Thunder Agents: The Overlooked Treasure of Wally Wood

I'm am curious how many of us are closet Thunder Agent fans.

Is there a website or a thread here that deals with all things T.H.U.N.D.E.R  related?


Where does one go to learn more about this failed Wally Wood experiment?

(I miss my childhood.))

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Here's a blog post from Commander Benson.  Deck log no 17. "The death of Menthor" or somesuch. I can't enter links on this device so you'll have to hunt it down.  There is also a link to a previous discussion in one of my replies below it.

Here's a link. I have the Thunder Agents Archive Editions, but I have not yet started reading them. I did read some back in the 80s, reprints and newer material. I liked them enough to buy the Archives.

I like the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents as well. I was first introduced to them from the short-lived revival in the '80s. My brother got an issue or two and I really liked them. I bought a couple of issues of the original series a number of years back. Then I also bought 2 or 3 of DC Archives.

Also a few years back TwoMorrows published a T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents companion. I bought it, but unfortunately I have yet to read it. It got packed up in a move, and I haven't dug it out to read it.

I see I asked a few questions on the commanders blog that were never addressed... :-)

The further you go in that TwoMorrows book, the more depressing it becomes.  There seemed to be some kind of a curse onm the series in the 80's & 90's, and each sucessive revival had more and more bad luck attached to it.

Maybe all those people would have been better off just coming up with their own new concepts, instead of dragging the bones of long-past series?

The writing in the Tower comics could certainly be uneven, but the art was just as well. The high points were so dazzling that they overshadowed the serviceable or lackluster art by John Giunta, Chic Stone (I know some like him; I never warmed up to his pencils), Manny Stallman (an acquired taste; I eventually came around to really like him), Ogden Whitney, etc.

That said, I looked on the unevenness as a feature, not a bug. The variety of it made for an entertaining package and kept it from being one-note, never getting stale. There was enough of a loose continuity to hold the package together, and all of it held my interest until the next Wally Wood story turned up.

My favorite character was NoMan, who seemed like less of a retread than the other heroes in the lineup. I hadn't previously seen another character who could be killed and then live again in the body that he had riding shotgun in his car! The elegance of the concept was blunted by the fact that he was given the invisibility cloak, and there was only one of them to be shared by all his bodies. That meant if he got buried in a rockslide, he couldn't simply switch bodies and move on from there with no consequence; a crew would have to be dispatched to dig out the cape! Plus, he'd get memos reminding him that those bodies were expensive to replace! This element of follow-up/tidy-up actually added to the enjoyment for me. It gave a sense of the bureaucracy that was attached to the character.

I haven't written much about Tower, and I should do more. I wrote a short article many years ago about them in general, and I did a longer column on UNDERSEA Agent and included Menthor in a big article I did on key SA deaths. But that's not much, considering the various options.

I actually have a good collection of Tippy Teen comics, but there's not really that much to say about them. There weren't many continuing themes or pivotal stories. The characters weren't all that memorable either. Even so, there's bound to be at least one column in all those guys.

Heck, I did a column on Bunny, so Tippy and her fab Teeners shouldn't be TOO tough.

-- MSA

It would appear from the covers of Tippy Teen that a big element of the appeal are the head shots of Herman's Hermits and other British pop idols. I recall Marvel had a very few Beatle references or appearances... but this publication seems aimed right at that teeny bopper age group for girls!

There's not a whole lot discussion-wise to be said about Tippy Teen. If you slipped one of those into a stack of Archies, you could read down the stack and never notice.

From a personal standpoint, it was my admiration of the work of Sam Schwartz that led to my 20-year ongoing stint at Archie Comics, so I enjoy his work there, here and anywhere else.

The first story in the first issue of Tippy appears to be Harry Lucey inked by Sam Schwatrtz, a combination I don't think I'd seen before, so that was a nice surprise and it looked good.

The Tippy spin-off title, 'Go Go and Animal' centered on characters who appeared to be clones of Midge and Moose, which was slightly interesting since those characters never got their own title at Archie (Moose and Midge worked better as plot devices than as characters). But, Animal wasn't quite as strong, dumb or jealous as Moose, so the experiment didn't get a fair test. 

Tippy got a life of sorts beyond Tower's demise. Her stories were reprinted at Atlas Comics around 1975, retitled 'Vicki.'

You know, I thought you had made a typo in that title until I cut and paste it into the GCD and found that is the ACTUALLY cover title/blurb.  Unbelievable.

George Poague said:

Too bad that by the time Marvel parodied the THUNDER agents in "Not Brand Echh" (as the BLUNDER agents), it was just about over for the Tower line -- except for the immortal Tippy Teen, of course.

Also too bad a '60s paperback collection was called "Dynamo, Man of High Camp."

Whoever put those paperbacks together clearly knew nothing about the characters, and probably not much about comics. On the NoMan cover, they had the Warlord speaking as though he was NoMan. Dynamo was colored incorrectly on both covers he appeared on. And somebody came up with the dopey title. 'The Terrific Trio' for the paperback featuring Dynamo NoMan and Menthor.

By the way, DC also parodied T.H.U.N.D.E.R. in an issue of The Inferior Five, so they were definitely on the radar of both the majors.

I just found out that IDW now has the rights to the THUNDER Agents, which is really fast movement from DC!

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