The agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. get their own ongoing series, written by none other than Mark Waid.
S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have been integral parts of “Secret Avengers” and “Indestructible Hulk”. Mark Waid, having written “Indestructible Hulk” and introducing those agents into the plot himself has had experience writing S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The series first arc will feature art by Carlos Pacheco, the second with the art of Alan Davis, and the third with the art of Chris Sprouse. Rotating artists between arcs or “missions” will keep every mission unique and interesting. The book premieres this December.
The following interview was conducted between Marvel.com and Mark Waid.
MARVEL.COM: What’s your history with S.H.I.E.L.D.? Are you a fan going back to the Jim Steranko days?
MARK WAID: Absolutely. What set that series apart and helped it hold its own with the flashy super hero books was Steranko’s sense of style and design coupled with an unparalleled imagination. I’ve been eager to follow in those footsteps since I was a kid!
MARVEL.COM: What sets S.H.I.E.L.D. apart from every other fictional spy organization that’s out there?
MARK WAID: They have the best toys. Also, the best allies—anyone and everyone in the Marvel Universe is a potential guest-star in this book, from Doctor Strange to the Thing to Spider-Man to Cloak and Dagger to Groot—if they’ve got the specific skills needed for the task at hand, they’re on the front lines—like it or not.
MARVEL.COM: You played with the S.H.I.E.L.D. setup a little bit in your “Indestructible Hulk” series. Will we be seeing any of the characters you introduced in that series carry over to this one?
MARK WAID: A few, yes. I’ll certainly throw the spotlight back on some of the characters that showed up there—but not at the sacrifice of one Phil Coulson, maybe the coolest S.H.I.E.L.D. agent ever not named “Fury.”
MARVEL.COM: That being said, it appears that Agent Coulson will be the lead character in this new S.H.I.E.L.D. series. What about Coulson appeals to you as a writer?
MARK WAID: He is the coolest Marvel Comics fan ever. E-V-E-R. He’s amazing at his job, he’s badass, he’s funny—and he loves the history of the Marvel Universe as much as I do.
MARVEL.COM: You’ll probably get to explore a lot of Marvel history with the series’ done-in-one approach to issues. Are those types of stories more difficult than multi-part story arcs?
MARK WAID: Done-in-one stories are more challenging, no doubt—and every story will focus on one mission, yes—but I’d be very surprised if there weren’t some evidence of some common thread once we got rolling, something to give each set of issues more of an arc.
MARVEL.COM: Is it possible that some agents from ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will make their Marvel debuts here, or is that still Level Eight classified info?
MARK WAID: Oh, we’re definitely bringing the gang in, from May to Fitz and Simmons and beyond. They’re the Marvel Universe “versions” of these characters, which gives us license to really delve into them in ways that are tough with limited screen time each week.
MARVEL.COM: You have Carlos Pacheco on the first issue, followed by a rotating crew of artists including Alan Davis and Chris Sprouse. Are you tailoring each issue to the artists’ strengths?
MARK WAID: I’d be a fool not to. Carlos is great at panoramic adventure, though, and he’s the best and most fitting leadoff batter.
MARVEL.COM: Can we find out a little more about this mysterious helper monkey?
MARK WAID: Her name is [editor] Ellie Pyle. Oh, wait, you mean the one inthe comic. Look, Leo Fitz has been asking for a helper monkey throughout season one of [“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”]. Giving him one seems like a proper “welcome to the Marvel Universe” gift, no?