We were all taught that the first group of superheroes to emerge from the Marvel Universe was the Fantastic Four. We were taught wrong. Before the Avengers, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, there was a group of superheroes from the 1950’s who secretly banded together to answer their nation’s call for assistance in relation to the kidnapping of the then US president Eisenhower. A gorilla, an alien, a secret agent, a mermaid, a robot, and a goddess. The Agents of Atlas.
I picked up the first issue of this mini-series, written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Leonard Kirk, out of curiosity. I seldom venture into picking up books featuring characters I’m not familiar with. These characters are from the 1950’s Marvel comics. I was definitely not familiar with them before the news of this mini-series’ launch hit. I was so freakin’ glad I felt experimental that day. The mini-series is magic.
The mini-series is now over. And I’m so happy I became a part of the circle of comic readers who thrilled to the shenanigans of Gorilla Man, the pure strangeness of Marvel Boy, the quirky leadership of Jimmy Woo, the elegance and power of Namora, the enigmatic existence of M-11, and the enchanting beauty of Venus. With all the adventure, humor, action, and pure fun of this book’s six issues, I can say that this is how all comics should be done. Pure entertainment driven by its creators’ passion for the characters and the story.
Kudos for a job well done to Mr. Kirk and Mr. Parker! I hope the Agents will find their way back into the limelight soon, whether it be in the form of an ongoing series or another mini-series. Heck, I’d pick up any issue of other titles if the Agents guest-star there. I have read a lot of mini-series before, but this one takes the cake. Bar freakin’ none.
And on a side note, it has just occurred to me that the “Parker” who placed a comment in my previous post may have been the real deal. I may have to look into that one because if it is indeed Mr. Parker who read my stupid blog, I’ll be giddy as a school girl in a boy band concert.
And now, for this week’s haul:
52 #36: I’ve been waiting for months for the big throwdown between Lady Styx and the heroes Lobo, Starfire, Animal Man, and Adam Strange. I expected a war. This week, the throwdown went… uh… down, and I’m mildly dissatisfied. Sure, we see the return of the good ol’ Lobo and we witness the anti-climactic death of Animal Man, but still. I dunno, maybe I just expected a full-scale war of attrition between the two groups. Meh. This week is good for The Question fans, though. The no-face dude may actually have a chance to survive terminal cancer. We also get to see Rip Hunter for the first time in the series. He’s building the Chronosphere with the help of Supernova, who may or may not be Booster Gold. Yeah, Booster’s dead, but hey, this is comics. And oh yeah, a talking crocodile appears too. Krikey.
I give this 3 out of 5 sun-eaters.
Agents of Atlas #6: The final issue of probably the best mini-series of my comic book life. The truth about the Atlas Foundation is revealed, and it took me by surprise. This is probably the most unexpected ending of a story I have ever read. No violent showdowns. No villainous monologues. No explosions. Just a major revelation about the true nature and purpose of the Foundation and Jimmy Woo. He is the heir to the Genghis Khan empire (yes, that Genghis Khan). In effect, Woo now controls probably the most secretive and powerful organization in the world. Allied with a Uranian, a human robot, a talking gorilla, a siren-turned-goddess, and the queen of Atlantis, he can do a lot of good in a global scale. We also get to see the origin of M-11, which is both touching and creepy. Kudos again to Mr. Parker and Mr. Kirk! Here’s to another mini-series, or hopefully, an ongoing. Cheers!
I give this 5 out of 5 talking dragons.
Justice Society of America #2: If Agents of Atlas #6 wasn’t released this week, I would have made this my book of the week. It’s just so well-written and well-balanced. The theme of the book, which is upholding and respecting superhero legacies, is very evident in this issue. The scenes between Wildcat and his newly found son are subtle, but not boring. The art is so freakin’ nice. Dale Eaglesham draws some pretty fine ladies. And who knew Stargirl had braces?! So cute. And hot. But as hot as Stargirl and Maxine Hunkel are, I just have to give the best panel of the week to the return of Hawkman. He just comes out of nowhere, driving a bad dude through a freakin’ table! Speaking of bad dudes, it looks like the JSA will be kicking nazi butt next issue. Nazis suck. Now, regarding that dude on the cover? He’s from the Kingdom Come parallel universe. Or so we are told. Interesting.
I give this 5 out of 5 superhero costume sewing rooms.
New X-Men #34: “Mercury Falling” part 2 of 4 shows us a glimpse of the first time Mercury’s mutant powers manifested. She was a hot redhead cheerleader before. Now, she’s a hot X-Men-in-training redhead made of mercury. Paco Medina’s pencils remind me of Olivier Coipiel. Me likes ’em a lot. As usual, my new imaginary girlfriend, X-23, is so badass. She kills a couple of drones, blows up a grenade strapped to Kimura’s belt (Kimura’s also a badass hottie), and kills a goon because he can’t provide her any more information about Mercury’s whereabouts. Hardcore. Rockslide provides a very funny scene which leads to a question about who will win in a fight between him and the Young Avengers’ Hulkling (who’s gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just sayin’.) which I think is a homage to the old fanboy debate “who will win in a fight between The Thing and The Hulk?”
I give this 4 out of 5 devoured mutant elephants.
Runaways #23: I don’t want to sound like a perv (or more so than usual), but this week provides me with a lot of hot young nubile chicks to look at. There are mutant chicks and JSA hotties, and upon seeing the first few pages of this issue, we get to see a hot almost-lesbian scene between Karolina and Nico. Hot. Anyhoo, Chase’s plan is not actually the plan I was thinking he had in #22. I thought he’ll be sacrificing Nico to bring back his dead girlfriend, who’s not at all hot. He’ll actually be sacrificing himself. Thanks to the voice/s in Molly’s head, the rest of the Runaways learn of Chase’s plan and they set out to stop him or whatever. Molly is one of the best comic relief in comics today, in my opinion. This is the penultimate issue before Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, the creators of this book, leave and hand the reigns over to Joss freakin’ Whedon. It’s a bittersweet transition for me since BKV and Whedon are two of my favorite writers. Ever.
I give this 4 out of 5 gay superheroes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Thunderbolts #110: “Justice, like lightning.” Sounds corny, huh? Well, it is, in my view. But that’s where my complaints about this issue end. From the opening scene where Bullseye is “interviewed” by Norman “The goddamn Green Goblin” Osborn, to the last scene where I get the feeling Jack Flag will be so dead in the next issue, the reading experience guarantees that the book will be included in my pull list. Wait, I think I have one more problem with the book. Yep, it is a problem for me. Norman Osborn is based on the likeness of Tommy Lee Jones. WTfreakin’F?! The Thunderbolts action figures scene is a hoot, though. It’s presented like those old G.I. Joe toy commercials. The T-Bolts figures beat up a Captain America figure, who the advertisement refers to as “another terrorist masked man on the loose”. I’m not a Mike Deodato fan, but I think his art here is not so bad. Can’t wait for the beatdown Jack Flag’s gonna get. He’s so screwed.
I give this 4 out of 5 Thunderbolts Mountain playsets.
I’m kind of sad that Agents of Atlas is done, but I have the feeling that this isn’t the last time we’ll see this motley crew of heroes. Now, excuse me while I try to find out if Jeff Parker stumbled upon my blog in the past week. It’s gonna be the ultimate ego booster. If it’s just a cruel doppelganger, I’ll just re-read the whole Agents of Atlas mini, after which I shall cry myself to sleep.