Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Shield' #1 by Christopher, Wendig, Johnson, Deering, & Fitzpatrick


★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Dark Circle Comics has been slowly rolling out new reimagined titles with great results. 'The Black Hood' is a grounded gritty vigilante tale and 'The Fox' is a whimsical fun take on superheroes. However, every publisher needs a flagship book. A character that defines a company's place in the market. DC Comics has 'Batman.' Marvel has 'Spider-man.' For Archie Comics' imprint, that defining hero could be 'The Shield.'

Meet Victoria Adams. A Revolutionary War badass who infiltrates a British encampment. She knows how to handle herself, but things get dicey for our red-haired heroine. Jump to the present where the modern Adams runs afoul of the law only to realize she's in deeper trouble with some mysterious forces and she's quickly on the run. She begins to have memories of herself during the Revolution, of a life so vivid she can even recall her death. 

It plays out a little like Steve Rogers as Jason Bourne (she predates Captain America by the way). I wanted to love this issue since it was announced. The anticipation and expectations grew even through the delayed release. The previews of the covers were gorgeous, featuring a redhead with a strong build looking patriotic and ready for action. I liked 'The Shield' #1 but didn't adore it as much as I thought I would. 

The story moves fast but perhaps too fast. It reads as if it came from two different minds and it did. Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig are fine novelists, but there's an urgency to get this story out. It's almost as though there's a checklist of items or beats they have to hit in the first issue. The backstory, the present day dilemma, the images of a past life, the convenient getaway, establishing the villain, the hero realizing who she is or was gets checked off every few pages. 

There's very little time to develop any character and the convenient plot devices moves the action forward but with little resonance. An all-too-helpful detective, a virtual moustache-twirling villain, and at times confusing panels hinder what should have been a fantastic debut.

 The artwork fares much better but the script finds a way to interfere at times. Drew Johnson does an incredible job of designing landscapes and characters. Only when the action gets going that occasionally the sequence of events gets muddled. While I enjoy Rachel Deering's letters the caption boxes cover up the action and on some pages they suffocate the life out of the story. The layouts at times are cluttered and jumbled. Kelly Fitzpatrick's muted colors give the book a distinct understated look. It's mostly great art that sometimes ends up in a 12-car pileup.

'The Shield' #1 didn't live up to expectations but the DNA of a great series is there. A reborn American hero embodied by a more muscular version of Jessica Chastain has a ton of potential. With some character development and cleaner layouts Victoria Adams could become the face of Dark Circle Comics and the flagship book it deserves to be. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…