Kaitlyn Booth

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Brings In Spider-Man But Still Hasn’t Found Its Footing

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S.H.I.E.L.D. #3, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Humberto Ramos, is suffering from the same problem the inaugural season of the television show it’s based on with a “monster of the week” format and no overarching story.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3

#3 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco from Comixology

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3

WRITER: Mark Waid
ARTIST: Humberto Ramos
COLORIST: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: VC’s Joe Caramagna
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2015
Order a copy of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 to be delivered by HELICARRIER to your doorstep. Or, a simple postman, who knows what S.H.I.E.L.D. does for delivering.

I almost always give a comic series three issues to grab my attention. I feel like by issue three the “introductions” should be done and maybe an issue to help everyone get settled then the real plot should start. There are several comics that I would have missed out on if I hadn’t stuck with them for three issues, the main ones being She-Hulk and Spider-Woman, neither of which I liked the first two issues. The first two issues of S.H.I.E.L.D. weren’t the best, so I was eager to read #3. I was let down again.

This time the “monster of the week” plot is that someone has broken into Stephen Strange’s house and Coulson is trying to get through the magical barrier. He brings Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, in to basically act as a danger detection system and a criminal named Pavel P. Rasputin to help counter the magic that is keeping the burglars in.

While I did say that ISSUE #2 was probably objectively better than ISSUE #1, I really feel like most of that credit has to go to Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel. In this case I wasn’t that impressed with how they decided to utilize Spider-Man, which is kind of hilarious since he isn’t three with the mission either. The rest of the team is absent and the only hint we get of the actual plot is at the very end. One of the main problems Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had in its first season was that the major twist, S.H.I.E.L.D. being compromised by Hydra, couldn’t be mentioned until the movie came out. The show started in the fall and spent half of the season meandering around because it sort of had to.

This comic adaptation seems to be following the same plot, only I don’t really understand why Mark Waid has chosen to tell the story this way. Perhaps there is some major connection to the Secret Wars event this summer that he is waiting for, but I don’t want to spend the next few months meandering around with these missions that mean nothing to me. The art by Humberto Ramos and colorist Edgar Delgado are continuing to improve and the writing isn’t really bad. Mark Waid is an extremely talented writer, but he seems to be holding back the plot of S.H.I.E.L.D. for some reason. This strategy didn’t work for the show and it certainly isn’t going to work again for the comic.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 is disappointing to me because there is so much they could be doing with this story, and they appear to simply be treading in place for no reason. Perhaps why will present itself eventually, but that isn’t going to counter these fairly generic issues.

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