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By Jim Beard
Two of Marvel's hottest headliners slam headlong into each other this April 1 as the amazing Agents of Atlas-Jimmy Woo, Gorilla Man, Namora, Venus and the former Marvel Boy-tussle with Captain America in AGENTS OF ATLAS #3!
As with every issue of AGENTS OF ATLAS to date, there will be two narratives for the price of admission: one in the here and now and one set in the Agents' illustrious past.
"In the 1950's, the team is chasing after some communist operatives who kidnapped Jimmy Woo's girlfriend, and find some secrets they weren't expecting," says writer Jeff Parker. "In the present day, Venus gets at what's been making Namora so erratic-well, more than usual-lately and the rest of the team present their weapons project to Norman Osborn.
"And as the awesome Adi Granov cover indicates, this yields them a face full of Captain America
It had to happen; as Agent-ophiles everywhere know, the legendary yet secretive team operates on the fringes and
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when that's your beat sometimes you attract all sorts of unwanted attention, especially when you're allied with Norman Osborn.
"Cap sees it purely from the outside: another group of criminals helping the one he knows, and he's got to stop them," Parker points out. "There's no time or incentive to clue him in on the Agents' true motives, because they don't trust him either. They know he isn't the original Captain America, and have no idea who he is or what his real agenda is."
A common thread between these two factions rests in their pasts, namely that both the Agents and Bucky Barnes claim lives far older than their outward appearances. But AGENTS OF ATLAS #3 will prove whether or not that common thread means common ground on which to stand or on which to fight.
"All of them have long histories and therefore a different perspective on today's events than most of the Marvel heroes," states Parker. "The mistake would be to assume that they're all black and white in their outlooks, when in truth they're probably [grayer]. Bucky is probably more wary than the Agents tend to be, because he's been the victim of even worse manipulations than they have by Mr. Lao and the Yellow Claw."
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Originally a team of FBI operatives in the 50's, the Agents and their leader, Jimmy Woo, now spend their time attempting to bring Jimmy's inheritance, the enigmatic empire called Atlas, into the future. But it's their pasts that have definitely shaped who they've become in the present.
"I think Bucky still can't help but be a soldier, even if he has no one to follow," opines Parker. "Similarly, coming from the 1950's FBI, Jimmy Woo still thinks of his group as undercover agents even though only Gorilla Man continued in that vein with S.H.I.E.L.D."
All this talk of clandestine encounters and super-secret sects begs the question: May some of the Agents actually have met the new Captain America previously, perhaps in his days as the Winter Soldier?
"I dunno, we'll have to see," teases Parker.
Take a plunge into the past with Captain America in AGENTS OF ATLAS #3, on sale April 1. For more with the Agents, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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