This weeks issue of Atlas, (the artists formerly known as the Agents Of Atlas) really whetted my appetite for more and has sent me digging through my back issues.
The recent success of the Atlas team of Jimmy Woo, Venus, M-11 the Killer Robot, Namora and the Uranian, allegedly the original incarnation of Marvel Boy (I have my doubts) has been masterful marketing, Yet it is only now, with the addition (and hopeful redemption) of Triathlon Daniel Garrett, former Avenger and successor to the original 3D Man that the entire topic of the so-called 50′s Avengers has risen its head. Not a whisper of this has been mentioned in the relaunch of these characters over the past few years.
The 50s Avengers were introduced in the ninth issue of the original series of What If, back in 1978. Locked in combat with minions of the Yellow Claw in an effort to prevent the kidnapping of President Dwight Eisenhower. These Avengers were successful is saving the President but that never prevented him from asking them to disband.
seemingly ret-conned out of existence. However, in a personal communication with Kurt Busiek (on the Avengers Message Board), he specifically stated that he did not wipe the Avengers of the 1950s from existence. One alternate timeline containing them was wiped out. The group may well have existed in the mainstream past, but they just weren’t called the Avengers. He suggested the name: “The G-Men”. (Thanks to the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe for that little tidbit of information).
This was still not the end however, Immortus did not erase all such timelines as seen in Paradise X Heralds #3, and as such the 50s Avengers occurred as one of the many repeated memes throughout the multiverse.
Now Triathlon is having dreams of this hidden or alternate history, while the Agents of Atlas face once again the badly named villain Skull Face, the skeleton of an alleged demon burnt at the stake centuries ago and restored to life in this century (well, last century) by fifty million volts of electricity (sic) in Mystic #6.
Talk about a bygone era, but even today such simplicity has it’s appeal. I rather think that the story being unvieled however will be far from simple, but I eagerly await more.