T.H.U.N.D.E.R AGENTS #1
Written by Phil Hester
Art by Andrea Di Vito
Release Date: August 14, 2013
The T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents storm back into comics from IDW Publishing this week after spending awhile in the DC Universe. This issue definitely takes the squad back to the look and feel of their roots, but is that really that great of a thing?
Phil Hester puts readers right into the thick of things and is building what is being billed as a pretty action filled series in T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents. Readers are introduced to the veteran agents early in the issue and a dire situation with huge ramifications is presented from the get go. As this is the first issue of a team book, we really only get introduced to the team over the course of the issue, as well as the introduction of our regular-Joe hero, Len Brown. Brown’s blue-collar-past-to-world-saving-hero-in-less-than-15-pages adventure evokes thoughts of Bruce Willis in Armageddon, for all the good and bad that entails, and gives this comic a very strong Silver-Age feeling. Hester’s dialogue feels like it came straight from thirty-plus years ago, with generic dialogue, a predictable plot points, and an overarching story that feels like it has been told a hundred times. To bring a franchise like T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents into a brand new series with no new angle or trait to set it apart from any team book in the past three decades is a shame, and, sadly, quite a waste of time. The characters in this issue are too generic to attach to and the comics’ attempts to evoke a feeling of nostalgia just come across as tired and cliched.
The artwork by Di Vito suits the style of the story, and therefore suffers because of it. The pencils are clean, but there is absolutely no stylization or visual hook to keep them from being completely generic. The story reads like it is from the Silver Age, and these pencils are the same. The look and feel of this comic is like an 80s reprint that has been recoloured, and for a 2013 release that just doesn’t cut it. There isn’t a single panel in this comic that leaps off the page or is memorable enough to take note of. The artwork suffers from the same pitfalls as the script, and readers are left with a comic that just isn’t up to par with today’s standards.
Sadly, T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents lacks any of the energy, excitement and flair this title should be providing. Fans looking for nostalgia may find it within these pages, but any new readers will be disappointed by a serious lack of thunder.