Thursday, April 8, 2010

Six more secret S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (I hope)

The first issue of Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s new S.H.I.E.L.D. series came out this week and seems to be making quite the buzz. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Mr. Hickman’s Fantastic Four and Secret Warriors and appreciate the fact that he takes the time to answer e-mails and calls for despite the fact that we’ve had conversations and I can thus attest to the fact that he is roughly a zillion times smarter than me and probably feels not unlike Sigourney Weaver trying to communicate with the gorillas.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, the first issue of S.H.I.E.L.D—it’s pretty gonzo and a lot of fun as well as quite bold and intelligent, which is no surprise given its creative pedigree. Another guy who is smarter than I, Dr. Sean T. Collins, did an excellent review, while over on we did a list of the top ten S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.

However, this new book isn’t about Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan (yet at least), it’s about the secret history of S.H.I.E.L.D.—or the Shield—which involves real world figures like Imhotep, Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci fending off Galactus, the Brood and the like.

I love this concept, because it opens up a whole new world of rad possibilities and Hickman is a clever enough dude to be both accurate and entertaining.

So who do I have my fingers crossed for sneaking their way into S.H.I.E.L.D.? Read on…

Ok, I’m kinda in love with the idea of Socrates and Plato as this ancient Greek Batman & Robin who psychologically bludgeon their opponents with the Socratic Method before Greco-Roman wrestling them to the ground. Socrates is a weird, mysterious guy with a fantastic beard who was always questioning everything, which would make him a very cool, polarizing figure as far as the ideas of pre-destiny Hickman is exploring.

This spot could be filled be with the more obvious Vincent Van Gogh choice, but I just read a book that had a bit about Placido Domingo’s obsessions with Goya last week, and I was intrigued, plus he’s a little less-known, so that allows for more liberties. Anyhow, this dude was a crazy-ass painter with a boatload of talent who went insane in the most glorious of ways, going deaf from cholera and then losing his mind due to paint fumes. Not a man of action really, but I could see him sitting all creepy sitting in the corner of the Shield chambers painting the ominous future. Oh, and Clive Barker wrote a play about him, Sean.

A no-brainer if you ask me. No, he wasn’t on the cutting edge of the scientific frontier, but neither was Imhotep, and for my money, I’ve always thought Honest Abe is one of if not the greatest American heroes. And Lincoln could totally kick some ass, as he used to wrestle competitively and box as well, I believe. Seriously, how can you not picture Lincoln with his sleeves rolled up smacking around some Badoon or something? Big money idea: John Wilkes Booth is also a Shield agent who helps the President fake his death so he can go black ops!

I remember this dude from my childhood as the guy who invented the peanut. How do you “invent” the peanut? I have no idea, but if you do, you’re Shield-worthy, buddy. So he actually did more refinement in the field of agriculture technology and exploration into peanuts as an alternative crop to cotton, but still, badass enough. GWC could totally turn his research to weaponizing peanut bombs and lacing the soil with explosives if need be, basically making him a smarter Poison Ivy with a prodigious moustache. He didn’t like dealing with crowds though, so he’d probably be strictly behind-the-scenes.

Sure he seems nice, but those are the guys you need to watch. For real, how does the idea that the whole entertainment thing was a front and he was developing Muppet technology to build an army to safeguard the planet strike you?!?! Yeah, thought so.

Designed the Nintendo—‘Nuff Said.


KP said...

Ben, if you're a semi-ironic fan of George Washington Carver, you totally owe it to yourself to watch the episode of "The Tick" he's in...conveniently on YouTube in three parts!

Ben Morse said...

Please--you think I haven't seen that many times?! said...

Thanks for your article, pretty useful piece of writing.