Tuesday, January 18, 2011

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #3

Three issues in and this series continues its slow reveal.

This issue focuses on one of my favorite T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, the blue-skinned android named NoMAN.

As originally conceived, he was a hero who couldn't be killed. If something damaged or destroyed his android body, his mind was shifted into a "spare" body. That made him the perfect agent to tackle any dangerous assignment.

Add to it his iconic look - blue skin, eyes always in shadow - and his invisibility cloak, and he was a formidable force.

This issue takes us back and forth from the modern-day attempts to bring NoMAN back into action for T.H.U.N.D.E.R. to glimpses of his history with the organization.

There's a lot going on here that we don't know about - and an especially dirty trick by writer Nick Spencer to bring NoMAN back - but it's another clever issue with a great twist at the end.

The art is split by era and by artist, with Cafu handling the modern-day events and the legendary Howard Chaykin handling the flashbacks, and turning in incredible work as always.

I'm not sure how most fans of the original series will feel about this book - it's very different in style and substance. But if you know that going in, I suspect you'll enjoy this series - it's smart, sneaky and full of surprises.

Grade: A-


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