Web 9 and 10

web9

The Web #9
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Roger Robinson
Co-Feature by John Rozum
Art by Tom Derenick

 

In the main feature, we are introduced to the name “Global Concern” which I know from reading the Mighty Crusaders Special that they are the big bad organization behind everything in these Red Circle books. The Web defeats the evil insurance man and figure out that his ex was the one blackmailing him. I did not see that coming. Dead Hand Legendre tries to drain the Hangman’s life force in the back-up and gets killed in the back-up. We also learn that the Hangman derives him powers by a tree filled with his victims? Or perhaps just people who have died by all nooses? I am not sure but it was damn cool.

web10

The Web #10
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Roger Robinson
Co-Feature by John Rozum
Art by Tom Derenick

 

In the final issue of this series, The Web teams up with Fly Girl, one of his web hosts who has modified her costume. I was excited to see her in this issue and this made me really excited for the Mighty Crusaders mini-series. I think DC is dumb for not putting an established hero on this team in order to make it sell and get people interested but whatever. The final scene where Crusaders shows up doesn’t really correspond to the Mighty Crusaders special where they come together unless this was them asking Fly Girl to join and not the Web (who already joined at this point). The Hangman back-up was awesome as we find out there are other avatars of execution like one for the Guillotine and Gassing, and now the Jackal will be representing the Electric Chair. Hahaha awesome it is too bad Rozum won’t be able to explore the concept more.

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Covert Team

shield6

The Shield #6
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by
Michael Gaydos

 

I have been a big fan of the art on this book, but this was definitely Rudy’s weakest issue. The panel lay-out was like he was evoking J.H. Williams III on Detective Comics except he is not Williams and it doesn’t work at all. I found it to be distracting and confusing as the reader of this issue. For the first time since this book began, I found the co-feature to be a much better experience. I liked the idea of a team of heroes forming under Halliday who are covertly working against him. Is this how the Mighty Crusaders get together? I guess time will tell.

Integration

shield5

The Shield #5
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Greg Scott

 

The main story introduces two old Archie characters into the DC Universe: The hero The Jaguar and the villain Baron Gestapo. Both of these characters have a lot of potential in my opinion already. Even though I know nothing about the Archie heroes I am loving watching them become integrated into the DC Universe and both this series and the Web. It’s a real shame more people aren’t reading as they are both good books. The Great Ten guest stars but the new characters are the more important parts of the book. The Inferno back-up introduces another new character from the old Archie days, The Comet, and he seems more interesting then Inferno although I am not sure how I feel about his costume just yet. The back-up is definitely still inferior to the main story though.

More People Need To Read This Book

shield4

The Shield #4
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by
Greg Scott

This series is in a lot of way the spiritual sucessor to Checkmate or at least it definitely felt that way with Great Ten and King Faraday showing up? Does Checkmate even exist post-final Crisis? We haven’t seen them since then or even heard about them.The Shield’s back-story with his father is interesting and I like how this tied in with General Lane and the Superman books for a page there, that is nice use of continuity that really makes the this feel like a shared universe. The “Red Circle” books are really good! People need to start reading them as they are just getting better with every issue.

The Brain Emperor

shield3

The Shield #3
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Greg Scott

The Shield’s first storyline comes to a close and it perfectly shows why already he is a better character then Magog in the last page alone. He is a hero – and Magog is a douche with horns. When I found out that the creepy tentacle-headed guy was called the Brain Emperor I looked it up and sure enough he was a villain from The Shield’s days at Archie Comics – I like that they are not only reintroducing the heroes but the villains and everything that comes with it. The Inferno back-up is decent, still not a fan of the art though.

Flag Pants And Spaghetti Head

shield2

The Shield #2
Written by Eric Trauttman
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa 
Art by Greg Scott

The second issue of this series was just as good as the first. The Shield is a VERY powerful character. I felt like he did something new with his warsuit on every page. The villain looked like he had a head made out of Spaghetti and it was pretty gross and while the art was good, it seemed a little unfinished at some parts. Magog still proves to be completely unlikable especially when compared to The Shield, who truly seems to be a real hero; always avoiding killing anyone. The Inferno back-up was okay story-wise but the art is just not fun to look at I am sorry to say.

Visually Appealing

shield1

The Shield #1
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Greg Scott

And so begins The Shield’s adventures in the DC Universe. And I have to say that I think that this is going to be a VERY good series. I know very little about the military but I am immediately found this to be rather enjoyable and I already like this character. He seems like an all-around good guy (unlike say Magog who shows up in this issue) and just a stooge for the military. I also think the nature of the character allows for some some stories that can touch on contemporary issues (Although I hope they still keep the fun of the DCU in it, which so far they seem to be doing well). I really liked Rudy’s art and The Shield is an incredibly visually appealing character. That is one thing that the MLJ heroes have over the other recent immigrants from another comic company, Milestone. The MLJ characters are much more visually appealing because they weren’t created in the over-the-top costumes of the ‘90s.  Not that I dislike the Milestone characters, I just think they need some new costumes. The Inferno back-up was a good start but I was distracted by the art – which I did not like it at all and made the story hard to follow. One thing DC should have done with both is have a recap of what happened in the Shield and Inferno’s one-shots because not everyone who picked up this book definitely picked up the one-shots…I know I sure didn’t.