S.H.I.E.L.D #1- The idea of S.H.I.E.L.D as a millennia-old organization who has been defending Earth and mankind from alien threats just scream fun, fun, fun. That is basically what Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver's debut issue is; it’s a fun read. The idea that great historical figures like Imhotep, Zheng Ho, Leonardo Da Vinci and Gallileo have faced off against the Brood, Galactus, and the Celestials centuries before Spiderman, FF and gang is great. Those are mini-series by themselves. It is one of those outlandish concepts, like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, that will only work in comics. However, it’s not all good. The concept works but the story didn’t. The issue is more about the history of S.H.I.E.L.D than anything and the story of Leonid was almost an afterthought. Set in 1953, the young man was ‘kidnapped’ to the magical subterranean "Immortal City" which serves as the headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D. He learns of the rich history of S.H.I.E.L.D and then…nothing else makes sense. Leonid's father shows up, tell him there’s something he has to do, and then start fighting against S.H.I.E.L.D agents. Even at the end when the surprise was sprung, the story just didn’t hit me because it was just overwhelmed by the concept of S.H.I.E.L.D. Great concept but only a ‘so-so’ story.
Uncanny X-Men #523- Continuing right when Second Coming #1 left off, the X-Men now discovered the existence of X-Force and that Cyclops sanctioned the actions of Wolverine’s team. There’re promises of fallout there but the focus of the issue is Hope. Even though she is the messiah, most readers don’t know much about the girl and this issue tried valiantly to fill the gap. Writer Matt Fraction has Hope alternating between rebellious teen and militant soldier, and it worked. Hope is a confused teenage who is supposed to be a great messiah and I guess a job like that will mess anyone up. So far, so good for this crossover.
Street Fighter II Turbo #12- The final fight is here as Ryu go up against Akuma. Not a surprise I guess but I’m very surprise that Ryu lost! The last issue of a min-series and the main hero LOST! Only one more surprise in a surprisingly good mini-series.