Sunday, December 22, 2013
A Matter Of Life And Death!
The second volume of THUNDER Agents Classics from IDW is chock full of vintage Silver Age goodness. With artwork by a who's who of the time, the reader can feast on some of the core stories which created the myth of this Tower Comics phenomenon. Wally Wood continues on the lead feature, but finds more help from Reed Crandall, Mike Sekowsky, George Tuska, Gil Kane, John Giunta, and especially Steve Ditko and Dan Adkins. Many of the stories are credited to Steve Skeates, something of a surprise to me.
The real surprise is the key story in this collection which includes THUNDER Agents #5, 6, and 7 along with the debut issue of Dyanamo is a blockbuster tale titled "A Matter of Life and Death" written and designed by Dan Adkins, drawn by Steve Ditko and inked by Adkins and Wood. This is the story upon which much of the Agents reputation sits, the story which changed the game. Early in the series Egghead, a member of the THUNDER Squad died, but in this story one of the headline members of the agents meets his maker as Menthor is killed in action.
Unlike the ballyhooed and bombastically hyped "deaths" in modern comics which seem to occur on nearly a monthly basis, this demise was surprise. Heroes didn't die in the Silver Age, at least not mainstays like Menthor seemed to be. He was one of the original three THUNDER Agents before the advent of Lightning. Raven would hop onto the scene soon after, filling the void somewhat, but there was no denying the death of Menthor was a big deal in the Silver Age of comics.
Here are the covers of the issues included in the second volume.
And if you haven't yet picked up the first volume and want to read some wonderfully vivid Silver Age comics, I heartily recommend it.