Time and Other Illusions...
Michelangelo reveals just how long his hidden hand's been guiding the world's destiny.
Oh how I've missed looking at these wonderful covers. Welcome back S.H.I.E.L.D. welcome back...God, I've missed you.
The issue starts with another failed attempt by Leonardo to recruit Michelangelo. The dialog here was superb and the "holy frak!" face Weaver draws on Leonardo as he sees the true nature of Michelangelo is excellent.
As usual the issues skips around time. Hickman and Weaver continue right were the last issue of volume one left off with the war in the immortal city. Weaver does a stellar job of making the battle visceral and tense.
Michelangelo's been busy, very busy. If you're reading Secret Warriors you may know that Hickman has a thing for puppet master characters, Michelangelo definitely fits this mold. He's been guiding the lives of all the major players in this game since time itself began. This was hinted at in the last two issues of the first volume but made plain here.
There's Leonid's mother must give him to Michelangelo in order to save him that was very touching
The dialog between Leonid and Michelangelo was brief but ever so satisfying.
Hickman answers many question while opening up the door to whole host of others for us to pour over, explore, and speculate about.
Great jumping on point!!! Hickman's managed to make his very dense, very cerebral narrative accessible to new comers. There's some great character bios at the end of the issue that give excellent summaries of the major plot points up til now.
There's some pages that show Newton doing something we already knew about, I guess they were here for new readers. For regular readers they really serve no purpose and could've been used for something else.
While I liked the character bios at the end of the book I feel that somethings revealed in Morda and Michelangelo's should've been included in the issue. I hate being told about things happening off panel. This is especially true of Michelangelo.
S.H.I.E.L.D. may be the most layered and dense work Hickman's produced to date (and that's really saying something, people). You'll definitely want to be up on world history, the occult, and general esoteric knowledge to fully appreciate this series. That being said you can jump right in on this issue and keep moving forward, BUT to really take in all the sweet nectar that is S.H.I.E.L.D. it would behoove you to read up and acquire the first volume which is available in trade.
Hickman has a thing for jumping from time period to time period and from location to location in his stories. If you're not a fan of this style of writing you made find this series a bit hard to follow.
BUY THIS COMIC!!!
S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the most unique, cerebral, challenging, frustrating, rewarding, and enlightening works I've ever read. It has not only challenged and made me reevaluate the way I view comics as a medium, but the nature of existence and reality as well. Much like Michelangelo this book is an anachronism. It feels like something Allen Moore would've written during his heyday at DC Comics. Every time I read an issue I feel like I've been transported to the early days of Vertigo. I mean, if somebody had just handed me an issue of this comic I never would've guessed that this was something on being written at and distributed by Marvel. With the beginning of this new volume Hickman's taken on the herculean task of making his grandiloquent opus accessible to new comers while moving the plot forward in a rewarding manner for longtime readers. If you're tired of the same ol' same ol' "Fearful Crisis of Infinite Earths" crap that's all too common at the big two and want to be intrigued and challenged then I present to you Jonathan Hickman's S.H.I.E.L.D.