As a newcomer to comics, I found myself trying to get immersed in every interesting title that crossed my path. At first, I started with the well-known titles — Spider-Man, X-Men, Teen Titans, Aquaman — but before long, unfamiliar titles began to catch my eye. They weren't as famous as the Justice League or The Avengers, but by my assessment they deserve far more attention and appreciation.
Among those titles, I find myself eagerly anticipating the day when we will finally see the Agents of Atlas come to the big screen — or hopefully, we'll get to have a weekly dose of their amazing adventures with a television series. Of course, you could probably think of five or so other heroes or hero groups that you'd love to see in action first, but before you count these guys out, let me fill you in.
To start, each of the characters on the show has this amazing history: they originate from stories generated in the '50 and '60. And while the team's individual members have fallen short of continued solo fame, their team has persisted even as far as last year, 2015, when the Agents of Atlas had their own Secret Wars one-shot comic (which, by the way, was amazing).
A prime example of this enduring legacy would be one of two female members on the team, Aquaria Nautica Neptunia, who goes by the name Namora (for her relation to none other than Namor the Sub-Mariner). As her name suggests, she is perfectly adapted to surviving underwater depths, with the added bonus of winged feet, which allow her to fly like her renowned cousin. Most impressive of all, though, she has similar strength, and thus she serves as the Agents' resident tank.
One of her closest allies on the team is the mysterious M-11, called the Human Robot. It was created to be an unstoppable fighting force, and even ended up killing off its maker in the process, but along the way it developed the ability to think, reason and feel like a human. While it rarely speaks, and has been given to use of deadly force a times, it has been proven invaluably loyal to the team.
The tech assigned to the maintenance of the robot M-11 has his own fascinating story to tell. Bob Grayson was born from a man who fled the horrors of the Holocaust, to the planet Uranus. Being raised on a colony there, Grayson learned about advanced technology and alien life forms. There he started a career as Marvel Boy, and would eventually become The Uranian, who uses his amazing telepathic abilities, genius scientific expertise and flying saucer to help Atlas.
And then there's Kenneth Hale, the closest thing that the group could consider a soldier. There's one thing you'll notice about him right away: He happens to be a couple-of-hundred-pound super strong gorilla. And this is not the story of some gorilla taken from the wild and gifted a human intellect by morally gray science; Ken Hale was transformed into Gorilla Man by an African curse. If anyone else should kill him, that same ageless simian immortality will pass on to them.
Let's not forget — there's also Venus. That's right; to the casual observer, it might appear that this team has enlisted the help of a goddess. In actuality, she is a mythical siren of old. And while she does not have the full powers of the divine at her disposal, her hypnotic voice is often enough to render some of the most sane and resilient minds into absent-minded fools in love. As such, she is often deployed as the first line of defense, to prevent unnecessary hostilities.
Last, but most certainly not least, is the fearless leader of the team, Woo Yen Jet (a.k.a. James Woo a.k.a. Jimmy Woo). He started off as a run of the mill FBI Agent in the '50s, who eventually found his way into the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. More interesting still, after 50 years he discovered that one of the main villains he was pursuing had actually been somewhat working on his behalf all along! When returned to the prime of youth in the '00s, he gives an endearing lost-in-time vibe à la Captain America.
As you might have noticed, this bunch of characters couldn't have come from more amazingly different backgrounds — not only racially and gender-wise, but also in terms of genre. And their adventures in comics reflect that mix rather excellently. There's a bit of swords and sorcery, political intrigue, technology and mad science, alien encounters, mythology and monsters, and the like. They have potential to reach numerous different audiences that otherwise might feel excluded, as though the superhero experience wasn't meant for them.
Of course, not every group is destined for greatness. Sometimes, no matter how hard people try to make a character cool, hip or in-style, the effort just falls flat. Though, as Guardians of the Galaxy has recently shown us (and many believe Suicide Squad is on its way to providing similar success for the DC side), sometimes the success of a movie series is all a matter of polishing off a diamond in the rough.
With this team's impressively broad range of potential genre appeal, and the characters' chemistry, which basically writes itself, Marvel would be making a huge mistake in passing this up, and the viewing public would be missing out on a real treat.