Captain Atom — Vol.1 — Evolution

Fol­low­ing my Flash Vol. 1 write-up, Cap­tain Atom Vol. 1 is next on the read list. It takes place after Jus­tice League Vol. 1, and the Q-Pad is fea­tured fair­ly promi­nent­ly.

Captain Atom Vol. 1

J.T. Krul — Writer
Fred­die Williams II — Artist

Pub­lished 28 Nov 2012.
Col­lec­tions Cap­tain Atom 1 – 6 (21 Sep 2011 — 15 Feb 2012)

Art
Sto­ry
Aver­age

Art

Gen­er­al­ly very clean, but gets a bit chaotic in the fights. That could be an intend­ed design choice, though.

Story

The whole book is about how Cap­tain Atom has God-like pow­ers. In fact, one char­ac­ter says of him,

He turned the inor­gan­ic [Air Force jet] into organ­ic [feath­er]. And he didn’t even need a rib to do it.

so the com­par­ison is very well estab­lished. The only draw­back is that if he gets dis­tract­ed long enough, he could dis­si­pate into noth­ing­ness. Except his whole orig­in is that his human body dis­si­pat­ed into noth­ing­ness in an exper­i­ment, and he was still able to pull him­self back togeth­er. So real­ly his only dis­ad­van­tage is that he does not want to use too much pow­er again­st oth­ers. He zips around the world fix­ing prob­lems big and small, includ­ing tak­ing down a mech suit vil­lain in Chicago, avert­ing a simul­ta­ne­ous nuclear reac­tor melt­down and vol­cano erup­tion in New York City, cur­ing a lit­tle boy’s can­cer in Kansas City, sav­ing a bill­board work­er from falling in Seat­tle, help­ing a moth­er lift an I-beam off a child in Atlanta, sav­ing bystanders from a dri­ve-by shoot­ing in Hous­ton, and tak­ing the pills out of a girl who tried to com­mit sui­cide. Then he goes to Libya for an impromp­tu team-up with Flash to help rebels, end­ing with him absorbing the force of a nuclear blast. Even Flash, among the strongest of the Jus­tice League, is blown away by his pow­ers. The great­est chal­lenge to Cap­tain Atom is a rat that went through the same exper­i­ment and has sim­i­lar pow­ers. He gets attacked by the mil­i­tary, who want to take them both out, but has no prob­lem tak­ing care of both threats. (By the way, he beat the rat by using too much pow­er and mak­ing it dis­si­pate into noth­ing­ness.)

Connections

This book intro­duces Nathaniel Adam (Cap­tain Atom), Dr. Ran­i­ta Carter, Dr. Hein­rich Mega­la, Dr. Scott Alexan­der, Mikey Park­er, and Gen­er­al Wade Eil­ing. Pan­do­ra gets her cameo in the Man­hat­tan bystanders as Cap­tain Atom neu­tral­izes the vol­cano. It is men­tioned that the Jus­tice League reject­ed him because they con­sid­ered him too unsta­ble.

All-in-all, Cap­tain Atom just seems too over­pow­ered to be com­pelling. He either needs to be nerfed or meet a vil­lain that hon­est­ly chal­lenges him.

Next up, Sta­t­ic Shock Vol. 1 Sav­age Hawk­man Vol. 1.

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