by Ed Brisson (Writer), Luke Ross (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Colorist)

The Story
: There’s a new recruits for field work at S.H.I.E.L.D. and she’s one of the new inhumans. It’s a pity for her that Infinity is still going on…

The Review: It’s not necessarily the fairest or most positive thing to say, but there is a reason why most people hate even tie-ins. Shoehorning elements or characters important to the main book, stopping the natural narrative flow for elements that will be untouched further along and many more are possible reasons for the general dislike those issues receive. There are some rare cases where it can produce something of quality, like when Jason Aaron took on Black Panther during Secret Invasion, yet those are few and far between.

This is one of those issues, as regular writer Nick Spencer is replaced by Ed Brisson in order to show readers what S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing during Thanos invasion in Infinity. Set right after the terrigenesis, this shows how a young agent gets turned into an inhuman and then gets sent to the field right away. While this concept could actually give way for a satisfying story, this issue doesn’t really use it very well as it rushes along.

While one of the major complaints of readers is that there is perhaps too much decompression going on in a lot of titles, this issue seems to go a bit too fast as it tries to introduce a new character and develop her personality and power without giving too much focus on anything else. There are several moments where the internal logic of this issue makes close to no sense, which hurts the issue overall. Did S.H.I.E.L.D. have time to pick back Sarah Garza during the big battle against the invading aliens? Did they think it was a good idea to go where an utterly massive explosion just occurred? How and why did they patent a suit for her if they just don’t know how her power works? Why are Agent Coulson and Marcus Johnson not wearing any protective armor while the other agents clearly do? I could go on like, but there are simply a lot of places where this issue simply doesn’t pay any attention to in order to move their story and character along.

The story in itself is pretty average, though, as the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to fight against hordes of aliens that are out there. Bringing in their most recent big gun, Sarah Garza, they hope to turn the tides before it’s too late, even though they are sending an untrained rookie. The story, while not exactly the most inventive, do move at a nice pace, despite the fact that it overshadows many elements along the way to do so. The conflict is clearly established, the characters put in place and their motivation clear, so it’s not entirely a bad thing.

What’s actually pretty good is Sarah Garza, the new character, who gets properly introduced throughout the issue. She has a clearly defined personality, a past and her reactions of things are well-written. With the issue focusing mostly on her point-of-view of how events are turning, her narration and the way she interacts with most things provide some entertainment as well. The way Brisson portray how a person would react to gaining superpowers as well as being able to use it confusingly is one of the bright spot of this issue.

Another bright spot is Luke Ross, the regular artist of this series and his depiction of the conflict with his usual style. His overall lines and his composition of several elements bring out the darker approach to lines and to events that he is able to convey on a regular basis. His panel layout, meanwhile, is good in term of narrative flow, letting the story be told with a good sense of pacing and with a sequence that is easy to follow. The character themselves are expressive enough, in action and even out of it as their poses and their interaction with the environment is sound. The background themselves are detailed enough, lending credibility to the scene without overflowing what is important in each panels. Overall, it’s a very nice effort from Luke Ross.

Matthew Wilson does a very commendable effort too, as he is able to bring out both chaos and order in this issue in terms colorization, making the scenes work with each other despite their clashing nature. The calm and cold scenes on the helicarrier, depicting light blue, grey, dark and brown really do come as a sharp contrast to the overly warm and invasive colors like red, yellow and orange. Each panel gets a good deal of colors, though, with a minor presence of different tones to put a brighter focus on those that are prominently featured.

The Conclusion: A very good effort from Luke Ross and Matthew Wilson that isn’t followed by Ed Brisson with a plot that is unoriginal and rather rushed in many aspects.

Grade: C

-Hugo Robberts Larivière