The X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1 Review

Posted: October 10, 2009 in CCW Review
Tags: , , , ,

AoA vs X Ramos

Title: X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1
Writer: Jeff Parker
Art: Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
Backup Story Art: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel
Price $3.99

The Gist: Somebody has kidnapped AoA member Venus. The AoA don’t know who has her or where to even begin looking. In order to locate Venus the AoA decide to steal borrow Cerebra from the X-Men since Scott Summers and company are not using it at that moment.

I have been very much looking forward to this book two reasons. One, because it was an Agents of Atlas comic and two, because Jeff Parker was getting at crack at writing the X-Men. I haven’t liked the X-Men books in a long while. Not even Matt Fraction’s take on them. I figured that if Jeff Parker can make me like the worst team in comics today, The New Avengers, he could surely write an X-Men comic that I would enjoy, right? The short answer is yes he can and yes he did.

Quick side note: One of the small annoyances I had with Fraction’s Utopia storyline was his constant use of caption boxes to the let the reader know who almost every single character in the book was. The captions would list the characters name, sometimes their mutant ability but always had a quippy, not very funny, comment to end the caption. The captions did do a good job of letting me know who was who but really did nothing to tell me what they were about and what exactly their powers were. Well, in this comic Parker also uses those same captions but to much greater effect. Here are a few examples:

Utopia: Formerly Asteroid M, orbital base of Magneto. Shot down, crashed in the ocean for years. Now risen to serve as island home for mutant populace.

Emma Frost: Powerful telepath. Now remaining in diamond form to contain a sliver of the Void.

Namor: King of Merpeople, mutant hybrid. Without equal in water.

While only using a few words to describe major locations and characters, Parker let’s readers know all of the important information as well as giving them a glimpse of some recent history. And ya, he does throw a couple of quippy comments into the captions but the are actually humorous. End of not so quick in retrospect side note.

Nobody writes superhero team books in the industry better than Jeff Parker. Absolutely nobody. The motivations as for why the AoA are stealing borrowing Cerebra are relayed to the reader through natural flowing dialogue between the characters and how the X-Men actually find out about what Atlas is up to is done with simple deductive reasoning. If you think that since Parker is the regular writer for AoA that he is going to make his team shine and always get the better of the X-Men you’re wrong. In their initial tussle the AoA may have bettered the X-Men briefly but the cliffhanger ending shows us that this isn’t the X-Men’s first time to the dance and when they hit back, they hit hard.

So, was it worth the $3.99 price tag? The answer again is yes. There is an new 8 page backup story which tells a silver age tale of the original X-Men’s first meeting with the Agents of Atlas. Parker does a great job of writing the dialogue as if it were taken directly from the 60’s. Lots of expository dialogue. Loved it.

If you have been holding out on reading the Agents of Atlas for whatever reason but have been wanting to, now is the perfect time. It also need to be said that this is the most enjoyable X-Men comic I’ve read in a quite some time.

One last thing: I would be remiss if I did not mention the great artwork in the main story by AoA semi-regular artist Calro Pagulayan. He was born to draw the Agents of Atlas and I hope he continues to do so for a very long time.


  1. generaldark says:

    i had to cut back a little so i didnt get this book, i wanted to but i think the X-men just really turned me off. if this book is still on the stands next time i go to the shop i will get it.

  2. Ironmuskrat says:

    I really enjoyed this book, it was a flashback to the good old days of comics when not every hero group really knew each other or understood what the other guy was really about. So when two groups would encounter each other for whatever reason, misunderstandings or fights would be inevitable.

    On paper I guess Atlas shouldn’t stand a chance against the X-Men, who seems to have numbers on their side. However the X-men, with the exception of Wolverine, don’t really know anything about Atlas or what their powers are. So it basically comes down to Atlas having a plan of attack and knowing what they need to do and the X-men forced into the position of reacting to what Atlas is doing. Round one goes to Atlas because of the element of surprise. I like that, it’s just smart writing on the part of Jeff Parker.

    I found the info boxes weird at first but needed due to the shear number of X-men these days. I haven’t read X-Men is years and was like “Wow, the X-Men have gotten so bloated now they need their own subtitles!”

    I look forward to issue two now that the tables have turned and it’s Atlas turn to react to a surprise attack by the X-men.


  3. I looooooooooooooooooooooooved this issue. I think Pagulayan should be the regular artist on the book because his art rocks. Parker really does write team books better than anyone out there. Also at the comic convention I was at yesterday someone commented on the fact that I was buying some issues of AoA. I don’t remember what he said, but he looked like he was in shock or disbelief.

  4. mbell028 says:

    hey guys loving agents of atlas have yet to pick this book up I’m actually catching up the last book I picked up was issue 7. I really hate to bother you guys, but I just made a blog where I plan on speaking my mind on comics and I hate to ask you this but would you mind if I posted a link of it once i post some reviews and some observations I have. If not I totally understand and I would absolutely respect that. Thanks guys keep up the good work,

    • When you have some reviews and stuff up send me a message on Youtube with a link to the site. I’ll look at it and then maybe put up a link on our homepage here for you under the “Friends of the show ” banner. Cool?


  5. phil says:

    Problems that I don’t have with AoA, the writng: Parker’s work oo AoA w/the Avengers has shown that he can write multiple characters and keep each of their voices distinct.

    the art:Carlo is quickly becoming one of my fave artists in the biz, he has a feel for body types and movements, not unlike PaulSmith. I hope he has a long career.

    The problem that I do have w/AoA, the characters themselves…the futurama robot, the cosmic guy wearing the fish bowl the sub-marineress, and the rest just don’t resonate w/me. I’ll probably pick up these two issues though, if just to see jeff&carlo’s take on the Xmen. God knows that its been a long time since I’ve enjoyed an Xmen book.

  6. saar18 says:

    Jose here is a little something for you that i’m sure you are (not) going to enjoy:

  7. mbell028 says:

    yeah absolutely Jose. I will try to get a some reviews up in the next couple of weeks and I’ll send you a link. Thanks Jose I really appreciate it.

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