Agents of Atlas
|Agents of Atlas|
Variant Cover of Agents of Atlas #1
Art by Carlo Pagulayan
|Group publication information|
|First appearance||Agents of Atlas #1 (October 2006)|
|Created by||Jeff Parker (writer)|
Leonard Kirk (artist)
|Type of organization||Team|
|Base(s)||Marvel Boy's spaceship|
The Temple of Atlas, San Francisco
The Pan-Asian School for the Unusually Gifted, Mumbai
Atlas Secret Bunker 394B, Seoul
|Leader(s)||Jimmy Woo (Head of the Atlas Foundation)|
Brawn (Team Leader)
Crescent and Io
|Agents of Atlas|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||(vol. 1)|
October 2006 – March 2007
April – November 2009
May 2019 – present
|Number of issues||(vol. 1)|
|Writer(s)||(vol. 1 & 2)|
Greg Hyuk Lim
Michael Jason Paz
|Creator(s)||Jeff Parker (writer)|
Leonard Kirk (artist)
|Agents of Atlas HC||ISBN 0-7851-2712-7|
|Dark Reign HC||ISBN 0-7851-3898-6|
|Turf War HC||ISBN 0-7851-4276-2|
|War of the Realms TPB||ISBN 1-3029-1877-X|
Agents of Atlas is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first lineup was 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 and with art by Leonard Kirk.
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) 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". Paniccia says the idea came to him when he picked up a copy of the What if? story and found the cover "intriguing".
The team made a brief appearance in "The Resistance", an eight-page story that was part of the Secret Invasion crossover story arc. Parker and editor Paniccia said in July 2008, that the former will write an Agents of Atlas ongoing series which was one of the titles launched as part of the Dark Reign storyline. That series ended after eleven issues but the title relaunched 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." The series was cancelled with Atlas #5.
During War of the Realms a new iteration of the Agents of Atlas debuted in the War of the Realms: Agents of Atlas mini-series. This new team, along with the classic roster, will be featured together in a new, 5-issue Agents of Atlas limited series.
The original team, with the individual characters' debuts in chronological order, consists of:
- Namora – Marvel Mystery Comics #82 (May 1947)
- Venus – Venus #1 (Aug. 1948)
- Marvel Boy/the Uranian – Marvel Boy #1 (Dec. 1950)
- the Gorilla-Man – Men's Adventures #26 (Mar. 1954)
- M-11/the Human Robot – Menace #11 (May 1954)
- Jimmy Woo – Yellow Claw #1 (Oct. 1956)
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 the 3-D Man was left out "[b]ecause he wasn't really around in the 1950s" books, having been introduced in 1977 in Marvel Premiere, with stories 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 the Yellow Claw's adviser, now adviser to Jimmy Woo, the new Head of the Atlas Foundation.
- Temugin – Second in Command of the 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.
During the War of the Realms, Jimmy Woo recruited several of his teammates from the Asian American superhero team the Protectors as well as several new Asian superheroes to form The New Agents of Atlas to stop the Queen of Cinders invading the Asian continent. The current members consist of:
- Aero - Chinese heroine with wind-based powers.
- Brawn - Korean-American former Hulk and supergenius.
- Crescent and Io - South Korean heroine and her magical bear.
- Luna Snow - South Korean K-Pop idol with ice-based powers.
- Shang-Chi - the Master of Kung-Fu.
- Silk - Korean-American Spider-Man ally.
- Sword Master - Chinese mystical sword-wielding hero.
- Wave - Filipina water manipulator.
- White Fox - South Korean super spy and the last of the kumiho.
The Inhuman Pakistani-American superheroine Ms. Marvel was offered membership along with the other Protectors, but left to rejoin her original team the Champions in New York before she could accept the offer. M-41 Zu, a mystically enhanced android created by Jimmy and the Atlas foundation, briefly joined the team under the guise of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. The Immortal Monkey King Sun Wukong of the Ascendants briefly assisted the team as well.
When most of the Agents are summoned to the portal city of Pan, they are introduced to the current Giant-Man, Raz Malhotra, who is informally recruited into Atlas by Amadeus when rejecting Mike Nguyen's offer to become Pan's protectors.
Fictional team biography
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 the 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. The 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.
They later work as a resistance cell against the invasion of Earth by the shapeshifting aliens the Skrulls. 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.
The Agents of Atlas encounter (and battle) the Avengers, the X-Men, fight Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts. and later investigate an abandoned Thule Society headquarters during the events of Fear Itself.
During the War of the Realms event, while Jimmy offers his Protectors teammates (Brawn, Shang-Chi, Silk and Ms. Marvel) membership to Atlas, they are suddenly alerted by the news of Malekith's invasion of Earth. Most of the New Agents of Atlas head to Seoul while Ms. Marvel joins the Champions in New York. The Agents defend Seoul from Malekith's ally Queen Sindr and her Fire Goblin forces from Muspelheim with help from the Korean heroes the White Fox, Crescent, Io and Luna Snow. After Sindr threatens to summon a volcano in the middle of the city and kill millions of innocents, Brawn teleports Atlas and their new allies away from the battle, allowing Sindr to peacefully annex South Korea. Brawn eventually summons the Chinese heroes the Sword Master and Aero, Filipina heroine Wave and the Hawaiian goddess of Fire and Volcanoes Pele from Shanghai to help assist in the fight against Sindr. The newly summoned heroes are less than pleased for being taken out of their previous battle, but Pele quickly puts a stop to the infighting, warning the group that Sindr plans to melt the polar ice caps if they do not work together. After formulating a plan, Brawn confronts Sindr and her forces directly while Aero, Wave and Luna use Sindr's Black Bifrost to travel to the Arctic to decrease its temperature with their powers; the remaining members are teleported to Atlas' ally Sun Wukong of the Ascendants in Northern China, where Shang-Chi begins training the remaining members for their final fight. As planned by Brawn, the Queen of Cinders and her forces arrive in Northern China with a captured Brawn, only to be taken by surprise by the Agents; Pele reveals herself to be M-41 Zu, a mystically enhanced Atlas Android, who then absorbs Sindr's energy and self-destructs, weakening her. With Shang-Chi's training the group defeats her, although at the cost of Sun Wukong sacrificing himself. Despite being given the chance by Jimmy to surrender, Sindr flees using the Black Bifrost, only for the Agents to follow her with Brawn's teleporter, where they help Captain Marvel defeat her and her remaining forces at the Great Wall of China near Beijing. After Malekith's defeat, the Agents are seen in Shanghai looking on while the captured Fire Goblins are escorted back to Muspelheim. Jimmy quietly congratulates his new agents.
Shortly after the War of the Realms event, a few members of the new agents are in Madripoor fighting one of Sindr's remaining Fire Dragons, where they encounter Isaac Ikeda, the self-proclaimed "Protector of Pan", who uses his technologically advanced weaponry to slay the dragon and teleports away with its corpse. Afterwards, the team goes their separate ways, only to find the cities they are each residing in engulfed in a white light, which Amadeus recognizes as Ikeda's teleportation technology. The reunited agents, along with Giant-Man, discover the cities they were in (along with other Asian, Pacific and predominantly Asian cities outside of Asia) have been merged and connected together with portals made from Ikeda's technology. Mike Nguyen of the Big Nguyen Company reveals himself to be behind the newly merged city, "Pan", which he states for 24 hours would allow every citizen to easily explore each other's respective cities without any political and economic restrictions. Shortly after the announcement, Pan is suddenly beset by wyverns, which the agents, Giant-Man and Ikeda fight off. Concurrently, the original agents are sent by Jimmy to a temple in Thailand to rescue Avenger X from General Nurong and his forces. During the mission, the group encounters Nurong's master, a dragon named Mr. Thong, who reveals himself to be an enemy of Mr. Lao. Thong mocks the group as being pawns for Lao and warns them of the upcoming Clash of Dragons. After fighting off the wyverns, the new agents are praised by Nguyen for their heroics and offers to enlist the agents as Pan's protectors along with Ikeda. Amadeus is suspicious of Nguyen and Ikeda, believing that Atlas is being used for publicity. Amadeus and Luna later have a confrontation with several armed members of the Pan Guard, who attempt to arrest a group of Madripoorian refugees that Amadeus and Luna rescued from sea serpents for illegally trespassing into Pan. The rescue, fight with the Pan guard and subsequent kiss between Amadeus and Luna is broadcast by Nguyen as an attempt to sell Pan Passes to spectators, much to Amadeus' and Luna's embarrassment and anger. After the Atlas agents and Ikeda team up with the Pan Guard to save the refugees from the serpents, Nguyen clears up the misunderstanding, claiming that the Madripoorians had been out of range during Pan's activation and the Pan Guard mistakenly believed they were trespassing with help from the serpents; Nguyen has the refugees escorted to the Pan Grand Hotel as special guests. When Amadeus summons the team to the Atlas secret bunker in Seoul, they are unexpectedly joined by Ikeda. When Ikeda is interrogated by the team about his and Nguyen's motives, Issac explains that he was hired by Nguyen due to his expertise in fighting dragons, but offers little about Nguyen. Isacc has his own suspicions of Mike and suggests that the Atlas agents to join him as Pan's protectors as it would be easier for them to gather information about the Big Nguyen Company on the inside. Despite some misgivings, the team agrees and go their separate ways to different Pan sectors. Unbeknownst to the agents, their actions are being monitored by Jimmy and Mr. Lao, with the latter believing the new team is not ready to be trusted yet. The team makes several discoveries during their investigations: Brawn, Silk and the White Fox realize that the central hub of Pan does not correspond with any known location on Earth, which Amadeus deduces is in another dimension, as well as the sound of roaring dragons emerging from Nguyen's tower during nighttime; while searching for the apparently absent Jimmy Woo, Shang-Chi and Crescent infiltrate his office in Mumbai where Shang-Chi discovers a photograph of Jimmy and Nguyen shaking hands. While Shang-Chi relays this to Amadeus, he also uncovers a laptop that broadcasts the sound of a dragon's roar from Nguyen's tower in the Heart of Pan. While Brawn, Silk, the Sword Master and the White Fox break into Nguyen's tower and discover a sea serpent imprisoned in a lab, Shang-Chi and Crescent discover a secret tunnel in Jimmy's office that takes them to the Atlas Foundation's headquarters in the Pan sector of San Francisco, where they come face to face with Jimmy and Mr. Lao, who introduces himself to the Atlas agents. Nguyen denies that he and Jimmy are in league with each other, other than signing non-aggression treaty between Atlas and Pan, which the agents just violated. Nguyen explains that since dragon scales contain magical properties associated with portals and teleportation, the imprisoned dragon was having its scales harvested to supply Pan's portal and teleportation technology. Suspecting the serpent's identity, Lao and Jimmy order to agents to free her lest awakening the wrath every dragon on the planet, while Nguyen and Ikeda argue that releasing the dragon will cause the portals to collapse, displacing every citizen and refugee that had settled in the portal-city. Before a decision can be made, a massive storm begins engulfing the city. While Ikeda reveals that the imprisoned dragon, which he captured a year ago for terrorizing the Mediterranean, is from Atlantis, an enraged Namor emerges from the waters off of Pan's coast and begins invading the city.
During the Atlantis Attacks storyline, the New Agents of Atlas fight off Namor when he attempts to reclaim the sacred dragon of Atlantis from Pan. Before retreating, Namor gives them one day to return the dragon or else face the wrath of Atlantis. After the skirmish, Jimmy formally introduces the original and new teams to each other. Jimmy proceeds to deploy the agents to help bolster Pan's defenses, with Namora, Venus, Wave and Aero being sent on a diplomatic mission to Atlantis. Wary of Namora's familial relationship with Namor, Brawn discretely orders Shang-Chi and the Sword Master to spy on her. After Brawn, Uranian, and the 3-D Man are able to successfully able to replicate the dragon's magic with M-11's generator, Atlas releases the dragon, who promptly returns back to Atlantis. However, upon arriving at the underwater kingdom, the dragon goes berserk and beings attacking. After Atlantis' scientists discover the source of the dragon's behavior to be an implant embedded in its scales, Namor accuses Brawn to be behind the deception and immediately flies to Pan for revenge, where he viciously assaults Brawn and attacks Nguyen's tower. After the Pan Guard and Brawn are able to push Namor's assault back to the ocean, Nguyen reveals that he has recruited the Sirenas, the longtime enemies of Atlantis, to help defend Pan. With help from the Sirenas, Namor is eventually overpowered and imprisoned. During a meeting between the Agents of Atlas, the Pan Guard and the Sirenas, a disagreement erupts when Nguyen and the Sirenas' leader the Sea Hunter propose to launch a retaliatory attack on Atlantis. Namora accuses the Sirenas of treachery, revealing the dragon's implant to be made from Sirena tech. After Namora and Carina of the Sirenas recount their people's history, the group finds itself torn between protecting Pan, attacking or defending Atlantis. The disagreement eventually escalates into trading blows when several members within the group take sides between the Atlanteans and the Sirenas. During the commotion, Namor is able to break free from his prison.
Temple of Atlas
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 IGN.com 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.
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.
In other media
- The Agents of Atlas appeared in Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 as DLC (downloadable content). It included the Gorilla-Man, the Uranian, Venus, Jimmy Woo and M-11/the Human Robot.
- Jimmy Woo appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe played by Randall Park. The character debuted in Ant-Man and the Wasp and will appear in the Disney+ series WandaVision.
The series have been collected into individual volumes:
- Agents of Atlas (collects Agents of Atlas six-issue limited series, plus the 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 the Assault on New Olympus material from The Incredible Hercules #138–141, 176 pages, ISBN 978-0-7851-4696-4)
- Richards, Dave (May 19, 2006). "The Marvel Universe Now with Extra Pulp: Parker Talks Agents Of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
- Richards, Dave (May 26, 2006). "The Weight of the World on his Pencil: Kirk Talks Agents Of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
- Marnell, Blair (May 10, 2019). "Introducing the 'New Agents of Atlas'". Marvel.com. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
- DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
- What If #9: "What If... The Avengers Had Been Formed During the 1950s?" at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- 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.
- Richards, Dave (May 12, 2006). "Secret Avengers Reassembled? Paniccia Talks Agents of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
- Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust: "The Resistance" (by Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk, one-shot, Marvel Comics, August 2008)
- Richards, Dave (July 24, 2008). "CCI Exclusive: Parker and Paniccia on Agents of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
- "Marvel's 'Dark Reign' Solicitations". Comic Book Resources. December 5, 2008.
- Rogers, Vaneta (December 18, 2008). "Jeff Parker: Mixing the Agents of Atlas into Dark Reign". Newsarama.
- Richards, Dave (January 12, 2009). "The Osborn Supremacy: Agents of Atlas". Comic Book Resources.
- 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.
- Sims, Chris (July 13, 2010). "Jeff Parker and Ken Hale on 'Gorilla Man' and the End of 'Atlas' [Interview and Exclusive Preview]". ComicsAlliance.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
- "The Human Robot". marvunapp.com; Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe.
- "Wonder What If No More!". Broken Frontier. July 10, 2006. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
- Spider-Man Family #4
- Dark Reign: New Nation one-shot issue
- Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1–4
- X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1–2
- Thunderbolts #139–140
- War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #1. Marvel Comics.
- War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #2. Marvel Comics.
- War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #3. Marvel Comics
- War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #4. Marvel Comics
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 3) #1. Marvel Comics
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 3) #2. Marvel Comics
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 3) #3. Marvel Comics
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 3) #4. Marvel Comics
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 3) #5. Marvel Comics
- Atlantis Attacks (vol. 1) #1
- Atlantis Attacks (vol. 1) #2
- Atlantis Attacks (vol. 1) #3
- Becker, Daniel (November 21, 2017). "Agents Of Atlas Character Pack DLC Review – LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2". Bricks to Life. Archived from the original on 2019-06-06.
- Official website
- Agents of Atlas at Marvel.com
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 1) at the Grand Comics Database
- Agents of Atlas (vol. 1) at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Agents of Atlas at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- WRITER VS. ARTIST: Jeff Parker Vs. Carlo Pagulayan, Comic Book Resources, April 15, 2009
- Agents of Atlas on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki