“I’m nobody. I’m nothing. Nothing but a soldier. Nothing but a shield of the revolution.”
The Shield by Dark Circle Comics was one of our most anticipated of titles this year. When we first learned of it back in April, and saw the first artwork in a Free Comic Book Day special, we knew it was going to be good. We soon fell in love with everything that Dark Circle Comics was publishing such as The Fox and The Black Hood. So much so, in fact, that we decided to spend some time with writer/artist Dean Haspiel during this June’s Special Edition NYC event by ReedPop. You could read our interview here. The good people at Archie Comics sent us an advance copy of Dark Circle’s latest title, The Shield, which releases next Wednesday, October 21st and it’s an amazing reinvigoration of a classic character and a marvelous comic offering audiences a hero that is soon to be on everyone’s must list.
Writers Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig, self-described as “two geeks – a couple of lucky schmucks”, ended up scripting the latest adventures of The Shield, a character that’s existed in the comic medium since Pep Comics #1 in 1940. Instead of a patriotic themed hero fighting the good fight in World War 2 America, Christopher and Wendig reinvented the Harry Shorten and Irv Norvick created character by setting the adventures in modern day America, along with flipping the gender of The Shield. “A strong, female superhero who will kick your ass five ways to Sunday”, Christopher and Wendig’s The Shield is most likely the most exciting comic book and character hitting shelves at your local comic store this season.
Victoria Adams, The Shield, is written to have superhuman strength, invulnerability, the ability to hear those that are in peril, along with fantastic gymnastic prowess. Writers Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig have created an exciting super hero for readers, new and old alike. Most interestingly is that The Shield is yet another character within the Dark Circle Comics universe that is strikingly different from the one before it. What makes the character of Victoria Adams work in such an interesting way is that she’s “not [just]a girl”, but a woman that is a fully realized one and not a hero whom the writers have swapped gender for the sake of it. Christopher and Wendig have undoubtedly given some thought into the reworking of the superhero and they’ve presented it in a way that already feels as if it could be developed as a feature film.
The image of The Shield and accompanying artwork is what primarily drew me to the title back in April. It was the artwork, first and foremost. Admittedly, I was not aware of The Shield’s original comic book history and it was through research that I quickly found the PEP, DC Comics, and Red Circle versions. Much like Dark Circle Comics’ The Fox, it seemed like such a perfect opportunity to be a part of something. To be in on the ground floor for a shared comic book universe is so rare nowadays with continuities and canons consistently being redefined. As much as I enjoy some of the other publications, Dark Circle Comics has remained at the top of my pull list and is easily one of our favorite publishers. They assembled a talented group of writers and artists that have delivered solid story telling and entertainment month after month. The work on issue 1 of The Shield is clearly going to carry on that tradition starting with the release of its debut issue next week. While reading the issue, “Daughter of the Revolution” part one, it’s clear that the Victoria Adams Shield is a strong role model and figure for all kinds of readers and brings to mind the iconography of the classic archetypal superhero. The depiction of her by series artist Drew Johnson, along with the various variant covers by Wilfredo Torres, Andrew Robinson, Rafael Albuquerque, and Robert Hack with Steve Downer is equally impressive. Comic books have been known to depict the female body in exaggerated ways and it’s only been more recent that mainstream comic titles have actively sought ways to improve the overall quality and standard of the way both men and women are depicted. Especially right now where there is so much discussion on body image, body shaming, and self-worth; where an athlete like Ronda Rousey could be labeled as fat despite her muscular build or someone like Dana Linn Bailey could be considered anything less than impressive – the artwork found within The Shield and the actual depiction of Victoria Adams deserves applause.
The Shield issue 1 hinges on an intriguing concept and it’s one that should have you eagerly anticipating “Daughter of the Revolution” part two next month. There’s a central mystery that drives the plot and Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig already have me wondering what the possible resolution could be. Without delving into too much of spoiler territory, especially given that this is an advance review, Victoria Adams is invulnerable and she has memories of a lifetime during The American Revolution, World War II, Vietnam, and other battles. She has an unyielding drive and connection to Lady Liberty – The American Flag, which she describes as “seeing a boy I like from across the room” and “being programmed for this.” It all helps serve the greater mystery as to who is Victoria Adams?
Victoria Adams aka The Shield is our current hero and we cannot wait to see more of her!
The Shield issue 1 gets five stars and releases Wednesday, October 21st.
NEW ONGOING SERIES FROM DARK CIRCLE!
“Daughter of the Revolution, Part 1”
Since the dawn of the republic, whenever her country faces its blackest days, she returns: a spirit of the revolution sent to fight for what is right. But when she reappears for the first time in a generation with no memories—not even of her own identity—and encounters an evil force expecting her arrival, all the Shield can do is… run!
Art: Drew Johnson, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Cover: David Williams
Variant Covers: Wilfredo Torres, Andrew Robinson, Rafael Albuquerque, Robert Hack
On Sale: 10/21
32 page, full-color comic