S.H.I.E.L.D. #36 "The Snake Who Came in From the Cold"
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: M. C. Wyman
Inker: Don Hudson
Colorist: Kevin Tinsley
Letterer: Philip Felix
As Dungan tries
to talk Fury out of abdicating the directorship to him, word comes that
Luke Cage has inadvertently tracked down the elusive Constrictor which
sends Fury to Mexico to intercept him. Cage is on a case to locate Mia
Payne's long thought dead father and instead finds himself facing off
against his old adversary. Fury joined the fray as the Constrictor gets
away, and Cage demands explanations. Fury reveals the assassin's origins
as a SHIELD agent let down by Fury's lack of compassion in a tight spot.
Both men corner the Chameleon and Fury convinces him that by leaving
clues to his daughter of his existence, he really wants to be found and
brought back in. Chameleon's snake suit is immobilized and Payne decides
to turn himself in to Fury and seek help before reuniting with his daughter.
Solid story from Lobdell offers a rare instance of redemption
for the emotionally maligned Fury. The Chameleon's story is handled well
and his transition from villain to sympathetic victim is believable.
Fury's guilt over his part in creating the Chameleon is emphasized in the last panels of the issue, where Fury cradles the
misguided Payne in his arms. The story humbles Fury by having him not
only make a mistake but present him with a chance to atone for it. The
inclusion of Luke Cage is not distracting or overdone but it is unnecessary
as he simply served as a device to prompt a retelling of the Chameleons'
origin; a task easily achieved with one of the regular SHIELD supporting players like Pierce or Nina.
Wyman and the art team continues to impress.