THE WAR OF THE REALMS: NEW AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 / Writer: Greg Pak / Artist: Gang Hyuk Lim / Colors: Federico Blee / Letters: VS’s Clayton Cowles / Cover Art: Billy Tan / Publisher: Marvel Comics/ Release Date: May 8th, 2019
A Lot of New
Agents of Atlas is a new tie-in to the War of the Realms event. The comic introduces new characters, adapts gaming characters from Marvel’s Future Fight, and reintroduces old characters, all while creating a new team-up. They also all happen to be Asian.
The comic begins with two new characters, Wave and Aero, meeting in the middle of the ocean due to feeling danger there. Turns out they were drawn away as a distraction so that The Queen of Cinders can strike in Korea. Cut to former S.H.I.E.L.D agent Jimmy Woo running a training exercise for his students featuring Ms.Marvel, Brawn, Silk, and (a personal favorite) Shang-Chi.
We see that all is not good with our two Champions team members. Kamala no longer wants to work with Amadeus’s impulsive, selfish nature. She no longer trusts him. They get a call from Jake Oh that Malekith is attacking all over the world. Kamala heads to NYC to meet Jake Oh, leaving Amadeus behind. He and the rest of the new team head to Korea to help fight The Queen of Cinders.
The Complexity of Agents of Atlas
Even though this comic is complex, Greg Pak does a fantastic job of laying out this adventure in a way that effectively introduces everyone. There are many characters to meet and many power sets to demonstrate. The Agents of Atlas are many. Pak only scratches the surface of the new characters but manages to keep the reader entertained and interested. In Korea, we are introduced to Crescent and her magic bear Io, Luna Snow (who seems like a Korean Dazzler), and White Fox who is also in the current Hot Shots run.
Besides introductions, Pak’s focus in this comic seems to be on Amadeus’s current problems and how they can impact those around him. If you have not read recent Champions or The Totally Awesome Hulk books you may feel a bit out of the loop with this character. I know I want to pick these books up to acclimate better to Amadeus. The reader can still get the gist via dialog regarding past incidents and his current interactions.
Gang Hyuk Lim’s art is fantastic! The detail in each character’s face and the multitude of powers being showcased is well executed. The artist not only created the look of new characters, but also adapted characters from games and made sure the integrity of older characters was intact. It was especially impressive that the action in the book is drawn so well that it makes a reader feel they are there.
This great art works in perfect tandem with Federico Blee’s coloring. Having so many characters’ abilities to differentiate would not have been possible without the vast array of colors that Blee applies. He also manages to shift the feel of the book based on the array of colors used. We feel the cold in the ocean with the blues, which is then changed to the heat of reds in Korea. Then having the juxtaposition of both in the revelation of the last page makes the reveal all that more jarring. The coloring of Io, the magic bear, also popped in the firefight, catching the eye.
Agents of Atlas Will Be a Great Team
The themes of teamwork and what happens when people don’t work together is evident in Agents of Atlas. The artwork fully supports this idea in its cohesiveness. A deeper exploration into the new characters and a refresher on the old ones is needed, but I’m sure we will see that in future issues. We have yet to see how the new characters will fit with the established ones. Jimmy Woo has to bring these superheroes together to save the planet, and it’ll be interesting to watch.
There is so much more to say about how wonderful this book is. Overall, this comic was an amazing journey of action and new characters to love. Although the public focus is currently on this new depiction of Asian characters, I hope fans will realize race shouldn’t be an indicator of how amazing these characters are. Race shouldn’t be an indicator of how awesome (or not awesome) people are in real life either. That being said, representation matters! I’m glad that Marvel is becoming more inclusive with such a strong book! I have already put Agents of Atlas on my subscription list. I recommend you do the same. Great things are coming from this team.
Verdict: 5 out of 5