Travelling Man's Blog

Review: The Shield Issue 1 by Travelling Man

the shield issue 1

Written by Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig

Art by Drew Johnson

Letters by Rachel Deering

Colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick

Cover by David Williams

Published by Dark Circle Comics


In 1776, a female soldier is captured after causing havoc in a British military camp. In modern day Washington, a woman causes vast property damage chasing down a purse-snatcher. She has no memory of who she is. All she has is an address and no time. The Shield has been reborn,  Now all she has to do is live long enough to remember her mission…


Christopher and Wendig are two of the leading lights of contemporary genre fiction, with countless books and years of experience between them. That experience is what comes across on every page here, as they transition effortlessly to comics and bring a lot of their prose sensibilities with them. There’s the sense of reading the opening chapters of a longer story, the feeling of stepping into a very large world. It’s shared by the lead and by the authors too. By the end of the first issue all three have a sense of just how big this story will get and what the stakes are. All three are on mission and in lockstep too and that amount of empathy between reader and character is a very smart, tough thing to pull off.

As is keeping a comic like this so light on its feet. There’s lots of information here but the pages never feel wordy. Instead, the prose experience of the authors is expressed through the density of narrative and the ease with which it shifts gears. There’s some really smart storytelling here, especially in the flashback sequences and that speaks to a lot of work going on behind the scenes. No image, no word, is wasted and the comic carries itself with the confidence it’s lead character doesn’t quite have. At least until that killer final panel.

On the art side of things Drew Johnson’s Steve Skroce-esque mega detail is just what the book needs. This feels contemporary and real, a book happening a block away from The Blacklist and sharing that same, deliciously murky moral grey area. Special praise also has to be given for the variety of body shapes on display too. These characters talk and move like real people and the lead in particular has physicality and presence with no cheesecake element whatsoever.

There’s as much thought, and care, on the art as there is on the script and the result is a tight, focused, confident opening issue. Rounded out by a typically considered, perceptive essay by Myke Cole this is as good a first issue as you’ll see all year. The Shield is back and in very good hands.

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