Wednesday, October 14, 2009

X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1 (of 2)

Jeff Parker & Carlo Pagulayan
I was really surprised by just how good this comic was. Usually these little spin-off mini-series are just throw-away issues, assigned to any average artist that Marvel decides to throw on the book since the titles usually feature popular characters that avid readers will read no matter who writes or draws it. But in this case, Agents of Atlas creator Jeff Parker takes on writing this issue himself, which probably makes all of the difference, as he's really got the Atlas characters down, and he certainly was able to take the X-Men and make them something special too. In fact, most of the issue is seen through the eyes of the X-Men, characters less familiar to him (although he has done a few X-Men mini-series, now that I think about it). But Parker is able to capture the essence of both teams and make them both look noble and fully-realized, not shorting either their due, as both teams consist of heroes and readers will be rooting for one side or the other to come out on top. I'm sure there's going to be a satisfying conclusion in the end for all, as Jeff is a talented creator who knows what he's doing. Marvel also saw fit to team Jeff Parker up with a rather talented artist as well, in the form of Carlo Pagulayan, whose work on Planet Hulk (and past favorites of mine like Marvel Knights' Elektra) shows that he's a great artist when it comes to depicting fast-paced panels in an action-packed book. I was admittedly a little surprised that a pretty major plot development that they brought up in the main Agents of Atlas title, that of the actual goddess Venus looking to get a little payback from the woman using her name, is continued in this mini. But I'm glad to see it here, because I was really looking forward to seeing what was going to happen there.

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