Thursday, 20 August 2015

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS AT 50...

Images copyright IDW PUBLISHING

I became aware of this anniversary publication over at RIP
JAGGER's DOJO, and someone I know gave me a copy to
swell my ever-expanding collection.  Lovely-jubbly.

Unfortunately, I can't risk opening it wide enough to scan
in order to display the colourful interiors, but trust me - even
if you already have the contents in other collections, it's still a
great little publication to have in celebration of the first ap-
pearance of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS back in 1965.

So what are you waiting for?  Cut along to your local
comics shop and buy a copy today.  You won't regret it!


Phil said...

I have vol 1 and 2. I assume this has the later Gil Kane stuff that should be in vol 3?

Kid said...

This is just a 68 page Special, Phil, and doesn't have any Gil Kane. It's got lots of good stuff 'though and is worth having.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

My first encounter with THUNDER Agents was in the ALan Class series of comics I loved Wally Woods art I may check this one out it looks nice

Kid said...

If I recall correctly, McS, that's how I first encountered them as well. I've got all the DC volumes of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, plus a few original issues. I think you'd love the Special.

TC said...

I had a few of the originals: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #7, Noman #1, and Undersea Agent #2. And I remember the Deluxe and JC Comics issues in the 1980's.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. was a product of its time, and its tie-in with a specific fad may have killed it. When the spy-fi craze ended in the late 1960's, so did Tower Comics.

In Inferior Five #1, they met the H.U.R.R.I.C.A.N.E. Agents: Powerhouse, Missing Fink, Yellow Streak, Mr. Mental, Blackbird, and Tabby Katz. (They also met Caesar Single and Kwitcha Belliakin, the Men From C.O.U.S.I.N.F.R.E.D.) And in Marvel's Not Brand Echh #2, Knock Furious, Agent of S.H.E.E.S.H., fought the B.L.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

Kid said...

If T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents had been published by Marvel and scripted by Stan, it would probably have survived, uninterrupted, to this day, I think. The comics had great art, but the scripting was uninspired - even superficial to an extent. I've got Noman #1 myself. I don't think that Undersea Agent was part of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. universe at that time.

TC said...

Undersea Agent may have run as a separate back-up strip in some issues of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, but, AFAIK, there were no crossovers or team-ups. Not in the original 1960's run, anyway. IIRC, Lt. Davy Jones may have appeared briefly in one of the 1980's attempted revivals by JC or Deluxe.

I believe T.H.U.N.D.E.R. might have lasted longer if it had been published by Marvel or DC and edited by Stan Lee or Julius Schwartz. As it was, the different writers seemed to work independently from each other, with no coordination and little supervision. It wasn't so bad if different strips had different styles, but the same strip would vary in style and quality from one issue to the next. Some stories were straight superhero adventures (like Silver Age DC), some emulated Marvel (more character development), and some, naturally, were influenced by the spy movies and TV shows (Bond, U.N.C.L.E., Flint, etc.).

Also, the premise was inherently imitative. Basically, what if the Fantastic Four had been U.N.C.L.E. agents. No need to buy an imitation Marvel comic when you already had the real thing.

Kid said...

Undersea Agent isn't in any of the actual issues I have, TC, or featured in the DC or IDW reprint volumes, so I suspect the connection was retroactive in one of the revivals. I think ads for UA appeared in the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. books, but that seems to be the only connection.

I agree with your assessment 100% on the quality of the strips. Had Nick Fury been their boss, then things would really have been cookin'! (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. could have been a sub-division of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Phil said...

Wood was the brains behind it and sort of hit a peak too early. The death of Mentor was a real highlight but after that it was sort of .... Hey anyone got any ideas? Anyone? Also I think Don Heck on Lightning was a real head scratcher for me. He really didn't draw fast looking characters. His heroes looked like they were made of granite. I'm sure that's not the reason the title ended though. I do love me some Len Brown punching a dinosaur in New York though.

Kid said...

Even the death of Menthor story is lacking something 'though, Phil. The dialogue and captions just don't have the emotional range that Stan Lee would have given the strip, and the tale is dealt with in rather a perfunctory fashion. So it seems to me anyway.

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