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S.H.I.E.L.D. #6: Review

Feb 2011
Jonathan Hickman, Dustin Weaver

Story Name:

The master's hand

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 Review by (March 12, 2019)
The far future in this issue and last will be seen again in #34 of Hickman's Avengers run in the build-up to Secret Wars III, at the end of Captain America's journey through the future. The jungle, the ruins, the pyramids and the statue of Immortus are there. And 1 pyramid has the spherical chunk chewed out of it by the departure of Tesla and co this issue.

I think the part of this issue where Richards and Stark kill Tesla has been mislabelled 1955. I think it makes more sense as 1953. The pair say they wanted Tesla to tell them where a boy is. The only boy this could be is Tesla's adopted son Leonid. But they found Leonid and kidnapped him in #1 in 1953. And in #2 in 1956 when Tesla finds Leonid again the youth says he hasn't seen him in 3 years. And in #1 Leonid didn't seem already worried about a missing father. So Tesla must have been killed and then disappeared just before Leonid was captured in 1953. This is all after the 2 agents started looking for Tesla in 1951 last issue.

Michelangelo is another historical character (not turtle) who hasn't appeared in Marvel outside this series.

I continue not to list the bird/woman as a character. Marvel Wiki says she's named Mina in v2#3 but I can't find the name there or anywhere else. The Marvel Chronology Project just calls her Bird. And calls her Tesla's Pigeon with a note to say they removed the name Mina because *they* can't find it.

The war will continue in volume 2. But before then #infinity will fill in some gaps and also add some extra scenes.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The opening segment of the issue is in Rome in 1960 with an ongoing voiceover by Leonid. A crack appears in a fountain in the Eternal City, a small sign of the events in the Immortal City deep beneath. The followers of Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci are at war with each other. And both sides have armour and weapons both ancient and futuristic.

Newton believes that man has a fixed fate (in 2060) and the duty of the Brotherhood Of The Shield is to ensure that it survives that long but doesn't avoid its destiny. Leonardo believes that mankind's future is their own to make, and the Brotherhood must help them to make it long and glorious. Leonid believes there must be a 3rd way. And he now uses the power that has been growing within him since birth to effect that way.

But we now leave that spectacular scene to a more peaceful 1 amid the jungle-overgrown ruins of a world 600,000 years in the future. However we focus in on the only bit of non-peace as Howard Stark and Nathaniel Richards try to save the life of Nikola Tesla/Night Machine, urged on by his companion - sometimes a bird, now a woman.

Richards removes the overactive power source that Tesla has embedded in his abdomen. Tesla tells them the have less than a minute to put it back. Stark creates 1 of his self-assembling tools to fix the machine. The woman warns them not to kill Nikola *again*. And she says the problem is all their fault. Nathaniel says "I know."

Now we skip back to 1955 where Richards and Stark confront Tesla (noticeably without a power source in his torso) and his pigeon. Night Machine tells the bird that she knows what to do next. Then he uses the electrical powers of his suit aggressively and the 2 agents respond with the advanced guns of the Brotherhood. Tesla winds up with his middle blown to shreds, looking extremely dead.

The pair search Tesla's place, chock full of machinery, Stark using a retro-futuristic scanner. But they can't find what they're looking for, which is a child. And when they turn around Tesla's body has gone.

Back in the future Stark mends the core just in time and Richards reconnects it within Night Machine's body. Tesla has fallen unconscious but is now shocked back to life. However he automatically starts to attack the 2 agents. The woman steps between them to avert further conflict and initiates a grudging truce. She says they have to work together to get them all back to the present.

Howard accuses Nikola of bringing them all here (#2). But Nathaniel says he thinks it's *his* fault. The explosion back then somehow gave him the ability to travel through time. (In my comments last issue I explained that NR had little side-trip into Fantastic Four #581 where he was told about his new abilities.) So they all join forces to get home.

While they're working Richards asks Tesla to explain how he survived their 1st encounter. Nikola refuses, but we see a panel of the Forever Man inserting the power source. (More on that in #infinity.)

Stark has cobbled together a lash-up that will enable Tesla to boost Richards' nascent time-travelling ability. They do the business and all 4 disappear, taking a large chunk of the hi-tech pyramid they were in with them. (We'll see them show up in 1960 in the 1st issue of the 2nd series.)

But we ourselves can go back to 1960 where we see that Leonid has created a forcefield separating the 2 sides. Nostradamus and the Star Child make their only apps this issue watching this. Da Vinci asks the youth to drop the barrier because they have to stop Newton *creating* the extinction future he predicts. Newton says that end is inevitable (his Quiet Math predicts it). And he also wants the shield dropped.

When Leonid refuses Newton's people detect the frequency of the forcefield and create bombs that can tunnel through it to explode among da Vinci's forces. So reluctantly Leonid dissolves the barrier to avoid a 1-sided slaughter. And he sees the idea(l) that created this place being torn apart.

His despair is interrupted by the gradual manifestation of the glowing Forever Man. FM commends Leonid for seeing that both sides are blinkered by their preconceptions. He also says this war was an inevitable clash of ideas. But together he and Leonid can break through the walls of misunderstanding. And he reveals his identity to be Michelangelo.

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> S.H.I.E.L.D.: Book info and issue index

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Dustin Weaver
Dustin Weaver
Christina Strain
Gerald Parel (Cover Penciler)
Gerald Parel (Cover Inker)
Gerald Parel (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Todd Klein.
Editor: Nick Lowe. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Brotherhood Of The Shield, Forever Man (Michelangelo), Howard Stark, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Leonid, Nathaniel Richards, Night Machine (Nikola Tesla), Nostradamus, Star Child.