Avengers Vs. Atlas #1 (Marvel Comics)
by Jeff Parker, Gabriel Hardman & Takeshi Miyazawa
Marvel’s apparent confusion over what to do with Jeff Parker’s Agents of Atlas is frustrating for those of us who enjoy the property, and fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have dulled the writer’s enthusiasm for the characters. Once again, he offers up a fun adventure with some colorful, retro enemies for the heroes to combat. Parker’s script links this latest meeting with the Avengers with a previous one in the cancelled-too-soon Agents of Atlas ongoing series and the recent X-Men Vs. Agents of Atlas limited series, but at the same time, the storytelling isn’t mired in continuity and previous events. In other words, it’s accessible; Parker even incorporates a succinct explanation of the Atlas Foundation into the dialogue. The time-travel element at the centre of plot promises a lot of cool Silver Age elements in this series. However, the premise also strikes me as a bit too reminiscent of the Avengers/Invaders limited series of 2008, which also saw super-heroes from the past being drawn into the present to fight/team up with heroes of today.
I was pleased to find that this four-dollar comic also features a back-up story, a solo adventure starring Namora. It’s a fairly typical sea hero-versus-the-nasty-whalers plot; we’ve seen this fare before. But it’s diverting and enjoyable in its traditional approach. More importantly, it’s nice to see that Parker and his editors have ensured that the reader gets more value for the extra buck with these extra eight pages.