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THUNDER Agents 4
"The Origin of T.H.U.N.D.E.R."


(Originally Reviewed On 04/30/02)

With the end of World War II, there are new beginnings, particularly in the area of power and aggression, with The U.N. forces handling open military actions, but hidden international acts of conspiracy required a new and direct approach... The U.N. formed the secret intelligence and enforcement agency... T.H.U.N.D.E.R.

Several would-be dictators and tyrants came forth, seeking to destroy this newly-formed organization, and further their hold on the world, such as the shadowy leader known as The Warlord, who died in the attempt.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. has the resources and the finest minds in the world working for them, including Professor Wallace Jennings, who would play a part in the creation of the android now known as Noman. It was Professor Jennings who was responsible for the creation of T.H.U.N.D.E.R.'s many devices, but he was slain by the hordes of The Warlord.

Agents were selected from various branches of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. to utilize Jenning's devices, and in turn becoming the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Super-Agents known as Noman, Dynamo, Menthor, and Lightning!

Art on this origin page was by Wally Wood. Four panels tell the story, with a group of military men and helicopters, The U.N. building with the mysterious Warlord peering from behind it, Wallace Jennings and Dr. John Dunn inspecting the android, which would house the consciousness of Dunn, himself. The final panel has The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad running alongside Noman, Dynamo, Menthor, and Lightning.

An emphasis on the post-world war II period. In the fifties, The JSA would be forced to resign after a hearing with The H.U.A.C., leaving Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to take up the slack.

In the fifties, Captain America, The Sub-Mariner, and The Human Torch would return in the pages of Young Men, with this Sentinel of Liberty and his sidekick turning out to be the second to carry on the heroic tradition, only to become hopelessly insane due to the lack of being exposed to the stabilizing Vita-Rays. The Sub-Mariner would become an amnesiac, and The Human Torch would head to the desert and end his android life, only to be revived in the '60s.

In post-crisis continuity, The O.S.S. and the man known as Argent would be responsible for taking down the various super-villains, such as The Sportsmaster and The Huntress, while The JSA was inactive.

In an issue of What If, a 1950's team of Avengers would include: The 3-D Man, Marvel Boy, Venus, Gorilla Man, and The Human Robot. Brought together by F.B.I. agent Jimmy Woo, they would stop the malevolent plans of The Yellow Claw, who gathered a group of villains, Skull-Face, The Great Video, The Cold Warrior, and Electro.

Where once, heroes such as The Fantastic Four and The Challengers of The Unknown were active in the '60s, readers are now to believe that The F.F. started as soon as ten years ago, while The Challs were active all those years.

A group known as The Forgotten Heroes: The Immortal Man, Dolphin, Dane Dorrance, Animal Man, Cave Carson, and Rip Hunter would face off against The Forgotten Villains, many of whom made their appearances during the '50s and '60s: The Enchantress, Ultivac, Mr. Neptune, The Faceless Hunter From Saturn.

I've always had a fondness for groups, particularly ecclectic ones such as T.H.U.N.D.E.R., The JLA, The JSA, The Avengers, et al. With diverse powers and abilities, such as super-strength, superhuman speed, telepathy, and invisibility, as well as more than a few scientists, this certainly covers much ground, indeed.

On the JLA cartoon, there was a group called The Justice Guild of America. They included: Tom Turbine (who wore a belt similar to Dynamo's), The Black Siren, The Streak, Catman, and The Green Guardsmen (whose weakness was aluminum).

In a world with Earth's Mightiest Heroes and The World's Greatest Super-Heroes, I must say that I enjoy their classic stories, as opposed to the blungeoning branch of Mutant titles, which if not for mutant massacre crossovers, they would outnumber their non-homo superior counterparts and lose all their appeal to me.

Steve Chung