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Legendary ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ artist Jim Steranko is no fan of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Jim Steranko, one of the pivotal artists of Marvel’s Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. comics (not to mention of the greatest comic book artists of all time) has landed a new gig as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter where he’ll be reviewing episodes of ABC’s new TV series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the first review following Tuesday’s premiere, ain’t pretty.

In his inaugural post, the rough and tumble artist had some choice words for Joss Whedon and company’s first televised foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe saying the series has “no menace, no tension”.


“The show’s creators have gone on record to point out the series is about ordinary people, somewhat echoing the Hitchcock approach (ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances). Perhaps, in this case, ordinary may not be enough to warrant audience interest and loyalty.

Additionally, the pilot was riddled with inscrutable, distracting moments. Did anyone notice all the women were cookie-cuttered, dressed the same, looked the same, had the same kind of edge (possibly more than their male counterparts)? In the Act 1 apartment fight scene (orchestrated in the Bourne manner), could anyone determine who was doing what to whom (all those black suits)? Anyone wonder how the superpowered Hooded Hero could be so easily tailed (perhaps for days) by hot babe Skye? And why didn’t the S.H.I.E.L.D. interrogators at least get her last name, not to mention her phone number?”

It’s not surprising the artist wasn’t crazy about what Marvel delivered in its TV show. The S.H.I.E.L.D. he worked on was very different from what viewers saw in their living rooms on Tuesday night. In his review he said:

“When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created S.H.I.E.L.D. in the pages of 1965’s Strange Tales, about the last thing on their minds was a 2013 TV series. Their goal was to initiate a comic book version of 007, in the manly tradition of Our Man Flint, Danger Man and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

Head over to THR to read the rest of Steranko’s scathing review. And while you’re at it, follow him on Twitter to revel in tales of the man’s life on the mean streets, his stint as an escape artist, his time in the boxing ring, and that time he slapped Batman co-creator Bob Kane.

Check out some of Steranko’s amazingly trippy covers from his Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD comics from 1968.

[Images via Marvel Comics]

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Jen Durant

Redbubble Artist Relationship Manager