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‘The Shield Vol. 1: Daughter of the Revolution’ TP (review)

Written by Adam Christopher,
Chuck Wendig
Illustrated by Drew Johnson,
Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Published by Dark Circle Comics
ISBN-13: 978-1619889415
Released 11/21/17 / $14.99

 

Recently I positively reviewed the first issue of Archie’s latest superhero group revival, The Mighty Crusaders, noting that the group’s leader was now a female version of The Shield.

I knew I had seen the character around earlier but I didn’t know her backstory. With her red hair and all, she could have been the daughter of the original MLJ Shield. Now, however, I’ve had a chance to read this Shield’s own collected story, in which we see that she has, in fact, been The Shield throughout various wars over time.

It’s well-told, well-paced, well-drawn but overall, I didn’t care for it.

Why?

Well, the use of adult language for one. In what could have been a solid all-ages superhero story, we instead get a Teen+ rating along with more than a few F-bombs and associated cursing. The words don’t bother me. I know how to spell them and use them in a sentence and I have been heard doing just that from time to time. No, my problem is that they just aren’t needed here.

The story is dark and serious but, hey, for decades talented comics creators have managed to write dark and serious superhero stories dealing with dark and serious issues without using so-called adult language. Thus, its inappropriate, over-the-top usage here comes off—at least to me—as ridiculously pretentious.

The overlong preview of Dark Circle’s Hangman revival at the end of the book even continues the trend, adding torture porn to the mix.

I just don’t understand the screaming need people seem to have to make Archie’s goofy superheroes grim and gritty. Outside of the Hangman—who was pretty grim and gritty in the first place—it just makes no sense. There’s simply no call for a grim and gritty Bob Phantom.

As far as it goes, I like the Victoria Adams Shield. I do NOT, however, much care for her past history in comics as chronicled in this volume…but I’m already on record as liking her potential future in the new Mighty Crusaders.

Look forward, not back.

 

 

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