Trade Paperback Tuesday: ‘S.H.I.E.L.D. Architects of Forever

Everyone knows that Wednesday is new comic book day. While picking up your new issues consider looking at some of the trade paperbacks and hard covers of past issues and story lines. But which ones should you choose?

That’s why every Tuesday, The Flickcast will recommend a collection of comics that are just as good, if not better, than the issues you are currently buying. Books that deserve to be read, and bought the next time you walk into your local comic book store.

“This is not how the world ends.” – S.H.I.E.L.D #1

When most people think of S.H.I.E.L.D., they think of the secret spy organization that is lead by the one-eyed Nick Fury. This book is about the secret and ancient history behind the founding of that organization. Before you run away, spouting some nonsense saying that you don’t want to read a continuity heavy Marvel Universe story, let me assure you. There are little to no references to the Marvel Universe in this book.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a historical mystery about a secret organization that we never knew existed starring figures from our past. Leonardo DaVinci? Check. Issac Newton? He’s here too. This book is a who’s who of scientific history.

The book opens with young Leonid being brought before the High Council of the Shield, which is hidden underneath the city of Rome. Shield was founded by Imhotep after he stopped an alien invasion in 2620 B.C. The organization has grown through the centuries, protecting mankind from threats not of this Earth and beyond. S.H.I.E.L.D. has recruited Leonid to take down his father, a man known as the Night Machine, who wants to destroy the organization. After a battle between his father and agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Leonid finds himself caught between ideological civil war over the leadership of the organization. The immortal Issac Newton, current leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., fights the newly returned Leonardo DaVinci.

If those ideas don’t make you want to read this book, I don’t know what else will. S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the best books I’ve read in years. The plot of the issues change from moving the war forward to flashbacks where moments of great history were made, including the first invasion of Galactus!  Each character’s back story is revealed in small layers that increasingly makes the book more interesting to read.

Jonathan Hickman makes each of these great figures of history shine as back stories and motivations are realized. Dustin Weaver’s detail work and changes in art as the story shifts through time will leave you breathless.

There’s not much I can say about this book without spoiling it, and I find that the less you know about this book going in the better it will be. S.H.I.E.L.D. is collected in a nice hardcover that makes it perfect for reading. Hickman has also revealed that this story is to be a trilogy. So if you are willing to take a plunge into history, I think you would greatly enjoy this book.

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