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The Shield #1 Review

The superstar creative team of Chuck Wendig, Adam Christopher, and Drew Edward Johnson (who were all interviewed here last week) bring the debut issues of their new series, The Shield, this Wednesday.

Is it good?

The Shield #1 (Dark Circle Comics)

The Plot

  • 1776: A red-haired, badass spy/assassin opens up a can on some loyalist redcoats.
  • Now: A red-haired badass…somebody…causes a ton of property damage while running down a purse snatcher. This earns her an interview with a surprisingly sympathetic police officer.
  • Lots of running, lots of reminiscing.
  • Introduction of The Bad Guy (with some really good lettering by Rachel Deering).
  • Wall crawling has never looked so cool.
  • A quick break for justice.
  • Washington D.C. may be a festering swamp of unending bureaucracy, but Drew Edward Johnson (art) and Kelly Fitzpatrick (colors) manage to make it look beautiful.
  • Lots of reminiscing, lots of dying…and one very big revelation.

Is It Good?

Now this is how you start a series.

Coming in, I didn’t know what to expect. By the end of the first issue, we have a fascinating mystery about the main character’s origin, purpose, and the forces working both for and against her.

Oh yeah, and then there’s the more immediate question of “How the hell is she going to get out of this?” cliffhanger on the last page.

That being said, The Shield #1 did have a few ‘pilot-y’ issues. Every time we started a cool plot thread, the narrative was interrupted by the introduction of a new story element. Nowhere was this more apparent than with (who I assume to be) the first major villain of series. Right as things got interesting/creepy, he disappears.

But that’s more a product of this being a first issue. The story by Wendig/Christopher has been set up in way that promises a ton of immediate thrills (action, good vs. evil, stuff exploding) supported by strong themes and a fascinating main character.

Also, the artwork by Drew Edward Johnson is stunning. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, his pencils also convey a great sense of motion as The Shield makes her way through the city.

So should you wait for the trade in order to avoid the narrative disruptions that can happen with a first issue? Heck no! Go put this one on your pull list immediately. The Shield is going to be something special.

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