The Hype Machine is a new initiative started here at The Weekly Crisis where we'll be plugging new titles months in advance. We do this in the eternal hope of stirring up comments and getting more people to pre-order. This has become a problem of late with so many titles becoming extinct (Agents of Atlas, S.W.O.R.D., etc) so we hope you like it and look for more to come in the future.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is a series starting this year from Marvel, written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Dustin Weaver. Hit the jump to find out why you should be excited, and why you should add it to your pull list now.
It’s not exactly planned as a mini-series, and thought it will be scheduled as an ongoing it will have a finite story. Hickman has hinted that overall the tale would take 30 issues and be not so much broken up into arcs as have a complete beginning, middle, and end. The story will jump around in time to craft an entire myth.
The first flashback will feature a polymath of the third dynasty of ancient Egypt, Imhotep. He will repel an alien invasion and we will see the consequences of this occurrence on society. It’s an elevator pitch that sounds cool but if done right could also be very smart.
Hickman’s plan is to use known, hard history and simply tweak it. When Galileo saved the world from Galactus the Gregorian calendar was just coming into use so they used the transition to drop ten days from history and so it was never documented that in that time the world nearly ended.
A Russian polymath postulated the existence of Antarctica 90 years before it was ever sighted. This is fact, but through the lens of Hickman this man will go there and discover the Savage Land before anyone else does. There are plot lines that can unveil new and clever links throughout the entire history of the Marvel U.
We will see how S.H.I.E.L.D. has operated for the world, and those within it, for centuries. It will craft a long and involved history for the Marvel Universe much like The Marvels Project has. Except on a grander scale.
All of this cool history is simply peripheral dressing as the main story follows a character who is either known as the Human or the Eternal Dynamo (reports from Hickman have varied over time). We will find out about all of these things through his eyes and he will come across an organisation, the Brotherhood of the Shield, the Council of the Immortals. We shall witness the birth of the first defenders of Earth.
A teaser image attempts to portray snippets of cool history melded with coller plot elements. An almost ancient table holds a sketch of a Galactus/Vitruvian Man, a skull that decidedly looks to be made of adamantium sits to the side, and a few of the Infinity Gems sit idly by. There will be many seeds of the series coming together and under the right eye can be very smartly done.
We will also see da Vinci, Michelangelo, Newton, Franklin and discover whether they were the first men of reason or the last men of magic. The bitter visions of Nostradamus will be explored, and within the first issue will be a Celestial, Galactus, and the Brood.
Ties To Other Titles
There seem to be obvious ties to Secret Warriors with the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fantastic Four with the Richards men, but overall this series will stand on its own. It is an ongoing series with a finite end.
If sales are not strong then Hickman has given himself to the idea that it may remain an unfinished story but he is hoping for the best, as we all should. If it sells well then he hopes he will be able to get to the end of the story and create a book that might just be a little important.
This title he claims is easily the best thing he has ever written. He also states that a better book will not come out from Marvel in April. It’s big talk, hyperbole perhaps, yet he seems to also stand by his wild words. And I for one want to trust him on them.
The history of S.H.I.E.L.D. from ancient Egypt up until the 1950’s. Some of the smartest brains of the Renaissance written by one of the smartest brains in comics today. Galactus smashing through an Italian town. A Celestial gazing down at a man standing alone atop a Chinese structure. These are all signs that the title will be enjoyable. Hickman has started a very long form story in Secret Warriors and if you are enjoying this then you’ll most likely love Shield. If you missed SW then this is your chance to hit on the ground floor of something very different from Marvel, an indie-style comic that deals in continuity and creativity unleashed.
I hope many of you will consider adding this to your pull lists now so that we don’t get another smart comic axed within a year because it didn’t tie into the major crossovers of the day.