This was a series that should’ve been crap.
Even as a fan of Golden Age comics and of What If #9, I had low expectations of this series.
But Jeff Parker won me over big time. This was one of the best series Marvel was publishing at the time.
The characters were instantly interesting as soon as they walked on stage. It was completely reasonable to think that if someone was exposed to the series, they’d be won over. And Marvel, to their credit, tried.
There were cross-overs with the Avengers and the X-Men. Guest-Starring spots in Spider-Man and Thunderbolts. Stories included in anthologies. Spin-off mini-series.
There was the backup/cross-over in Hercules — Hercules and Venus were from the same pantheon — but it wasn’t like Hercules, another top-notch series you should’ve been reading, was selling big numbers. But Marvel obviously knew its market — if you liked Hercules, you’d like Agents. I was already buying them both. Maybe they didn’t account for that or maybe this was the only slot they could get.
Eventually, both Parker and Marvel accepted that the series wasn’t selling and Parker was better utilized elsewhere. It was a shame but no one could complain that Marvel didn’t give extraordinary support to the series.
So whatever you’re drinking tonight (I have a glass of chardonnay beside me), even if you never read or even heard of this series, raise your glass.
To The Agents of Atlas!