Review: Captain Atom #1

Written by J.T. Krul, Art by Freddie Williams II, Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau

Solicitation Info (from Previews): Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, Captain Atom has the potential to be a literal god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is: Will he lose himself in the process?

Bias: I’ve always liked the character of Captain Atom, and he was absolutely terrific in Justice League: Generation Lost (I’m a sucker for time travel anyway, so his jaunts into the future with an emphasis on preventing what he saw there were absolutely wonderful.) The only thing I’ve read by J.T. Krul was Green Arrow, and while I disliked it, I’ve never particularly cared for Green Arrow – so I’m hopeful that the writer’s treatment of Captain Atom will be more up my alley.

What I liked: I liked the artwork for the most part – it was definitely not your standard DC Universe art, and felt refreshing to see something different and vibrant.

What I disliked: It felt like this was originally a pitch for a Firestorm book that was rejected and turned into a Captain Atom story – and not one that fits Captain Atom particularly well, either. I also didn’t care for the energy that sent jagged streams out from Captain Atom’s chest symbol – the symbol is round and smooth, and the energy is jagged and wild, and just kind of attaches to the sides of the symbol. It’s rather jarring, and detracts from the look more than adds to it.

Verdict: I really wanted to like this title, but I just can’t get into it. I’m dropping it.

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Review: Captain Atom #1

  1. So the book tried to start off with action, but since it immediately set the tone of being a cakewalk for the good Captain, it didn’t feel that impressive. And then we give Captain Atom what amounts to Firestorm’s schtick – the ability to change matter’s atomic structure into something completely different. Oh, but don’t worry – it could kill him, so he’s not going to want to use it all the time. Seriously? Ugh.

    We then spend a good deal of time on exposition, explaining how Captain Atom’s powers are nuclear-based (which was news to me, since there had always been a temporal element, and was derived from an alien metal). Wait…isn’t Firestorm the “Nuclear Man”? More and more, it just felt like a Firestorm comic.

    Then, we end the comic with a volcano appearing in Manhattan for no reason whatsoever, and Captain Atom absorbing the energy from a near nuclear meltdown (Yay! We’re finally seeing something actually related to Captain Atom’s powers!), before dealing with the volcano by changing the magma to snow (again, reminiscent of Firestorm) and finally dealing with the volcano itself (though I’m not quite sure if he’s trying to reorder the atoms of the volcano, or absorb the energy – it’s a bit fuzzy on what he’s actually doing at this point…) Whatever the case, this results in his cells breaking down, causing Captain Atom’s own atomic structure to break down (what they revealed was the new problem with using his powers, rather than the previous canon of being forced to skip through time). He’s dying, and I’m more disgusted by this point than actually worried – I mean, this is his own book. It’s not like they’ll kill him off in the first issue!

    All in all, I was very disappointed – and I had been looking forward to this title!

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5 that’s been showing up in every issue of the DCnU books so far, she appears at the very bottom of panel one on page 26.

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