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Review: SHIELD #4

Sublime is the only word to describe this.

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Hoo boy... where to even start in trying to describe this issue? Leonid learns even more of SHIELD's centuries-long secret history, which includes the 500 year imprisonment of Nostradamus and the "wet nursing" of a pregnant Celestial.

The Good

This book's weaving of real history, esoteric science and Marvel continuity is nothing short of phenomenal. The revelations about the origins of Nick Fury's infinity formula and the Celstials' interest in Earth (a carry-over from Earth X) are just the kind of intellectual shockers I've been missing. Weaver needs to great credit as well, for some of the most singularly provocative images I've seen outside of a Stanley Kubrick or Darren Arnofsky movie. This has some surreal visuals to rival the likes of 2001 and the Fountain.

The Bad

I think this story might've been better served an OGN or as a series of over-sized specials instead of a month-to-month title. The story's so complex and there's so much callback, I feel like I'm missing out on 70% of what's going on, even though I'm definitely enjoying what I'm reading. The labyrinthine quality of this book is sublime but, good lord, I could've used some footnotes.


Between this and Ultimate Thor (as well his work on Fantastic Four and Secret Warriors) Hickman is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers in the business, let alone at Marvel. The way he's reinterpreting long-established continuity to tell a truly provocative, boundary-pushing story reminds of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison's best work at DC. This book is sublime.