Monday, December 29, 2008

Agents of Atlas and the New Nation

It's been too long since the Agents of Atlas mini-series. Their occasional appearances around the Marvel Universe have been awesome, but I'd completely forgotten about the idea that they're a bunch of good guys posing as a bunch of bad guys. They're the anti-Thunderbolts. Or the anti-Dark Avengers as it were. It makes more sense now that Marvel would launch their ongoing in the same, massive breath as Dark Avengers. (Not that I needed a logical reason for Agents of Atlas to be part of that launch; I'm just extra thrilled to be connecting the dots).

The Agents story in Dark Reign: New Nation is a beautiful piece of work. It's packed with stuff about the Agents' robbing Fort Knox and uncovering enough of Norman Osborne's plans that they want to know more. Ain't no doubt that an Agents of Atlas/Dark Avengers meeting is imminent, but even though the Dark Avengers sound lame (Iron Patriot?), I'd love to see Namora, Gorilla Man, and the rest of the guys be the ones to bring down Osborne. The story here does exactly what it's supposed to: gets me craving more.

Contrast that to the dreary, drowsy Secret Warriors story, which is nothing but Nick Fury reminiscing about Captain America for eight pages. No way I'm interested in an ongoing full of that kind of writing.

Or in New Avengers, if it's going to be more about the tragic love of Ronin and Mockingbird as shown here.

The Skull Kill Krew has a lot of life in it, but it's too '90s for my taste, what with its anti-hero whose arm turns into a giant gun and all.

I only bought New Nation for the Agents story, but if there's another one that gets my attention and makes me curious about the new series it's promoting, it's Greg Pak and Leonardo Manco's War Machine tale. I like both of these guys already and Pak has more than proven himself when it comes to bringing the awesome. Witness this short story in which War Machine has to fight remote-controlled polar bears.

If only I liked War Machine. But then, I wasn't any kind of Hercules fan before Pak got ahold of him either. My continued interest will be largely dependent on how much Marvel's charging per issue. I'll probably pick it up for $3, but I'm not going to four.

Edited to add: I meant to link to this interview with Jeff Parker about Agents of Atlas as long as I was talking about them, but I forgot. It's got preview pages from the new series, so you should go look.

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