IDW Publishing announced this afternoon that they will begin publishing T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comics in 2013, in accordance with their New York Comic Con announcement that they had acquired the license to the property.
The series, last published by DC Comics, is a well-traveled one, having been published by Tower Comics before landing at the Big Two. The most recent iteration ended its run after the launch of the New 52, so the license has not been expired long.
“I'm thrilled that IDW will be bringing its extraordinary talents and craft to producing everything from beautiful omnibus volumes to bold and cutting-edge new comic book titles based on T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents,” said film producer Michael Uslan, who initiated the project. “With top quality, IDW will be presenting the works of comic book super-stars, including T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents creator, Wally Wood (Daredevil, MAD, EC horror and science fiction comics, All-Star Comics, Power Girl) along with the legendary Steve Ditko (Spider-Man, Dr. Strange); Gil Kane (Green Lantern, The Atom); Mike Sekowsky (Justice League); Reed Crandall (Blackhawk); Dave Cockrum (X-Men); George Perez(Wonder Woman, New Teen Titans); Murphy Anderson (Hawkman, The Spectre); Paul Gulacy (Master of Kung Fu); Jerry Ordway (Shazam, Justice Society); Ron Lim (Warlock, Silver Surfer), Keith Giffen(Legion of Super-Heroes, Lobo); Dan Adkins (Creepy, Dr. Strange), and many others.”
Besides these creators, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is a title that's confounded many, as a number of name creators had near-misses with the property during its time at DC Comics, some of which concepts reportedly ended up working their way into other books.
While no creative team for any future exploits has yet been named, the publisher certainly seems to have plans not just for reprints of classic material but also for new comics coming soon. This may be a case, as it was with Judge Dredd, of just waiting for the creative team to be named even though they're already in place at the publisher level.
“T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents always had a great premise in addition to the list of esteemed creators who worked on the comics—people whose day job was being government-employed superheroes,” said IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall, “That premise offers a resonant jumping-off point for some exciting new stories that will add to the great comics already left behind by both Tower and DC’s recent run.”
“T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is a classic, beloved property,” added Greg Goldstein, IDW's President and C.O.O.. “Its original stories featured some of the best superhero art of the silver age and it was well ahead of its time in many areas of storytelling. As an example, it was the first mainstream comic book to feature the ‘permanent’ death of a major character.”
IDW has been quietly amassing an impressive lineup of licensed properties, with well-reviewed and fan-favorite adaptations of Godzilla, Ghostbusters and now Judge Dredd, in addition to their long-running True Blood stories and more. When ComicBook.com reported yesterday that DC Comics no longer had the rights to The Spirit and other pulp heroes, we speculated that IDW might be a perfect home for such a property; this certainly suggests that they're in the market for such things.
“We are very excited that T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents has found a new home at IDW,” said David M. Matthews, Managing Director of Radiant Assets, owner of the property. “Their history of high-quality publications coupled with top-notch creative teams perfectly compliments our desire to expand not only the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent franchise, but Undersea Agent and Fight the Enemy, as well. We join them with great optimism about bringing this storied team’s past, present and future to a whole new generation of readers, who will join the longtime legion of fans already anxious for the continuation of the team’s legendary exploits.”