Title: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
Author: Nick Spencer
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: November 10, 2010
Ever since DC Comics acquired the rights to publish the old THUNDER Agents issues from the mid-1960’s, DC has also tried to relaunch the series in a modern setting. The THUNDER Agents lasted 20 issues are were originally published by Tower comics. The team of heroes was actually an extension of the United Nations, and acted on their behalf in securing the world from grand threats. You know? Basically what super-heroes always. The series was notable for its depiction of the heroes out of costume dealing with their real lives as well as being drawn by Wally Wood, one the best of his day, and one of the craziest comic book illustrators of the last 50 years. Seriously. The dude was nuts. But I digress. DC Comics has just launched a new monthly series written by up and comer Nick Spencer, with art by CAFU and glorious covers by the incomparable Frank Quitely.
The core team consists of the original NoMan and a team of new heroes wearing the classic THUNDER Agents costumes, so this series is not a straight up reboot of the original. DC has brought the THUNDER Agents into the DC Universe much in the same way the Milestone characters were brought in a few years ago, but as many of you know, that wasn’t very interesting. Afterall…those Milestones characters really suck. So was the introduction of the THUNDER Agents dealt with any better?
I must say a resounding yes! This issue only really scratches the surface of what’s to come in this series. It seems as though flashbacks will be utilized to get a certain portion of the story out, but not the whole thing, and the conspiracy theories will abound. The THUNDER Agents deal with threats to Earth that are beyond the regular UN Security council purview. In reality, they do superhero stuff but not on a cosmic level. In fact, I question the reason behind having the THUNDER Agents in the DCU at all. I’m hoping that the world they inhabit is one of the parallel Earth’s (one of the 52) where all the super-heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman don’t exist at all. In this first issue we don’t see any of those people, so you never know I guess.
I thought the story was quite compelling. I know we are only one issue in, so the story hasn’t really had time to breathe, but the way this first issue was presented, it really reminded me of the recently completed DV8: Gods and Monsters 8-issue series by Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaac’s, wherein the body of the story took place at an earlier time. I haven’t read anything by this Nick Spencer dude before, but I have heard some rumblings of good things coming from him. This issue proves that those rumblings were spot on. CAFU, the regular penciler, is not all the way new to me, but from what I’ve seen in the past, he or she has really stepped up their game. The art is clean and crisp and really displays shades of Gary Frank, one of DC Comics absolute top talents. If you’re going to ape someone’s style, there is hardly anyone better than the great Gary Frank.
This issue was good enough that I put the series onto my subscription list right away. I’m really hoping that the next “Authority” is in our midst. It’s been years since a series really challenged us to take a deeper look into the souls of our icons. What did you guys think? How does it compare to the original series from the 1960’s or any of the countless rehashes attempted over the years? Do you also think that Wally Wood was crazy? Let us know in our handy comments section J .