Captain Atom isn’t the first of the New 52 titles to get the ax, but it is the first one I’ve really enjoyed to go away. Captain Atom #0 provides a rebooted origin for the soldier turned super-powered hero, and while it works well enough, like most of the New 52, it’s not nearly as good as the origin the character already had.
Now I didn’t read the Captain Atom‘s original Charlton Comics run, but when DC bought the rights to the character (along with others like the Question and Blue Beetle) and gave the hero new life in his own title following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths I was there to grab it, and all the issue that followed. (Hell, I was in the prime of my junior high comic book buyin’ days.)
In the post-Crisis origin (which, by the way, was good enough to be used in a recent issue of Young Justice) Nathaniel Adam was an Air Force pilot framed for murder who volunteered for a risky experiment only to be shot 20 years into the future and turned into super-human with the ability to tap into the Quantum Field.
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Captain Atom‘s brief rediscovery of his humanity ends all too soon when he discovers that giving into his dreams by recreating his human form of Nate Allen has unexpected side-effects for everyone else tied to the Captain Atom project.
While Nate indulges in his night with Ranita the body of Captain Atom subconsciously tries to give the scientists in the facility their own dreams and desires made real – with disastrous effects.
I’m a little sad that the Nate storyline ends so quickly as there was plenty of story to mine for several issues about how human this version of Nate actually is and how far his relationship with Ranita could have actually gone. That said, the immeadiate effects of giving into his desires to once again live his life as a normal man teach Captain Atom an important lesson as he knows now he can never go back to being who he was. The issue ends with another none-too-subtle Watchmen reference with our hero removing himself from the Earth while gazing back on it from the surface of the moon. Worth a look.
What happens when a near omnipotent being gives into his own desires and greatest wish to be human again? The latest issue of Captain Atom shows us the unforeseen consequences when Captain Atom puts his consciousness in a human form to reconnect with humanity in general, and with Renita specifically.
Once again writer J.T. Krul takes an intriguing idea, Nathaniel Atom re-experiencing life as a “normal” man, and turns the story on its side by showing us that while most of Nate’s consciousness is walking around with Renita, his comatose form is also trying to make the wishes of those closest to him come true as well – whether that be the return of a dead relative, a collection of toys from childhood, or granting Dr. Megala‘s greatest wish.
However, it appears these unconcious gifts might actually be far more dangerous than the chance the human version of Nate gets into with Renita as the two finally give into their feelings for each other. Worth a look.
The final issue of this arc finds Captain Atom, in fact several different versions of Captain Atom from all across time and space, attempting to stop the entity known as Chromo Mata. Of course we know (from the final panel of last month’s issue) that Chromo Mata is actually the futuristic near God-like version of Captain Atom.
Captain Atom backtracks the events which helped lead to the world viewing Captain Atom as a savior, in order to stop the creation of Chromo Mata before it ever begins – even if that means letting a young child (whom he originally saved) die of cancer.
The issue makes a nice conclusion to the arc as well as allow the character to embrace his humanity by creating a flesh and blood Nathaniel Adam version of himself to explore his feeling for Renita. With this storyline wrapped up, I’ll be curious to see what new direction Captain Atom takes beginning next month. Worth a look.
While searching the future for the cause of the end of the world Captain Atom comes to face-to-face with the destructive god-like force known as Chrono Mota and he’s shocked to see the unintended effect his time on Earth has had on those he’s saved.
While Captain Atom finds little war and bloodshed he’s at a loss in trying to process the fact that he’s become a god to those like Ramita and Mikey Parker. Mikey has become a doomsday prophet ready to destroy and remake the world in his name, and Ramita has become a warrior using the power unknowingly gifted to her to help those who can’t help themselves.
But it’s in the final pages where Captain Atom looks into the heart of the time-space paradox and world killer known as Chromo Mota that he learns the truth about his own future and the destruction of the Earth.
Another good issue of the series that gives us some answers but raises even more questions. Now that Atom knows what his future holds, the question becomes how will he use that knowledge, and what can he do to prevent it? Worth a look.
Captain Atom finds himself pulled into the timestream with alternate versions of himself, including a future version who warns of the impending end of the world. Unable to change their past, without possibly ending their own existence, the other versions must instead help Captain Atom alter his future in order to save the world.
Once again writer J. T. Krul gives us big ideas brought marvelously to life by Freddie E. Williams II’ art. Captain Atom’s tour of the future leads him to old friends and new enemies including a look forward at what his attempt to help Ranita may lead to quite a few unforeseen consequences.
Far on the outside of the DCU, and with a focus far from your usual super-heroics, Captain Atom is a title you need to be reading. However, it’s by far one of the most ambitious projects of the New 52, and continues to be one of it’s most pleasant surprises. Worth a look.
Although I enjoyed the first few issues of Captain Atom I left for a few months as it explored the mutant dog/rat creature storyline. Now that that arc has wrapped I decided to give the title another look, and I’m glad I did.
The latest issue finds Captain Atom remember pieces of his past before the experiment changed him into the near omnipotent figure he is now. We also see what appears to be a future or alien version of the Captain who (in an odd choice) appears to be modeled after the Dominators. I’ll be interested to see what the explanation for this will be (and I’ll be hoping its better than much of the ill-defined logic we’ve seen across the New 52 so far).
The art by Freddie E. Williams II is still as good as I remember from the first few issues and writer J. T. Krul continues to tell some intriguing stories that are as much sci-fi (if not more) than super-hero tales. Worth a look.
Captain Atom‘s burgeoning understanding of being able to use his powers in a much grander scale takes the hero around the world in a blink of an eye and eventually to Libya where he runs into the one hero on the planet that also lives at a pace far quicker than the average human being: The Flash.
I’ve enjoyed the first couple of issues of this series, and when you throw the the Flash into the mix you’re going to have to do quite a bit wrong not to get me on-board. The issue centers around two characters who are isolated because they see so much more by living between moments we take for granted. The interplay between the characters works wonderfully, but once again the situation intervenes and Captain Atom’s attempt to help looks far more nefarious than he planned.
The final page of the issue also give us the first appearance of General Eiling, the man (at least in the old version of the DCU) responsible for the creation of Captain Atom. It will be interesting to see how this version fits into Atom’s backstory. And, thankfully, we get an issue without the mutated monster dogs. Must-read.
The comic opens with Captain Atom bombarded with “wave transmissions from all across the human spectrum.” Unable to deal with the overwhelming amount of information attacking his brain the hero retreats to the Continuum where Dr. Megala helps him regain control.
The second part of the comic is a little weird as it’s so obviously a Ray Palmer Atom story. Concerned with a dying boy in Kansas City, Captain Atom shrinks himself down to a microscopic level and erradiates the tumor growing in the boy’s brain.
Thankfully, the one part of the story I was dreading (the mutated dog creature) is given little more than a cameo here on the comic’s final page. I know we’ll get to that story at some point, but I hope it’s put off as long as possible.
Writer J.T. Krul continues to explore the limitations and abilities of the new Captain Atom. I’d still like a little of the old Captain to shine through this Dr. Manhattan makeover, but as long as that dog story is kept on the back burner I’ll keep giving this one a shot. Worth a look.
I’ve been a fan of Captain Atom since the late 80′s reboot of the character and his subsequant runs on Justice League Europe and recently Justice League: Generation Lost. He’s had more than a few ups-and-downs in his career including his unfortunate role as Monarch, that awful golden and red look, and that time he got lost in the WildStorm Universe.
The latest reinterpretation of the Charlton Comics character by writer J.T. Krul is a new version of the character far more like the Watchmen‘s Dr. Manhattan (who was coincidentally created from the Charlton version of Captain Atom) than we’ve seen before.
In the comic Captain Atom’s powers are expanding as he discovers the ability to manipulate molecules outside of himself. Our hero is informed by Dr. Heinrich Megala, the scientist in charge of the project that transformed Nathaniel Adam into a nuclear-powered super-hero, that this ability, which in turn effects his own molecules, could end up killing him.
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