Heroic Age

Atlas: The 3-D Experience

Jeff Parker prepares for the return of 3-D Man as the new ATLAS ongoing kicks off

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By TJ Dietsch

Forget about the movies, the true 3-D experience will be coming your way thanks to writer Jeff Parker and artist Gabriel Hardman in ATLAS #1 when former Avenger Delroy Garrett, aka 3-D Man, meets the team he almost helped found.

"When I looked at the line-up [of "1950's Avengers" from WHAT IF? v1 #9 that inspired AGENTS OF ATLAS] everyone worked as icons of pulp fantasy and sci-fi, except 3-D Man," Parker explains. "And he seemed out of place, having not actually been in the Timely Atlas comics. I liked the idea of Namora in the team much better, and when I found out she was left in a block of ice, there was no way I wasn't going to bring her in."

ATLAS #1 preview art by Gabriel Hardman
With his line-up in mind, Parker went on to resurrect the Agents of Atlas in their very own limited series which has lead to various adventures and the  brand new ongoing ATLAS launching on May 19. The inclusion of 3-D Man in the festivities, though, has been a long time coming and inspired by fans in high places.

"I only had a vague idea about how he could be brought in, and then [Senior VP of Publishing & Sales Circulation] David Gabriel asked us about it-3-D [Man] has closet fans everywhere-as we were planning the new series," Parker reveals. "I thought about it again in a meta-sense: the idea of a ret-conned hero who somehow missed out on a group that he would have been in. It started becoming more appealing and soon it was clear how it would work. I also liked the current 3-D Man, Delroy Garrett, and how he was handled in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE quite a bit."

ATLAS kicks off with 3-D Man making his way to the Agents' secret temple headquarters, but it seems they knew about his eventual arrival. But, don't expect a pleasant visit, as things continue to heat up for Delroy.

"Someone is suddenly trying to kill him, an enemy or enemies he can't avoid," Parker says. "And at the same time, he starts having dreams that feature Atlas in them, even though Del has never heard of them. So he sets out to find out what the connection is."

ATLAS #1 preview art by Gabriel Hardman
Speaking of connections, 3-D Man has quite a few when you look back at his 12-year history. Originally created as Triathlon in AVENGERS, he went on to side with Captain America during Civil War, join the Initiative as an instructor and most recently realized he could see Skrulls even when they were shifted, becoming a member of the Skrull Kill Krew and turning the tide during the Secret Invasion.

"He's really now a hero on the fringes," Parker explains. "While doing his job as a Skrull [killer] in the Secret Invasion, he killed Crusader, a Skrull who became sympathetic with Earth during the war. This left a lot of heroes angry with him, and of course the Initiative has been shut down, so he doesn't have a government job anymore. Even though he's capable, noble and powerful, he has nowhere to be; pretty far from the glory days of being an Avenger. But Atlas is the team of second chances. All of them were forgotten by history but got new purpose and found their way back. And now maybe that can happen for Del."

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