Jeff Parker knows how to write. For some of you out there, this is an article of faith in your comic collecting. For others, you may still need some convincing. Case in Point: Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1.
I enjoyed this book so much that it wasn’t until later that I realized it’s just a generic team-up story. In fact, it’s essentially a team-up story that he’s already told (see the X-Men/ Atlas crossover). The beats are boilerplate: two (or more) seeming unrelated incidents fielded by two (or more) separate teams. Everyone converges for a battle and team up. What makes this standard story any good is Parker’s handling of both teams. Each character has a distinct and fitting voice. No one on either team feels out of place.
Because Parker has mastered the Five Magics, I was having too much fun and enjoying the book to notice that this story structure was old when Gardner Fox used it to invent the JSA.
Even the backup story is worth reading (it ought to be for the $3.99 cover price). Namora stars in a story that Aquaman doesn’t even have the stones for.
Outside of Jeff Parker, Gabriel Hardman does an outstanding job on the art in the main story. The lines are thin and crisp. The color washes are muted compared to most appearances of these four color heroes. The main reason I love the look of this book is that it reminds me exactly of Jackson Guice’s run on the sorely underrated Resurrection Man.
I know Hardman’s been doing AoA for a while now, but this was the first time it hit me why I like him so much.
If the $4.00 price scared you off, man up and get this book. It’s worth it. It’s well paced, well written, well drawn, and well colored.
In other Parker news, I found a copy of his Starbrand #1. It was in the half dollar bin, and it comes from that brief period when Marvel thought they were going to revive New Universe. I know nothing about the original Starbrand. I don’t really care about New Universe. This issue was enjoyable though. It also served as a good solid introduction to the idea and the character. Worth picking up if you find it cheap.
I also found Angel Love #’s 5 and 6. That this series made it past the first issue astounds and impresses me enough to need to find the rest of these…gems?
That wraps up my latest week in the wilderness of not having a regular comic book shop.