This was another title I’d heard lots of good things about and after I found it for 50% off at Comic-Con, I figured I’d give it a shot. The premise involves legendary spymaster Nick Fury forming and training a team of teenage superheroes to fight against the forces of the terrorist organization known as H.Y.D.R.A., who are revealed to have been secretly in control of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever since Fury was a part of it. What I like about this volume is the fact that writer Jonathan Hickman does a good job establishing the scale of the threat and convincing the reader that it’s a big deal. He’s also done his research on the history of these two organizations, shown off in the supplemental pages after the first issue, and he and artist Stefano Casselli definitely know how to stage exciting action scenes. However, my enjoyment is hamstrung by the fact that the reveal about H.Y.D.R.A.’s takeover of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t feel genuine -- it’s just something we’re told rather than shown, and these kinds of reveals are so old hat in comics that it’s going to take more than that to get me to care. The cast itself isn’t all that interesting either as most of the title characters come of as generic angsty teenagers, and while Fury’s badass spy schtick works well when he’s a supporting character in other people’s comics when he doesn’t have to show any depth as a character, it turns into more of a liability when he’s the main attraction. Still, enough works here to make me interested in checking out the second volume... assuming I can find it for a similar discount.
July 31, 2010