War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 explodes with a ton of new Marvel characters and I am all in on this series. In this single comic Marvel introduces new Chinese superheroes Aero and Sword Master; debuts Korean heroes Luna Snow and Crescent, as well as greeting the Filipina wonder, Wave. Somehow they managed to introduce all 5 of these incredible and dynamic new characters while still delivering a solid and exciting War of The Realms tie-in that showing us that Malekith and his army are marching globally and they’ve got plans for our planet.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 There May Be Spoilers Below
With so many incredible Marvel characters that I love in one issue, there was no way this was getting a low score. When you factor in Greg Pak’s cohesive story that integrates bits of the Champions series, and lays out a clear yet engaging tale the rating goes up. Couple that with art by Gang Hyuk Lim and colors by Federico Blee and you have a mini-series tie-in that I am wishing was an ongoing series.
Publisher: Marvel Writer: Greg Pak Artist: Gang Hyuk Lim
Colorist: Federico Blee Letters: Clayton Cowles Cover Artist: Billy Tan
Variant Covers: Mico Suayan; Giuseppe Camuncoli & Elia Bonetti; Pyeong Jun Park; Patrick Zircher
Favorite War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 Cover
I can say there’s a cover for War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 that I don’t like. The work on the covers for this issue has been pretty phenomenal. My favorite is Comic Odyssey Philippines Exclusive with artwork by Mico Suayan, which I, unfortunately, was unable to acquire. Wave looks amazing on the cover. Mico’s stunning rendition of Wave is inspired by Kapamilya actress Nadine Lustre, though at this time Wave doesn’t appear to be slated for any MCU movies. We can all hope. Maybe I will luck up and they will give her a solo title or spin up a New Agents of Atlas series this fall. Hey, Marvel, this is totally a hint. It’s a lot of hints.
The Story So Far:
If you haven’t been reading Champions, then you may not be aware that our beloved web head Miles Morales, and the ever-emotional Amadeus Cho faced a devastating choice. Miles faced losing his best friend in the world, Kamala Khan, so when a sinister being offered a second chance he took it. The guilt over the choice he made tore him from the Champions team, leaving a lot of pain an unresolved issue for both Kamala and Amadeus.
Even Champions Argue
Kamala and Cho have been summoned to Mumbai by Jimmy Woo, the leader of Atlas, to help with a demonstration at The Pan-Asian School for the Unusually Gifted. Silk and Shang-Chi are there as well. As the five of them have lunch, the bitterness between Kamala and Cho becomes apparent.
Jimmy Woo shares an analogy to discuss the importance of working together which opens the wounds between the two Champions. Before anything can be resolved a much larger disaster interrupts. Kamala returns to the Champions, leaving Cho to be, as she so delicately puts it “…Jimmy’s problem for now.” Ouch. Poor Amadeus.
Air and Water
While Woo is meeting with the group of heroes, things are happening in the North Pacific. Pearl Pangan a.k.a Wave soars above the water seeking out a mysterious source of trouble. Well out of her jurisdiction the first Filipina superhero runs into one of Marvel’s first Chinese superheroes Aero. It’s clear the two know each other, but before they can figure out what is happening they are attacked by the Fire Goblins and knocked out.
It was only a matter of time before The War of The Realms spilled outside of North America. Queen Sindr leads her legions of Fire Demons to Asia. Before she can conquer the continent, she must contend with the heroes who’ve defended their countries from as White Fox puts it “countless invaders and colonizers” for so long.
New Kids In The Universe
War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 brings together an impressive array of heroes new and well-known. This is the first time we get to see Aero, Swordmaster, Wave, Crescent and Luna Snow in action. While Luna Snow and Crescent are characters in the game Marvel Future Fight, War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 is their comic book debut and it is phenomenal.
Veteran Marvel characters such as Silk, Kamal Khan, White Fox, Shang Chi, Jimmy Woo, Amadeus Cho, and “the only fire goddess this planet needs” (not spoiling this) round out the hero roster for this fight and it’s a good thing. They are going to need every single hero they can muster to battle Queen Sindr and her horde of Fire Goblins.
Art & Writing of War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1
Pak does a great job using this first issue to not only set up the story her but introduce us to the new heroes who will be needed in defense of Asia. In a single issue, he delivers a clean and concise understanding of the tensions and issues facing the current Agents of Atlas, while keeping up the parallel storyline that introduces us to Aero and Wave. He demonstrates Cho’s foibles without undermining his good intentions. This keeps us on Cho’s side while making it clear that some of this mess is of his own making.
The creative team of Lim and Blee do a great job rendering scenes that communicate the enormous scope of this battle without letting us get lost in all the action. Page one, as well as pages fourteen through sixteen, are so well done that they feel hyperkinetic. The amount of action compressed in each of these pages is staggering.
Cowles does a great job keeping the introduction narrations feeling natural and smooth. They don’t get in the way of the story or action which is not easy when you have so many new characters debut in a book like this.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
It’s easy to roll with Marvel’s 12+ rating on this issue. Crescent has to be between ten and twelve. There’s the usual comic book level violence but nothing like War Of The Realms: Punisher #2 or even War Of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1. I doubt we are going to get a lot of graphic violence in this series so I feel safe recommending it to tweens. It’s a great book with an excellent storyline so far.
Next Issue: War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #2 released on May 22, 2019