T.H.U.N.D.E.R. (And Perhaps Lightning) In The Forecast On The Wednesday Run – November 30, 2011

I know a little about a lot of stuff: Giorgione’s enigmatic The Tempest, the inherent danger of the Genesis effect, the musical production career of John Leckie, the top goal scorer of World Cup ‘82 and the differences between the names Vic Sage, Charles Victor Szasz and Rene Montoya.

That said, I know very little about T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

For example, I just learned that the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. acronym stands for “The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves”.  That’s a mouthful. We’ll stick to the short form from here on in. Also, I just learned that this comic has been around in various forms of publication for forty-seven years!

Don’t feel bad if you missed it too.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
Written by: Nick Spencer
Illustrated by: Wes Craig
DC Comics

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents began life under the Tower Comics banner in 1965 under the auspices of writer Len Brown (who came up with those Mars Attacks trading cards) and legendary artist Wally Wood. It was a series of its time, following in the footsteps of James Bond and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The team, working, of course, for the United Nations, was comprised of super agents – each with their own power: Dynamo (super strength), NoMan (sentient robot with an invisibility cloak) and Menthor (heightened mental powers, etc. Tower Comics died and the property made the rounds with various owners over the decades that followed.

And now here we are. At DC. Who have been publishing the title, off and on, since the turn of the millennium. So why pick up this obscure series now? For me, it’s the writer.

Last year, Nick Spencer, known for his critically acclaimed series Morning Glories (recently reviewed positively here at Biff Bam Pop!), took the seemingly madcap idea of a bunch of heroes under the umbrella of a crazy abbreviation, working for the UN to solve issues that regular super heroes never hear about and turned it into a comic fans darling.

The series’ raison d’etre? Find a purpose – become a super hero.

The fine print? The powers will kill you.

Yes, there’s always fine print when you’re dealing with multi-national organizations.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (of six monthly issues) picks up right where last years’ series ended. Don’t let that worry you. There’s a 240 page softcover compilation also out today that will bring you up to speed. Talk about timing. It’s like DC planned it that way!

Look for big names in the business to be contributing cover artwork as well, including the likes of: Andy Kubert, Frazer Irving (a personal favourite), Dustin Nguyen, Rafael Albuqueque and others. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. has, for one reason of another, regardless of decade, always seemed to attract top talent.

Yep, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents looks to be a lot of fun – so make a lightning-like run today and pick the book up. Old time superhero/government agency shenanigans are just what’s needed this time of year.

Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!

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