A few weeks ago, @TomBrevoort, Executive Editor at Marvel, asked his Twitter followers which DC properties they’d like to see migrate to the House of Ideas. As I have continued to think about this, my pick would be the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents — a property developed by the great Wally Wood for Tower Comics in the 60s.
This short-lived series featured a handful of heroes who were normal people who used technology to become extraordinary agents for The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves (T.H.U.N.D.E.R.). I was lucky enough to inherit a stack of these comics from my uncle when I was first getting into comics … and they made a huge impact on me. As much as I loved to read about heroes who got their powers from radioactive spiders, toxic waste and god-like extraterrestrials, I couldn’t wrap my head around those kind of origin stories when creating my own characters. More often than not, they were kissin’ cousins to the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents … normal people who came across or were given extraordinary suits and weapons to become more than human … but only when they were using these items.
My favorite thing about the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is that there were consequences to their actions and … some of them died rather early on.
- Dynamo – Fearless, dashing leader and holder of the Thunder Belt. Super-strong.
- No-Man – A human mind that could jump from one android body to another.
- Lightning – Super-fast, but advanced his own death each time he used his suit.
- Menthor – Initial double-agent who (as I remember is) had headaches from using his mental powers helmet.
D.C. acquired these characters, but have done nothing with them yet. Last year, they teased a new series, but the future is a bit uncertain as I’ve been able to ascertain.
These days, ‘ol Nick Fury is knocking about with a group of superhuman “Secret Warriors,” but how cool would it have been to see him leading a squad of super-powered agents in the 60s? I think this would have been brilliant. I mean, I love the Howling Commandos (especially Dum Dum) as much as the next guy, but … so cool. But, I did have to leave in La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine.