S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Collection Omnibus Review


Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 3.55.44 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-07 at 3.55.44 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-07 at 3.55.44 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-07 at 3.55.44 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-07 at 3.55.44 PM
This review is from: S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Collection Omnibus (Hardcover)
Amazing omnibus with Strange Tales 135-168, Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD 1-15, Fantastic Four 21, Tales of Suspense 78, The Avengers 72, and Marvel Spotlight 31. This collects all the material from Agent of SHIELD Masterworks 1-3 at the larger omnibus size and then some. Volumes 1 and 2 have been sold out. Like New copies are selling for $150 for Vol 1 and $90 for Vol 2.
As fans requested, a foldout for the quad-paneled sequence with the Yellow Claw is included. Thank you, Marvel!

Steranko.jpg

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, from Strange Tales 158, July 1967. Art by Jim Steranko.

Omnibus Extras

This omnibus has a ton of extras:

Introductions by John Morrow, Jim Steranko (10 pages), and Roy Thomas, Stan Lee “Against the Hordes of Hydra” essay from Sons of Origins, intros from A.M. Viturtia ad Larry Hama.

Also, all the Strange Tales and Agent of SHIELD letters pages, covers from Agent of SHIELD 16, 17, 18 (reprints Strange Tales), cover for Not Brand Ecch #2, Knock Furious full story from Not Brand Ecch (NBE) #2, cover from NBE #8, Knock Furious full story from NBE #8, cover and full Knock Furious story from NBE #11, house ads showing two new features: Nick Fury and Sub-mariner, solo titles ad for Doctor Strange and Nick Fury, two page proposal for “The Man Called DEATH” penciled by Jack Kirby and tryout inks by Jim Steranko. This proposal became Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD.

Original art from Strange Tales #135 by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, unused Kirby pencils inked by unknown inker (great work, BTW) from #135, production photostat from #155, page 7 showing original art with Nick Fury having ropes around his neck before Comics Code pressure resulted in their removal, production photostat with Steranko coloring notes from #156, page 6, production proof #157, page 7 with Steranko notes, #159 cover original art by Steranko and unedited Captain America, production proof on 168 Contessa’s posterior before Comics Code alterations, famous Agent of SHIELD #2 romantic interlude between Nick and Val which was significantly altered and possibly made even more scandalous, original cover art for iconic Agent of SHIELD #4 by Steranko, original color design for cover #5 which was proposed as #1 cover (Who is Scorpio cover), awesome unused Herb Trimpe cover with Hydra in Nick’s mind, quarter-sized thumbnails for Agents of SHIELD reprints 1-5, and 1-2 (1 shown front and back). Kirby Complete Collection and Steranko Complete Collection covers (colors by Dean White) and Alex Ross reimaged cover from Kirby’s scope cover.

kirby1

Cover for Strange Tales 143, April 1966. Art by Jack Kirby

kirby3

Jack Kirby and John Severin

The series started off with a bang. From the letters pages, it’s clear that most fans immediately took to the title. There were a few complaints about Nick’s crude manners and appearance. The character was the exact same as he was in Sgt. Fury but now leads a spy agency. I really enjoyed John Severin’s finishes over Kirby’s layouts. These issues are different from Steranko’s later work, of course, but they have their own charm and Kirby’s signature wild sci-fi imagination. I loved having Dugan and Gabe join the roster from the Howlers.

After Severin left Marvel, the series floundered a bit and became even more hyperbolic.

steranko3
I love the Scorpio character design and the storyline. Iconic cover and splash by Jim Steranko.

Jim Steranko’s Style

The series completely changed from the moment Jim Steranko came on board. Fury shaved, wore suits and acted more like a spy than a foot soldier. Even over Kirby’s layouts, Steranko’s art looked more sophisticated while still being action-packed. Soon, Steranko was doing the whole shebang and it was impressive.
Having Captain America and Baron Strucker from Nick’s WWII days and adding  Jimmy Woo, Suwan and the fiendish Yellow Claw from the 50s spy series was an awesome flourish. The Yellow Claw was one of the best villains out of the Atomic Age and could’ve given Dr. Doom or Darkseid a run for their money with his sinister scheming.
Oh those moments with the Countess. Wow! Fury has all he can handle with this femme fatale.
Scorpio was always a favorite of mine. It’s too bad that Marvel didn’t do more with him.
Though he worked on Agent of SHIELD for only a short time, his impact on the industry was long-lasting, though no one else quite managed his style. Frank Springer, Herb Trimpe and Barry Windsor-Smith did an admirable job trying to ape Steranko’s style but fell significantly short. These stories are still enjoyable and are slightly better than the post-Severin, pre-Steranko period.

steranko2.jpg

From Strange Tales #159, August 1967. Art by Jim Steranko.

 

This omnibus is a wonderful addition to a comic collector’s library, with industry-changing artwork by Steranko and wild tech by Kirby, including the Porsche hover car and the Life Model Decoys.
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Collection Omnibus Review

  1. good collection, but I remember at least one more Kirby at front end introducing SHIELD, showing headquarters in New York, etc. Is my memory at fault?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s