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review 2018-08-17 04:28
Ambitious and Abandoned
S. H. I. E. L. D.: Architects of Forever - Jonathan Hickman,Dustin Weaver

Ambitious and abandoned is how I would describe this graphic novel. The premise of this short-lived Marvel series was that S.H.I.E.L.D., the spy organization founded after WWII to hunt down Communists and other insurgents, is actually a ancient secret society which has defended the Earth from alien threats since at least 2620 BC. Every famous scientist, artist, or mystic you can think of was a member, including Da Vinci, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Nostradamus, and Nikola Tesla. More modern members include Howard Stark, the father of Tony (Iron Man) Stark, and Nathaniel Richards, the father of Reed (Mr. Fantastic) Richards.

 

The plot jumps all around and throws in all manner of twists including a war between immortals Newton and Da Vinci over the fate of humanity, a time traveling Tesla who is married to a woman who can turn into a bird (or something), a Chinese scholar named Zhang Heng who hid a baby Celestial, and lots of vague references to ominous sounding things like the Greater Science, the Hidden Arts, and the Human Machine.

 

It all seems very promising, and Dustin Weaver's illustrations are excellent, but it appears not to have been the hit Marvel hopped it would be and the project was quietly abandoned. Hickman has occasionally dropped references to the deep history of S.H.I.E.L.D. in his other Marvel work, suggesting his has not given up on the idea, but we will probably never see a continuation of the series big enough to do justice to the scope of the premise.

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url 2018-08-09 14:43
Architect Email List | Architect Mailing Lists | Database of Architects

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review 2016-09-13 00:00
Architects of Destiny
Architects of Destiny - Amy DuBoff Architects of Destiny - Amy DuBoff So I was hoping this book was going to be a little bit like Terra E with espers and all that aaand, it's not. Really psychic powers don't even play all that much into this book other than Cris has them and he's really good at them. SO good he's the "chosen one" of being good with them.
I mean his powers don't even play into this so much that I even think the author at times forgot he had them like the scene in the ship store where he doesn't even use them to see if the people behind the counter are going to try and kidnap him.
The next problem I have with the book is that a lot of the secondary characters feel like props. Thom is there to basically tick off the "Spent time in a commoner spacecraft" box. Scott is the "Segue into the baby factory meetup" box and then there's Kate who is basically the baby factory. She doesn't really get any outstanding personality and is super in love with Cris. She of course gets mad at him when he reveals himself as High Dynasty, but that's quickly resolved and over with and they can get back to the baby making because that seems to be part of the major plot here is that they (of course) have a son who goes on to do things. At least the author has the sense of mind to realize that Cris having sex with Kate before telling her who he really was would be rape. Most authors think that shit is OK. So, she does get major credits for that...
However her views on women certainly aren't progressive, having the women in scoop necked tank tops and more form conforming clothes than the men. I mean it's written that Cris doesn't have coaching on girls and acts on instinct. Girls, you mean women, are human and I sure as hell hoped he'd have learnt how to treat fellow humans and second, instinct is that shitty excuse that men use when they rape women. They "can't help it" and all that bullshit. Really if he doesn't know what he's doing he could.. iunno... ASK

Overall the book is bland and things seem to happen simply for plot so there's not a lot of characterization going on. People are as flat as tables and nobody really has an outstanding personality. Not even Cris. That being said I did add a star just because the author had the decency to put on the brakes to Cris' love scene and have him go "That'd be wrong!"
You could probably compare this book to Phantasy Star III for the depth of characterization.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-05-15 19:04
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Architects of Destiny (Cadicle #1) - Amy DuBoff

I had such high hopes and I'm not sure why so I felt let down really. I wanted more to this first installment. More on the differences between the Dynasties and the regular people, more about the Priesthood and the TSS. What I got was just a little story. A typical story. The heir doesn't like his planned life so he goes off to see the world and then ends back to the planned life. 

 

I think the story would have been better for me if the first part of our main character Cris leaving his world and seeing the other 99% live would have been longer. More adventures before succumbing to the planned life. 

 

There are a few twists in that he doesn't know his life has been totally planned or that he has started that path. And the next book is supposed to investigate more but I'm in no rush to find out. 

 

The writing was easy and quick. I finished in no time and by no means was the book a struggle to finish like some have. It was just not what I expected so I felt let down and will not rush to finish the story arc. 

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review 2016-02-20 07:24
Beautifully illustrated but quite confusing
S. H. I. E. L. D.: Architects of Forever - Jonathan Hickman,Dustin Weaver

Beautifully illustrated but quite confusing, this trade paperback tells of various luminaries from history returning to battle each other but for what? We meet Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Nikolas Tesla and others. The story switches nearly every page from one time to another - which I dislike as it wrecks continuity (maybe it's a sign of old age!) This is Volume 1 - no thanks to Volume 2

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