Saturday, August 23, 2014

NoMan Is An Island!


More utterly wonderful THUNDER Agent action in this fourth installment of the reprints from IDW. Hopefully, despite the cool response they've gotten to new adventures, the folks at IDW will finish this out. These reprints are beautiful.

This one showcases my favorite agent NoMan. The idea of a an old man who injects his mind into an army of potentially immortal androids and who uses a cloak of invisibility is fantastically rich stuff. Of course the other agents are around, especially Dynamo and Lightning.

Apparently Tower Comics hit a snag after the publication of the first NoMan comic and several months pass before we get another trio of comics from the company. I don't know what caused the hiatus, but I doubt it was part of some master plan.

The superhero and spy fads which sparked the creation of the THUNDER Agents was beginning to wane a bit and despite the push to expand with new titles, the folks at Tower might've begun to see the whole enterprise was becoming less tenable. We'd get only two issues of NoMan's self-titled comic, both here in this one volume, and only one more Dynamo after the one included here.

The artwork in these is a veritable who's who of Silver Age greatness with notable efforts by Gil Kane, Ogden Whitney, John Giunta, Manny Stallman, Chic Stone, George Tuska, Dan Adkins, and of course Wally Wood. The scripting for these stories is largely uncredited, but Steve Skeates does appear many times.

It's perhaps easy to say that the high point of the Agents has already passed by this time in the series, and there's validity to that assessment. But nonetheless these are hearty Silver Age yarns, and pretty entertaining to boot.





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6 comments:

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    1. White is not the obvious way to go. DC and IDW both streamlined it away a bit, making the costume a unitard of sorts.

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  2. I've got the DC Archive editions, which are very nice, and I love the IDW painted covers, but when I looked through one in my local comicbook store, I was less than impressed with the glossy paper they were printed on. I prefer the matt paper that DC used in their first six volumes (but not the later seventh).

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    1. Cash flow problems at the time of those archives kept me off them, despite their virtues. I too prefer the flat stock to glossy, but I've always thought a trade paperback sat in my lap for reading more comfortably than the archives. It's a small thing I admit.

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  3. The covers Wood worked on had a beautiful cold silence to them. Even some of the ones that took place on terra firma, like the NoMan scene pencilled by Williamson, felt like they were in outer space.

    And what an elegant way to depict invisibility.

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    1. It sure beats little disconnected lines. I was never all that pleased with how Marvel represented the Invisible Girl's powers. This is much better.

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