I had little interest in the new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents series until I read in a recent “DC Nation” column that it is to be a continuation of the original series rather than a re-start. That’s cool, I think. It inspired me to work my way completely through the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives series for the first time ever, if I finish it. Right now I’m in the middle of volume three, so wish me luck. By the time I finish, there will be a new archive volume collecting the 1980s series.

The first issue of the new series is (not unexpectedly) darker than the original, but it’s too soon to get a sense of where they’re going with it. I’m unfamiliar with the work of writer Nick Spencer, but the work of penciller Cafu reminds me a bit of Gary Frank’s. I don’t have much else to say about this series yet, but is anyone else reading it?

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The forthcoming Archives featuring the '80s material will be Volume 7.
Thanks Mike, for that ACC info. Another little corner of my childhood documented.
I read the preview on Ana's iPad. I thought it was pretty good. It was the best comic I read that day (which isn't much of a compliment as it was only better than Teen Titans, Knight and Squire and Project: Superpowers).
I couldn't even finish this issue. I like Nick Spencer's Morning Glories, and his Jimmy Olsen back-up is just hilarious, but this just came off as really dry, ordinary, and just plain uninteresting. Cafu's art wasn't bad.

I've been buying too many comics recently, so consider this one-issue try to have used up its one issue.

I'm really glad everyone else is enjoying it, though.
Wow, Figs, those ACC comics sound like a lot of fun! Man, to be 10 and have one of those monsters in my grubby hands!

As to THUNDER (sorry, it's late, so no periods, thank you), I'm really glad they've decided to launch it from the original continuity. And not, as some would assume, because I'm Silver Age Boomer who can't let go of the past, wah, wah, wah. No, it's because that's the only iteration that's ever had any success, and it was a unique mix of superheroes, espionage and The Office. And also because I'm genuinely burned out on reboots, especially after the execrable Superman: Earth One. I mean, look at all we went through after Crisis on Infinite Earths with re-writing the JLA origin, and the unusable Hawkman, and hiccuping Legion of Super-Heroes continuity and on and on. And yet, here in 2010 the DCU looks an awful lot like 1985: Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Krypto, Kara Zor-El (and Kara Zor-L), Wonder Woman a JLA founder again, the original Legion back, and so forth. And, wait, is that Aquaman and Mera back together? And a JLA satellite? Maybe it's 1975!

So yes please to a little foundation for a change. Why start cold if you don't have to?

And for the newcomers, in the original it was only Lightning whose use of the super-speed suit that limited his lifespan. The other two gizmos that THUNDER couldn't figure out how to reproduce -- the Dynamo belt and the Menthor helmet -- weren't lethal in the '60s, although they did have their drawbacks. For example, the Dynamo belt only lasted for an hour before it had to recharge. And the Menthor helmet gave you a code name that sounded like a refreshing breath mint. So there you go.

Also, the reason an 80-year-old scientist was in the Noman body was that he was dying, and it was sort of an accident. And the Noman project, like the other gizmos, couldn't be switched to anyone else after it had imprinted on someone. So we were stuck with Super-Codger-Android (who, it should be mentioned, had the Pinocchio schtick down pat before the Vision or Data came along). And, for the record, THUNDER DID get pissed off at how many bodies Noman kept wasting, especially toward the end of the original run.

I should also mention to those reading the originals that quality dropped off a cliff toward the end. Wood wasn't doing much at the art table, and Tower couldn't afford the big names any more. (Their problem, you'll be pleased to know, was distribution. They sold well where they were on sale, but Tower didn't have the clout for regular, reliable and comprehensive distribution.) Anyhow, you see a lot more Paul Reinman and a lot less Wally Wood toward the end, and some of the stories are ... well, awful.

And to whomever asked: Yes, Ditko did do some work for Tower. Ditko did work for everybody.


Jeff of Earth-J said:
Ditko did do some work for Tower, however, and I'm pretty sure it was on the Noman feature. Noman has got to be the most ineffectual agent ever.

They could change his name to Nouse.

I've not read the originals, but tried the new No.1 - didn't enjoy it, too much farting around with the timeline for me.
Now that I think about it, I believe Noman was spelled NoMan in the 1960s. But you could only tell in the logo, because dialogue was all caps.
Not to change the subject too much, but everytime DC puts out titles from other companies (Fawcett, Quality, Archie/Red Circle, Charlton and now Tower), I always feel that they only want them to succeed so much. They certainly don't want them selling as well as their characters. Why isn't Captain Marvel (no matter how they altered him) in the Justice League? Where is Plastic Man? Blackhawk? How come they're not in Freedom Fighters, too? The Mighty Crusaders? Practically unreadable! I believe the Captain was right! If DC wanted the Shield to be a major character, then have him interact with their major characters. And they couldn't license the Fly? With Time-Warner behind them? They give little pushes to the Web and Inferno and forget about the Comet and the Jaguar?

They have a DC Captain Atom, a new Question and a new Blue Beetle. But are they as good as the original versions? Because to DC, they're second-string, at best. It will be the same with the THUNDER Agents. Let Dynamo team with Superman. Have Lightning race the Flash. Let's see (or not see) NoMan work with Batman.

As long as DC doesn't want their investments to pay off, all these "extradited" heroes will be used sparingly and without hope of being considered important.


Philip Portelli said:
As long as DC doesn't want their investments to pay off, all these "extradited" heroes will be used sparingly and without hope of being considered important.

Look at how they've treated Red Circle and Milestone for an idea of where the THUNDER Agents are headed. It's like they're buying out all these other companies' characters just to keep anyone else from using them. Which makes no sense.
They have a DC Captain Atom, a new Question and a new Blue Beetle. But are they as good as the original versions? Because to DC, they're second-string,

I can see where you're coming from Philip, but I can't really believe that there is much of an ulterior motive.

Superman and Batman are a better Superman and Batman respectively than Captain Atom and the Blue Beetle, and were there before them to boot. Of course DC are going to favour them.

DC couldn't have done more for the new Question and Blue Beetle. They took risks with them and told great stories. Both look more like 21st century superheroes than their stablemates.

As for Jim Corrigan and the old Blue Beetle (forget his name - caucasian fella), they had good runs. In getting an end to his story and his torment, Corrigan got a lot more than the other saddoes on the merry-go-round. Reports of BB's death were of course, exagerated.

They've made Captain Atom central to a lot of DCU events over the last 10 years. In Captain Atom/Wildstorm Armegeddon he was the link between the DCU and the Wildstorm U. That's a big role to give him, as a fully fledged DC character, but its the readers he hasn't caught on with.

They are all just properties to DC, who would be wildly happy if any of them took off in popularity. It's the readers rather than editorial you should be complaining about.

I'm bemused myself at how they reboot these non-DC characters and then not use them properly, but that's tied up with all the other ways they keep diminishing the returns on their superhero empire.

Watchmen had the best idea - telling a novel-like complete story where time and death can do their nefarious work on vaguely familiar characters, but that goes completely against how the corporations wnat to use these characters. Moore cottoned on that telling a complete story with real stakes was the ONE thing that you can't do with Superman and Batman. And he created probably the most wildly successful single superhero story ever! Go figure.
True enough but Watchmen, as I hope we all know, was to feature the Charlton heroes but were soon changed to these now-iconic "vaguely familar characters". And yes Captain Atom has been used extensively. He was also mis-used extensively. Didn't DC want to make him Monarch? Wasn't he considered a villain during Final Crisis? The Blue Beetle became a "comic" hero, not to be taken seriously until his death was used to start this massive crossover. The Question's very identity taken over by someone from the Bat-books. And yes they were good stories but that's not the point.

It always seems that these transplanted heroes always get a strong push during their inaugural DC run. SHAZAM!, Captain Atom, The Question, The Archie Impact line as examples were treated as prestige projects but after their cancellations, they never got another shot at the main spotlight as opposed to Green Arrow, Aquaman, Hawkman, etc. Would DC put its top talents on, say, a Doll Man mini, a Black Hood series or ask Frank Miller to do Mister Scarlet: The Red Knight Returns!. Of course they wouldn't. They said that they were going to integrate the Archie heroes into the DCU. A Shield/Magog crossover was not what I had in mind.

I was always fascinated by the companies that DC bought their hero rosters from. I love learning about other Golden and Silver Age champions. Unfortunately it seems that there is a glass ceiling for them, IMHO. Would it be so bad to have the Shield or Phantom Lady join the JLA?


Figserello said:
They have a DC Captain Atom, a new Question and a new Blue Beetle. But are they as good as the original versions? Because to DC, they're second-string,

I can see where you're coming from Philip, but I can't really believe that there is much of an ulterior motive.

Superman and Batman are a better Superman and Batman respectively than Captain Atom and the Blue Beetle, and were there before them to boot. Of course DC are going to favour them.

DC couldn't have done more for the new Question and Blue Beetle. They took risks with them and told great stories. Both look more like 21st century superheroes than their stablemates.

I can understand your line of reasoning. Certainly, a lot of properties we've talked about have not been successful for years and years and years.

Except...

What about Static? Static Shock had a successful animated series for five seasons. Why didn't DC do everything they possibly could to capitalize on that? That series wasn't so long ago, and it's still in reruns. To my knowledge, there's been zero attempt by DC to do a Static ongoing, and while he has been in Teen Titans recently, there's just been little to no push that I've seen to turn him into a headliner.

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