clocks in with at least a 4.5 in my book!!

    And, yeah I caught the mutant cameo- it was great! I also thought it was cool that the Brood had to be repelled in early civilized human history.

    So awesome.

  2. orlando villanueva

    OMG! That was so awesome as an issue in total but the whole A####### in that cameo was my fave! I don’t know if i should say for surprise reasons but can’t hold it!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sjoerd Schudde, Comic Attack, orlando u villanueva, John Mulder, Comic Attack and others. Comic Attack said: Touring the Cosmos: S.H.I.E.L.D.!! https://comicattack.net/2010/04/ttc8/ #comics #marvel #scifi #SHIELD […]

  4. okay now I have to go and pick this up tomorrow…ugh!

  5. Billy

    This issue was very good IMO. Can’t wait for #2.

  6. […] Cosmos! Last time we looked at the intriguing introduction to the new title by Hickman and Weaver, S.H.I.E.L.D. If you take a look at the teaser there, you will see a silver skull on the table next to some […]

  7. […] Hickman, one of Marvel’s newer scribes, has recently started writing a new ongoing S.H.I.E.L.D. comic. In it, he has introduced a whole new mythos behind S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard […]

  8. […] 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. […]

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