Friday, August 08, 2008

The Shield: Prepare!


I am going to finish my series on the Dark Knight film, with posts on Two-Face, Batman, and the Joker. But before I get to that, here's a hint of what's to come after that.

If you followed the news from San Diego, you know one of the big news items was the announcement that DC would be introducing the old MLJ heroes, like the Shield, into it mainstream continuity.

Who is this "Shield"?, many of you will ask. He just looks like a Captain America, or Wonder Woman in drag. Wrong; it's the other way around. Captain America looks just like the Shield; Wonder Woman is the Shield in drag. Yep, the Shield was introduced 14 months before Cap and 23 months before Wonder Woman. He was even 6 months early than Uncle Sam (uh, the one in the comics, I mean).

He was the first patriotically-themed American superhero, though few of us have heard of him and even fewer read any of his stories. Who has read some of his stories? Funny you should ask, because it's amazing the things you can find in the Back Forty of the Big Monkey storage tesseract... .

So, I've read some Shield stories. And I'm prepared to tell you Who He Is and How He Came To Be. I will tell the pros and the cons of the Shield. I will show you his foes. I will teach you to fear his Ultimate Foe. And you will come, as I have, to love the Shield and to await his advent in the DCU with happy excitement.

I'm prepared; are you?

9 comments:

suedenim said...

The Black Tom Explosion (look it up!) turns out to be a really good "origin source." I hadn't even heard of it before now, but it ties the Shield's story to the Great War and an Irish/Indian conspiracy!

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Sweet. Can't wait to learn about this guy. Right now he's just a footnote in comics history. Was he a cool footnote? Let's find out!

As a young'un, I had a soft spot for the Impact revival of the Shield, around 1990. It wasn't great, but it had potential for good four-color fun.

Our hero, Sgt. Joe Higgins, was the second Shield; the first one had disappeared decades before. The suit was built by the US Army, and, of course, a shadowy conspiracy or some such nonsense was involved. Sgt. Higgins found out, deserted with the suit, and was Out for Truth and Justice.

The part that captured my teenage interest was his quasi-counterpart: a mercenary known as "The Weapon." I figured it had to be the old Shield, gone bonkers and cruel, which would have created some fun hero/villain super-patriot dynamics. Alas, no, the Weapon barely figured in, the identity of the old Shield proved to be a lame one, and the series fizzled. Ah, well.

Impact's "The Black Hood," now that was a great series.

Nightwing Wannabe said...

Wait--there's a back 40 in Big Monkey???

K26dp said...

Gotta say, I too am as intrigued by this "Back Forty of the Big Monkey storage tesseract" as I am by The Shield...

Scipio said...

If you think that's intriguing, I won't even mention the rooftop barbecue deck with the Iron Man mural that you get to through the back window in the kitchen.

Yes, really.

Nightwing Wannabe said...

Wow...I missed a lot on my visit. Next time it's the Back 40 and a weiner from the rooftop barbecue deck for me!

SallyP said...

I see through your machinations, Scipio! You just want to make me fall for another obscure character, like Mike, the Human Flame!

I gave my heart to Mike and Joey, and look what happened!

H said...

Looking forward to it - the MLJ cast have never interested me, but I am confident in the power of the Absorbascon to change that.

ShadZ said...

The Shield's Ultimate Foe? You mean, the Hun? Woo-hoo!