Agents of Atlas

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Agents of Atlas
The Agents of Atlas
Art by Leonard Kirk
Group publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAgents of Atlas #1 (October 2006)
Created byJeff Parker (writer)
Leonard Kirk (artist)
In-story information
Type of organizationTeam
Base(s)Marvel Boy's spaceship
The hidden city of atlas
Jimmy Woo (Head of the Atlas Foundation)
The Uranian
3-D Man (Delroy Garrett)
Agents of Atlas
Series publication information
Format(vol. 1)
Limited series
(vol. 2)
Ongoing series
Publication date(vol. 1)
October 2006 – March 2007
(vol. 2)
April – November 2009
Number of issues(vol. 1)
(vol. 2)
Creative team
Writer(s)Jeff Parker
Penciller(s)(vol. 1)
Leonard Kirk
(vol. 2)
Carlo Pagulayan
Inker(s)(vol. 1)
Kris Justice
(vol. 2)
Michael Jason Paz
Letterer(s)(vol. 1)
David Lanphear
(vol. 2)
Nate Piekos
Colorist(s)(vol. 1)
Michelle Madsen
(vol. 2)
Jana Schirmer
Creator(s)Jeff Parker (writer)
Leonard Kirk (artist)
Editor(s)(vol. 1)
Nathan Cosby
Mark Paniccia
Joe Quesada
(vol. 2)
Nathan Cosby
Mark Paniccia
Lauren Sankovitch
Collected editions
Agents of Atlas HCISBN 0-7851-2712-7
Dark Reign HCISBN 0-7851-3898-6
Turf War HCISBN 0-7851-4276-2

Agents of Atlas is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is composed of characters originally appearing in unrelated stories published in the 1950s by Marvel's predecessor company, Atlas Comics.

The characters debuted as a team in What If #9 (June 1978) and starred in the 2006 limited series Agents of Atlas, written by Jeff Parker[1] and with art by Leonard Kirk.[2]

Publication history[edit]

This group of heroes, which was not a team in 1950s comics, was established through retroactive continuity as having been formed in the 1950s. They had appeared as a group in the non-canonical What If #9 (June 1978)[3] and then reappeared in Avengers Forever (1998–2000 miniseries).

The limited series Agents of Atlas #1–6 (Oct. 2006 – March 2007) was set in the present day and likewise set in mainstream continuity. The series emerged from what writer Parker called "a huge editorial hunch" at Marvel, and said the revival of the characters "is something that [editor] Mark Paniccia was looking at and [for which he] thought specifically of me, and asked me what I would do with it".[4] Paniccia says the idea came to him when he picked up a copy of the What if? story and found the cover "intriguing".[5]

The team made a brief appearance in "The Resistance", an eight-page story that was part of the Secret Invasion crossover story arc.[6] Parker and editor Paniccia said in July 2008, that the former will write an Agents of Atlas ongoing series[7] which is one of the titles launching as part of the Dark Reign storyline.[8][9][10] That series ended after eleven issues but the title relaunches as part of the "Heroic Age" under the title Atlas because, according to Parker, it not only makes for a smaller logo but it is a "natural progression to what most people call the book and the team."[11] The series was cancelled with Atlas #5.[12]


The team, with the individual characters' debuts in chronological order, consists of:

Other characters from the original What if? story, such as Jann of the Jungle, made guest appearances. Parker explained that original What if? team-member 3-D Man was left out "[b]ecause he wasn't really around in the 1950s" books,[14] having been introduced in 1977 in Marvel Premiere, with stories were set in the 1950s.

After the Agents of Atlas took over the Atlas Foundation, the following characters joined as Atlas Foundation members:

  • Mr. Lao – Adviser to the Head of the Atlas Foundation. A dragon who was Yellow Claw's adviser, now adviser to Jimmy Woo, the new Head of the Atlas Foundation
  • Temugin – Second in Command of Atlas Foundation
  • Derek Khanata – Overseer of Atlas
  • At the end of the series, the contemporary 3-D Man was invited to join the team, and he did.

Fictional team biography[edit]

The group was formed in Spring 1958 by Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Jimmy Woo to rescue President Dwight D. Eisenhower from the villainous Yellow Claw. Woo first recruits Venus and Marvel Boy. He then tries to recruit Namora, who declines but tells Woo where to find a broken but potentially useful robot named M-11. While Marvel Boy fixes M-11, Woo asks Jann of the Jungle to take Marvel Boy to extend an invitation to Gorilla-Man, who accepts Woo's offer. The group quickly rescues President Eisenhower and remains together for six months until the federal government, deciding the public is not ready for such a group, disbands it and classifies information about it.

Years later, Woo, by now a high-ranking agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., attempts a secret raid of a group identified as the Atlas Foundation. Going AWOL and taking several other willing agents with him, Woo invades an Atlas location, resulting in all of the recruits being killed. Woo himself is critically burned and loses his higher brain functions. Gorilla-Man, by now also a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, gives the organization a record of the 1950s team, of which S.H.I.E.L.D. had no knowledge, and rescues Woo with the aid of M-11 and Marvel Boy, who can only restore Woo to his 1958 self. Namora, whom the group believed dead, is located by the Agents and joins the group. The team learns M-11 is a double agent for the Yellow Claw, and that Venus is one of the legendary Sirens given flesh, not the Venus/Aphrodite of mythological legend.

Using M-11 as a beacon, the heroes find the Yellow Claw, who reveals his true identity, Plan Chu, an almost immortal Mongol khan who claims he orchestrated each of his battles with Woo only to establish Woo's worthiness to marry Suwan and succeed him as khan. Chu created Atlas to put Woo again in the spotlight. Woo accepts his destiny, takes over Atlas hoping to turn it into a force for good, and the Yellow Claw, having found his heir, appears to commit suicide. The team resurfaces in New York City, where together with Spider-Man, they defeat Temple of Atlas splinter cells still loyal to the Yellow Claw.[15]

They later work as a resistance cell against the invasion of Earth by the shapeshifting aliens the Skrulls.[6] Following the Skrulls' defeat and the rise of Norman Osborn to power, the Agents of Atlas decide to oppose Osborn's agenda by taking on the role of "supervillains." They attack Fort Knox and steal the gold reserve, which Osborn had planned on using to finance a secret weapons system.[16]

The Agents of Atlas encounter (and battle) the Avengers,[17] the X-Men,[18] fight Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts.[19] and later investigate an abandoned Thule Society headquarters during the events of Fear Itself.

Temple of Atlas[edit]

As part of a viral marketing strategy to promote the series, fans could participate in an alternate reality game centered around the "Temple of Atlas" weblog on Marvel's website. There, readers received weekly prose excerpts of the exploits of Jimmy Woo and his team, and were given "missions" from the Temple's curator, the mysterious "Mr. Lao". The goal was to discover each week's keyword by following textual clues Lao would post on the messageboards of such comic book webzines as Newsarama and Comic Book Resources. They, along with and Comics Bulletin, would also feature fake news posts that players would be led toward, containing more clues for finding keywords. Anagrams were regular, and on several occasions one keyword had to be taken "into the field" by going to a local comic shop and saying the phrase to the staff in order to receive a keyword in response. On two occasions, players were required to attend a Heroes Convention and the San Diego Comic-Con International to find keywords.

Other versions[edit]

In the Marvel Adventures: Avengers universe, a time travel story involved a 1958 version of the Agents of Atlas that found Captain America frozen in ice. The special was written by Jeff Parker and penciled by Leonard Kirk, same creative team as the Agents of Atlas miniseries.

Collected editions[edit]

The series have been collected into individual volumes:

  • Agents of Atlas (collects Agents of Atlas 6-issue limited series plus first appearances of major characters: Marvel Boy #1, Marvel Mystery Comics #82 (May 1947), Men's Adventures #26 (March 1954), Menace #11 (May 1954), Venus #1 (Aug. 1948), What If?#9 (June 1978), and Yellow Claw #1, October 1956, 256 pages, Marvel Comics, premiere hardcover, May 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2712-7, softcover, February 2009, ISBN 0-7851-2231-1)
  • Agents of Atlas: Dark Reign (collects Agents of Atlas vol. 2, #1–5, "Wolverine: Agent of Atlas" and the preview story from Dark Reign: New Nation, 184 pages, premiere hardcover, September 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3898-6, softcover, January 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4126-X)
  • Agents of Atlas: Turf Wars (collects Agents of Atlas vol. 2, #6–11, 176 pages, premiere hardcover, February 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4276-2, softcover, December 2009, ISBN 0-7851-4031-X)
  • Agents of Atlas vs. (collects X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1–2 and Avengers vs. Atlas #1–4, 168 pages, premiere hardcover, August 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4772-1, softcover, November 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4773-X)
  • Atlas: Return of the Three Dimensional Man (collects Atlas #1–5, and Assault on New Olympus material from Incredible Hercules #138–141, 176 pages, ISBN 978-0-7851-4696-4)


  1. ^ Richards, Dave (May 19, 2006). "The Marvel Universe Now with Extra Pulp: Parker Talks Agents Of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
  2. ^ Richards, Dave (May 26, 2006). "The Weight of the World on his Pencil: Kirk Talks Agents Of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
  3. ^ What If #9: "What If... The Avengers Had Been Formed During the 1950s?" at the Comic Book DB
  4. ^ Montgomery, Mitch (September 27, 2006). "Jeff Parker and the New Adventures of Old Marvel". Silver Bullet Comics. Archived from the original on October 4, 2006.
  5. ^ Richards, Dave (May 12, 2006). "Secret Avengers Reassembled? Paniccia Talks Agents of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
  6. ^ a b Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust: "The Resistance" (by Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk, one-shot, Marvel Comics, August 2008)
  7. ^ Richards, Dave (July 24, 2008). "CCI Exclusive: Parker and Paniccia on Agents of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
  8. ^ "Marvel's 'Dark Reign' Solicitations". Comic Book Resources. December 5, 2008.
  9. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (December 18, 2008). "Jeff Parker: Mixing the Agents of Atlas into Dark Reign". Newsarama.
  10. ^ Richards, Dave (January 12, 2009). "The Osborn Supremacy: Agents of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
  11. ^ Richards, Dave (February 10, 2010). "Parker Remaps Marvel's "Atlas"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  12. ^ Sims, Chris (July 13, 2010). "Jeff Parker and Ken Hale on 'Gorilla Man' and the End of 'Atlas' [Interview and Exclusive Preview]". Archived from the original on September 27, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  13. ^ "The Human Robot".; Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe.
  14. ^ "Wonder What If No More!". Broken Frontier. July 10, 2006. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  15. ^ Spider-Man Family #4
  16. ^ Dark Reign: New Nation one-shot
  17. ^ Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1–4
  18. ^ X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1–2
  19. ^ Thunderbolts #139–140

External links[edit]