HERO HISTORY: U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. Agent

by

Or “He Needs Either A Tambourine Or A Locker!”

The one universal truth about government agencies is that there are always subdivisions, sub-contractors and related departments whose jobs remain unexplained to all but the most knowledgeable of operatives.  So it is with T.H.U.N.D.E.R.  The job of Defense Enlistment Reservations (or is that Enlisting Reserved Defenses) takes on many forms and many guises, and even consummate professionals like Dynamo, Lightning and The Raven can’t be everywhere at once.  Thus was formed U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A., the United Nations Department of Experiment and Research Systems Established at Atlantis.  Where T.H.U.N.D.E.R. handles trouble on land, U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. handles trouble on the other 3/4 of the planet.  Today’s entrant, like his brethren before him, is a seasoned professional whose credentials prove him to be one of the most talented operatives on the planet, but even he couldn’t be prepared for what waits under the sea.  (And it ain’t Princess Ariel, Faithful Spoilerites.)  And unlike Dynamo and the rest, he did most of his super-soldiering as a solo act.  This, then, is your Major Spoilers Hero History of David Jones of The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves…  Undersea Agent!

 

Lieutenant David Jones’ super-career started in a very unusual way.  An ace pilot, he was stunned when his superiors ordered him to sink one of the Navy’s own aircraft carriers!  Following his orders, Lieutenant Jones returned to base, only to find the explanation more complicated than he could ever have imagined…

Those shadowy skin-divers in the foreground aren’t there just for show, and Davy is quickly taken into custody and frogmarched (or at least frog-swum) to an advanced underwater experimental station where Santa Claus a man named Doctor Weston reveals that they manipulated events to bring him specifically to Atlantis.  Weston has created the station as an answer to the problem of overpopulation, allowing man to move beneath the waves when space up on land finally gets too scarce for human survival…

 

Worse than that, though, Weston has a counterpart, an evil researcher known only as Doctor Fang who is as obsessed with the lost land of Lemuria as Weston himself is with Atlantis.  Weston has planned for this contingency, however, creating a suit that will allow a man to survive underwater, drawing oxygen straight out of the seawater, swim at ridiculous speed, even resist the pressure of the deepest oceanic trenches.  Professor Weston even has a name for the man who will combine all these devices into one arsenal of freedom…

With the help of his ensign, a cool cat named Skooby, and a mysterious femme fatale, Undersea Agent engages agents of Doctor Fang in mortal combat.  He is overwhelmed and captured, and U.A. is brought into the court of Fang himself.  Given an audience with the man, Lt. Jones can’t help but act like Pink on a night out with the girls and start himself a little fistfight…

 

 But, so what?  He’s a rock star T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent!  Fang’s minions and his base are destroyed in the ensuing chaos, but the man himself escapes to perpetrate his evil along the way…  Doctor Fang retreats to another base where he counterattacks with another fiendish plan:  GIANT OCTOPI!!!  But Undersea Agent isn’t afraid of a couple metric tons of potential sushi…

It takes a special kind of man to shove a grenade down the beak of a giant cephalopod and just stand there and wait for the results.  Fang’s plot thickens when it is revealed that the octopi are actually complex battle-wagons designed to undermine and destroy all that Atlantis and U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. hold dear.  Undersea Agent successfully sabotages Fang’s personal octopus (Have you heard my new band “Fang’s Personal Octopus?”) and blows the madman to smithereens.  But on his next mission, something even stranger occurs…

After getting zapped by both radiation and an electric eel, the interactions with Doctor Santa’s special power-suit leave Davy empowered beyond human ken!  Transformed into a powerful electromagnetic generator, Undersea Agent is even more adept at his appointed rounds.  He quickly learns to use his powers for both attack AND defense, something for which his partner Skooby Doolittle is very much appreciative…

His new powers make Lt. Jones more versatile as well, allowing him to become an underwater Erik Lensherr, and to oppose freaks like Tyro (a former minion of Doctor Fang himself) whose displacer ray, a device that would disintegrate him and his friends.  Davy also uses quick thinking to turn the tides against his new enemy…

 

Like T.H.U.N.D.E.R., U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. is also a scientific and exploratory organization, and Lt. Jones rides along as Weston investigates sightings of a giant purple beast called a “Panther Whale” (not to be confused with a Tiger Shark.)  They set out to find and capture one of the beasts for study, only to have their craft destroyed by a school (a pod?  a herd?  a frassum?) of Panther Whales, all out for blood.  It falls to Undersea Agent’s wits and observation skills to pull their fat out of the fire, with nary a superpower in sight…

When U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. is infiltrated by enemy agents with evil intent (planting bombs throughout the Atlantis complex) everyone is left flat-footed.  It falls to Davy Motha#&@in’ Jones to figure out what is going on, cowing the bad guys with a berzerker rage worthy of any hirsute canadian mutant…

 

Davy races against time, tracking the device to a locker (Davy Jones?  Locker?  Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?) in the complex, but he’s just too late to defuse the thing.  Adam West might know that some days it’s impossible to get rid of a bomb, but that’s only because Batman lacks massive electromagnetic energies coursing through every fiber of his being…

 

You have to love it when a plan comes together.  Still, Tony Stark will tell you that sometimes the outfit is what makes the man…  But even when bereft of his special suit and ancillary gear, Undersea Agent isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty with a little spycraft and two-fisted action!

Sure, he’s a hero day after day, but Davy’s heroic exploits also inspire others to brave actions.  When his partner Skooby sees Davy’s medal of honor (for saving a submarine crew from certain death) he becomes obsessed with being a hero himself.  Unfortunately for young Master Doolittle, it swiftly becomes apparent that being a hero like Undersea Agent isn’t as easy as it might have seemed.

 

Things get even more dangerous when it is revealed that the latest threat to the oceanic way of life comes from beyond space!  Aliens have established a base beneath the waves to try and take over our world (for some reason.)  But they never counted on UNDERSEA AGENT!  Lieutenant Jones has a saying for times like this: The only good alien is an alien with a fist in his face.

If you bring the fight to Davy Jones, Davy Jones brings the fight to you.  With another agent of U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. at his side (the mysterious Merman) Undersea Agent undertakes a mission to bring the fight right to the invader’s doorstep!  Next stop:  Planet Venus!  Battle, inevitably, ensues.

Merman assumes command once they’re on Venus, but it’s Davy who does most of the heavy lifting, not only fighting against the alien invaders on their own turf, but saving Merman’s gilled neck from being a Venusian entree!

 

The alien mothership is blown to smithereens, and our bubble-headed protagonist returns home the conquering hero.  That adulation doesn’t last, though, as another mad scientist skulks out of the woodwork with another evil plan, this one involving a near-copy of the Atlantis base, and an android duplicate of Undersea Agent with more power than even Lt. Jones himself!

Even a new and improved version of himself isn’t enough to fell the might of the Undersea Agent!  Indeed, Professor Weston soon after develops a process to increase Undersea Agent’s own strength and power to superhuman levels.  The only problem is, it might have side-effects or even be (gulp!) fatal!  Do you think that U.A. hesitates in testing this new device?

You bet your sweep bippy he doesn’t…  The process isn’t entirely successful, but it seems that Davy does gain some additional power from it.  And when he is captured in a secret underwater prison camp?  Why that’s the time to test out an experimental growth serum to make him TEN FEET OF AMPHIBIOUS FURY!

Clearly, this lesson here is a simple one:  You DO NOT #$&@ with Davy Jones.  After serving extensively with U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A., the Agent who shares their name finally chose to leave Atlantis and head for dry land to meet up with his turf-based counterparts in T.H.U.N.D.E.R.  He is just as versatile in the use of his powers and as ingenious in finding solutions in the air as he was underwater…

And when Agent Lightning falls to reserve status (due to the extreme aging effect of his speed-suit, as seen in his own previous Hero History) it is Undersea Agent who takes his place in the field team.  When a mercenary called Captain Energy (who is, to be fair, a powerful schmuck, but a schmuck nonetheless) tries to wow Davy with his electromagnetic wizardry, Undersea Agent is somewhat less than impressed…

POW!  Right in the kisser!  Much as the Legion had their odd Five-Year-Gap reality (now, sadly, removed from continuity) the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents had their own time anomalies as well, so that the next time we see the Agents in action, we do see Undersea Agent.  But instead of DAVID Jones, the team is joined in battle by a young lady named TRACI Jones.

The new Undersea Agent follows in daddy’s footsteps, possessing his joie de vivre, his thirst for adventure, and his electro magnetic powers.  Unlike her father, though, Traci isn’t nearly as versed in spycraft and back-stabbing, and finds the life of a T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent to be somewhat more difficult to accept…

The reasons behind her father’s absence aren’t ever made entirely clear, but there are some strong hints given as to what might have happened to Davy and why his little girl would have taken up his role with the team…

Many of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents were designed with the specific intent of duplicating specific superhuman abilities in the real world.  Undersea Agent’s role is that of the Sub-Mariner/Aquaman seafaring stranger from beneath the waves, but his personality couldn’t be contained in that particular mold.  Always ready to stand up to challenge, ready for any threat, and indeed, having no fewer than five origins, Lieutenant Davy Jones shows that you don’t have to be a dark avenger of the night in order to be effective as a hero, or indeed to be entertaining as one.  His legacy carried on even after he left the spotlight, and indeed, his career as a solo operative was the longest of all of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. super-agents.  No matter the situation, no matter the threat, Undersea Agent was ready to respond with a magnetic blast or a well-placed fist, thinking on his feet and fighting his way to victory…

(I can’t believe I made it all the way to the end without mentioning Micky, Mike and Peter!)

**If you’ve enjoyed this Hero History, you might want to ‘Read All About It’ at your Local Major Spoilers! You can just click “Hero History” in the “What We Are Writing About” section on the main page, or click the handy link below for more T.H.U.N.D.E.R. goodness.

Dossier: T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agent Dynamo
Dossier: T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agent Lightning
Dossier: T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agent Menthor
Dossier: T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agent Raven

The adventures of Undersea Agent can be found at your friendly local comic book store (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents has been published by Tower Publications, by JC Comics and by Blue Ribbon Comics, as well as several other one-shot companies) and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents original appearances have been reprinted in a hardcover archive series as well. They come highly recommended with the Matthew seal of approval.

Next up:  Hmm…  We’re nearing the end of our T.H.U.N.D.E.R. retinue, but before we wrap up big, we’ll take a look at the team that makes the super-squad even more super.  Everybody needs a backup group, and even Lightning had to start somewhere.  Join us as we go in-depth with THE THUNDER SQUAD!