SHIELD #2 (Comics Review)

The last week of comics of 2014, that is, the week of 31.12.2014, saw the release of SHIELD #1, a new comics series from Marvel that is presumably set in its own continuity and also contains characters from Agents of SHIELD, Marvel’s first live-action show that is currently in its second season. To see characters like Agents Simmons and Fitz, or Agent Melinda “The Cavalry” May among others is a great feeling, and the first issue two weeks back was a lot of fun indeed, with its focus on Phil Coulson and his particular strengths as a SHIELD agent.

In last week’s SHIELD #2, we got to see some different things than in the first issue, particularly since this issue starred Marvel’s biggest hit character of 2014, Kamala Khan aka Miss Marvel. And the best thing was that we got to see Kamala interact with Jemma Simmons and even bond. That’s pretty fantastic. The comics version of Jemma is of course quite different from her live-action counterpart, but that has little bearing on the matter here since she is so much more immediately awesome here. The art was different this time as the art team is different, but it was still pretty fun, and the final one-page backup with Fitz and May was hilarious.

After seeing Coulson get the big-up two weeks ago, this time we are seeing Ms. Marvel and Jemma Simmons get their time to shine. There’s a kid in Kamala’s high school who is trafficking in dated supervillain tech, mostly B- and C-grade stuff, and Jemma is on the case along with Coulson, who is her backup on this case. So Jemma goes undercover at the school to flush the kid out, and it all gets into a kind of a mess once the kid decides not to cooperate. So we get the usual heroics, but this time we have two of Marvel’s newest young heroes trying to stop it all from blowing up, and it is pretty glorious.

I love Jemma Simmons on Agents of SHIELD. From the last few episodes of the first season and all the way through to the second season, her character has come a long way on the show and while her character in the comic is obviously very different, she is also instantly recognizable because Mark Waid makes sure that there is some consistency in the two versions. She’s still the same hyper-dedicated agent, still the same nerdy scientist and it is fun. The writer plays to her strengths as he does to the other two characters and there is never a dull moment at all.

This issue marks the second time that a writer other than G. Willow Wilson has written Kamala Khan, the first one being Dan Slott a few months back in a Spider-Verse tie-in issue for Amazing Spider-Man. And I personally think that Mark Waid has written a truer character than Dan did since Kamala in this comic has much more agency with her, she is much more active and she doesn’t really have to play second fiddle to anyone else.

And of course, Kamala being the superhero-nerd-buff that she is, she has a nerd-knowledge showdown with Phil Coulson and it is absolutely adorable, especially when she shows up Coulson. Can you imagine that? The Marvel movies and Agents of SHIELD have shown that Coulson is an incredible superhero-nerd-buff, and now here’s Marvel’s youngest female hero topping him up. And that’s what I loved so much, that Mark Waid captured Kamala’s superhero fan nature so incredibly well in this issue.

Ultimately, this is a great story about three great characters, and it is fun to see them together like this, with the promise of there being more at some point, given how the last panel ends between Jemma and Kamala.

Humberto Ramos is the artist in this issue, with Victor Olazaba on the inks, Edgar Delgado on the colours, VC’s Joe Sabino on the letters, and the cover by Julian Totino Tedesco. The art team is, as I said before, completely different from the previous one, but that’s fine since the strengths of this team suit the story that Mark Waid tells. And I won’t deny that it is a LOT of fun to see Ramos and the others working on something other than Spider-Man and doing it so well too. Sure, their visual designs don’t match up so well with how the same characters have been portrayed elsewhere, but that’s a very minor complaint and doesn’t really have much of a bearing in the final accounting. I still loved all the action scenes and the expressions and body-language too were superb, so I call this a win.

Bring on more!

Rating: 9.5/10

More SHIELD: #1.

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Posted on January 19, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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