S.H.I.E.L.D. #2: Where Kamala Khan Improves Everything
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Humberto Ramos, is an improvement from the first issue with a more focused art style and an appearance by Kamala Khan.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 continues the adventures of Agent Coulson and his team as they look into a problem at a local a New Jersey high school with Jemma Simmons undercover as a biology teacher. However, things get complicated by the fact that this is the same high school that Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel, who has just gained her powers from the recent terrigan mist event in the Inhumanity series.
One of my main complaints about S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 was that everyone was dressed in the same standard issue armor and it made it very hard to tell who was whom. As I said, this isn’t something I can hold against Carlos Pacheco because S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to hide in the background. However, this issue is much more “monster of the week” format that the show was for a majority of the first season. I’m not sure this is a good thing yet because it wasn’t until its tie in with Captain America: Winter Soldier that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started to get good. I can understand they would fall back into this similar formula because they need to introduce Coulson and his team to the people that haven’t watched the show. It’s because of this formula that we’re able to get a feel for the team, or at least Jemma Simmons in particular.
This also might have something to do with the ray of sunshine that is Kamala Khan. Kamala is currently the breakout character of the Marvel universe, second only to Spider-Gwen as far as new superheroes go. Her ongoing comic is easily one of the best being written at the moment, and when I saw the cover for S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 I figured that this was a good way to slowly continue to integrate Kamala into the rest of the Marvel universe. Coulson is the biggest nerd in the Marvel universe, but Kamala is a close second which makes their banter quite fun.
Mark Waid has done an excellent job of making Daredevil an extremely relatable character so to put Coulson in his hands was a good idea. While I’m not a huge fan of the this type of story, Waid does an excellent job of keeping us interested. He’s also one of the few people to write Kamala outside of her creator, G. Willow Wilson, and he’s a natural for her voice. Since she’s such a new character I imagine it is hard to write her, but he does an excellent job. I would be perfectly content with him writing more of Kamala in the future and I sincerely hope she turns up in S.H.I.E.L.D. again. Kamala is a new hero and is perfect for Coulson to adopt to show her how to be a superhero properly. I also appreciate that we’re given some backstory on Jemma, which I’m not sure is canon to the show, but it seems like it could be.
Artist Humberto Ramos might just have an easier gig since he only has to draw Kamala, Coulson, and Simmons, but he does a pretty good job. There are times when the proportions can get a little iffy but they are few and far between. He makes sure that everyone is distinctive even if they are supposed to be undercover. Kamala’s power is morphing her body and he manages to make sure that she always looks human and like herself even when she is turning herself into a giant bubble or going under a door. This is the second artist to come along on this series and I’m hoping that this isn’t a trend that continues. I don’t believe switching artists with an ongoing series is a good idea; it makes it harder for the writer and artist to truly sync up.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 continues to show promise though the series hasn’t quite found it’s footing yet. I’m hoping they don’t spend the next four or five issues doing a “monster of the week” format because I’m not sure the sales could take that. Perhaps one more issue and then they need to start on their main arc or audiences will lose interest.