Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Colonel Reviews Agents of ATLAS

Better late than never. Daron has provided us with his weekly Marvel review: Agents of ATLAS


“No one knows what the robot thinks.”

Agents of ATLAS is a story of loss, regret, redemption, reunion, friendship, loyalty, and a bunch of fun and adventure. It’s a self-contained new reader friendly story that has everything you need to know about the characters involved, and leaves them in a spot for new and exciting adventures by the end. While it’s not necessary to know anything about these characters beforehand, there are also clever bits inside for those who do.

The story opens with the origin of Jimmy Woo’s FBI team in 1958, then jumps to the present day at the end of Jimmy’s life. His old friends reunite to give him a new start, and they set about solving the case Jimmy was working on: the mystery of ATLAS. That’s the impetus of the story which rejoins the rest of Jimmy’s team, informing us of the individual character’s origins, motivations, fears, and desires along the way. Whether it’s Jimmy, Gorilla Man, Marvel Boy, Venus, Namora, M-11 the Human Robot, or even the villain Yellow Claw, you will know these characters by the end of the story.

In addition to Gorilla Man shooting machine guns using all four limbs, there’s Jimmy’s team fighting dinosaurs, zombies, robots, and the Village of the Damned. There are also great character bits throughout the series. Some examples: Rejuvenated Jimmy’s joy at finding his car and being astonished by the traffic patterns of the ‘future’, Gorilla Man explaining his origin: “I was running around the subcontinent when this witchdoctor cursed me… now I’m a gorilla. It happens.”, Marvel Boy’s decision to help his old friend resulting in his exile, Venus’ realization of what she really is, Namora’s loyalty to the only one who remembered her, and my favourite part they saved for last: the Human Robot’s origin. I still get choked up at those last two, and I’ve read Agents of ATLAS at least fifteen times now.

The collected edition includes the text back-ups from the individual comics, as well as a bunch of extras like character sketches and reprints of some early appearances of the characters. Jeff Parker & Leonard Kirk know what they’re doing, and thanks to Agents of ATLAS I’m willing to check out anything they do. As far as I’m concerned, this is how comics should be done. Agents of ATLAS is one of my all-time favourites and I happily suggest it to anyone who will listen.

So go read Agents of ATLAS, already! It’s AWESOME.

-Daron “The Colonel” Jensen

1 comment:

  1. You bet Uranus this is a good book!

    I actually went to the back of the book and read the old Atlas era comics of the characters before reading the main story. The stories were from the fifties and it was interesting to get the simplistic origins of characters that were probably no better or worse than any heros of the fifties. But of course almost any character can become great when revitalized by a skilled writer (except for Speedball.) The update was well thought out and tweaked just enough to make the Agents into a very interesting group of characters.

    Also I love that Marvel is bringing back some of their Atlas era characters and sort of creating an in between generation of characters to flash out the Marvel history between the golden and silver age. This book is one of the best Marvel has right now. Four thumbs up!!!