It’s safe to say when I learned of the upcoming Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, I had a small fangasm. (Maybe not so small.)
In honor of the show that is basically a geek dream come true, GeekMom will be counting down the days to the premier on September 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC by featuring one S.H.I.E.L.D. article per day.
I’ve equated the word “shield” in my brain with Marvel Comics’s spy agency, S.H.I.E.L.D since the time the acronym meant Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division instead of the current Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate.
Like many great Marvel creations, S.H.I.E.L.D came into being via the partnership of Stan Lee and the late Jack (King) Kirby. The agency was created in 1965 in the pages Strange Tales and featured Nick Fury, a World War II soldier who was updated for the new age of spies. This Nick Fury is still around (currently missing in action, however) in the Marvel Universe. His continued fitness was explained by a version of the super-soldier serum but, perhaps to match up with Samuel L. Jackson’s movie Fury, Nick Fury Jr., an African-American, is currently being featured in the comics.
Your mission on the first day of our countdown? Read the classic stories:
The beginnings of the spy agency, nearly fully formed from the minds of Lee and Kirby, with some incredible visuals by the late, great King of Comic Art. Unfortunately, I had to google around to find copies available. And those were pricey.
2. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD by Jim Steranko
Available with ease at Amazon and other retailers, this is one of the series that redefined the way comics were done. Steranko was a terrific successor to Lee and Kirby and, despite a relatively short career, expanded the art form, as can be seen in the above page that still manages to be erotic by implication.
Once you’re done reading this book, find Jim Steranko on Twitter and be entertained by his stories of writing, drawing, fights, and confrontations with people like Batman creator Bob Kane. (Are they true? You be the judge. Or you could ask Steranko, who just announced he’ll be a guest at New York Comic Con.)