REVIEW CORNER: The Shield # 1

The Shield # 1
Writer: Eric Trautmann
Penciller: Eric Rudy
Inker: Mick Gray
Colorist: Art Lyon
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
“Second Feature: Inferno”
Writer: Brandon Jerwa
Artist: Greg Scott
Colorists: Tanya & Richard Horie
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover Date: November 2009
This week, I’ll take a look at The Shield # 1 which spins out of the Red Circle one-shot that J. Michael Straczynski and Scott McDaniel help kick off in terms of reimaging the classic MLJ Comics/Red Circle characters, but now it’s Eric Trautmann and Marco Rudy on board for Lt. Higgins’ latest ongoing at the time, so let’s see how it holds up…
The first issue of this series finds Lt. Joe Higgins going on his first mission as the Shield as it takes him to Biaya, where, in the aftermath of the destruction caused by the rage of Black Adam during “52”, there’s something that’s been kept out of sight in the country’s mountains. The interesting set-up and the premise works well within this issue, but for the most part, the story felt as if there were elements from “Black Hawk Down” meets “Saving Private Ryan” mixed in with Captain America because that is how the issue comes across as I feel it takes pride in its grim and grittiness while adding in some realism just to make sure the story is more grounded to the real-life situations that all soldiers go through.

Trautmann does a good job of finding The Shield’s voice and making him heroic and fearless but at the same time, also balances the effort of making him as human as possible as he’s just a soldier who’s willing to serve his country to the fullest….even without a fancy superhero outfit (And yes I like to point out that The Shield’s costume is just flat-out awesome); Marco Rudy’s artwork may have that noir and moody take. To me, it’s just breathtaking as it complements Trautmann’s work but what I found the most interesting is how Rudy’s art has that distinctive J.H. Williams meets Bryan Hitch feel to it that makes every page look amazing. The issue also has the honor of having a backup story starring Inferno by the team of Brandon Jerwa and Greg Scott where it feels like a crime novel come to life, but I do feel that Inferno should have his own limited series, but that’s DC for ya when it comes to cutting corners and taking shortcuts because without the “second feature”, Trautmann and Rudy could have had more time (and pages) to further their opening story. The premise of The Shield could have been a hit if DC stuck by it (It was canceled after ten issues) but this new iteration is a welcoming change to what came before and delivers something that will no doubt be an exciting entry to one of the premier heroes of the Red Circle line.

Next week I’ll kick off my series of Moon Knight reviews so be on the lookout for that. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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