Monday, 6 July 2009

Agents of Atlas #7

I tend to sort each week's comics into reverse reading order, i.e., the ones I'm expecting least from at the top of the pile, to be read first, and the ones I'm most looking forward to at the bottom of the pile. Evidently I am a delayed gratification kinda guy. Well, relatively delayed. Anyway, Agents of Atlas has been steadily moving its way down the pile since the ongoing series launched at the start of the year. I liked the original miniseries, but I wasn't expecting too much from the ongoing. I figured I'd give it a few issues, see how it went. It's turned out to be quietly brilliant.

This latest issue is a case in point. We get a main story set underwater and involving Atlanteans, which, as any regular comics reader will tell you, traditionally spells tedium. Here, however, there are great jokes (Gorilla-Man's sarcastic quips), misdirection passed off as tentacle soft porn (the Venusian's fascination with a gigantic plant-creature relates back to his lascivious encounter with an anemone last issue, but is actually something else entirely), and a Namor who, for once, isn't a complete tool. We also get some really lovely art, courtesy of Garbriel Hardman and colourist Jana Schirmer. Hardman's very much in the Born Again Mazzuchelli/Michael Lark/John Paul Leon school: proper drawing, in other words. Writer Jeff Parker also manages to cram in a sub-plot harking back to the miniseries, some great characterization and character interaction, and a back-up story that dovetails neatly with the main feature.

So yeah – Agents of Atlas #7: a bloody good comic.

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