In Battleworld, the only thing stopping the hordes of Marvel Zombies, Ultron and the armies of Annihilus, is the SHIELD wall. Most people working at the SHIELD are there as punishment for breaking one of Doom’s sacred rules. Abigail Brand is there because she wants to be. But no matter how good she is at stopping the armies from flooding Battleworld, the wall is destined to fall.
Of all the Secret Wars tie-ins, this one feels the most important. It ties directly into the main event’s plot with several major heroes from 616 trapped beyond the wall, and of course main universe Thanos. It also features characters from all over Battleworld, including the same Miss America that was sent to the wall in A-Force 1. It features other characters from other corners of the Marvel Universe, from Cyclops to Kang the Conqueror and even Nick Fury. It’s hard to talk about this comic in too much detail because most of this issue is a fight scene, but it’s a fight against Ultrons and their newfound dangerous leader. The solution involves strategy on Brand’s part, a combination of abilities from characters that usually aren’t connected with each other and the arrival of much needed backup from Magik’s own forces. This series almost has a creativity overload.
There is so much to like about this comic. The action is intense and it feels appropriately big. The writing by Kieron Gillen is spot on, with the dialogue varying from humorous to sharp and on the point, and the rising tension as the series nears the fall of SHIELD. And of course, the issue ends with 616 Thanos himself meeting Abigail in the aftermath of the battle.
I’m not a fan of the art by Filipe Andrade and colouring by Rachelle Rosenberg, but it’s good. It’s a stylistic approach that isn’t all that detailed, but it fits the dark mood of the story. Every character is recognizable so long as you know who they are. All the spreads are done by various other artists and to be honest, I don’t know who does each one, but all the spreads are fantastic and offer a different visual style. They all capture the sheer intensity of the battle.
SHIELD is an awesome Secret Wars tie-in, and I would recommend this to anyone reading the main event. There are a lot of creative solutions to seemingly impossible fights, some great Battleworld mythology and a wide range of characters. The only real problem I can think of with this issue is a weird printing error where a page of posters interrupts a 2-page spread, or at least that’s the case with my copy. Not sure what the printers were thinking if that’s the same with everyone else’s copy. I would never blame that on the creators though.