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  • A Gorilla Arrives, a Book Goes.

    Today I spoke to Chris Sims at Comics Alliance about the new GORILLA-MAN #1 and… the news about ATLAS #5. Go read it. And here’s the Modest Mouse mood song that has too many swears for CA to link to.

    I just want to thank all of you who have been following us all along and sharing the book with friends, it means more than you know. But better we get a chance to do a big bang up ending- and there are some big surprises on the way by issue 4- than a bunch of desperate bids for numbers and never get to tell the stories Atlas does best. I’ll speak more on it in the comments later, I’m hungry and need to go write this thing.

    Comments

    Comment from Eric Gimlin
    Time: July 13, 2010, 9:12 am

    I appreciate that you’re ending this on your terms before it gets canceled or turns into something you don’t want. But I’m not happy that it’s ending; it has been one of my favorite books since I grabbed the HC of the original mini.

    (Censored)!

    Comment from KentL
    Time: July 13, 2010, 9:23 am

    Well, that’s frustrating. Atlas is one of the few titles I’m getting from Marvel right now. Sorry to hear about this, Jeff.

    Comment from Eric
    Time: July 13, 2010, 9:34 am

    Sad to hear it. Well, I did my part, at least. This means the loss of another exception to my, “I don’t really buy superhero books any more,” rule. Soon I’ll be down to just Jack Staff.

    I always thought the line in that Modest Mouse song was that someone would steal your coffin, not your carbon. I figured it was about Graham Parsons.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 13, 2010, 9:47 am

    You’ve just created a very different song for me to hear!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 13, 2010, 9:47 am

    Thanks Eric!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 13, 2010, 9:49 am

    We’ll make something new for you though…

    Comment from Chris McAree
    Time: July 13, 2010, 10:14 am

    Hey Jeff, I’ll still be following everything else you write, but I’m really sad Atlas is biting the bullet. It’s been a great series right from the inception, and created/integrated some individual and interesting characters for the modern Marvel Universe.
    Thanks for the great reads.
    Regards,
    Chris

    Comment from Brett
    Time: July 13, 2010, 10:39 am

    Serious bad news. I have been down to just a couple of comics for the last couple of years and this lowers the count by fifty percent. It is sad the big companies only want to do nostalgia characters and not develop new heroes. Glad you still have a ton of work, but really a bummer.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:20 am

    Oh…..

    You gotta be ****** kidding me!

    One of the best books that Marvel publishes from one of it’s best writers.

    And it gets cancelled at #5. Jesus Christ on a Cracker.

    I may as well quit reading anything I enjoy. It’s sure to be cancelled.

    Now I’m depressed…. Meh. Maybe I should just quit comics all together.

    Comment from Cole Moore Odell
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:21 am

    Tough news, if not unexpected. The book had been on borrowed time for a while now (from a publishing standpoint, not creative), and I’m glad we got as many issues as we did. Thanks to Jeff and all the artists going back to the original mini-series.

    Actually, Jeff, I hope this opens up some space in your schedule for more creator-owned material like Underground and Mysterius. While I think you’re one of the best Marvel writers in decades–along with Pak and Van Lente you just *get* the rhythms and essential comedic/dramatic tension of the Marvel style in a way few have since Stan–and while I’ll follow you onto other superhero material the same way I follow Morrison and Brubaker, I’d rather see what ideas you’ve got outside the corporate concepts. Anything cooking on that front?

    Still: goddamn it.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:28 am

    Well, he’ll be writing Hulk. Which I’ll certainly pick up.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:38 am

    Cole, thanks- I AM working up more creator-owned concepts. If I am going to ram my head against a wall this many times, it really should be on something I own. I’ve always felt that way about Atlas for various reasons, probably the biggest due to when I first started putting it together. If you read the forward to the original trade, I talk about Mark Paniccia asking me to pitch something with this team right after my dad died, so I got a lot of wish fulfillment built into the return of the characters. It gave it a special quality I think, but in the end, I don’t own them. I am lucky Marvel gave me so many times at bat with them and with such talented collaborators though. Very proud of what is out there.

    Comment from kjchen
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:49 am

    This is disappointing news, although I’m glad that we got the issues we did (and I love my Agents of Atlas hardcover). At least there’s the silver lining of more creator-owned Parkerness. It’s way past time for Interman 2: Electric Boogaloo.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:50 am

    I do agree with the sentiment that I’m glad that Jeff decided when to end it.

    Rather than write another crossover, to try to pump the numbers.

    And hopefully someone will take interest in using Gorilla Man.

    Gorilla Man: Handler For the T-Bolts?
    Gorilla Man: Instructor for Avengers Academy?

    He really does need to be in a book he can keep his sense of humor.

    Comment from Cole Moore Odell
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:54 am

    It may not have had an audience in what’s left of the mainstream comics market, but I predict the inevitable Atlas animated TV series where they’re all recast as 14-year-olds, Teen Titans style.

    …you know, that would actually work really well.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 11:57 am

    Atlas Babies!

    With Mr. Lao as Nanny.

    Comment from Cole Moore Odell
    Time: July 13, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Jimmy the teen superspy = Robin; Venus the otherworldly, innocent sex bomb = Starfire; Marvel Boy the odd, uncomfortable alien = Raven; Gorilla Boy = Beast Boy with Cyborg’s personality; X-11 the Tween Robot = Cyborg’s powers with Brainiac 5′s personality from the LSH cartoon; and Namora = Namora.

    Their enemies include a giant dragon and–angst alert–Jimmy’s girlfriend Suwan’s evil uncle. Junk the 1950′s angle (or maybe that’s Jimmy’s personality hook) and it’s as straightforward as it gets.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 12:24 pm

    I dunno. Without the 50′s Era origins of the characters… they don’t have as much charm. Making them nothing more than cheap Teen Titans knock-offs doesn’t really work for me.

    Comment from Jon Burr
    Time: July 13, 2010, 12:31 pm

    Prefatory remarks: This is going to be a sappy, weepy, butthurt comment.

    Jeff, Thanks for ATLAS. It got me back into comics. I had a hardened carapace from years of dull, grim comics and your agents chipped it away. I’m glad I’ve made your acquaintance and gotten to tell you how much your comic thrilled me. Your success in comics is one of the bright spots I follow in the industry and I hope it continues and that, some day, you’ll be able to return to the Atlas sandbox. For it has been something special.

    Comment from odessasteps magazine
    Time: July 13, 2010, 12:51 pm

    If it’s going out, I’m glad it’s on your terms and we didn’t get a Great Ten….Nine situation.

    Any chance there could be a Mega Atlas collection with all the series being collected together?

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 13, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Thanks Jon, I appreciate that!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 13, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I like that idea.

    Comment from Al
    Time: July 13, 2010, 1:07 pm

    I’m very disappointed, but at least you’re doing it the way your way, rather than a cancellation.

    It’s so fucking tough to get casual fans interested in characters that aren’t already-famous A-listers.

    Keep up the good work with your books, Jeff. We’ll keep buying them! Terribly sorry about this.

    Comment from Doug R
    Time: July 13, 2010, 1:51 pm

    I hate that it’s canceled – it’s da bomb! And no more Mysterious the Unfathomable either so far as I know.

    I love all the characters and your take on them, and I root for maybe a yearly annual kind of thing that may eventually build up popular critical mass for these characters.

    Comment from Bert Wilson
    Time: July 13, 2010, 2:13 pm

    Man I cannot believe this…How can a title like Deadpool keeping getting the rub from Marvel and not something like Atlas. This is BS. Nice call on Parting of the Sensory from MM.

    You would think maybe Marvel could try a day and date digital release. That could take away from some of the monetary loss.

    I remember a WordBallon Podcast with you a Gabe after FCB at Acme, that mentioned a digital release.

    Sad to see it go. Bect comic Marvel has been putting out since it started. Period.

    Comment from Bert Wilson
    Time: July 13, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Maybe Joe Q can have Mephisto go back in time and increase the sales of Atlas 100 fold and then this would never happen.

    Comment from Bert Wilson
    Time: July 13, 2010, 2:30 pm

    I think Payback from Slayer would be a better song to toss at Marvel right now for giving up so fast. Pathetic.

    Comment from Matt B
    Time: July 13, 2010, 2:47 pm

    I read about this over at Comics Alliance, Atlas was one of my favorite titles ever, and I’m disheartened to see it go. Well at least it was your decision to end it rather than let it go on indefinite hiatus/get canceled like Runaways and Immortal Iron Fist. I’m looking forward to your work with Thunderbolts and Hulk, and Gorilla Man’s mini, as well as any new creator owned stuff!

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 3:00 pm

    Bert…

    Read the interview. Jeff decided to end the book on his terms.

    Marvel was willing to let it continue, but it would have likely been as another crossover book like Atlas Vs. X-Men or Atlas Vs. Avengers. And Jeff just did both of those recently. And it wasn’t the kind of stories he wanted to tell with Atlas. So he decided to end things on his terms. Which is always for the best in these cases.

    And like I said elsewhere, it’s a tragic cancellation…. but look at how much Atlas we got over the past 4 years. That’s a remarkable achievement for a team made up of mostly forgotten 50′s era characters.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 13, 2010, 3:07 pm

    And I doubt it’ll be too long before someone uses them.

    Or Jeff Parker picks up his old friends and decides to tell another story.

    Comment from Matt B
    Time: July 13, 2010, 5:21 pm

    Is there any plans for backups in Incredible Hercules again?

    Comment from Cole Moore Odell
    Time: July 13, 2010, 6:16 pm

    Are there even plans for Incredible Hercules again? I haven’t heard what’s next after God War, if anything. These wonderful books seem to live or die a mini-series at a time these days.

    Comment from Cole Moore Odell
    Time: July 13, 2010, 6:33 pm

    @Beast–the animated series idea was meant in jest–although my 7- and 11-year-old sons would watch the hell out of a cartoon like that. The characters just play well off of each other, which was also the strength of Wolfman’s team.

    That’s one shame about the potential for the Atlas characters scattering to other books’ supporting casts, be it Namora in her cousin’s new book, Jimmy Woo passing though a Hickman or Brubaker title, or what have you. I’d love to think that these characters deserve better than half-existence (if even that) in the reflected light of the superstars like Iron Man and Captain America. In retrospect, that slightly infected the Atlas/X-Men and Atlas/Avengers minis–no matter how well done they were, there was an obvious air of commercial compromise about them–which is why Jeff’s decision to pull the plug here is really for the best.

    While my suggestion about a Cartoon Network show was a joke, I do believe that this concept and these characters could find an audience, even if a couple of years worth of valiant trying has shown that a big enough one doesn’t exist among current mainstream comic book readers. Heck, look at the popularity of DC’s latest Blue Beetle via the Brave & the Bold cartoon, after going down in flames as a comic book. Somebody get Jeph Loeb on the case!

    Comment from Heath B. Cole
    Time: July 13, 2010, 10:32 pm

    I discovered this series 3 years ago at a flea-market.

    Having not read a comic book for more than a decade, I had one of those spur-of-the-moment nostalgic situations and bought a box of them from a crazy smelly bearded guy.
    I was kinda really disappointed when I got home because the titles with names I remembered fondly from childhood, like the Uncanny X-Men, Teen Titans and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes:The Avengers, were strangely missing all the things I had loved about them. I thought,”What happened to comics?” Then I opened the one with the Gorilla and the Robot on it.

    I now own every book that even vaguely hints at mentioning the Agents of Atlas.

    Thank you so much for Jimmy Woo, Namora, M-11, Venus, the Uranian, Gorilla-Man, Dragon Lao and now 3-D Man. Marvel may own them but you breathed life into them and made them the most enjoyable team I’ve read in decades.

    Thank You Talented Artists!

    Thank You Jeff Parker!

    And Thank You Crazy Smelly Bearded Guy!

    Comment from J. Zeedrich
    Time: July 14, 2010, 4:40 am

    Very disappointed. However, if you, Hardman and Breitweiser are the new Hulk team, it would ease that disappointment somewhat. I do hope that some of the characters can be featured elsewhere, but I can’t imagine anyone but Jeff Parker handling Gorilla-Man or M-11. Props to you for making such a great comic and props to Marvel for giving it a second chance. It is sad that the market won’t support a quality comic like Atlas…

    Comment from Bert Wilson
    Time: July 14, 2010, 5:43 am

    @ Beast …Good point about Jeff’s decision and Marvel letting go on if he choose to. I just get frustrated that Marvel is not patient with the sales of the title. I feel it could pick up momentum over time. If Ms. Marvel could make it so long…then why not Atlas?

    Comment from jackmarlowe
    Time: July 14, 2010, 6:32 am

    Thanks Jeff for a good serie and good characters. A great loss of the best Marvel Series.

    But you will end the story. Only you wise to treat these characters and understand. YOu imprint your voice

    Is the same case with Jim Starlin and Adam Warlock and Thanos: when another writers touch them isnĀ“t the same.

    But Atlas never die, forever still in our minds because all are Agents of Atlas!

    Very thanks Jeff.

    Comment from Clem Clambake
    Time: July 14, 2010, 6:51 am

    Rats, there go my hopes for a story pitting the Agents of Atlas against The Headmen.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 14, 2010, 7:28 am

    Bert, you raise the Ms. Marvel point, and that’s a good example of a book that has always lived by tying in closely with other events- which works for that character well because she’s a key Avenger. To do it with Atlas would be a lot more forced. It’s the inherent dilemma of doing something designed to be a fringe thing- you kind of have to stay out there on the fringe! Thanks.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 14, 2010, 7:28 am

    Thanks Felipe!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 14, 2010, 7:29 am

    Heath, thank you.

    Comment from Jimmy
    Time: July 14, 2010, 8:06 am

    This is sad and infuriating.

    This book was special. Motivational for artists. It made us think that smart, heartfelt fresh fun and unpompous ambition had a place in mainstream comics. Wich was lovely news. Only it once again seems like it doesn’t.

    Well, you really did a great, memorable job with this title. I would’ve loved to draw a few stories some day.

    I think I’m going to spend the day in bed, now.

    Best,

    J

    Comment from Jason
    Time: July 14, 2010, 8:22 am

    Ugh…feels like M-11 just death rayed my heart.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 14, 2010, 8:22 am

    Well, we got quite a few stories out there, Jimmy. I think that’s the way you create a niche, you have to hammer away at it. And the next book that hits the same marks will hopefully have a safer zone for longer.

    Comment from King Hulk Marco
    Time: July 14, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Hi Jeff, I am truly sorry to hear the news. If need be, couldn’t you have Atlas as the backup title once you take over the Hulk in September? Also, as Beast had previously made fun of me in jest (though I am usually spot on with these things) couldn’t you casually ask Jeph Loeb to greenlight an Atlas animated mini movie with the next animated movie comes out? As a free bonus? PS I have just given you two ways in which you can put the Atlas brand out there. If you want I can suggest a surefire way you can bring Atlas back and be a hero to Marvel bigwigs (and the fans everywhere).

    Comment from Daily POP
    Time: July 14, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Argh!! Very sad to hear that this series has been canceled (again!). It has been a great read and hopefully the ideas and characters will pop up in some other titles in the coming months.

    Atlas combined some magnificent ideas old and new and provided a fresh alternative readers who had become disenchanted with the superhero genre without being pretentious or trying too hard. It was a fun, well-crafted series and its loss will be felt by all.

    Of course an animated series, even if only for the web, would be great.

    Comment from King Hulk Marco
    Time: July 14, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Well I am sure that the characters will return given time. Again Jeff, my condolences.

    Comment from bp
    Time: July 14, 2010, 9:49 pm

    Thanks for your run – I’ve been reading them since the first mini. I do hope Marvel puts some consideration into collecting Atlas. I got a bit confused during the back-up era, and missed most of that story. So some sort of collection program that got all the one-shots, back-ups, series, and mini-series would be delightful (too much to hope for, really).

    Looking forward to your next work. I’m picking up Thunderbolts and am a huge fan of Mysterius and Underground (had the pleasure of meeting you at HeroesCon, actually – picked up Mysterius there). Keep up the great work.

    Comment from Scott McBride
    Time: July 15, 2010, 8:57 am

    AH FUDGE! I so loved this series – it was my favorite because the stories were well written, there was continuity with previous stories, and it was REFRESHINGLY different, while still involving super heroes! (sob, sob, sob).

    I have a dream. Ken and Namorita are fine, but my dream is more sci-fi oriented. I love, love, love the Uranian’s space ship, the Robot’s classic 50′s look, and everything nostalgia 50s about this title. (Odd given I was born in the 70s). My dream is to FINALLY have a meeting between Robert and Wendell. They are both back, both alive, both have shared histories — and we still know S!@t about the origin of those freakin’ bands! It’s like not knowing where Green Lantern’s rings originated. Sure the Bands were used by previous “Protectors of the Universe,” but how were they created? How did they end up on Uranus in the first place, near the Kree Sentry (according to that old What If backup story)? I know that Bob always had a “facsimile” of the real ones — but if the jewels were unique, how could a facsimile even be manufactured?

    The Thanos Imparative stuff being done by DnA looks to be promising, so I’m sure there is no room for a meeting between the “previously known as Marvel Boy and Marvel Man” heroes anytime soon. BUTTTTTTT, I gotta ask, is there any interest on your part Jeff of possibly taking Bob and crew into space someday for an adventure? Getting Quasar and the Uranian to meet (FOR THE FIRST TIME!)? Seeing Bob show more of his unique “alien” nature and maybe even finding love for the poor boy in the deep darkness of space?

    I’ve seen that DnA get asked from time to time about “Marvel Boy,” and I’m guessing SOMEONE (besides me) has dreamed of a MEETING of the “Marvels” – is there even a chance that you would be interested in a sci-fi collaboration someday for the Agents of Atlas and Guardians of the Galaxy, for example? (I can just imagine a poker game between the dog, the racoon and the gorilla – OMG that would make me laugh so hard, I’m afraid I’d wet the carpet!).

    Cheese and Crackers – that could be cool! Especially if it involved Skrulls, the Badoon, or any other classic Marvel alien race straight out of a 50s sci fi film! :)

    I’m sad my letter (even bits and pieces) to y’all never appeared in Atlas — but I’ll keep the faith that Atlas will appear again soon, in their awesome space ship flying around the universe, saving us from evil threats everywhere!

    Thanks for making us very happy readers, Jeff!

    Comment from Joe Alexander
    Time: July 15, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Aghh! I just discovered this series, reading the 1.00 issue and really digging it. So I’ve been hunting down everything else since. I have always been a big fan of the characters from the 70′s Marvel Premiere and Marvel Spotlight comics.
    3-D man was my favorite, though Marvel Boy was also cool. I’ve always liked characters like 3-D Man whose abilities weren’t so super but rather gave them an edge over a normal person. Sorry to hear about this Mr. Parker, but I will definitely hunt down the rest of the issues.

    Comment from CDK
    Time: July 16, 2010, 4:26 pm

    This is terrible news.. Just when my favorite character, 3-D Man joined the team. This was def. my favorite series of yours. I’m sure you had more planned for the team beyond #5 and maybe if we build enough momentum sales will rise?

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 16, 2010, 5:40 pm

    Thanks. I think it’s more likely that if I do some higher profile books, I’ll have the option of doing an occasional special of the team. Maybe!

    Comment from Beast
    Time: July 16, 2010, 6:55 pm

    I certainly don’t object to a yearly miniseries or something.

    After all, the original miniseries is still some of the very best stuff.

    Comment from Brian M.
    Time: July 17, 2010, 12:54 pm

    The Agents came out of the gate like gang busters and never disappointed. Sad to see them go, but glad to hear they are going out on top, creatively, and that we may see them again, somewhere down the road.

    Thanks Jeff, it has been a great ride.

    Comment from butch
    Time: July 18, 2010, 3:01 pm

    Don’t worry Jeff, I’ll take it from here. ;)

    (but yeah… :( :( :( :( :( :( :( )

    Is there anyplace Atlas fans can keep in contact? Like a yahoogroup or whatever?

    Comment from CDK
    Time: July 21, 2010, 3:11 pm

    Oh man i really hope you get to do another special, there is so much you can do and so many directions stories can take.. Like the fact that Atlas is so ancient – have they ever come into conflict with the iron fists and the city of Kun’dun? Maybe there is a dragon feud between Mr. Lao and Shou-Lao the undying. (dragon showdown! i can see the 2 page spread now)

    Also in the current story, do the body snatchers have anything to do with the Triple Evil or Jonathan Tremont from late in Busiek’s run? Can’t wait till the next issue

    Comment from gerg
    Time: July 23, 2010, 5:01 pm

    Sorry to hear the news…This has been my favorite marvel comic and I haven’t had this much fun with a team book since Nextwave.

    Thanks for all the great stories and hopefully a limited series or two will come out once in awhile.