Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1


Capsule Review

S.H.I.E.L.D. is fielding a monster squad? Count me in! I love Nick Fury, Morbius the Living Vampire, Dracula, Werewolf by Night, Ghost Rider, Fin Fang Foom, Son of Satan, and the Monster of Frankenstein! Too bad none of those guys are in this book. Hit Monkey, Manphibian, and Zombie Jasper Sitwell … you’re fired! (Man-Thing can stay, though). Really, with such a rich and under-utilized cast of monster characters on Marvel’s backbench, there’s no excuse for foisting these has-beens and never-wuzzes on us. Let’s never speak of this again.

Approachability For New Readers

It’s fine … but why bother?

Read #2?


Sales Rank

#46 October

Read more about Marvel’s monsters at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.#1



About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on November 27, 2015, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Ouch! Truth hurts…


    • The problem is this book is all plot and ARR MONSTERS SMASH! There’s no insight into what makes the characters tick. There is some internal conflict, but it is all in service to the plot. All of which is high-brow criticism for a low-brow book, but, damnit … in a world full of capes and masks and cosmic gods, what makes monsters interesting isn’t their appearance or their behavior or their powers so much as their psychology. And we get too little of it in this issue.


      • Don’t misunderstand: I trust your judgment. I share your disappointment because I was looking forward to this title. (I was kind of surprised at your review of Spiderman 2099. I respect Peter David’s writing and have always enjoyed SM 2099. I have not read that issue though…but that’s another post.)

        Hopefully the creators of HCoSH will course correct and include those characters you named–all of whom I was practically shouting with GLEE–yes GLEE–and then you wrote: “Too bad none of those guys are in this book.” I felt a physical letdown in the pit of my monster-loving core. And it’s not high brow to want internal conflict–you’re right–that should be boilerplate. Tells me the book was written “down” instead of respecting their readership.


        • It is bizarre that none of those headline monsters are in this book. Maybe Marvel is reserving them for some other publishing initiative? Dunno. Either way, it seems strange not to come with your best game when launching any book. Who is served by these half measures?

          And as regards Spidey 2099 … I thought it a very well-written book, it just didn’t spark with me, owing to an unfamiliarity with the character, a lack of costumed action, and my general indifference to the whole concept of an extended “Spider-Verse.” Fans of the character or the franchise will probably find lots to like here. Like you, I respect Peter David’s writing, and he’s not the problem.


  2. No kidding right? What’s the point then if the characters we really want to see aren’t allowed to be used. Damn. Another one for the skip pile;)


    • The silver lining is that Marvel is showing some signs of life with their legacy monster books. Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, and Monster of Frankenstein recently got the reprint treatment, and Tomb of Dracula has (mostly) been available digitally and in collected form for some time. With luck we will see the rest of the gang come along in the next year.


  3. I’m love all kind of monsters: werewolf, vampire, zombie, mummy… but, didn’t they already tried (and failed miserably) something like this a couple of years ago?


    • Oh, sure, we’ve been seeing monster squads for decades. In this, as in so many things, the hard part isn’t the concept — it’s the execution. But it is that much more difficult to execute on the premise when you are hamstrung with a poor cast of characters. With a bunch of unknowns you have to try doubly hard to make us care about the characters. With headline monsters, you might have been able to cruise on the characterization for an issue while you got your plot in place, but with these guys the creators have no such luxury. One and done!


      • Mostly mere hirelings… Creators are a scarce engeance that corporates like Marvel expunged from their business plan long time ago.


        • Working on the corporate farm does take a certain mindset. Bendis seems to have it dialed in. The key, I think, is to care passionately about the work, but never mistake that you are a hired hand.


  1. Pingback: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 | Longbox Graveyard

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