Saturday, 17 May 2014


Images copyright relevant owners

TOWER COMICS' T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS was an inter-
esting experiment, but one, ultimately, that didn't quite work.  For-
get, for a moment, the rosy glow of nostalgia in which people fondly
recall these comicbooks of the 1960s - looking at them today,
they somehow just don't completely cut the mustard.

True, there's some great artwork from WALLY WOOD and
STEVE DITKO (amongst others), but Wood often used assistants,
and despite the classic inking style that he applied to these strips, the
figures were - even when supposedly in motion - oft-times stiff,
stilted and static rather than in fluid state of movement.

The dialogue was likewise nothing to write home about.  Despite
modern-day claims by fans of the series about 'characterization' not
found in other comics of the day (apart from MARVEL), any attempts
at characterization were superficial and perfunctory, and the dialogue
served merely to move the plots along without imparting any great
insight into the motivations or personalities of the characters

However, the mags do have an indefinable 'magic', despite some-
times coming across as second-rate Marvel knock-offs, and full marks
to DC COMICS for releasing a six volume series of deluxe, hardback
reprints from 2002 - 2005.  A seventh volume containing all five issues
of DELUXE COMICS' 1980s revival was released in 2011, six years
after the previous volume and obviously as an afterthought - or an
attempt to make some bucks from the material before DC passed
copyright of all T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents strips over to IDW.

Unfortunately, the seventh book in the series lacks the combin-
ation gloss-matt dustjacket finish, and the strips seem to have been
scanned from the published comics rather than printed from proper
proofs;  also, instead of the matt paper utilized in the earlier editions, a
glossy paper has been used, highlighting (in my estimation) the slightly
less than perfect reproduction.  The paper is also thinner, resulting in
the book appearing less substantial than its predecessors, despite
having an approximately similar page count.

IDW are currently issuing their own softcover editions of these
classic strips, with nicely painted covers based on Wood's originals,
but I think that the DC Comics printings pip them to the post.  There-
fore, I thought I'd present the front and back covers for all of you
Criv-ites to enjoy.  So what are you waiting for?  Start enjoying!

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