Before I start this review, I should say that I haven’t read the first issue. It released on New Years Day, which I worked, and when I checked for it today my store had no copies left. I wasn’t originally planning on reading this either, but then I found out that Ms. Marvel shows up and the preview pages looked great. From what I can tell, this series is based loosely on the TV series with mostly the same cast, which is fine. Since I picked this issue up without reading the first one though, this review is written mostly from the perspective of a Ms. Marvel fan.
SHIELD 2, written by Mark Waid, is weird and awesome at the same time. It starts off with a brief appearance of Jemma Simmons’s father, who doesn’t know anything about what she does for a living. Being a rich businessman, of course he’d be disappointed if he believes his daughter is a party planner despite getting high marks in University. It’s an amusing moment that’s later touched upon at the end of the issue when Simmons and Ms. Marvel talk, providing a touching moment and exploring a surprisingly deep parallel between them.
Although that scene brings a lot of heart to this issue, the real highlight is the main story. Taking place in Ms. Marvel’s high school, the SHEILD agents track down a smuggler who deals in old supervillain weapons. It’s a normal mission at first, but then these bizarre monsters made of pizza dough show up and everything goes nuts. The banter between Ms. Marvel, Coulson and Simmons is always entertaining, whether it’s the SHIELD agents’ reluctance to accept her help or Kamala’s surprisingly deep knowledge of the supervillain weapons. Her dialogue doesn’t have as many nerd references as usual, but otherwise she keeps the optimistic attitude and quirky personality that makes her so endearing.
The art by Humberto Ramos is good, striking a balance of his somewhat cartoony feel and plenty of detail, fitting the comic’s mood perfectly. The dough monsters appear equally cute and menacing. Kamala’s powers are drawn in interesting ways, whether she’s flattening out to slip through a door or enlarging her hands. Also, despite the somewhat cartoony feel, both Coulson and Simmons are recognizable enough that if you’ve seen the TV show, you’ll know who they are without needing to hear their names.
This is such a fun comic and I’m glad I decided to pick it up. I can’t say how it compares to the first issue of SHIELD, but it makes me want to read it. One thing’s for sure though, this is worth recommending to Ms. Marvel fans who want to see her become a bigger part of the Marvel Universe.