Springing from Greg Pak’s New Agents of Atlas and Agents of Atlas, Atlantis Attacks is getting the trade paperback treatment this week. The Agents of Atlas are up against Namor and Mike Nguyen and his plans around his Portal City of Pan. Featuring heroes like Amadeus Cho, Silk, Wave, and Shang-Chi, the heroes are facing all of Atlantis, but also a dark secret that could affect all of Earth in the Marvel universe.
Greg Pak is very good at writing team books. Paired with Ario Anindito and Robert Gill on art, this book maximizes each moment for every character, which is saying a lot since there are so many of them. Customary of books with lots of characters, there are handy captions detailing each character’s name, which go a long way to catch us up on who’s who. The series was affected by the pandemic with a seven-month delay between issue #3 and #4. They face Namor and all of Atlantis in a war that is at times more about managing Namor’s rush to anger than anything else. He’s seriously pissed off.
The beauty of this book is how it weaves in interesting lore and exposition about the dragons that this series has revealed to have had a heavy hand in human history. Surprisingly, Nguyen has a point that throws into question what the heroes should do. Well, until the cliffhanger drops and things get very interesting in the penultimate issue. That said, it’s fun to consider what the heroes should do since the stakes are so high. The scale of what is revealed in this book could serve as Marvel’s next big event while dealing with a heavy dose of clever myth-building.
An example of that cleverness can be seen in a key scene regarding the history of Atlantis and their rivals, the Sirenas. Also a culture from the water, there’s a great story within the story in this book about how a terrible creature helped the Atlantis people, but also destroyed the Sirenas. It’s a neat way to show how two cultures have different myths based on which side of the story they were on.
Pak continues to write Nguyen in an interesting way. Yes, he’s a capitalist who has shown a few times he’s more about profit than helping others, but his position actually has some merit. Considering he’s been a dirtbag corporate capitalist, it puts in perspective how evil entities can get their hooks in good people. Of course, you also have Namor opposing all sides too, which creates an effective conundrum for all those involved.
For a book filled with so many characters, the art must do a lot of work to keep things clear and understandable and Gil and Anindito do well in that department. Nguyen appears mostly as a hologram and there’s a nice glow effect created by color artist Rachelle Rosenberg. There are nice details in backgrounds throughout, helping to put in perspective where characters stand from each other. That goes a long way in team books to keep things clear.
Atlantis Attacks is an effective team book as it balances the use of each character. At its core, there’s a bigger story afoot that is a game-changer and large enough to have the stakes required of so many heroes.
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