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A very new approach to espionage in the DCU that will leave some wondering if Nick Spencer is the new Jonathon Hickman… or is he just lucky?
T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents has a very long history, but has finally come to roost at DC Comics. Don’t let the superheroes on the cover fool you; they aren’t the stars of the book… yet. No instead the stars are the UN agency that’s in charge of Thunder. It follows the people that deal with the red tape and have to write the reports when a mission goes horribly array.
The story begins with one of those missions. Thunder is made of members that all have a codename/job title on the team. Raven has been abducted by Spider - - The evil organization that looks a lot like Hydra or Cobra - - The rest of the team has been sent to rescue him while they send in an undercover agent to bring Raven to the extraction point. Unfortunately for Lightning and Dynamo they’ve been lead into a trap that will cost them their lives.
The UN is forced to call in a salesman as they have been betrayed by their own inside man. The salesman’s job is to recruit new members for Thunder. Members that have been chosen by a human computer that has sorted through potential applicants to see which profile they fit.
Admittedly I have no history with Thunder or its previous incantations so I cannot judge the book with a nostalgic eye. I can highly recommend this book and tell you with all certainty that trying to explain the book will lose all of its charm and appeal. I’m still uncertain if Nick Spencer (Morning Glories) is the next big thing or if he’s just in the right place at the right time. Regardless, Spencer tells an interesting story from beginning to end that will have you turn pages as fast as you can.
The dialog is witty and sharp, but each of the characters has their own unique voice that makes the issue read like a intense TV thriller. What little action there was, was overshadowed by the dialog of the agents running the war room and the narration. The issue felt a lot like J. Michael Straczynski’s Supreme Powers not only in the story, but the art as well.
The art bares a heavy resemblance of Gary Frank’s art style, but penciler Cafu adds his own style to the mix. Cafu is really great with facial expressions, so much so that the characters don't even need their dialog at times to relay what they are feeling. Cafu’s art is extremely detailed, but lacks harsh lines making it easy for the eye to absorb the page’s beauty.
This book is probably going to stay under a lot of people’s radar, which is a shame because it’s one of DC’s best new titles. This truly is DC’s answer to the espionage titles from Marvel, but only time (and sales) will tell if it can go the distance. Personally, I think that this is a title that shouldn’t be missed so you may want to pick it up before the first issue jumps in value.
Story – 8.5
Plot – 9.5
Art – 9.7
Overall – 9.3