C2E2: Marvel Shares Plans for SHIELD 50th Anniversary

S.H.I.E.L.D. will celebrate 50 years of espionage and intrigue this year, and Marvel Comics revealed their plans to commemorate the anniversary during their "Next Big Thing" panel at Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo .

First out of the gate will be a series of variant covers dubbed "The Art of Evolution" gracing the covers of 12 June comics. Covers based on TV's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." by Gabriele Dell'Otto ("Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows" #1), Marcos Martin ("Armor Wars" #1), Declan Shalvey ("Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps" #1), Annie Wu ("Squadron Sinister" #1), and Delicious Design League ("Thors" #1) can be seen at the bottom of this post. Variants will also be printed for "S.H.I.E.L.D." #7, as well as #1 issues of "Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies," "Civil War," "Guardians of Knowhere," "Hail Hydra," "SEIGE," and "Weirdworld."

Coming in August will be "S.H.I.E.L.D." #9, a super-sized special issue from Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Stan Lee himself, with Lee Ferguson providing artwork. What's more, the story will feature a previously unused sequence penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Jim Steranko. The story will find Phil Coulson and Nick Fury, Sr. on a cross-time adventure that will introduce The Man Called D.E.A.T.H. and bring back Dum Dum Dugan alongside a brand new Howling Commandos. In addition, the comic will reprint the first-ever S.H.I.E.L.D. story from 1965 along with the pilot presentation sequence that birthed the series.

September will see the release of five one-shot specials that will delve deeper into how S.H.I.E.L.D. has impacted the Marvel Universe over 50 years. David Walker will bring Nick Fury Sr. and Jr. together in "Fury," while Jody Houser writes "Agent May," Chelsea Cain presents "Mockingbird," Matt Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon team for "Quake," and Kathryn Immonen handles "Agent Carter." Covers for the "Fury" comic are below.

Finally, two releases compiling complete runs of some classic S.H.I.E.L.D. stories will be released this fall. In September, "S.H.I.E.L.D. by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby: The Complete Collection" will be released. The trade paper back will contain the original Lee and Kirby tales of covert ops from "Strange Tales" #135-150, "Fantastic Four" #21, and "Tales of Suspense" #78. Besides the first appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D., these stories featured the first Helicarrier, plus introduced Hydra and A.I.M. to comic lore.

October will see "S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Collection Omnibus" released in hardcover. The massive tome will follow S.H.I.E.L.D. from its creation by Lee and Kirby through the innovative storytelling of Steranko, and includes work by the likes of Jim Starlin, Dennis O'Neil, Archie Goodwin, Herb Trimpe, Don Heck, and many, many more. The oversized omnibus will hold "Strange Tales" #135-168, "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." #1-15, "Fantastic Four" #21, "Tales of Suspense" #78, "Avengers" #72, "Marvel Spotlight" #31, and select material from "Not Brand Echh" #3, 8, and 11.

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