Tuesday, June 5, 2018

When Is A S.H.I.E.L.D. Not A S.H.I.E.L.D.?

A very good question...

...and when even Stan can't understand why they did it, well, it says something.

(And yes, the letter-writer--or the editor--left out the e's: Espionage and Enforcement. Give yourself a No-Prize)

Oh, they gave an in-story reason for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s name change--after the original S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated by rogue LMDs, it was disbanded, and the UN created a new agency that just happened to have the exact same acronym for a name. Because that way the UN didn't have to pay for new patches for all the uniforms, I guess. (Also, because trademark preservation is important, of course.)

But that's in-story. I've never heard a real-world reason why it was necessary or desirable to change what the damn initials stood for. Why, after 25 years, it was important to change the name that Stan and Jack came up with and that thousands of fans had memorized, and replace it with the obviously inferior one that Bob Harras (the S.H.I.E.L.D. writer at the time) or whoever came up with.

And it's now been 30 years with the "new" name. Aren't we due for some young turk to rename S.H.I.E.L.D., to mark their territory and leave their imprint in the Marvel Universe?

So, don't be surprised when a post-Secret Empire S.H.I.E.L.D. forms, calling itself the Sublime Holistic Interdisciplinary Emirate for Logical Destruction, or whatever. Come up with your own--it still won't be better than Stan and Jack's.

By the way, Wikipedia lists the following "related" organizations:
3 Related organizations
3.1 A.R.M.O.R.
3.2 H.A.M.M.E.R.
3.3 S.P.E.A.R.
3.4 S.T.R.I.K.E.
3.5 EuroM.I.N.D. and S.H.A.P.E.
3.6 S.T.A.K.E.
3.7 S.W.O.R.D.
3.8 W.A.N.D.
Get cracking, kids--replace all of those acronyms with hipper, "better" ones!!

From Avengers #20 (1999)


JohnnyBob said...

'Enforcement'is there.

Return your no-prize.

SF said...

"Enforcement" is there in the first one, but it's AFTER the L, so that doesn't help. Wikipedia says:

Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division


Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate

.... err, if they're right that means ALL of you are wrong -- the letter writer, snell, and you. I'm probably wrong too, just to be thorough.

Daniel said...

What about the TV series?

Maria Hill: What does S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for, Agent Ward?
Grant Ward: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Maria Hill: And what does that mean to you?
Grant Ward: It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out "S.H.I.E.L.D."

snell said...

Please read more carefully, JohnnyBob. The "E" is left out of each version of the acronym. Espionage is missing from the first version, Enforcement is missing from the second version. "Law-enforcement" is indeed present in the first one, but that is the basis of the L, not the E.

I never claimed a No-Prize for myself.

SF, let's not forget that it may well be the editor's fault.

Warren JB said...

"Get cracking, kids--replace all of those acronyms with hipper, "better" ones!!"

It makes me feel tired to think people already went to the effort to dream them up, let alone re-jiggering the words that make up the acronyms.

JohnnyBob said...

I will read more carefully in the future. My eyes are just tired from scrolling through endless Kid Eternity strips.