Sunday, October 9, 2011
Atlas: Return of the Three Dimensional Man TPB
It is a crime against comics that a fantastic book like this gets cancelled while New Avengers sits at the top of the charts. Honestly, when I see that a fantastic, original, funny, and exciting book like this can't survive, it makes me mad. I clearly am not representative of the main comics-reading audience out there. This comic is nearly perfect.
Jeff Parker has been trying to sell us on his Agents of Atlas for a long time. I guess this was the last gasp, as he brought the team back for a Heroic Age relaunch. The 3-D Man (formerly Triathlon) joins up early on, and he's a great addition to the team. He's an everyman viewpoint for the audience, but he never seems out of his depth. I loved the constant call-backs to his important role in Secret Invasion. I'm sure most readers missed that too, but it gives 3-D some nice backstory, and he needs that to fit in with this storied bunch.
There are some wonderful story arcs in this collection; Venus takes on Aphrodite, we see the Uranian's true face, and man, seeing Mr. Lao in action was just breath-taking. And people won't even see this!
The back-ups from Incredible Hercules are stunning too. Parker sets this aspect of the story just outside the big Continuum story in Herc, but things still feel important. I think the Agents' attempts to sneak past the mythical guards is one of the funniest bits I've ever read.
The art more than holds its own in this fantastic collection. Gabriel Hardman's art is so spot-on and perfect I barely know which parts to mention. The enormous sea creature attacking the Golden Gate Bridge? The chimera and cyclops guarding a subterranean pass? Perhaps the tight action sequences as 3-D Man, Namora, Jimmy Woo, and Gorilla Man all use different styles to fight hordes of mind-controlled thugs.
Folks, if you don't like this comic, we need to have a talk.