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Agents of Atlas Paperback – January 21, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; First Edition edition (January 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785122311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785122319
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,118,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
During the 1950's, Atlas Comics (a name that Martin Goodman's pre-Marvel comic book line was known as) published many comics primarily in the genres of Westerns, Romance, Monsters and Horror. A few attempts were made to produce Adventure-type comics with recurring and mostly forgettable characters, like Venus, the villainous Yellow Claw, Marvel Boy and a female version of the Sub-Mariner, named Namora.

In the late 70s - Marvel did a one-shot comic featuring these forgotten characters plus a faux 50's type hero (3D Man) as well as 2 characters from Horror/Monster stories, Gorilla Man and M-11, the human robot (I can't make this stuff up!). The team was presented as sorta of a secret Avengers-type team that was soon forgotten.

Forgotten by most, but not writer Jeff Parker. Parker somehow convinced Marvel to allow him to do a six issue mini-series more or less flowing out of the events depicted in this esoteric comic. The series was very aptly named Agents Of Atlas.

Typically, second-banana or obscure characters from the pre-modern era are revived for a modern audience by discarding much of the silly and off-beat aspects of their earlier incarnation. Parker, however, embraces their past and makes it work in a contemporary setting, without abandoning the simpler almost nonsensical 50s style. It's a smash up of genres, pulp action hero mixed with spies and intrigues, camp monsters and a liberal dose of cheesy science fiction. Unbelievably, it works. Its not a deep, angst-filled exploration of anything, but a decent fun story that entertains and entertains without insult.

Leonard Kirk's artwork is not ground-breaking, but is more than adequate to match the needs of Parker's story-telling.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fine example of how amazingly fun and literate revisionist comic books can be. Granted, the characters here were originally little more than filler-fluff, even in the way too filler-fluffy Fifties, as the collection readily shows in the reprints of their initial appearances. But together they make a solid team with interesting characterization and fabulous dialogue, easily on par with the best Avengers and JLA stories of recent years. I truly hope Marvel decides to do more Agents stories; there's a rich backstory now that could develop and produce more fun comics. This is a sterling collection with enhancing and intriguing extras; all in all, a great package and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Agents Of Atlas trade paperback was a very enjoyable read. If you enjoy things in the same vein as Project Superpowers, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, or The Twelve, then I am sure you will most likely find this story very entertaining.
This is a handsome, extras filled package by marvel in both Hardcover or Soft cover.

The story centers on an odd group of superheroes from Marvel Comics "Atlas" years, the late 40s and 50s. The story is about Jimmy Woo, 50s spy and now aging Shield agent who is involved in a mysterious operation that goes awry and leaves him for dead. But unknown to everyone else including Shield, Jimmy was once the leader of an unlikely team of heroes that answered directly to Eisenhower. The team included Marvel Boy, Venus the Goddess of love, M-11 the Human Robot, and Ken Hale the Gorilla Man. In trying to uncover what happened to Jimmy Woo and his ill fated mission, the team is once again revived. Also revived is their old enemy The Yellow Claw. Over the course of the story all the individual characters origins are revisited in entertaining detail. Some characters are the same; some discover revelations about themselves that they had not counted on nor the reader for that matter.

Writer Jeff Parker weaves a wonderful yarn and has really done his homework on these great obscure characters. The story he tells spans from the post war days of Namor and cousin Namora in 1947 through the 50s, and up to present day. Leonard Kirks art is enjoyable and easy on the eyes.

The trade paperback reprints Agents of Atlas issues 1-6 and has some nice extras. Plenty of text that goes in depth about the stories origins, how the project was developed and profiles on the individual characters in the story.
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Format: Hardcover
In 1978, I was blown away by What If? #9, in which the "1950s Avengers" raced to save President Eisenhower from the clutches of the evil Yellow Claw. While I was already well-versed in the standard Marvel heroes of the time, I had never heard of such Golden Age characters as Human Robot, Gorilla Man, Venus, and Marvel Boy. They made quite an impression on me (also thanks to story editor Roy Thomas' copious footnotes) and when they turned up briefly in Kurt Busiek's AVENGERS FOREVER, I was thrilled. So now we come to 2008, and I finally pick up the hardcover collection of AGENTS OF ATLAS, which brings these formerly-alternate-timeline characters into the standard Marvel Universe of today, and what a treat it is.

Other reviewers here have adequately summarized the plot. I'll just join in by saying it was a wholly entertaining read. This is the first work by Jeff Parker that I've read, and I can say that I'm willing to try more. Thankfully, the story doesn't overdo the "we're so cool" factor of many team books. This is a true group of outcasts, and they act like it. Sure, I may be biased by my prior exposure to these characters, but this is an excellent follow-up to their original appearance, and Parker made it easy for me to love this story. Leonard Kirk's artwork is exceptional - seriously, he's THE perfect choice for this title. It's very realistic work with excellent layouts, and his character designs are superb. So like I said: 30 years, and the wait was definitely worth it.

Most of all, I have to give Marvel a thumbs-up for including not only What If? #9, but solo appearances from various Golden Age comics. All this extra material tops the book out at a thick 256 pages, and when you consider the price, that's a steal of a deal. I have relentlessly bashed Marvel in the past for their outrageous trade paperback prices, but this gives me hope that they will even things out with their hardcovers.
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