The latest issue of Marvel's lone — to my knowledge — espionage comic, starring the long-running spy Nick Fury (former director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and his band of superhuman secret agents, hit the stands last week.
I've been loving this book and acting as an evangelist for it since the first issue. Five more issues in, the comic is still great. So great, in fact, it's hard to even remember that, not too long ago, Nick Fury was one of those Dr. Strange-type characters — good for a cameo appearance, but not interesting enough to hold down his own book. Well, those days seem done.
This version of Nick Fury works by shrinking the cast of characters to a manageable size and throwing a healthy dose of superheroics on top of the spy stuff. So, instead of faceless agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting faceless hordes of Hydra, we've got a small, fleshed-out group of superpowered "secret warriors" fighting big-time bad guys like Gorgon (from that cool Wolverine story arc). Add a splash of great dialogue and several really cool-as-hell character moments (like when Dum Dum Dugan says to Nick Fury, "You give me a month and I'll deliver the baddest bunch of evil bastards this world has ever seen."), and you've got one hell of a comic book.
Now, I will say that it took me a moment to get into the art by Stefano Caselli (it seemed a tad too cartoony for a shadowy, spy book), but now I'm lovin' it.
Bottom line? Buy it.
Carlton Hargro is Editor-In-Chief of Creative Loafing. You can read more of his writing at the magazine's Comic Proportions blog.