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THE SHIELD #1 REVIEW

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

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Post Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:41 pm
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THE SHIELD #1 REVIEW
Review by: Blake M. Petit
Quick Rating: Good
Title: Kicking Down the Door Part I (and) Burning Inside Part I

Image

Joe Higgins’ first mission takes him to one of the nastiest hot spots in the world.

Writer: Eric Trautmann
Pencils: Marco Rudy
Inks: Mick Gray
Colors: Art Lyon
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Cover Art: Francis Manapul & Jeremy Roberts
Publisher: DC Comics

Outfitted with the warsuit that makes him The Shield, Joe Higgins prepares to dive into the war-raved country of Bialya to find 32 American soldiers that have gone missing. Although his initial contact with the natives goes well, things quickly turn violent, and the Shield finds himself face-to-face with one of the most powerful additions to the DC Universe.

As an opening salvo, this is a pretty good issue. It’s important that this character be distinguished right away from other flag-draped superheroes, and Trautmann does this easily. Higgins is portrayed as a soldier, not as a superhero, despite his colorful attire. He behaves like a soldier, thinks like a soldier, but he’s got the power of a superman. It isn’t the first time a story has been told from that angle, but it is rare, and that opens up a lot of potential. Especially in a world like the DC Universe, where you’ve got countries like Kahndaq and Bialya, fictional allegories for real-world hotspots that allow the writers to address the Middle Eastern situation without struggling with the classic “why don’t the superheroes end the war?” question.

Rudy and Gray do an okay job of the artwork. I really like the layouts – Marco Rudy does some nice, innovative, and distinctive work there. Some of the faces could be better, though, they’re kind of generic. Art Lyon’s very nice color job helps to elevate the visuals.

It’s a good start to what I sincerely hope is a long run. I really like this character, I think J. Michael Straczynski gave this team a solid foundation, and there’s a lot of potential to go places here.

Inferno Second Feature

Writer: Brandon Jerwa
Art: Greg Scott
Colors: Tanya & Richard Horie
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern

Inferno was actually my least favorite of the four Red Circle one-shots that led into the two ongoing series, but this wasn’t a bad opening story. Picking up right where the one-shot ended, we see the mysterious man using the name Frank Verrano on the run, trying to figure out why the television images of himself while in his Inferno form don’t look anything like his real face. Someone is chasing him, though, and not just the black-clad goons that are spilling out of his very nightmares. He’s in Star City, and Star City has its own emerald protector.

I do really appreciate how quickly, the writers of both these features are bringing in other DCU characters – they want to make it clear from the beginning that these stories do not take place in a vacuum and are real parts of the DC Universe. The “hero on the run” thing, of course, has been done before, but the mystery of “Frank”’s transformation is a pretty interesting one. I’m interested to see where Jerwa will take that arc. Greg Scott’s line art is pretty good – a little rough, but that seems appropriate for the character – and Tanya and Richard Horie do some good work with the clors.

Like the main feature, Inferno gets off to a good start here.

Story: 4

Art: 3.5

Overall: 3,5

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