By Juan Avila, Alex Robles and Kevin Vazquez
Marvel celebrated the 50th anniversary of S.H.I.E.L.D., the fictional intelligence agency created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, dealing with supernatural threats to the U.S. government, with special issues.
One-shot comic books were written for Mockingbird, Quake, Agent Carter, Agent May and two incarnations of Nick Fury.
All five issues highlight the impact S.H.I.E.L.D. has made on the Marvel Universe in its 50 year history.
In addition, a collection of classic stories was released this past September, titled “S.H.I.E.L.D. by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby: The Complete Collection”.
Marvel released a collection containing the Lee and Kirby stories as well as the innovative Jim Steranko run of the series, on Oct. 20.
World War II veteran Nick Fury was introduced as the agency’s director in “Strange Tales”, issue No.135 in a 12-page story on August 1965.
A copy of the issue, with a Certified Guaranty Company grading of 9.8 of which the highest is 10, sold for about $17,000 on the Heritage Auctions website in 2012.
It started as a spy agency made up of commandos who fought Nazis and then evolved into a government task force in charge of watching over superhuman, alien and supernatural threats.
“I thought it was weird that superheroes had a group that was basically a babysitter or nanny for them, but as I read more of the comics I understood that Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. were more than just babysitters, they were protectors of the normal people the ones without powers and you have to respect that,” Jose A. Mendoza, Santa Ana College student said.
Lee and Kirby’s comic books brought a new type of story that stood out from the usual superhero tales of the time. Their stories followed narratives like the popular spy thrillers of the ‘60s focusing on Nick Fury, a hardened veteran with no superpowers, as opposed to traditional superheroes who wore capes and tights.
Throughout Marvel’s history additions were made to the comics, such as film and TV shows, further developing the agency’s role as the watchkeepers in Marvel’s superhero canon.
ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced its characters to a new generation of fans with its combination of action, suspense and humor in 2013.
It follows agent Phil Coulson, of The Avengers film, as he gathers a diverse team to deal with issues superheroes skip over.
“The comedy aspect is much like the Avengers movies so it makes it super enjoyable,” said Timmy Nguyen, a fan of the show.
Although the one-shot issues were released in September they can still be found online or at local comic book stores like Comic Toons N Toys, Biggy’s Comics & Games and JNJ Comics.
“It’s crazy with the way the characters have become even more notable within pop culture in the recent years, mostly in part because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” SAC student Tyler Sypherd said. “I’m excited to see what the future holds in store for Nick and S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Beginning as a comic book of the Silver Age to becoming a recognizable property, S.H.I.E.L.D. has evolved into an integral part of the Marvel Universe.