Agents of Atlas has always been a team of characters from unrelated stories, but all of which are mighty good at pulp adventures. Enter a new version of the team thanks to writer Greg Pak and artist Nico Leon. They’re superheroes from around the globe, joining forces for Agent Woo, one of the original members of the team. Five members originated in Asia and four in North America, but together they are the Agents of Atlas.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This issue is a good jumping on point as far as what this team is about and who their leader is with the added bonus of an Agent of Atlas classic team-up in the backup by Jeff Parker and Carlo Pagulayan.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you dig dragons you’re going to love this issue. In the main story, the heroes are up against one of the last dragons that entered our realm during the War of the Realms. In the backup, a dragon also appears. It’s not a coincidence as Parker and Pak are building towards something. Speaking of building, the main story does a good job of establishing a new technology that could revolutionize the world. This company ends up having a connection to the Agents of Atlas’ first battle and it’ll get you thinking.
The main story also offers up various characters and personalities well enough. Amadeus Cho (who goes by Brawn now) is clearly the main character. He’s the leader of the team and it’s realizing being the leader isn’t the best job. That’s the main thrust of what this team is about in this first issue, although there’s a bit of romance hinted at too.
The backup is great fun if you like the classic Agents of Atlas stories. It features Venus, Uranian Man, Gorilla-Man, and 3-D Man on a mission in the jungle. I forgot about Venus’ power to, as Gorilla-Man puts it, “hornt up” the bad guys, which is a highlight of their adventure. It has a classic feel while also cleverly tying into the main story.
The art teams do a good job in different ways. Leon, with color artist Federico Blee, capture facial expressions and superhero fighting well. When a character flies in and smacks a dragon across the chin you feel it. The backup by Pagulayan, inks by Jason Paz, and colors by Dono Sanchez-Almara have a robust realistic feel that is strong on the realism. Skin tones look great and the art is very in-your-face in an Arthur Adams sort of way.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The main story focuses too much on Amadeus Cho with most of the other characters on this team sort hanging around in fights. For a team book, there isn’t much interaction between characters, making it difficult to understand the dynamic of this team. As it stands, the book captures Cho’s current dilemma of being a leader, but the rest of the characters seem sort of uninterested about being on the team save for Silk’s presence early on.
Is it good?
This first issue shows how this series is a perfect melding of superheroes and adventure storytelling. The first story is all about the supes while the backup delivers on the classic Agents of Atlas adventure-style story. Pick this one up to get a different flavor in your pull list.