Surprise! Marvel's got a new SHIELD - and they're kinda evil
Fantastic Four #700 by writer Ryan North, artist Iban Coello, colorist Jesus Aburtov, and letterer Joe Caramagna mainly focuses on Doctor Doom as he sends himself into a timeloop attempting to bring back the missing Baxter Building, which is currently displaced in time by one year.
Doom's story is a poetic tragedy befitting the unquestioned monarch of Latveria. But it's the last few pages of Fantastic Four #700 (which is also Fantastic Four #7, thanks to 'Legacy Numbering') that hide a particularly interesting new development for not just the Fantastic Four, but the entire Marvel Universe.
Spoilers ahead for Fantastic Four #700
In the last few pages of Fantastic Four #700, Nick Fury Jr. (son of the original and the Marvel Universe's current top super spy) meets with Maria Hill, who is currently the head of the CIA in Marvel Comics.
By the way, the pages are sneaked in at the end of Fantastic Four #700, even after the letters pages - a veritable Nick Fury stinger scene.
There, Maria unveils an extremely illegal side-hustle she's cooking up with the aim of policing superheroes - a new incarnation of SHIELD, to replace the original which disbanded in 2017's Secret Empire crossover event.
Hill's new SHIELD illegally diverts funds from the CIA for a secret operation (something that has definitely only ever happened in comics and never once in the real world). Though he hasn't had a chance to give an answer, Hill invites Fury into the new, very secret, very very illegal version of SHIELD.
The original SHIELD was introduced in 1965's Strange Tales #135 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, with an acronym meaning Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage and Law-Enforcement Division.
That was later updated to Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate. And in the MCU, as well as some other sources, SHIELD stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Now, as of the founding of Maria Hill's new SHIELD, the acronym stands for Super Human Intelligence: Extra-Legal Division - and it's apparently all geared up to snoop on the Fantastic Four in the coming months.
Fantastic Four #8 goes on sale June 7.
The only thing Marvel Studios needs to do to get the Fantastic Four reboot movie right is look directly to comics for inspiration.