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.