Hickman instantly delivers another winner here (and hopefully it can stay on point unlike Secret Warriors, which is also a tremendous comic people should be reading).
Like most of Hickman’s books, it’s not an easy read. Hickman doesn’t seem to believe in over-writing and lets the artist do a good chunk of the story telling. For those who are not use to not having the plot spoon feed to them, this can be a little disjointing. However, it does give you a reason to read the comic more than once and in a world where you have to pay $3.99 for a single issue, there should be a reason to read it twice.
The plot itself is an intriguing concept. The organization S.H.I.E.L.D. has existed longer than we’ve thought. S.H.I.E.L.D. was created somewhere around 2620 BC after the world was saved by a familiar name from history.
The history of S.H.I.E.L.D. is told to a young man (Leonid) by the High Council of S.H.I.E.L.D. in their Immortal City during the 1950s. We see many of historical figures deal with threats like Galactus and the Celestials. We sadly don’t get much of these stories other than a few panels. I myself would have loved to see the entirety of Galileo trying to stop Galactus.
The ending twist makes the second issue an automatic pick-up next month (like I need another reason).
Dustin Weaver does a remarkable job at handling Hickman’s insane script. Comics from writers like Hickman and Morrison really hinge on how well the artist can convey what is going to the reader. The writer likes to focus on what’s important and skip tiny details. This can sometimes cause the reader to step back and figure out how they just got to point A to point B. If you want to see an example where an artist fails where Weaver succeeds, read any of the three issues Philip Tan did on “Batman and Robin.”
Weaver may want to work on his transitions a bit. A few times a panel on one page looked like it went into one on the next. This could be an inker or color problem but it was nothing to serious, just a little annoying when you are caught up in the story.
We even get a cameo or two from characters you don’t expect. My Marvel history is shaky in places so I can’t tell if these cameos have any significant change within the current universe.
Overall: We get more of Hickman’s strange wonderful ideas and that is always a good thing.
FINAL SCORE: 4.5 OUT OF 5