T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is a fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

al team of superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

es that appeared in comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s originally published by Tower Comics
Tower Comics
Tower Comics was an American comic book publishing company best known for Wally Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, a strange combination of secret agents and superheroes; and Samm Schwartz's Tippy Teen, an Archie Andrews clone...

 in the 1960s. They were an arm of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and were notable for their depiction of the heroes as everyday people whose heroic careers were merely their day jobs. The series was also notable for featuring some of the better artists of the day, such as Wally Wood
Wally Wood
Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer, artist and independent publisher, best known for his work in EC Comics and Mad. He was one of Mads founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he...

. The team first appeared in T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (November 1965). The name is an acronym for "The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves".

Tower Comics

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was a bimonthly comic book published by Tower Comics. It ran for 20 issues, from November 1965 to November 1969, plus two short-lived spin-off series starring the most popular super agents (Dynamo and NoMan). To launch the project, Wally Wood huddled with scripter Len Brown
Len Brown (comics)
Len Brown is a writer, editor, radio personality and comic book scripter, best known as the co-creator of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and Mars Attacks....

 (and possibly Larry Ivie) on a superhero concept Brown had described to Wood a year earlier. Brown recalled, "Wally had remembered my concept and asked me to write a 12-page origin story. I submitted a Captain Thunderbolt story in which he fought a villain named Dynamo." With a few changes by Wood and a title obviously inspired by the success of the spy-fi
-Definition and characteristics:It often uses a secret agent or superspy whose mission is a showcase of science fiction elements such as technology and ideas used for extortion, plots for world domination or world destruction, futuristic weapons, gadgets and fast vehicles that can travel on land,...

 television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series that was broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows the exploits of two secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who work for a fictitious secret international espionage and law-enforcement...

and the then current James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 film Thunderball
Thunderball (film)
Thunderball is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, which in turn was based on an original screenplay by Jack Whittingham...

, the series got underway.

JC Comics

Following Tower Comics' demise, the rights to T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents were bought by John Carbonaro, who published several issues of a new series in 1983 under his JC Comics
JC Comics
JC Comics , was a short-lived comic book company owned by John Carbonaro . JC published a few titles in the early 1980s, most notably comics featuring the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents....

 line, the last of which was published through Archie Comics
Archie Comics
Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher headquartered in the Village of Mamaroneck, Town of Mamaroneck, New York, known for its many series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Jughead Jones. The characters were created by...

' Red Circle Comics
Red Circle Comics
Red Circle Comics was an imprint used by Archie Comics Publications, Inc. to publish non-Archie characters, especially their superheroes, in the 1970s and '80s.-Phase 1: 1970s:...


L. Miller & Son, Ltd.

Meanwhile, in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, L. Miller & Son, Ltd.
L. Miller & Son, Ltd.
L. Miller & Son, Ltd. was a British publisher of magazines, comic books, and pulp fiction intended primarily to take advantage of the British ban on importing printed matter. Between 1943 and 1966, the firm published British editions of many American comic books, primarily those of Fawcett Comics...

 and some of its successors published large monthly compendiums of uncoloured American superhero comics up until the 1980s, often reproducing T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents material.

Texas Comics

In 1983, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents appeared in Texas Comics
Texas Comics
Texas Comics was an American short-lived independent comics company set up in 1983 by several Texas based comic book fans, who had worked together before on the Comics Informer fanzine...

' Justice Machine Annual
Justice Machine
The Justice Machine is a fictional team of superheroes originally created by Michael Gustovich and appearing in comic books from many small publishers in the 1980s and 1990s.-Publication history:...

#1, written by William Messner-Loebs
William Messner-Loebs
William Messner-Loebs is an American comic book writer and artist from Michigan, also known as Bill Loebs and Bill Messner-Loebs...

, with art by Bill Reinhold
Bill Reinhold
Bill Reinhold was born March 18, 1955 and is a 1982 graduate of the American Academy of Art in downtown Chicago.-Biography:Reinhold has been drawing and inking comic books professionally since 1981. He's done work most notably for First Comics, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics. Reinhold is known...

, Jeff Dee
Jeff Dee
Jeff Dee is an American artist and game designer. Based in Austin, Texas, he is a recognized figure in the role-playing game community and game industry...

, and Bill Anderson.

Deluxe Comics

In 1984, David M. Singer's Deluxe Comics
Deluxe Comics
Deluxe Comics was a short-lived comic book publishing company which published one title, Wally Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.- History :Deluxe Comics was a division of Singer Publishing, founded by David M. Singer. It lasted from 1984 to 1986....

 began publishing a new series, Wally Wood
Wally Wood
Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer, artist and independent publisher, best known for his work in EC Comics and Mad. He was one of Mads founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he...

's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
, featuring some of the best artists of the era, including George Pérez
George Pérez
George Pérez is a Puerto Rican-American writer and illustrator of comic books, known for his work on various titles, including Avengers, Teen Titans and Wonder Woman.-Biography:...

, Dave Cockrum
Dave Cockrum
David Emmett Cockrum was an American comic book artist known for his co-creation of the new X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus...

, Keith Giffen
Keith Giffen
Keith Ian Giffen is an American comic book illustrator and writer.-Biography:Giffen was born in Queens, New York City....

, Murphy Anderson
Murphy Anderson
Murphy Anderson is an American comic book artist, known as one of the premier inkers of his era, who has worked for companies such as DC Comics for over fifty years, starting in the 1930s-'40s Golden Age of Comic Books...

, Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stephen J. "Steve" Ditko is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the Marvel Comics heroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange....

, Rich Buckler
Rich Buckler
Rich Buckler is an American comic book artist and penciller, best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four in the mid-1970s and, with writer Doug Moench, co-creating the character Deathlok in Astonishing Tales #25...

, and Jerry Ordway
Jerry Ordway
Jeremiah "Jerry" Ordway is an American writer, penciller, inker and painter of comic books.He is known for his inking work on a wide variety of DC Comics titles, including the continuity-redefining classic Crisis on Infinite Earths , his long run working on the Superman titles from 1986–1993, and...

. Singer claimed the group was in the public domain. A lawsuit by Carbonaro claimed otherwise. The lawsuit was eventually decided in US District Court in favor of Carbonaro, with Singer acknowledging Carbonaro’s registered copyrights and trademark. Under the decision, Carbonaro also received, among other things, an assignment of all rights to Wally Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and an undisclosed sum of money. Deluxe Comics closed its doors in 1986 when several major distributors failed to pay sizeable past-due invoices.

Solson Publications

In 1987, Solson Publications
Solson Publications
Solson Publications was a New York-based black-and-white comic book publisher active in the 1980s. The company was founded by Gary Brodsky, son of long-time Marvel Comics executive Sol Brodsky; the name of the company was derived from Brodsky's name: "Sol's son" = Solson.- Titles published :*...

 produced one issue of T.H.U.N.D.E.R., a planned four-issue limited series
Limited series
A limited series is a comic book series with a set number of installments. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is determined before production and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues....

 which was never completed. A second issue was almost done. This series was not quite set in the same universe as the original series and took the characters in a different direction.


In the early 1990s, Rob Liefeld
Rob Liefeld
Rob Liefeld is an American comic book writer, illustrator, and publisher. A prominent artist in the 1990s, he has since become a controversial figure in the medium....

 (of Extreme Studios) claimed to have the rights to publish T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. He even advanced Dave Cockrum
Dave Cockrum
David Emmett Cockrum was an American comic book artist known for his co-creation of the new X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus...

 money to do the series. Liefeld was said to have told Cockrum that he had free rein and no approval needed on his stories from either Liefeld himself, or any of the other editors at Extreme Studios. However, Liefeld claims that Cockrum later came back to him and decided he did not want to do the book, and gave Liefeld no reason. Another revival was attempted by Carbonaro in Penthouse Comix
Penthouse Comix
Penthouse Comix was initially an American mass-market, magazine-sized comic book, published by Penthouse International from its inception in spring 1994 through July 1998, and thereafter by General Media Communications, parent company of Penthouse magazine. Initially edited by writers George...

' OMNI Comix #3 (1995), but was never continued beyond that issue, though more work was completed.


In the early 2000s, DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 planned to release a new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents series under license from Carbonaro. Work for about two issues of a new series was completed, but Carbonaro put a stop to it as it made radical alterations to the characters. DC failed to create a series in line with the original series and tone, but began publishing reprints of the original Tower series in their hardcover DC Archive Editions
DC Archive Editions
DC Archive Editions, collect early, sometimes rare, comic books published by DC and other publishers into a permanent hardcover series. With more than 100 titles, this series began in 1989 with Superman Archives Vol. 1...

format in a total of six volumes. At the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, DC announced that T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents will be brought into the DC Universe
DC Universe
The DC Universe is the shared universe where most of the comic stories published by DC Comics take place. The fictional characters Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are well-known superheroes from this universe. Note that in context, "DC Universe" is usually used to refer to the main DC continuity...

, as they have recently done with the Milestone Media
Milestone Media
Milestone Media is a company best known for creating Milestone Comics and securing an unheard of publishing and distribution deal with DC Comics and the Static Shock cartoon series. It was founded in 1993 by a coalition of African-American artists and writers Milestone Media is a company best known...

 and MLJ Comics heroes.

On July 19, 2010, it was announced that a new series would begin publishing in November 2010 with a creative team of writer Nick Spencer
Nick Spencer
Nick Spencer is a comic book writer known for his creator-owned titles at Image Comics , his work at DC Comics Nick Spencer is a comic book writer known for his creator-owned titles at Image Comics (Existence 2.0/3.0, Forgetless, Shuddertown, Morning Glories), his work at DC Comics Nick Spencer is...

 and artist CAFU. The team consists of the original NoMan and a team of new heroes wearing the classic T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents costumes. In a departure from the classic series, the new Lightning is African.

Fictional team history

The first issue introduced the first three T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents: Dynamo, NoMan, and Menthor. In that issue, United Nations soldiers storm a mountain laboratory of a UN scientist, Professor Emil Jennings, driving off the forces of the Warlord. The scientist is dead, but he left behind several of his inventions — super weapons to combat the Warlord's worldwide attacks. These inventions provide superpowers. Leonard Brown is given the Thunder belt, which makes him super strong and invulnerable for a short amount of time, and is code-named Dynamo. Dying scientist Anthony Dunn transfers his mind into an android body of his own design. With a wide number of these identical bodies, he can transfer his mind to any of them should something happen to the one he is in. He is given an invisibility cloak and becomes NoMan. John Janus gains mental powers from the Menthor helmet. He is a double agent for the Warlord, but when he wears the helmet, he turns to good. Joining these super agents is the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad, a special team of agents who fight the worldwide threat of the Warlord. This team included Virgil "Guy" Gilbert, Dynamite (Daniel John Adkins), William "Weed" Wylie, Kathryn "Kitten" Kane, and James "Egghead" Andor.

In subsequent issues, additional agents were added. Gilbert of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad is given the Lightning suit and becomes a super agent in the fourth issue. In the second issue, it is revealed that the Warlord is actually a Subterranean, and his forces are humanoids who live under the surface and have engaged in a war with the surface world to reclaim it from humans. Also in this issue, Egghead is killed in action, but later reappears as a villain in an issue of Wally Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. In issue #7, Menthor is killed. In issue #8, Craig Lawson is given an experimental rocket pack and becomes the Raven; and more importantly, the Subterraneans are defeated in that same issue. Later post-Tower additions included sonic-powered agent Vulcan (Travis F. Riley), two different Undersea Agents (Lt. David "Davy" Jones and his daughter Theresa), and two later versions of "new" agents who wore the Menthor helmet.

With the threat of the Subterraneans ended, new villains appeared in the original series. Issue #9 introduced S.P.I.D.E.R. (Secret People's International Directorate for Extralegal Revenue), the main villains for the rest of the series. Other menaces included the Iron Maiden, an armored mastermind (introduced in the first issue as a possible love interest for Dynamo) who worked for the Subterraneans; Andor, a fast-healing telekinetic superhuman created by the Subterraneans who was introduced in Dynamo #1; along with Red Star (Communist menace) and others.

The 2010 DC Comics series began with S.P.I.D.E.R. kidnapping the Raven and killing Dynamo and Lightning, leading to new versions of Lightning and Dynamo being recruited, along with the original NoMan, who had left the team because he was losing his humanity. It was established that by this time a number of people had been behind the costume of each T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent, since the devices that gave them their powers are eventually fatal.

Also introduced are T.H.U.N.D.E.R.'s recruiters, field agent Colleen Franklin and salesman Toby Heston. In the assault on S.P.I.D.E.R. to rescue the Raven, it is revealed that Toby is actually the brother of S.P.I.D.E.R.'s new leader, given a false personality to infiltrate T.H.U.N.D.E.R. When he attempts to use the Menthor helmet to gain the Raven's secrets however, he regains the "Toby" personality, similar to the affect it had on Janus.

Colleen is revealed to be the daughter of Len Brown, the original Dynamo, and the Iron Maiden. They attempt to live quietly in Sydney, Australia but their home is eventually raided by the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad, and the family is captured. Brown wears the Dynamo belt one last time in exchange for his daughter and the Iron Maiden's life and apparently dies during the mission. The Iron Maiden manages to escape T.H.U.N.D.E.R.'s custody, leaving Colleen to be raised by T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Years later, Colleen tracks down the Iron Maiden and after extracting some information from her with the help of Toby Heston, leaves her to be killed by the daughter of one of her former victims.

Collected editions

  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives, Vol. 1 (reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1–4), December 2002, ISBN 1-56389-903-5
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives, Vol. 2 (reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5–7; Dynamo #1), June 2003, ISBN 1-56389-970-1
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives, Vol. 3 (reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #8–10; Dynamo #2), March 2004, ISBN 1-4012-0015-X
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives, Vol. 4 (reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #11; NoMan #1–2; Dynamo #3), June 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0152-0
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives, Vol. 5 (reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #12–14; Dynamo #4), 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0164-4
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives, Vol. 6 (reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #15–20; plus covers of four Undersea Agent issues), February 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0416-3

The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Companion is a book-length history of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, combining material from Comic Book Artist
Comic Book Artist
Comic Book Artist was an American magazine founded by Jon B. Cooke devoted to anecdotal histories of American comic books, with emphasis on comics published since the 1960s...

with previously unpublished work.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.