Saturday, June 2, 2018

Entry 306: S.H.I.E.L.D. Penultimate Issue

This entry is about S.H.I.E.L.D! And it's not a SHIELD Update entry or a Blast From the Past entry. This is the first time in 6 years that I am blogging about a current issue of Shield.

 S.H.I.E.L.D. #5 (VOL2) IS OUT! None of us would believe it until we'd seen it with our own eyes, but it's here.

This issue is kind of crazy. It's three timelines playing out simultaneously was kind of an experiment. Jonathan's initial outline for the issue was really open, basically just stating the concept. It was kind of like: "Page 2: In timeline 1, maybe this person dies. In timeline 2, this person dies, and then timeline 3, same thing." Then it would say: "Page 4: In all three timelines Nostadamus gives a prediction." As you can see, that left a lot up to me. Rather than create images that depicted large battle scenes where everyone is fighting at once and there's no focus on any one person or fight, I decided to explicitly pace out each battle action to action. I wanted to give each battle a real story. This presented some fun opportunities for having the timelines juxtapose and echo each other. It was also a challenge to figure out when the timelines sync up.

I talk some about the process of plotting and laying out this issue back in Entry 152.

Here is a look at my layout for the scene above. I put very simple dialogue to my layouts to help Jonathan and our editor, Nick, see the stories I was telling. You can also see how I gave each timeline a color and how I flipped a panel.

My feeling and my hope while I worked on this issue was that it would take at least four read throughs to get what's happening. There would be the first read, then you'd have to read each timeline separately.

And with that, we are now only one issue away from being done with S.H.I.E.L.D. On June 13th the final issue of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be in stores. Are you ready?

Blogged and blogged.


  1. Waiting for the HC............if there is one ToT

    1. There is a HC coming for volume 2 called S.H.I.E.L.D: The Human Machine. I think it's out in August.
      I'm hoping for a complete collection at some point.

  2. I just read all of this series now, so luckily I didn't have to suffer thru the big delays.
    It was awesome, but confusing. I will definitely have to read it again.
    Also, I find it very interesting that you paced out all that action. I found the action in this book to be a bit better than in some of Jonathan's other works (and I think he's great). So, thank you for adding that extra element to the story.
    Far out series, guys. I'm sure you're proud.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I'm a big fan of story in action. A lot of american writers don't really write that way. A fight will break out and they'll write a general description of what needs to happen and the outcome. They rarely write action with ups and downs and tension, set ups, pay offs. These are some of the things that make good action, but really most american comics aren't action stories at all, even superheroes.
      That's a whole conversation, so I'll stop there.
      Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  3. I was looking for new tpb, or at least new to me, to read years ago on Amazon. I came across the tpb of Shield Architects of Forever. I was instantly mesmerized by the art and the story. I soon found the issues to volume 2 only to learn that the storyline wasn't finshed. After years of casual reading I was walking through my local comic shop one day and came across the final issue #6. How could I have missed the news of it's 2018 release. I instantly snatched it off the shelf and asked the employee about it. Sadly they did not have issue 5 but the lcs down the street did. I can't remember when was the last time I was this excited over any comic to this degree. Hickman's story and your artwork is, to me at least, the single most interesting and entertaining comic that I've read in a long time. Thank you Dustin for all your hard work and talent.