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Military as stumped about SHIELD as comic readers

I don't mean to turn this into an all-Avengers movie blog, but the popularity of the move is such that it spills into the political blogs that i read, and the synergy is too much for me to resist.

This one is about the US Military's involvement in the Avengers movie. They were originally helping out, as they have done in many movies, including the first Iron Man, but they couldn't wrap their heads around SHIELD. Is it a US organization? If so, what's the constitutional justification. Is it an international body? If so, on what grounds does the US military participate?

Frankly (as the article does a decent job of showing, although only with recent examples), it's always been a little unclear in the comics as well.

In any event, i don't really need my super-hero movies to secretly be military promotional vehicles anyway, so i'm glad they pulled out.

By fnord12 | May 8, 2012, 2:05 PM | Comics & Movies


While the comics are very unclear (except in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the "New World Order" when it had it's jurisdiction from the UN Security Council), I always assumed that SHIELD was the spy analogue to NATO. "Supreme Headquarters" is a phrase associated with the old WWII alliance (SHAEF) and its successor, NATO (SHAPE). In my mind, SHIELD was a result of an addendum to the North Atlantic Treaty specifically to combat HYDRA and other subversive threats against the First World. I think the early comics imply this. While the original core of SHIELD was clearly US based, its first recruits were often international members clearly associated with NATO countries (Contessa from Italy, Percy Pinkerton from UK, Eric Koenig from W Germany, the last two obviously being Howlers). Of course, writers after Stan Lee didn't see to pick up on this, and SHIELD has been inconsistently portrayed. In my mind though, SHIELD was clearly a NATO analogue for spies under Lee/Kirby/Steranko.

Wow, thanks for pointing us to SHAEF and SHAPE. It makes the SHIELD acronym a lot less random sounding.

so mebbe Marvel should go talk to NATO about their Nick Fury movie instead of the Pentagon (i hope it'll be awesome, but there's clearly no way it could be nearly as good as Nick Fury: Agent of Shield starring The Hoff).

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey : chronocomic

The name that SHIELD is an acronym isn't spelled out in this story, but as Chris Durnell once pointed out, the name SHIELD is based on NATO prototype SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) and NATO's command center SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe).    Read More: Strange Tales #135 (Nick Fury)