Thursday, June 23, 2011
DNAgents is possibly the single neatest title for a comic book series I've ever seen. The vintage Indy series from Eclipse came onto the scene at a fertile time in the history of comics, a time when lots of things seemed possible.
Mark Evanier is one of those ubiquitous comic talents, who like his partner on the DNAgents Will Meugniot, actually works on cartoons most of the time. The team these two created echoed the success of Marvel's X-Men and DC's Teen Titans at a time when this kind of comic was its most successful. Even more potent than the backstory of mutants in the Marvel Universe, the DNAgents told the tale of manufactured humans in a corporate environment that seems very real.
Will Meugniot in fact might be the best "Good Girl Artist" in the comic world with the passing of Dave Stevens. Meugniot designed a timeless babe in Rainbow and from what I've seen of his recent artwork, he's not lost an ounce of skill in portraying beautiful women. Of note also is Al Gordon, the inker on this project who gives Meugniot's pencils a real gloss. Mark Evanier is best known I guess these days as a former Kirby associate and Keeper of the Kirby Flame, and as half of the Groo team. But when I think of him, I immediately think of the DNAgents.
I've bought the DNAgents four times. I got the series when it first appeared on the stands all those years ago. I later traded away all my Indy stuff, so about a decade ago I bought all the issues again from the back issue bins. Then I picked up a small reprint of the first six issues titled "Born Orphans". Now I've picked up the black and white reprint of all the Evanier and Meugniot matieral titled "DNAgents Industrial Strength Edition".
This phone book-style reprint offers up fourteen issues of action alongside lots of sketches and ads and whatnot done by Meugniot. In fact that seems to the focus of this volume, all the DNAgents material by Meugniot in one place. That makes it very desirable for me despite having the orignals.
If you've never read the DNAgents I heartily recommend them to one and all. They are to some extent a product of the 80's for sure, but the story is a highly emotional one, and very compelling and climaxes in perhaps the coolest crossover in comics history. But I'll likely have more to say on that later.
Meanwhile enjoy this very colorful and creative cover gallery.
And even after he quit drawing interiors for the comic, Meugniot continued to supply some covers for the run.
Some years later there was this one-shot from Antarctic Press.
And here are several oddities. The Comic Reader cover is apparently the first public appearance of the DNAgents.
This is a cool bust out cover.
And here's an eye-popping bit of original Meugniot art for some cover or other.