“Daughter of the Revolution” is an apt title for the “The Shield’s” introductory arc. Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig and Drew Johnson’s “The Shield” #1 begins in 1776 and ends in the present day. Naturally, with twenty-two pages of story, some gaps are left in the tale, but that’s where this series offers potential to readers.
Christopher and Wendig don’t give readers everything right away. As a matter of fact, they don’t give readers anything more than just the most functional information, which keeps “The Shield” #1 moving forward with all the kinetic energy of a high-speed chase. The story is tinged with mystery and subterfuge, and clues begin to surface midway through the book. Those clues, however, do little to scratch the itch, instead pulling readers deeper into the story. By the end of the issue, Christopher and Wendig reward readers with a name for the protagonist and establish a shadowy antagonist to counter her vivacious fighting spirit. It requires a little faith from the readers, but the writers give readers a parallel within the story that involves a similar investment of trust. Sure, it’s not life and death for the readers, but it is for “The Shield” #1 and the outlook is quite positive.
“The Shield” #1 seems to have found the proper creative crew in Johnson, colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick and letterer Rachel Deering. Having drawn the adventures of Wonder Woman, Johnson has familiarity with blending mythology, history and action. His take on the “Human Shield” is unique and crisp. The opening scene in 1776 depicts a very distinct militaristic character who seems to have a doppelganger in the present day. Johnson works right into the heart of the story with his artwork and cooperates nicely with Fitzpatrick and Deering to provide clean storytelling and dynamic imagery throughout. Deering adds an extra transformational element in the lettering, a subtle change that flows along with a page turn, which will undoubtedly contribute to the further exposition around the mystery of the Shield.
Dark Circle has a winner on their hands with “The Shield” #1. Wendig and Christopher weave together a mystery with threads of history, while Johnson provides a visual spectacle rife with strong images of powerful personalities and spectacular characters. Fitzpatrick’s colors have a real-world tint to them but do not hesitate to be bold and sassy, and Deering’s letters round out the presentation. Though not an all-ages read, it’s a smart, fresh interpretation of a vintage concept given a new burst of energy. This is a great place to start, as “The Shield” #1 is a strong, standalone entry point to a whole new world.