One of my favorite shows on television right now is Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Now admittedly the show is a bit uneven. For every exciting episode there is an episode that makes you shake your head wondering why the show ever got made. (It helps that the studio that makes the show is the one putting it on the air. Just like Moonlighting in the 1980’s, the network saves major money putting on a show that they make themselves which makes them much more lenient when it comes to stuff like ratings.) I think what the show has gotten right is the fact that they have pretty much inserted themselves into the Marvel Cinematic Universe quite flawlessly. While out of the gate there was more of an expectation that we’d somehow see Iron Man show up on the show, Agents of SHIELD has settled into a nice little niche of its own, mainly as an introduction for characters that may be minor now but could potentially be big later, like the Inhumans.
Season 3 debuts near the end of the month. One of the advertisements of the show mentioned a group called the Secret Warriors.
Doing some research I discovered that the Secret Warriors originated with the comics. They were a group of mercenaries put together by Nick Fury (the WHITE Nick Fury) whose leader was Daisy Johnson, who is currently a character in Agents of SHIELD that we know as Skye. So in order to know a little more about the group I decided to dive in to the first issue.
The story, while short, went along at a good pace. The comic made me appreciate how the producers of the show did their research for the character of Daisy because she came across pretty much just like she did on the show. She was a leader for the team that Fury put together after SHIELD was disassembled in the comics. The Secret Warriors were sent on a recon mission that went bad and were attacked. The attack did a nice job in showing the distinct personality of the characters albeit briefly.
I really liked Nick Fury in this comic. While I’ve known that Nick Fury was originally white, my only real exposure to him has been through the Samuel L. Jackson inspired character that was in the Ultimate comics and as shown in the films with the actual Samuel L. Bad Motherfucker Jackson. The great thing Nick Fury in this comic showed was the brilliance in Brian Bendis for pretty much taking the same damn character…and making him cooler by making him Samuel L. Jackson. There really is no difference in the characters. This shows that, unless you’re making a movie based on the life of Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and want to cast Tom Hanks in the lead, changing the race of a major character in a story is irrelevant as long as the character’s race doesn’t somehow affect the story in a major way (like my previous example, though in my twisted mind I would kind of want to watch Tom Hanks as Martin Luther King. But hey, you’re talking to a guy who paid to see Freddy Got Fingered in theaters twice!)
The artwork was pretty solid in the issue. It had the classic realism that I love in comics, reminiscent of golden age comics but updated for modern audiences. Basically, more attention to the little details while the main characters look magnificent.
As mentioned, the story was short and that is not a good thing. Just when you’re getting interested in the story the issue ends. Obviously, the medium of comics tells their stories over multiple issues. I’m not complaining that the story was not resolved in one issue. My complaint, which is getting to be a major theme I am noticing with comics in general, is the fact that individual issues do not always work well as individual works.
Let’s bring up a movie example, The Empire Strikes Back. As far as plot goes, the story was not resolved. Han Solo was frozen in carbonite and shipped off to Jabba. Luke Skywalker lost his hand and his pride after his battle with Darth Vader. Princess Leia found love after losing her family and an entire freaking planet and ended up losing that love the moment she admits her love. There is a lot left on the table in terms of story that is not resolved. But the ending of that film was perfect because it had the emotional ending we were all looking for. The main characters all learned from their failures and knew what needed to be done to move on.
This issue had nothing like that. It had a shock ending that was meant to get you to read the next issue (which was a good ending by the way) but the path you took to get there was disjointed. It felt like highlights from a much bigger story. Parts were missing which ended up making me lost.
The artwork again was pretty solid. To nitpick, I would have to say that it did underwhelm me in terms of what it had to offer. Sometimes you know what an artist is really into their work. While the art itself may not be perfect their passion for the piece will ring out causing you to be more invested in the story. While the art was pretty decent, it didn’t really bring me into the story more. I didn’t feel like I was stepping into a new world, more like an artists rendition of a Hollywood movie set.
This comic is far from perfect. While as an individual issue I can’t say it is too enjoyable, I would have to say that overall it did enough to make me want to read issue two which means it did it’s job. I give the story a 6.
The artwork wasn’t bad. While I wouldn’t say it was the greatest artwork in comic history, it wasn’t sloppy like some comics today are. While it did come across like an artists rendition of an action movie, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For that, I give the art a 6.