Comic book reviews for Marvel Comics’ Atlas #1, Department Zero, Atlas #2, Department Zero, Atlas #3, and The Human Robot by Jeff Parker
Jeff Parker really hit it out of the park here. I loved this. I love Atlas. I think it’s a good balanced book for those just joining Atlas’ adventures and those continuing along the journey.
I also think he did a great job with the introduction of the modern 3-D Man, Delroy Garrett, and the history of 3-D Man, when it was Chuck and Hal Chandler. I’d read Avengers: The Initiative so I was a little more filled in than other readers might’ve been. That said, Parker presented the history in a way that didn’t bog down the story and kept it current and fresh feeling. I do find it interesting that everyone wants to kill Delroy. And I bet there’s more to it. Poor Chuck and Hal, they’ve been sacrificed for Delroy.
The evolution of 3-D Man so he doesn’t have to use his glasses anymore is perfect. And how his eyes are giving him clues about how he should find Atlas. Plus, the part about the triangle on his costume is also great. (For Atlas-fans who are playing catch-up, the triangles are used to move through these dimensional tunnels from the world to Atlas’ secret bases. If you don’t have them, you’re basically dead.) Delroy literally hits bottom to find Atlas.
Department Zero by Jeff Parker
I love that Parker’s using the back-up stories to tell “classic” Atlas stories. I only wish Venus wasn’t the sole woman on the team.
I found the adventure very plucky, very ’50s. The Yellow Claw and Mr. Lao’s plot to raise zombies as a test for Jimmy is great. Also the Yellow Claw questioning if Jimmy and the rest of Atlas will survive this. I feel we as readers have no doubt Atlas will come out ahead, and not just because we know what happens in the future, but because we’ve seen them fight worse things.
I really like this twist to 3-D Man’s story. That no one really remembers him, and that Delroy can remember a time where he led Atlas into action and a paralyzed Jimmy Woo served as their M. (I can’t help but wonder if a paralyzed Woo is supposed to be some sort of analogy to Professor X or even Oracle.)
We know that mysterious villains have been targeting Delroy, but I really like the notion that they targeted Delroy to get at Atlas.
I’ve really been waiting for a character to get Mr. Lao worked up. Dragons may be master strategists, but they also serve as good defense when someone’s attacking your secret lair. I loved the trick Venus pulled out. But Jimmy was right that they probably won’t ever be able to do that again. (The word-bubble points at Namora, not Venus like it should, at the end of this scene. Ooops.)
I love Ken telling Delroy how awesome Atlas is now. Also those rock monsters in the flashbacks look a lot like the lava ones in Doctor Who’s “Fires of Pompeii” which makes this the second Parker comic to remind me of that Doctor Who episode.
I really love Atlas and am looking forward to the next issue.
Department Zero by Jeff Parker
I love here that Venus’ powers don’t work. And that she’s surprised zombies aren’t affected by her powers, like everyone else. Of course, they aren’t living.
I’m glad that the Yellow Claw and Mr. Lao both give Namora shout-outs. Yes, zombies would be perfect for her powers.
Atlas making sure that all the zombies get back in their graves is nice foreshadowing to what they have to do in the future while cleaning up after Atlas.
I wasn’t as enthralled by this issue as I feel I should’ve been. There seemed to be something missing from it. Perhaps, there was just too much going on this issue. The plot just isn’t pull me. I also feel like Hardman’s art was off.
Atlas seems rather cold toward 3-D Man. Yes, they’re helping him out, and they’re curious. But overall, I’m not feeling them connect with him. (Except did I miss something about 3-D Man dating Namora? Confused.)
I almost feel like the reveal about the red mist aliens(?) taking over humans to be a little too little for this issue. Also what the hell’s with Sheri Dennon being fridge fodder? I don’t see the sheriffs, who actually killed someone (kind of), jumping off buildings.
I did like the red mist took over Atlas’ headquarter, how Ken figured it out, and that the mist knew enough to take down Venus. (Good thing she’s fully goddess now so she’ll live through an arrow wound.) Poor Namora.
The Human Robot by Jeff Parker
I love this origin story for M-11. I’m so glad that he finally got his own story. He deserves it. Otherwise, he might destroy you with his death ray.
While robots often serve as a classic debate about being an automaton and having free will, I love that M-11’s creator gave him life spark and free will to redeem for all the evils he did as a scientist for the Yellow Claw. It was so sad to see M-11 walk into the ocean.
I love Namora rescuing him. I love her instinct and knowing that M-11 is something special. I also love that while M-11 doesn’t talk much, he does inform Agents of Atlas what his name is and that he’ll work for them.
Rosanas’ artwork is nice and clear. Good and solid. He does a very excellent job with M-11 covered in ocean-floor residue.