Agents of Atlas 4 (July 2009)

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Parker brings his two stories together to great success, even if Clayton Henry’s art is uglier this time around (last issue they seemed to be going some kind of connection to Pagulayan’s–here it’s clean and bright, kind of like art on action figure packaging).

But, again, Hardman’s art makes up for it. Parker ties his two stories together with a nod toward Brubaker’s recent Captain America flashbacks–seeing Gorillaman in a Brubaker and Epting Cap scene is a little nutty and not at all played for humor, Parker’s way too subtle for it (which makes him a little different from Marvel’s last wunderkind, Dan Slott)–but also with a hint at the depth of the future stories. It’s Levitz’s ABC method, only applied to Marvel (but in a very pre-Didio DC way).

The issue ends with everything brought modern, which gives it a lovely feel. Parker’s just fantastic.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Dragon’s Corridor, Part Three; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Gabriel Hardman; colorist, Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser; letterer, Nate Piekos. Inside America; writer, Parker; artist, Clayton Henry; colorist, Jana Schirmer; letterer, Piekos. Editors, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Agents of Atlas 3 (June 2009)

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Frank Cho likes women with big bottoms, Clayton Henry likes women with big foreheads. To each his own. I thought Henry was one of those CG artists, but maybe not (didn’t he do that Venom/Carnage limited, the awful one by Milligan?). Anyway, I hate saying it, but I really missed Pagulayan’s grandeur this time around.

Thankfully, Gabriel Hardman is still doing the flashback art and the flashback is the primary story this issue. The split is basically the same–the flashback has this intriguing compelling story, the present day one does some “Dark Reign” lip service but also does some real character moments (this time between Namora and Venus).

There’s some momentum on the “Dark Reign” tie-in building, along with the title tying into the bigger Marvel Universe (is a Bucky Captain America cameo the Marvel equivalent of a Superman cameo or a Batman cameo? Wolverine’s Batman, right?).

B 

CREDITS

The Dragon’s Corridor, Part Two / Interlude at Sea; writer, Jeff Parker; artists, Gabriel Hardman and Clayton Henry; colorists, Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser and Jana Schirmer; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Agents of Atlas 2 (May 2009)

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Good grief, it’s good.

I’m not actually sure what’s going on with Jimmy’s whole Norman Osborn deal (all indications are it’s a fake-out), but Parker gets in a ton of character development. One quibble has to be how much Parker expects his reader to remember the original limited series. I guess it’s been six or seven months since I read it, but I’ve forgotten some of the nuances in the character relationships.

This issue, Parker integrates the flashback story, running it concurrent to the “Dark Reign” tie-in. I figured, given that format, the two stories would tie together, but I’m not sure. Maybe Parker’s just trying to get readers hooked (though I can’t imagine Atlas would appeal to Marvelheads who buy anything with a “Dark Reign” tag on the cover).

Again, Pagulayan’s art makes the lead story feel a bit overdone. It’s fine art, but it’s definitely awkward.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Sale / The Dragon’s Corridor, Part One; writer, Jeff Parker; pencillers, Carlo Pagulayan and Gabriel Hardman; inkers, Jason Paz and Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser; colorist, Jana Schirmer; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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