Monday, November 15, 2010

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1

DC's track record for reviving heroes who started out at different comics companies has been pretty shaky.

Over the years, DC has acquired (or published stories featuring) heroes from Quality Comics, Fawcett, Charlton, Archie, Milestone and now Tower Comics. There have been some great characters involved and a few minor successes along the way - Plastic Man, Freedom Fighters, Captain Marvel, Blue Beetle, the Shield and Static, for example - but no huge success stories.

The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents are the latest to make their return, and while it's too early to call it a big success, DC is certainly giving it a good shot.

They've hired one of the industry's most in-demand writers - Nick Spencer, whose comic Morning Glories is getting lots of attention (and positive reviews here as well).

The art is by someone named Cafu with inks by Bit (honest!). I'm not familiar with their work, but the art here is solid, with a good balance between action scenes and real-world discussions that illuminate the dark world of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, their opponents in the organization known as Spider, and lots of other mysteries.

This series is a far cry from the original incarnation of the group in the 1960s. While it had hints of a dark edge (the suit that gave Lightning his super-speed was also shortening his life span), it was mostly loaded with straightforward, hoo-hah action sequences that were lots of fun and way over the top.

This version is much more real-world with a dark edge - and there's apparently a connection to the characters in those original stories.

We barely meet the heroes this time around, but so far, I like this series. It's an interesting take on the concept and a fresh start for the team. I'm all for it!

Grade: A-


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