Monday, September 26, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #9 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

It’s Elektra-fying!

Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Art By: Ario Anindito, Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a weird book in this crossover event so far. The focus of the book is clearly on Coulson for the majority of the time and he doesn’t seem to know what side he’s on. In one issue, he’s siding with Captain Marvel and then switches over to Iron Man’s side and then sides with Captain Marvel again but then he changes to being on neither side and it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride with him. (Except a rollercoaster is more entertaining.) Anyway, at the end of the latest issue, we got one hell of a cliffhanger as it would seem that Fitz has been working as a spy. Then, he was caught by Elektra who is now going to be the new leader of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. So, what will this new S.H.I.E.L.D. team be like and what will become of Fitz? Let’s find out.

We pick up where we left off with Fitz on the floor and Elektra standing above him. Deathlok rushes over and questions her method which gives Fitz and opening. He throws a flashbang and disappears. Elektra contacts another new team member to try and locate Fitz. Turns out that Grant Ward will be joining the team once again. Seems like S.H.I.E.L.D. is doubling down with their former enemies. Ward informs her that he believes that Fitz had some sort of transportation device as well which allowed him to escape the area. Mockingbird and Deathlok question bringing Ward on to the team so Elektra informs them that he has a collar around his neck that will kill him if Elektra triggers it. She ends by informing the team that their current mission is to apprehend Coulson dead or alive.

We then jump to Phil Coulson who has drawn a gun on an intruder. The intruder simply explains that he means no harm. Turns out that it is Fitz and he tells Phil that Elektra has taken over the team and unfortunately, she doesn’t know that Phil put him undercover as a double agent. So, Elektra believes that Fitz is a legitimate traitor. Phil and Fitz then meet up with Daisy Johnson and convince her to join their cause. Turns out that Phil got some more information from inside S.H.I.E.L.D. that gave him information on another one of Ulysses’ visions. A former X-Man known as Jonas Graymalkin will detonate an incendiary device in Penn Station. Daisy agrees to work with him on this.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. team brings in May who clearly dislikes the fact that Elektra now is in command. She especially dislikes her due to her involvement in the destruction of the Black Hawk which caused the death of many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Meanwhile, Deathlok continues to work on Jemma who has yet to regain consciousness. He prepares to turn her into a Deathlok in order to save her life and he apologizes to her because he doesn’t want anyone to live like he does. However, he has adjusted the procedure a bit and it seems that she will require much less hardware than he has.

Phil and his small team then board a train headed for Penn Station in an attempt to stop the attack by Graymalkin. They break in and find Graymalkin just standing there. They try to arrest him and Fitz gets to work on dismantling the bombs. However, the bombs aren’t bombs at all and Graymalkin informs Coulson that he was actually going to tell him that he was under arrest instead. Suddenly, Elektra and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team break through the windows. It’s a trap and Phil has sprung it. An all-out brawl breaks out and Phil’s team is easily outmatched. So, Phil instructs Daisy to take Fitz and get out of there. He is going to surrender himself so that they can get away. They succeed but May has the chance to catch them. However, to voice her disdain for Elektra, she chooses to follow the letter of the law when it comes to her orders and refuses to give chase to Daisy and Fitz. Elektra succeeds in capturing Phil and when she meets with Maria Hill and tells her that May is having some issues with her being in charge. Hill isn’t surprised and even voices her own concerns but seems intent on allowing Elektra to continue. Grant Ward then visits Phil in his cell and informs him that he’s finished. After all, Grant has been on the wrong side of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s brand of justice. This is where the issue leaves us.

This issue is about the same level of quality as the rest of this tie-in storyline has been. It’s not bad, but it’s also not very good. At least Phil doesn’t change his mind several times in this one issue. There’s a great deal of action and I do like that quite a bit. It’s not just action, there is a good deal of story in there too. I fully recognize that readers who have been following this series for a while will probably enjoy this issue far more than I did because it harps upon previous storylines. However, for me, this issue was just kind of “meh”.

Bits and Pieces

This issue gives us less flip-flopping from Phil and more awesome action sequences so it’s already getting better, however overall this issue is far from being anything special. Despite the strides it made, it’s only slightly better than previous issues but is a bit more coherent. I’m still not looking forward to more of this series and I doubt many people are.


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