Art by Will Meugniot.
DNAgents is a comic book created by writer Mark Evanier and artist Will Meugniot and published by Eclipse Comics in 1983. It was later picked up briefly by Antarctic Press. In June 2006, old issues were collected into DNAgents Volume 1.
It tells the story of a team of superheroes created through genetic engineering by the Matrix Corporation. The writing style tended towards wry humor, perhaps reflecting Evanier's other work in television, cartoon, and variety comedy writing.
Both Marvel Comics and DC Comics expressed interest in publishing DNAgents, but Evanier and Meugniot decided against signing with them because they would have had to give up the TV and merchandising rights, and since both Evanier and Meugniot had extensive backgrounds and contacts in the television industry, they were confident that they would be able to sell DNAgents as a TV series without help from a publisher. Mike Friedrich served as an agent for Evanier and Meugniot, submitting DNAgents to five different publishers. When all five offered to publish it, they decided on Eclipse Comics, a large independent publisher, for the amount of creative freedom they were ready to allow and for their strong plan for promoting the series.
The DNAgents reappeared in a brief cameo in issue #41 of The Savage Dragon in July 1997.
- Tank: Super-strong, wore heavy body armor to regulate and augment his strength. Naive & optimistic.
- Surge: He could fire blasts of lightning, very short-tempered.
- Rainbow: powerful telepath and illusionist. Since she was exposed to so many people's inner thoughts, she was the most "sophisticated" member of the group, and was involved in nude modeling.
- Amber: She could project disks of electromagnetic energy as shields, weapons or stand on them to fly. Very outgoing socially and curious.
- Sham: Shapeshifter. Since he had no innate attack powers, he was also trained as a commando (in cover art, he is frequently depicted wielding a gun). Insecure and attached to his family. Numerous allusions were made to Sham being the most powerful of the DNAgents, including his kidnapping and use as a power-source for the villain Mega Man.
Crossfire, another Eclipse comic of the era written by Mark Evanier, was a frequent guest character, and a romantic interest for Rainbow.
In issue 13, an attempt to create a new DNAgent resulted in Snafu, who later became a pet to Sham.
In issue 14, the DNAgents engaged in a "non-crossover" with the Teen Titans comic—each team faced a homage of the other (the DNAgents met "Project Youngblood", the Titans (in Tales of the Teen Titans #48) dealt with the genetically-engineered "ReCombatants"). At the end of both stories, the homage/parody teams sacrificed themselves to save the main heroes.
- In 1986 a sourcebook was printed by Fantasy Games Unlimited for using the characters with their Villains and Vigilantes superhero role playing game. This book also contained conversion notes for Champions and Superworld RPGs.