- Coulson is cool!
- Spider-Man crouching on a cherry-red flying convertible.
- The Ditko Homage is cool!
- Mark Waid crafted a fun story with aptly inserted humorous dialogue, and Alan Davis' art is, as usual, quite good!
- Coulson is cool!
S.H.I.E.L.D., the comic book, not the hit Marvel TV show, is now at the third issue in the new series, and some patterns are emerging. Good patterns, but patterns of behavior and story-telling, to be sure. Oh, and is it a good comic to read? See our opinion below...While the title would lead us to believe this book is about the organization named Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, or acronymed as S.H.I.E.L.D., but in reality, this comic book title (the third such volume, or series, to be named such), is really a vehicle for Agent Phil Coulson to look cool, order superheroes and supervillians around, and use his logical mind and deep knowledge of the world of the "supers" to win the day. Did we mention that he looks cool as he saves the world? In the first issue of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson assembled a huge army of superheroes to literally save the Earth. In doing so, he introduced into Marvel Comics continuity the concept that he (and by extension, S.H.I.E.L.D.), had the authority to order pretty much any superhero to aid them as needed. That ability comes in handy, as we shall see in issue #3. In the second issue, Coulson and his team works with the new Ms. Marvel when bad guys just happen to attack the high school she is enrolled at. Funny how that works, eh? Now, in S.H.I.E.L.D. #3, we first see Coulson driving Lola, the cherry-red flying car toward an emergency with Spider-Man clinging to the hood. We now see a pattern: it seems that this new S.H.I.E.L.D. series is a team-up book designed to give Agent Coulson a chance to interact with a different superhero in each issue. Not an original idea, as Spidey himself starred in a Team-up book in the 1970s with a bevy of partners. Mild Spoilers down below...watch out... Another thing about this particular issue that caught our attention: Spider-Man and Coulson are responding to a home invasion in Greenwich Village at the home of Dr. Strange (who is not home, of course). To deal with all the magical stuff being thrown around, Coulson coerces an incarcerated villain (variously called Mister Rasputin and Doctor Rasputin) who is old foe of Dr. Strange to cooperate in dealing with the situation. While the art in this book is by Alan Davis (and the writing by Mark Waid), several scenes are very similar in style to the art of Marvel Master Artist Steve Ditko. In Marvel history, Steve Ditko is best known for co-creating both Spider-Man and Dr. Strange (as well as most of their early villains, such as Mr./Dr. Rasputin). So, in a sense, the "home invasion" Spider-Man, Coulson, and Rasputin are dealing with can be termed to be at "The House That Ditko Built." Thus, S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 is a very apt homage to the legacy of Steve Ditko. This comic book is cool. And here is why: