Agent Dynamo is in the field for the first time as a powered agent, and he still has much to learn. Thankfully, for Dynamo and for T.H.U.N.D.E.R., he’s not alone out there… Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Or – “You’ve Been… T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Struck!”
Even back in the 1960s, Tower Comics wasn’t a huge player in terms of units sold or market share, but what they did have was amazing artists out the wazoo. Wally Wood, Gil Kane and cohorts made the adventures of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents visually stunning from the very first issue, and even 45 years later, that work still echoes. Now, a new generation of super-agents is ready to debut, but are they ready to deal with the repercussions of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agency? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
There’s a comic debuting this week that I’ve been anxiously awaiting ever since I first heard about it. Phil Hester is bringing back the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents! (Can’t wait!)
Recent news of the return of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents put a smile on my face, but the announcement of Jerry Ordway’s involvement left me giddy as a schoolgirl for most of an afternoon, a good mood that wasn’t fully squashed until I got sniped on another online auction. (Bygones.) In any case, I’m unclear if this latest iteration of the Agents is a continuation of the recent DC series or a different revival of the originals, but either way, I’m on board, despite the fact that I’ve now read at LEAST six different attempts to bring the heroes back, ranging from the sublime to the just plain awful to a one-issue mess from Solson that might as well have been labeled “Dark Knight Agents.” If I were to try to assess all those stories as belonging to a single continuity, I’d lose my mind (Hero Histories notwithstanding), but I’m actually kind of fine with there being multiple versions of the truth around my favorite super-hero super-spies, something that seems alien to my usual “Where Can This Have Happened?” thought processes. There’s just something about Tower Comics’ signature science heroes that makes me want to forgive the creators for all manner of sins…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) suspects that we might be hearing about the prequel trilogy and Sybok’s hijacking of the Enterprise today, asking: What characters or fictional worlds are you willing to follow anywhere, even if the stories aren’t quite up to snuff?
Or – “Man, I Don’t Have ROOM For All These Last Issues Of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents!”
Occasionally, I get all maudlin and pouty about the fact that some of my favorite comic series can’t keep a regular monthly title. I know that it’s a combination of factors, but I still want a monthly Agents of Atlas series, a monthly Secret Six, even a successful revamp of Archie’s Crusaders. (Fingers are still crossed on that one.) Still, even the succes of The Defenders doesn’t entire make up for having to once again bid farewell to the agents of The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves…
Or – “Inversion – Noun: A Reversal Of The Usual Or Of The Natural Order.”
Any given comic book series has a status quo. A talented writer can play with that status quo and make it interesting, and even a hack can convince us that ‘everything we know is WRONG!’ But once in a while, a REALLY good writer comes along and crafts that expectation into a compelling story. This issue tweaks one key element of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents history, one established in the very first panel of the very first issue, decades ago and changes everything we know about the franchise…
Or – “This N’ That With Rusty!”
Ever since the relaunch news hit, I (like many other fans) have been wondering about the status of fave-rave titles that haven’t been announced as part of the relaunch. While not as irritated as fans of Donna Troy, Cassandra Cain or the JSA, I was a bit trepidatious to see no news of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents in the new world. Thankfully, since the book isn’t part of the relaunch, it’s just going to skip big relaunch month and continue afterwards (which makes sense, as it doesn’t seem to be part of the DCU, as far as I can tell.) What all this means is, we get an answer to a question 45 years in the making: Whatever happened to The Iron Maiden?
Or – “In Which 45 Years Of Continuity Subtly Reappear…”
Being the type of fan that I am, my major concern with T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents has been where (if it all) it fits into the continuity of the older Tower Comics series, and previous continuations thereof. The first three issues have (probably wisely) focused on the new characters, but the reappearance of original agent NoMan last issue has brought us deeper into the world of T.H.U.N.D.E.R., and this issue answers most of my questions once and for all, while raising a few more troubling ones as it goes…
Or – “Whether To Burn Out Or Fade Away? I’ll Take Cake, Please!”
I’m super-psyched to FINALLY see the relaunched T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents after so many years on the MIA list. Forty years ago, the legendary Wally Wood and a cast of comics legends launched the team as a combination of the then-red-hot superspy concept (think James Bond, Napoleon Solo, Derek Flint) with the post-Batman-boom superhero industry, combining two great tastes that ended up tasting great together. After half a dozen failed revamps through the last 20 years, DC promised to give us a new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. team around 2000, but it failed to materialize till now. Will it live up to the hype in my brain? Let’s find out, shall we?
Or – “Hero Of Many Roles: Scientist… Superspy… Android… Island…”
The history of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents began with a scientist murdered in his lab, but Emil Jenkins wasn’t alone in his development of super-weapons for the United Nations Defense Enforcement arm. Other men worked tirelessly to create weapons of democracy for use in the brave new world of terrorist cells and metahuman threats to liberty, including today’s history entrant. The eldest and wisest of the Agents, his nature is unique among not only T.H.U.N.D.E.R. but among heroes in general. It is fitting that the man who was so key in the beginnings of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. be our final look at the team. The agent whose super-weapon makes him most suited to spycraft, he is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, downloaded into the body of Commander Data. This, then, is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Doctor Anthony Dunn of The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves… T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent NoMan!
Or – “Think “Mission: Impossible” Only With Awesome Red Blazers and No Peter Graves…”
The various inventions of Professor Emil Jennings allowed The Higher United Nations Defense Enforement Reserves to empower their agents with super-abilities for the new era of spycraft, but even before they branched out into supers, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. was overthrowing tinpot dictators and defending liberty around the world. Once Dynamo, Lightning and their ilk arrived, there were still old-school agents doing their thing, and the Best of the Best of the Best (HOO-AH!) was the elite T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad, the team who went in when all other options had failed. Each agent is master of many disciplines, and all can be counted on to not only outfight, but also outwit and out play those who would attempt to poison my brothers threaten democracy and the forces of good. This, then, is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Daniel John “Dynamite” Adkins, James “Egghead” Andor, Virgil “Guy” Gilbert, Kathryn “Kitten” Kane and William “Weed” Wylie of The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves… The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad!
Or – “James Bond With Wings…”
These days, it seems every super-team has a little bit of formula to its makeup. A leader, a tech guy, an airhead, a quipster, a loner, and fill in with your favorite other guys. Back in the day, though, there weren’t any such things as “the loner character” (mostly because there wasn’t a whole lot of character to be found in many superteams.) The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents set a number of precedents with their team, foreshadowing the modern tendency for heroes with feet of clay, the fascination with spycraft and intelligence work, and even the use of gadgetry rather than exotic radiation (The Marvel method), alien intervention (The DC method), or magic (The “We Had An Idea” method.) to empower their heroes. Today’s entrant is unique, even among his peers, as having been a top-notch secret agent BEFORE he became a super-agent. Sure, Guy Gilbert spent his time in the field, but he wasn’t knee-deep in lasers and all that. Len Brown was an accountant, John Janus was a two-fisted manly man, and even Professor Anthony Dunn (a story we’ll get to sooner or later) was a thinking man first. Our subject today lives in a world of fog and shadows, where shades of grey are the norm and honor is hard to find. With the help of another tricksy gadget, though, he gets to do what most of us only dream of… But can you fly away from a life lived in ambiguity? This, then, is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Craig Lawson of The Higher United Nations Defense Enlistment Reserves… T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent Raven!