Friday, December 01, 2006

New Hotness: 1960's SHIELD

What's with the darkened shadow areas superimposed on one half of the faces of various SHIELD agents in the new Ant-Man book? Is it an affectation by the artist trying to be cool or a hat-tip to Spider-Man?



I kind of like the new Ant-Man series. The premise of a couple of idiots getting a hold of the new Ant-Man suit and using it for selfish ends, acting like a couple of teens with a forbidden toy instead of adults is somewhat interesting. This story puts forth the idea that anyone can be Ant-Man and perform with varying degrees of success. That noted, the behavior of today's bumbling SHIELD agents actually kind of bothers me.

What bugs me is that the entire SHIELD organization of the last few years has been portrayed as ineffective and full of idiots. The trend is to make most agents act like dumbasses that have a level of professionalism akin to that of the faceless cannon-fodder armies of major super villains. The occasional corrupt or double-agent lends some drama to a story but the current ranks are filled with morons, grifters and thugs.

Hopefully, once Nick Fury actually returns he will kick out all the useless dead weight that fills their ranks and apply some superior 1967 hiring standards once again. It shouldn't be too hard. The U.S. Air Force did it in the mid-80's, informing everyone to get in shape and upgrade their job skills or get kicked out, regardless of time spent serving or how close to retirement. In real life this meant destroyed careers and bitterness for those who could not or would not comply with the more stringent standards of professionalism. That idea applied to the newly unemployed droves of ex-SHIELD agents would be good for years of stories, Marvel. There is comic book precedence. It was used and is still being used as a plot device ad nauseum in which former-KGB become freelance terrorists.

I'd like to see SHIELD return to the cool espionage organization it once was.

And stop with the LMD's. They were cool in the 60's and up to about 1983, but now they are a cop out as bad as the Doombots. As far as I am concerned the last LMD story is the one where Iron Man burned out the brain circuits of his Tony Stark double and set up the busted android in an office chair to be assassinated by the Spymaster. And for pity's sake, what competent spy organization would let a replica of their old boss Nick Fury, one of the most hunted men in the world, walk around their headquarters like it owns the place? That decision is such a bad idea and shows such careless operational security you'd think that Worf had left his job on the Enterprise and signed up for a hitch on the Helicarrier.


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