Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. confront an evil combo of science and magic!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Over the years, Nick Fury amassed quite a number of enemies. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and breakdown artist Howard Purcell introduced us to one of the more unusual ones in the pages of 1966’s STRANGE TALES #144145: The Druid. A threat potentially more suited for series mate Doctor Strange, Druid debuted while conjuring up an image of Fury to his coven-like followers and calling for the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader’s death!

However, we quickly learned that at least some of Druid’s methods came from the world of technology instead of magic as he had a team working behind the scenes for him like a stage magician. Using these tools, the villain called for an “Egg of Satan” and sent it off to kill Nick Fury. The egg almost didn’t need to bother as the super spy had donned a protective suit to crawl through the wreckage of a plane from the previous issue in order to find the reactor. Of course, Fury would never let a little thing like potential immolation stop him and succeeded in his task!

Not long after, officials spotted the egg, but didn’t know where it came from. Following its command, the object made a beeline for Fury who happened to be driving with Dum Dum Duggan at the time. Thanks to good, old S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, the former Howling Commandos kept in the fight as the egg started blasting them with lasers. To end this particular skirmish though, our pair of World War II heroes grabbed themselves some blasters and shot the Satan’s Egg out of the sky. In the second part, another brand of S.H.I.E.L.D. standby debuted to help confuse any future egg attacks: Fury Life Model Decoys!

Strange Tales (1951) #144

Strange Tales (1951) #144

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Though the LMDs attracted the eggs more than once, Druid seemed wise to the ploy and used his devices to gather information on his quarry. Not wanting the game to go on for too long, the evil mastermind revealed himself to Fury and challenged him to a fight! As Nick knocked out the leader, his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents used their superior skills and tech to stop the remaining Satan’s Eggs, which had been developed into tanks and other weapons.

In the end, our heroes succeeded in not only capturing their opponent, but also putting an end to his immediate threat. The man known as Dredmund the Druid would eventually return to torment Captain America, even playing a role in the classic “Cap Wolf”storyline! While not exactly the kind of adventure you’d expect Nick Fury to get tangled up in, the story Lee, Kirby and Purcell worked beautifully together on offered a mighty Marvel espionage melee that must be seen!

Stay tuned to for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Mark Waid gets a Kirby assist on his scintillating S.H.I.E.L.D. series!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Last month, Mark Waid ran through his own personal history with Jack Kirby’s work and said that one of the highlights of his whole career had to be scripting over the King’s pages in S.H.I.E.L.D. #9 from 2015. That issue, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the worldwide espionage organization, kicked off with a story that utilized a few sequences Kirby had whipped up as a kind of proof of concept for the original run of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. stories back in the 60s. Editor Stan Lee liked the basic idea and so he and Jack first brought the World War II hero into the modern era with FANTATSIC FOUR #21 and then made him head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1965’s STRANGE TALES #135.

It’s really interesting to compare the original pages and the ones published decades later. Aside from the coloring, you can see that one main change made to the first page: the omission of the anagram descriptor that let you know D.E.A.T.H. initially stood for Director of External Atomic Threat Headquarters. Thanks to the notes written with the presentation of the pages in the back of S.H.I.E.L.D. #9, we know that that was actually Kirby’s first idea for what would become S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Art-wise the second page continued as drawn, but Waid told his own story over the notes and text blocks that Kirby hand-wrote on the artwork! Waid’s tale, drawn by Lee Ferguson the rest of the way, saw Agent Coulson read them himself after receiving the files and talking to Nick Fury’s son about a photo of a man in the Hydra file.

Coulson had already contacted Daisy Johnson, Tony Stark, and Maria Hill—all former or current heads of S.H.I.E.L.D. themselves—and they said they’d never seen the man, but all got nosebleeds upon doing so! As Coulson traced Fury’s steps, we also got to see the man himself strolling through New York City with Dum Dum Duggan and meeting with The Contessa, not to mention the classic barber shop entrance to a hidden bunker originally glimpsed in STRANGE TALES #136.

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As it happened, those Kirby pages showed Fury breaking into a Hydra base on his own and running out with a file. The problem? He couldn’t read it! So, he sent it out to every member of his organization and tried to get answers. The Contessa even tried acquiring the information out of a captured Hydra agent to no avail.

In the present, though, Coulson’s journey proved far more fruitful as he met the man called D.E.A.T..H., which stood for Da Vinci Elevating Agents To Helm. A figure referring to himself as Leonardo da Vinci then showed Coulson the secret history of this group which dated back to ancient Egypt. He also explained that he would not only choose the top agents, but also guide them to where they needed to be. Thanks to his own brand of trickery, Coulson walked away with far more information than Da Vinci intended, but the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. still had no way of uncovering the secrets that had apparently been sitting in their own vaults all this time.

While Coulson found himself wondering what the documents had truly meant, we can all look back and see how perfectly Waid handled integrating the very first Nick Fury-as-spy pages into a story that linked previous S.H.I.E.L.D. creators like himself and Kirby to Jonathan Hickman, Jim Steranko, and more.

Stay tuned to for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Two of the Fantastic Four tie the knot, Hulk fights Thor, plus more!

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

Even a casual Marvel reader in 1965 might’ve believed that Jack Kirby worked on every single issue of every single title the House of Ideas published that year. The truth of it stands as something less than that, but Marvel editor and writer Stan Lee knew a good thing and ensured Jack’s presence across the line in varied ways, and with a concentration where the Kirby touch would bring comic book gold.

First and foremost, Lee and Kirby’s flagship book remained Jack’s true focus at the midpoint of the 1960s. In FANTASTIC FOUR #32, after a battle with the strange android Dragon Man, Reed Richards received the answer he’d hoped for from his marriage proposal to Sue Storm, setting up one of the true monumental moments in comic history: the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 that summer.

Not to rest on their laurels, Stan and Jack also introduced the Frightful Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #36, brought Daredevil in for a guest-spot in FANTASTIC FOUR #39, and following Gorgon’s introduction in FANTASTIC FOUR #44, unveiled their next big idea, the incredible Inhumans, in FANTASTIC FOUR #45 to round out the year.

Over in Thor’s universe, Jack illustrated one of the greatest clashes of comics, the Thor-Hulk match fans clamored for, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, as well as designing a villain for the ages, Absorbing Man, for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114. In addition, Jack’s images of the robotic Destroyer impressed fans in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118, but perhaps the real stand-out moment of the year in Thor’s world came in the introduction of Greek demi-god Hercules into the ongoing drama in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1.

Jack’s penciling duties for 1965 also extended into Captain America’s solo series in TALES OF SUSPENSE. For the first part of the year he produced covers and simple layouts for others to follow, but for his and Stan’s powerful team-up between Cap and Nick Fury in TALES OF SUSPENSE #78, he provided full interior art. From there, the duo planted dynamite under Cap’s world with the return of The Red Skull in TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, and the amazing Cosmic Cube saga beginning in TALES OF SUSPENSE #80.

Speaking of Nick Fury, Jack’s visions of technological wonders expanded exponentially when he and Stan promoted the sergeant into their newest concept, S.H.I.E.L.D., in the landmark STRANGE TALES #135. For the next several issues of the mag, Jack would do layouts and covers, helping guide his former World War II star into the Swingin’ Sixties.

Jack relinquished penciling chores on AVENGERS in 1965, but also helped out with layouts and covers, same as with SGT. FURY and TALES TO ASTONISH. Over in UNCANNY X-MEN he worked to illustrate the memorable meeting of the young mutants and the Avengers to fruition in X-MEN #9, and introduce the savage Ka-Zar in X-MEN #10.

Stay tuned to for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Steve Rogers leads the search for a new head of the spy organization!

On February 8, CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #11 by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz reveals Maria Hill’s days as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. have come to an end, thanks to her recent actions and subsequent court martial. Hill joins a short but impressive list of ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. leaders, one that includes Nick Fury, of course, as well as Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, G.W. Bridge, and even Norman Osborn.

With the job vacant and a want ad no doubt hitting the job boards sometime soon, here’s a list of potential candidates for the high-pressure, high-stakes role.

Sharon Carter
Sharon seems a natural choice as leader of the organization. Not only a legacy—she claims the infamous Peggy Carter as her great aunt—she also currently serves as interim director, while the powers-that-be determine Maria Hill’s fate. Her history with Captain America and groups like the Secret Avengers give her inside knowledge on the super hero community, something that would help any potential director. Her one drawback? Possibly her current condition. Her time in Dimension Z resulted in premature aging, which could affect her ability in the field—and we all know that every director always ends up getting their hands dirty in the field at some point.

Nick Fury
He already has the name, so why not? The man once known as Marcus Johnson had a military background before learning he had the legendary Nick Fury for a father, and following that reveal he joined S.H.I.E.L.D. and has tried to carve out a name of his own. While he has the chops, his lack of experience might play against him.

Jimmy Woo
Woo served as both an FBI and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent before taking over the Atlas Foundation with his teammates, the Agents of Atlas. While currently running a school for superhuman kids in Asia, perhaps a new job offer could lure him back to S.H.I.E.L.D.—and lead to the reinstatement of Gorilla-Man as an agent.

While most fans probably know Bobbi Morse as the super hero Mockingbird, the former Avenger also served as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., helping to uncover corruption in the organization once upon a time. Since then she’s literally been to hell and back, and even ran her own “World Counter-terrorism Agency.” So she has experience, the know-how and tenacity to lead S.H.I.E.L.D. into the future.

Pepper Potts
While the others on this list all have experience in the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D., perhaps the division needs an outsider’s perspective. The former Rescue has some hero experience herself, not only as Iron Man’s armor-wearing partner but also as a member of the Order. She possesses a keen mind, a strong will and a good heart, which after the group’s recent PR nightmares could help S.H.I.E.L.D. recover the trust it needs to perform its duties.

Find out who steps up for S.H.I.E.L.D. on February 8 in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #11 by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz!

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Marc Guggenheim doesn't give his team a break, as they're forced to choose a side!

Sometimes, you just cannot get a break. AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #7 from writer Marc Guggenheim and artist German Peralta makes July that time for Coulson and his team.

“They’re suffering the repercussions of the end of the first arc, ‘The Coulson Protocols,’” Guggenheim reveals. “Over the course of the first arc, we got to see how Coulson’s love of super heroes can be weaponized and turned against those super heroes. As a result, I would say the team itself is cohesive and together. But the biggest problem is everyone is not feeling as much faith in Coulson as they did in the beginning of the series.”

This continued focus on Coulson comes very intentionally according to the writer.

“I really like the character of Coulson,” he confesses. “I think he’s very very interesting in that I see him as the ultimate Marvel fanboy who gets to work very closely to the Marvel Universe. I think that’s a very interesting trait for a character to have, where his expertise and his love of super heroes is actually a part of his character. That’s an interesting dynamic.”

What side that dynamic puts Coulson—or, indeed, his team—during Civil War II remains very much under wraps.

“I think they all have slightly different points of view on the super hero community,” Guggenheim cagily limits his reply.

However, the writer makes sure to be quick in pointing out that while he has tight lips, the arc will very much feature the team exploring and wrestling with the conflicts of the event.

“I approach these tie-ins with a very specific philosophy of writing what I wanted to see as a reader,” he explains. “[That includes] experiencing a tie-in that feels like a real and proper tie-in. One of my big pet peeves is when you read a tie-in [that’s] only connection to the main event is the trade dressing. It ties substantially into the main event and a story of consequence for the characters.

“Both are definitely true in the case of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.”

In the case of consequences, he has a specific one already on deck.

“I’ll say that as a result of [Civil War II] and how the events of how the book ties in, we are going to have a new person in charge of the team,” teases Guggenheim. “The arc is called ‘Under New Management’ and we’re going to have a very exciting person from the Marvel Universe that will be calling the shots in the book. And not everyone is going to be on board with this change of management.”

On the other hand, some things remain the same. In this case, Guggenheim highlights his collaboration with German Peralta as one of the most important consistencies.

“He’s an incredibly consistent artist,” enthuses the writer. “He pretty much e-mails new pages every day.

“The only reason I am saying that as opposed to leading with the fact that he’s just an amazing artist and a seriously incredible storyteller is because I see pages every day I am able to see not only how consistent he is not just in the delivery of pages, but on his ongoing evolution as an artist. I feel like the pages I got today are better than I got yesterday which were better than the pages I got two days ago. Just to watch an artist continue to refine and evolve—that’s pretty awesome.”

Overall, Guggenheim argues that the Civil War II crossover will be sure to thrill new and old readers alike.

“You don’t need to read the first arc of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. to jump in,” he asserts. “This represents a very good jumping on point for new readers. On the other hand, the readers that have read the first arc will see how organically that arc sets up what’s going on here with Coulson in this Civil War II tie-in.”

“It’s going to be very unique and something you don’t get to see in any other Marvel books.”

For all the latest information on Civil War II, visit the official hub page!

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Join the all-new adventure inspired by the hit TV show with art by German Peralta!

This January, Coulson and his team step out of the shadows and into the light as the Marvel Universe’s crack team of spies re-assembles for AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., a blockbuster new ongoing series! Series writer Marc Guggenheim and artist German Peralta weave a tale of espionage, action, intrigue, and danger in an in-continuity series inspired by the hit television show “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”!

Coulson and his team – May, Fitz, Simmons, Deathlok, Mockingbird, and Quake – bring the brains and brawn to tackle any situation the Marvel Universe can throw at them. But have they met their match when a dark secret from Coulson’s past threatens to tear S.H.I.E.L.D. apart from the inside? What exactly are the “Coulson Protocols”? And what is Iron Man doing there? Those answers and more lie inside the bombastic debut of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #1!

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (NOV150768)
Variant Cover by DAN PANOSIAN (NOV150769)
Hip-Hop Variant by DAVE JOHNSON (NOV150770)
MAOS Variant by JIM CHEUNG (NOV150771)
Deadpool Variant by MARK BAGLEY (NOV150772)
On-Sale – 01/13/16

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See upcoming covers and solicits from Avengers, Captain America, and more for the first time!

Beginning in March, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes converge on the mysterious community of Pleasant Hill for the Avengers: Standoff! crossover event! Check out the covers and solicits information below for more on this massive story…

Avengers: Standoff! Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 cover by Jesus Saiz

Avengers: Standoff! Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 cover by Jesus Saiz


Art & Cover: JESUS SAIZ
Pleasant Hill looks like the perfect small-town community — but underneath the surface, a deadly secret lurks. One so explosive it will draw estranged allies Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson back together to save a friend in danger and put things right. But when the combined might of the Captain Americas isn’t enough, who do they call? In the face of unspeakable evil, it’s time for the Avengers to Assemble like never before! The blockbuster spring Avengers event starts right here!

New Avengers (2015) #8 cover by Jeff Dekal

New Avengers (2015) #8 cover by Jeff Dekal

Writer: AL EWING
A STANDOFF tie-in!
• The New Avengers are a global rescue force – but what happens when they have to rescue someone…from S.H.I.E.L.D.?
• Answer: THIS MEANS WAR! And the beginning of the three-part conflagration that changes EVERYTHING!
• PLUS! The traitor — REVEALED! And the twists keep coming! Who — or WHAT — is the AMERICAN KAIJU?

All-New, All-Different Avengers #7 cover by Alex Ross

All-New, All-Different Avengers #7 cover by Alex Ross

A STANDOFF tie-in!

Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 cover by Alex Ross

Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 cover by Alex Ross

• A STANDOFF tie-in!
• Since World War II, Steve Rogers has wielded his red, white and blue shield against unspeakable odds. When he fell, his brother in arms, Bucky Barnes, picked it up. When it was time to rest, he handed it to his good friend, Sam Wilson. But now Steve will be asked to wield it one last time, against a foe so deadly he knows it could very well be his final stand.
• Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Marvel’s Sentinel of Liberty with a story of Captain Americas present and former — with this explosive, world-changing chapter in the blockbuster spring Avengers event, STANDOFF.
• Plus, stories celebrating the legacy and legend of Captain America throughout history, by Greg Rucka & Mike Perkins, Tim Sale, and John Cassaday.

Uncanny Avengers (2015) #7 cover by Ryan Stegman

Uncanny Avengers (2015) #7 cover by Ryan Stegman

A STANDOFF tie-in!
• The Uncanny Avengers come to the aid of S.H.I.E.L.D. during a manhunt.
• The team makes a shocking discovery about an ally.
• What does it all have to do with the mystery unfolding in Pleasant Hill?

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 cover by Brent Schoonover

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 cover by Brent Schoonover

A STANDOFF tie-in!
• The Commandos search for their missing ally, ORRGO!
• Secrets are revealed when the team encounters an enemy who can manipulate reality itself!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 cover by Mike Norton

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 cover by Mike Norton

A STANDOFF tie-in!
• STANDOFF comes to AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.! What is the secret of CLASSIFIED and how will it change the Marvel Universe as we know it?  Find out in this tie-in to Standoff.  Plus:  Fitz falls out of a plane without a parachute and the world’s most unexpected Wolverine cameo!

For more on Avengers: Standoff!, follow the latest news on and our social channels!

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Artist German Peralta offers a confidential look at his upcoming work!

Like any good spy thriller, the January-launching AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to mix larger than life characters with world-hopping adventures. This being an ongoing series set in the Marvel Universe though it will also feature plenty of familiar faces and locations.

Taking inspiration from the hit ABC series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” the new title features familiar faces such as Agent Coulson, Melinda May, Fitz, and Simmons, plus the likes of Mockingbird, Deathlok, and Quake.

We talked with artist German Peralta about combining elements from the comics world and the TV one, collaborating with writer Marc Guggenheim, and putting his own spin on heroes and villains alike. What was the process like for nailing down these versions of Deathlok and Mockingbird?

Germán Peralta: The truth is that I based a lot on the designs of other artists. In the case of Mockingbird, it was designed by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Deathlok by Mike Perkins if I’m not mistaken.

Obviously I have to add my style to them and it’s always beautiful to give life to these characters. I’m a big fan of Marvel’s characters and stories, and contributing to a little part of them is one of the best things that have happened in my career. How is it mixing elements from the TV show with some more super hero-esque ones?

Germán Peralta: About mixing elements from the show with super hero style, what can I say? I enjoyed it a lot. I think that is a really fun part of this project because I don’t try to make the characters look exactly like the actors. I just try to make sure that they don’t lose their personality and humanity when I do the action poses or things that we usually see in comics and maybe not so much in a TV show or movie. I love how in the TV show, powers, aliens, and other weird things look normal in their world. Did you and Marc or the editors have a lot of back and forth when it came to figuring out the best way to present the characters?

Germán Peralta: I usually ask a lot of questions. [Laughs] Yes, [I] talk with Marc and the editors, I really love this team. They make me feel that they are very professional with a lot of respect to my work when they make a suggestion and also make me feel comfortable when there’s something that I want to add or change if I think that could work better to present a character. Agree or not, we can talk and change ideas. You also get to draw Tony Stark and Iron Man in the book. How was it putting your own spin on him/them?

Germán Peralta: Drawing Tony Stark and Iron Man was amazing! When I do these kinds of characters, I want to call my friends and shout, “Man, I’m drawing Iron Man!” but of course I don´t do it—I wait the official announcement and then I shout. [Laughs] I feel a little pressure for the respect that I have for them. When I draw any character, not only the most well-known, I try to draw thinking like the guy who I was—and still am—when I bought a comic and first saw the characters. I wanted to feel that the guy who drew them loves what he does, that this is not just his job. Now I’m on the other side, so I suppose that there is a guy thinking the same thing of me. Have you had fun designing or reinterpreting villains for the book?

Germán Peralta: Of course I have fun designing and reinterpreting villains. I think the bad guys are the most important and interesting part of a hero. And personally I really enjoyed drawing these [kinds] of characters, their expressions, costumes, all of them. Overall, how has it been working with Marc on the development and creation of the book?

Germán Peralta: Working with Marc is really great; he is a very kind and talented person. I can exchange ideas and thoughts with him without any problem and that is a lot in these kinds of projects. Sometimes when I turn the script page in I think, “Woooow I have to draw this!” That is the feeling that I want when I’m in front of my board. His way of telling the story is really cool. The action and dialogue are in perfect balance. I’m very happy to be part of the AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. team and I hope that you can see this when you read the pages.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 from Marc Guggenheim and Germán Peralta springs into action on January 13.

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From Nick Fury to Maria Hill and anybody in between, we've got them all!

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Universe as well as 50 awesome episodes from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” click the link below to see everybody who has ever been in charge of the greatest espionage organization of them all!

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The writer teams with artist German Peralta on the all-new adventures of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Spies train to survive nearly any setback, and the operatives of S.H.I.E.L.D. have proven adept at this skill. So they will come roaring back in AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. with writer Marc Guggenheim and artist German Peralta at the helm.

Working with Peralta, the writer indicates, has yielded a vibrant and striking comic.

“One of the things German does really well is the big widescreen images so whenever possible I am trying to keep the panel to page count ratio as low as possible so he has more room to play,” Guggenheim reveals. “One of the things we are trying to do with the book is provide a lot of scope and a lot of big picture, widescreen moments they can’t do on the TV show [‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’] due to budget and time limitations and German is totally up for that.”

“German is a terrific storyteller,” he continues. “He has a very practiced eye. He’s very good about suggesting changes to layouts, to the way panels are constructed. He’s amazing in terms of—you know there’s a lot of familiar things but at the same time there’s a lot of design work that needs to be done as well and he’s been game for that. One of the things I love about his style is that he’s able to do the action stuff and the quiet character moments.”

That mix of action and character proves integral to Guggenheim’s conceptualization of the story he’s telling.

“For me, the key is to have the action come out of character,” he contends. “I have worked out the first four arcs of the book so far. The first arc is about this McGuffin that is potentially devastating to the Marvel Universe. But it comes to the fore out of the character—I’m trying to be coy about who that character is—but it is all rooted in a very personal storyline.”

To promote that kind of storytelling, Guggenheim catches up with the team during relatively good times.

“They actually start off in a pretty good place,” he says. “I kind of enjoy starting characters off in a pleasant place and then introducing chaos into the simple equation.”

That includes a team in balance between two poles.

“Basically, I’m compromising the team of two units which I sort of call ‘Brains’ and ‘Brawn,’” Guggenheim explains. “On the ‘Brains’ side you have May and Coulson and Fitz and Simmons and then on the ‘Brawn’ side you have Mockingbird, Quake, and Deathlok. They’ll operate as one singular team but there’s obviously an ops side and a details side.”

Once that chaos comes into the characters’ lives, however, things get intense in a hurry.

“My guiding principle is I really want to do something like a high adrenaline spy thriller, in the vein of Bourne Identity or James Bond or Mission: Impossible,” the writer asserts. “You really sort of drop the audience straight into the middle of the action and that’s what we’re gonna be doing here. When we first meet the team, they’re right there in the thick of it. They’re working to try and save the world from all the various crazy elements out there seeking to do it harm.”

Another similarity to those spy franchises comes from the settings.

“A big part of all those franchises is being a travelogue around the world, I want this to be a travelogue around the Marvel Universe,” Guggenheim says. “So I am trying very hard to play with the existing countries, the locations, organizations, and bad guys all through the Marvel Universe. The intention is to span the length and breadth of the MU.”

“My hope is to provide an interesting mix of both [the recognizable and the obscure],” he elaborates. “You’ll see Tony Stark in the first issue, they’ll be interacting with Spider-Man; there’s a variety of different A-list characters who will be seen, [though] at the same time you’ll also be seeing some deep cuts as well. I really want to mix it up. You’ll get a wide variety of different Marvel characters, both heroes and villains. Baron Strucker, Batroc the Leaper; we’re introducing a new villain but he’s wearing some very familiar—shall we say—iron armor. For me what’s fun about it is being able to mix and match all the different characters that the Marvel Universe offers.”

The book also will introduce new players from the past lives of the main cast, especially one character with a very familiar name.

“I will say that in the first arc we are going to meet Lola who is a former flame of Coulson’s,” the writer teases. “She looms pretty large in this first arc.”

In the end, Guggenheim pledges that AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.—the team and the book—will become woven tight into the fabric of the Marvel Universe.

“This group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents is one of the key lines of defenses because not every problem can be solved by, say, the Avengers,” Guggenheim promises. “If you are a Marvel fan, this is the book for you.”

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by Marc Guggenheim and German Peralta deploys in 2016!

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