At the Women of Marvel and the Next Big Thing panels, Marvel announced new Spider-Woman launching out of the Spider-Verse event and a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic series from Mark Waid.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming from superstar writer Mark Waid, with Agent Phil Coulson as the lead character. Carlos Pacheco will handle the art duties for the debut issue, with a rotating series of artists including Alan Davis and Chris Sprouse.
Given that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series is about to enter its second season in a few months, and that the first year had a less than spectacular run with the critics, it is unsurprising that Marvel would be seeking to bolster some of the good-will around the show with a supporting comic series. Indeed, writer Waid has already indicated that the links are clear. “This is S.H.I.E.L.D. the TV show, the unlimited budget edition,” Waid said over at CBR. “This is our chance to introduce a lot of the other characters into the Marvel Universe, and give them the Marvel Universe spin.”
Characters will include those featured in the TV show, with Waid adding that no character is off-limits. Fitz will get a helper monkey, and the cover art (right) also shows Spider-Man, Storm, Thor and the Fantastic Four’s Thing. Waid has even suggested that Rocket Raccoon and Howard the Duck could even make their way into the mix.
S.H.I.E.L.D. were first introduced back in Strange Tales feature “Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in 1965, and had a patchy publication history since. The last time a S.H.I.E.L.D. book was released was Jonathan Hickman’s rather odd (and never completed) S.H.I.E.L.D. series, that explored the secret history of the organisation and its ties to Leonardo Da Vinci. Really. This new book from Waid is a no-brainer of a series, and could provide the TV show with the oomph that it really only gained in the wake of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Spider-Woman is also a title with a chequered publication history, but now Marvel has announced that writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Greg Land will head-up a new ongoing series that spins out of the Spider-Verse event that hits shelves from November.
The book will naturally be led by fan-favourite Jessica Drew, a character first introduced all the way back in Marvel Spotlight #32 (February 1977). Although she went into decline in the late 1980s, she was revived by Brian Michael Bendis as part of the New Avengers (2004 – 2010), along with having her own limited series by Bendis and artist Alex Maleev. She later joined the Avengers (2010 – 2013), and has most recently been seen in the Secret Avengers.
As we mentioned during the announcement of Marvel’s new female Thor, Marvel has done well in promoting a diversity of female headliners. This will make the ninth female-led title for the company, including Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, the aforementioned Thor, the recently released Storm, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin (also announced at SDCC), Elektra, Black Widow Last year, the all-female cast of the ironically named X-Men (initially by Brian Wood and now Marc Guggenheim).
Spider-Woman is a character fans have long been anxious to see join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially given her ties to HYRDA and the current stories that better the film and TV versions of Marvel’s flagships. However, it will be interesting to see if Sony still has the rights to all things “Spider”.