Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thunderbolts' Customs Captain Atom Action Figure

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Dig this Mego-style custom of Captain Atom in his second, red blue & silver suit!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 Captain Atom Custom Statue by ~JokerZombie

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I didn't want anyone accusing me of being an America-hating leftist fighting the War against Christmas, so here's a true patriot to stuff your stocking!

"Captain Atom, the man that in the future will explode and cause the nuclear holocaust!
This character has always been a secondary char to me and that doesn't seem to change, I don't know why....
But the sculpture is great"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Atomic acCount for March, 2011

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Continuing from ADVENTURE COMICS #521, it’s the conclusion to Ray Palmer’s acclaimed story “Nucleus” in an extra-sized issue! The terror group called The Colony hatches its last-ditch gambit to steal The Atom’s technology. Guest-starring Hawkman, Oracle and more!
One-shot • On sale MARCH 2 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Pro: Another Gary Frank Atom cover instead of a crappy little blurb on a Legion Adventure Comics issue. Con: This story sucks, and completists have to buy a $5 special when a $15 trade of the whole damned-damned thing is surely forthcoming.

JLA/THE 99 #6
The first-ever meeting between DC Comics’ JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and Teshkeel Comics’ THE 99 concludes…
The two disparate teams pull together to show what working side-by-side can accomplish on a global scale! The World’s Greatest Super Heroes and The World’s Newest Super Heroes defy the odds and triumph over the combined terror of Starro from beyond and the homegrown threat of Rughal!
On sale MARCH 30 • 6 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
So, anyone in the know care to tell me whether this is worth trade waiting?

1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS
As the end of BRIGHTEST DAY approaches, our returned heroes and villains begin converging in one area as the ultimate protector reveals itself against the ultimate menace!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #21 on sale MARCH 2
Issue #22 on sale MARCH 16
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Captain Atom
Written by JUDD WINICK
Issue #21 art by AARON LOPRESTI
Issue #22 art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
1:10 Variant covers by KEVIN MAGUIRE
It’s the calm before the storm in issue #21. Beetle is dead, Max Lord has Checkmate and the hunt for Wonder Woman has begun. But Booster Gold has given up after losing another friend to Max Lord, and the JLI is left without a leader!
In issue #22, Max’s ultimate OMAC Project closes in on completion, and the JLI race to find Wonder Woman before Max finds her first. Along the way, Power Girl, Batman and one more former-JLI member will join the team – but will their combined efforts be enough?
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #21 on sale MARCH 9
Issue #22 on sale MARCH 23
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
If you're going to fake kill a team member, make sure it isn't the guy with a prospective live action TV series in the works...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2009 Golden Age Atom HeroesCon Sketch by Rod Whigham

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Here's Al Pratt in his second, more generic super-hero costume. I very much prefer the creepy masked wrestler togs, but this is still a nice piece.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Justice League of America #177-178 (April-May, 1980)

"Who would have thought you could get seasick in a briefcase? I hope my friend from the Science Institute reaches his destination soon, or I'm liable to do something we'll both regret..."

The Atom was hiding out among the file folders, pencils and bubblegum where kidnappers likely expected their ransom for Dr. Margavy's daughter would be. Instead, the briefcase opened to reveal six inches of density-altering whoop-ass. The doctor could hear his young child crying from within a locked closet, but it just so happened one of the Atom's specialties was lock-picking. The Mighty Mite worked the tumblers with his feet until the door was opened. "I wish all my cases were as cut and dried as this..." That was, until the kidnappers suddenly transformed into human-sized chess pawns.

As it turned out, the Tiny Titan lucked out, since more advanced and dangerous chess pieces attacked Aquaman, Black Canary & Green Arrow, as well as Superman & Batman during their various cases. Zatanna saw the pattern forming from monitor duty aboard the Justice League Satellite, and called everyone home. Ray ran into the Sea King at the Metropolis transporter tube location, so they rode up together. They were met by everyone else who had been attacked. “How come everyone looks so glum?”

Aquaman replied, “I think ‘grim’ is a more appropriate word, Atom… and I expect your expressions reflect the reason for this emergency meeting!” Zatanna explained, “Isn’t it obvious what’s happening? You were in the opening gambit of some cosmic chess game, manipulated by some unseen force! A force that can attack again, at any moment, without warning!”

As if on cue, a bishop turned up to beat on Green Arrow, Superman and Batman. Black Canary tried to kick the bishop, which sounds like a naughty game, but nothing came of it. The Atom shrunk into Aquaman’s palm, then was tossed into the bishop’s featureless face for a two-fisted atomic punch. The bishop then showed the Mighty Mite the backswing of his pimp staff. Zatanna finally cast a spell to protect the remaining Leaguers as they smashed the chessman.

Ray Palmer studied the debris as his fellow heroes collected themselves in the aftermath of the attack. “Well, we can rule one thing out… This baby wasn’t made in Boise… or London… or Moscow… or Peking! It’s got an atomic structure that’s a physicist’s nightmare-- and I should know. As Ray Palmer, I am a physicist… and this thing gives me the creeps! You think that stuff’s solid? Guess again. It’s proto-nuclear material, which means each atom in its structure is independent of each atom. What happens to one part of that thing shouldn’t affect another part… It may come as a shock to our egos… but get this straight: That chesspiece was more powerful than all of us combined. It let us win… but don’t ask me why!” A silence fell over the room.

Zatanna had noticed that before the bishop was destroyed, it had managed to wipe out every file related to League members past and present... except one. Meanwhile, in a spaceship hovering over Mars II, Despero was playing the Martian Manhunter a deadly board game, with the Justice League and J'onn's people caught in the middle. Once Zee had pointed out the name on the sole remaining file, it was a simple matter to check Mars II and, upon recognizing the situation, magically transporting the team to Despero's ship.

Despero's chess pieces were in the shape of the Justice League members he had been manipulating, so he didn't notice when the Atom made a substitution. It came as a shock when the Tiny Titan talked back. “Haven’t you guessed fish-face? In chess terms, this is what they call the endgame!” The Mighty Mite sprang from the board to knock Despero back out of his chair.

“You… startled me… gained a momentary advantage! But only momentary! I still control this ship! And these animates, these chess pieces, will answer to my commands! However you came to be here-- you came here to die!” The League began fighting all of Despero’s pieces en masse, without the benefit of J’onzz’s benevolent guiding hand. The heroes began to falter, until the Atom called, “Superman! We’re in trouble-- but we’ve got maybe one small chance! And when I say small, I mean me! Remember I said these chess pieces were made up of independent atoms? Well, maybe I can knock those atoms into a series of chain collisions-- if I hit them small enough, and fast enough! I tried something similar with Aquaman-- but he didn’t have your speed!”

Superman feared the move might be suicidal, but went along, casting the Mighty Mite at another bishop. In a microcosmic game of billiards, the Atom managed to set off a reaction that destabilized all of the chessmen, causing them to explode. Despero called out no’s while Atom recited yeses at this turn of events. “Face facts, Despero, you’ve just been hustled-- courtesy of the master chessman of Mars!”

Under the moons of Mars II, Despero was escorted away in chains by two Martians in heavy blue robes, while J'onn J'onzz offered “a celebration at the palace of heroes… as my ever-honored guests!”

"The Graveyard Gambit" & "The Chess-Master of Mars" was by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin & Frank McLaughlin.

Monday, December 13, 2010

June 19, 2009 "I Found Ray Palmer" photo featuring VictoriaCosplay

Click To Enlarge

"There was an episode of Justice League Unlimited where Wonder Woman found The Atom on the ground injured so she placed him down her top. Dirty; I know. LOL My friends thought it would be funny (since my nickname is Diana, I LOVE Wonder Woman & was wearing a WW hat) if they put him down my top."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Explains It All

The story of Mayfairstivus is pretty straightforward. This blog's author had been bogged down throughout October with school work and a self-imposed deadline to complete a yearlong project examining in great detail the foes of the Martian Manhunter. Burnt out but needing material for five regularly published blogs, the author grabbed his copy of the 1993 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Role-Playing Game Third Edition and scanned various entries as filler material for his blogs. The posts ran in early November, and prompted reader/contributor Tom Hartley to offer the author a boxed set of the 1989 Mayfair DC Heroes game for a reasonable price. The author was hesitant, but after being sent a zipped folder with scans of for thirty of the 75 character cards in the set, he relented. Tom shipped the set off for $25 total, packaged exquisitely and in remarkably good condition for a twenty-one year old package. The author had so many great cards, he decided to make a ton of brand new scans and offer them to his blogging buddies as a crossover event. He erroneously thought this would be very little work, but correctly predicted it would be fun and fill a whole slew of days. Since Chanukah happened to begin on December 1st, he co-opted the Seinfeld make believe holiday of Festivus and exploited it as a part of the Mayfair theme.

The Jewish people follow a lunar calender, which isn't as consistent as the more common Gregorian calendar that follows the Earth's orbit around the sun. There's an eleven day difference between the two systems, necessitating the use of an additional winter "leap month" called Adar Aleph seven times every nineteen years. Also, Jewish "days" begin when the first star is visible in the night sky. Therefore, while Chanukah began on December 1st according to a regular calender, it technically didn't commence until that night and would therefore continue until nightfall on December 9th. Since Mayfairstivus roughly approximated Chanukah, this initial offering ran nine days, with an optional tenth for stragglers and after party cleanup. If there is a second Mayfairstivus, it will not follow Chanukah, since nobody would want to deal with a lengthy crossover on December 20-28, 2011.

These days, most people know the story of Chanukah-- about how the Maccabees retook the temple in ancient times, and manged to make one day's worth of consecrated oil last the eight required to make more. Since the story and holiday are so familiar, a lot of folks assume it's the Jewish celebration of the year. Actually, it was something of a lesser and irregularly observed holiday until all the gentile kids started getting all those presents relatively recently (late 19th-early 20th century.) Sukkot (sort of our Thanksgiving, but involving camping outdoors for a week,) and Purim (our Halloween,) were bigger for longer, but Rosh Hashanah (New Year's,) Yom Kippur (spiritual tax filing/accounting,) and Pesach (Passover, or Easter without the Jesus) are the really important observances each year.

Finally, punk rock was an anti-commercial, low-fi musical form whose heyday was from in the mid-to-late '70s. The aggressive mohawk hairstyle survived the movement into New Wave, which is where it landed on my head in 1983.

Any more questions?

At nightfall on the first day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:

At nightfall on the second day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:

At nightfall on the third day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:
At nightfall on the fourth day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:
At nightfall on the fifth day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:
At nightfall on the sixth day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:
At nightfall on the seventh day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:
At nightfall on the eighth day of Mayfairstivus, these candles were lit:
As Mayfairstivus drew to a close, these final gifts were presented:
As Mayfairstivus drew to a close, these final gifts were presented:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1990 The Atlas of the DC Universe: Ivy Town, Connecticut

Paul Kupperberg wrote this directory of DC Comics locales in the past, present, and future as a supplement to the Mayfair Games roleplaying line. I always want to call it "Ivytown," the name used in the early stories, but somewhere down the line it seems to have been broken into two words. By either name, this is Ray Palmer's home town, and its description in the atlas was drawn heavily from Roger Stern's then-recent work on Power of the Atom

Monday, December 6, 2010

1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Captain Atom Character Card

Right off the bat, what were they thinking with that pose? Is he supposed to be doing the Batusi? Mashed potato? The swim? Shake ya tail feather!

Moving right along, Mayfair was clearly damned impressed with Captain Atom. There must have been a meeting to figure out somebody who could give Superman's insane stats some challenge in this game, and Nathaniel Adam became one of those proud few. I don't recall raw physical strength being a major concern in the contemporaneous series that revised the character, and yet he's assigned a 22, making him two tiers above Martian Manhunter/Lobo/Wonder Woman, one above Captain Atom, and one below the Man of Steel. By contrast, his Body is rather low, considering part of his origin involved getting nuked.

I don't have any major concerns with these numbers beyond that. Captain Atom has enough juice to hassle a Green Lantern or take on Firestorm, his nearest rival. The nutzo strength is impressive, but Captain Marvel's speed largely negates it, while Martian Manhunter has better Body. Atom would have a tough time hitting Wonder Woman, and Superman would still obliterate him. Captain Atom's good, but not excessively so.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The World's Smallest Jewish Super-Hero?

There's been some confusion regarding religion and the Atom, so to set my own head straight, I figured now would be a good time to explore the matter.

I don't believe the faith (or lack thereof) of Al Pratt has ever been dwelt upon. The name Pratt is Dutch, and the Netherlands were good for Jews until the Nazi occupation, but nothing in his personality strongly indicates a specific religious background.

Ray Palmer's mother was Jewish, which makes Ray one by birth. "Half-Jewish" is kind of a wonky term, because according to Jewish law, you either are or are not one. You can lay secular claim to being half-Jewish through your father, but since it's passed through the mother, Talmud would designate Ray as fully Jewish. Obviously, stated/practiced faith and communal acceptance would come into play. However, Susan Palmer was almost certainly non-practicing, as her adult son claimed ignorance of the Hanukkah story. Ray married Jean Loring in a church (not that she wouldn't have insisted,) and has expressed atheistic sentiment (unceasingly favoring science over the supernatural.) Despite my own occasional claims and others I've heard (including my recent accidental and stomach-turning visits to two white supremacist message boards,) Ray Palmer is likely only Jewish by the broadest standard.

Albert Rothstein is pretty unambiguously Jewish. For starters, his name is Albert Rothstein. Al has popped up in a Hanukkah-centric story or two, and turned down a relationship with Beatriz (Fire) da Costa because she wasn't of the faith (also: trampy.)

I don't recall Grant Emerson ever being remotely religious.

I'm open to correction here, but I thought I remembered Ryan Choi being an atheist.

So okay, we've established that despite popular misconception, none of the Atoms are especially Jewish, but Atom-Smasher is. I'm kind of bummed about that, but there you go.

Friday, December 3, 2010

1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Atom Character Card

Kind of an awkward pose, and I feel skullcap > open hair, but I like this card. Ray looks bright and handsome, even if he needs his pants back. If you follow his stats, you'll note that he's an exceptional (mostly) human combatant with solid dexterity and martial numbers followed by a hell of a strong punch. Those intellectual skills are pretty awesome, too.

Belated thanks to Tom Hartley, whose offering of a batch of about 30 character card scans was the taste I needed to seek more. He then sold his box set for a very reasonable price to a poor student to facilitate this crossover, because I just had to scan them all for myself.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Doctor Light Character Card

I don't know what's going on with the contorted pose and the resting of all the villain's weight on that one double-jointed pinky, but I'm pretty sure it's a deviant sex thing. Arthur Light is a creep like that. You can tell by the utterly gratuitous pudding stabber on his chinny-chin-chin. That white splatter from his crotch to his chest? Not a firework.

I've been trying to figure out if Dr. Light is more of an Atom or Martian Manhunter villain. Let me take a quick look:

In that silly '90s retro crossover The Silver Age, Dr. Light swapped bodies with the Martian Manhunter and wrecked havoc in Robby Reed's town. Light also represented J'Onn J'Onzz's devoted villain there, as the Atom was represented by Chronos. This likely riffed off a 1968 cover where Martian Manhunter was hemispherically conjoined to Dr. Light (the Atom with Jason Woodrue.) The Alien Atlas also fought Light in the doctor's first appearance with the JLofA two issues before the Atom joined. Most importantly, Light helped kill the Martian Manhunter in Final Night, and was himself executed by the Spectre as punishment for his involvement.

The Atom fought Dr. Light in his eighth issue in 1963. The following year Light fought Hal Jordan in Green Lantern. I never read the '90s Circle of Fire special with Green Lantern & the Atom, but I'll award them each a point, just in case. Dr. Light also fought Hal in an issue of Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Villains. Say, Dr. Light fought Hal Jordan several times in the Bronze Age, and then he fought Kyle Rayner a bunch of times in the Chromium Age, including a 3D special. Heck, Light was even Green Lantern's parallel villain in the JLA epic Rock of Ages.

Come to think of it, Dr. Light fought the Titans a bunch of times, and most of his early appearances were against the JLofA. I'm sure Elongated Man would consider Light an archnemesis, with that whole wife raping thing. Heck, nobody but Green Arrow has ever fought Light for a storyline extending six straight issues.

You know what? I don't think anybody can really claim Dr. Light as "theirs." He's been a free agent pretty much since the beginning, and there are a bunch of characters who have a way stronger claim than the Atom. I guess Dr. Light's lighting a candle for this day of "Mayfairstivus" also marks his official departure from the Atom blog. It's a shame, because the Atom, and this is a truly sorry statement, needs a rogues gallery even more than Martian Manhunter or Green Arrow. That poor little bastard.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Super-Hanukkah Song

Repurposed lyrics by Adam Sandler:

Put on your yarmulka, here comes Hanukkah
It's so much fun-akkah to celebrate Hanukkah,

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights,
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.

But when you're the only kid in town without a Christmas tree,
here's a list of people who are Jewish,
just like you and me:

Aline Kominsky-Crumb lights the menorrah,
So do the Thing, Colossal Boy, and Team Youngblood's Masada

Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli,
Brian Michael Bendis, and Mad Magazine's Al Jaffee.

Bobby and Kitty from "X-Men" say the Chanukah blessing.
So does their foe Magneto, not one to be messing.

Scarlet Witch is half Jewish,
Wesley Dodds is half too
Put them together
What a knockout Wiccan Jew

Moon Knight and Ragman throw blows with such precision.
But the one thing they couldn't fight their way out of?
Painful circumcision.

Joe Simon and Trina Robbins never mixed meat with dairy.
Nor did Maus' Art Spiegelman or pervert animator Ralph Bakshi

You don't need to Deck the Halls or Rock Around the Christmas Tree
Cause you can spin a dreidl with Jack "King" Kirby and Stan "the Man" Lee--both Jewish!

Green Lantern-- not a Jew!
But guess who is... Bill Finger, Mart Nodell, Gil Kane and Julie too!

People thinking Lex Luthor's a Hebrew really hurts,
Well, he's not, but guess who is: All three Kuberts!

Marv Wolfman, Mort Weisinger and Art Spiegelman attended shul.
Shuster & Siegel invented Superman
But first came Hebrew school.

Prime from Malibu Comics was a Jew
and we hope someday to have him back,
Rā's al Ghūl's other daughter is half-Jewish
'Cause we're pretty good in the sack.

So many Jews are in the comic biz--
Bruce Banner isn't, but I heard Doc Samson is.

Tell your friend Volcana, it's time to celebrate Hanukkah
I hope I get an Absorbasconicah, On this joyful, toyful Chanukah

So visit Bizarro World-icah, and jerk off to Howard Chaykin-a-kah,
But I Digressikah, Have a happy, happy, happy, happy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1991-92 Impel DC Cosmic Cards #64- Nightshade

Get a load of Paris Cullins' very, er, womanly take on Nightshade. Kink was the think, I figure. I can see where the Charlton costume was a bit dated, even in the '60s, so I dug this Post-Crisis revamp get-up. Still, those shades and the unitard look are very '80s. Given her original cover as a celebutant, it might have been cool for Nightshade to be the type of character to routinely alter her style to match the changing times. Instead, the '90s turned her into some zebra pattern banshee, and the '00s restored her swinger skirt for some sort of retro-goth ensemble. Girl needs a queer eye, instead of Lydia Deetz on 'shrooms.

More Impel DC Cosmic Cards

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Atomic acCount for February, 2011


It’s a new team and direction for the Titans. Deathstroke and his mercenary team – including Cheshire, Tattooed Man and other surprise members – burst out of BRIGHTEST DAY #0. Get in on the ground floor as the team is hired to assassinate The Atom. And for this team, failure is not an option! Collecting TITANS #24-27 and the TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1.

On sale MARCH 23 • 160 pg, FC, $14.99 US
See Ryan Choi butchered again in trade paperback.


The “Family Reunions” arc concludes as the Tattooed Man confronts his inner demons after murdering his son’s killer. And bursting out of last month’s SHAZAM one-shot, Freddie Freeman (a.k.a. Shazam) takes on Osiris. After the lightning and thunder settles, one of these heroes will fall.
On sale FEBRUARY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I think I ordered that special, but I doubt it will have much to do with the Mighty Mite. That's clearly a B-Story until some big multi-part arc involving lots of guest stars soon enough.

JLA/THE 99 #5
The first-ever meeting between DC Comics’ JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and Teshkeel Comics’ the 99 continues as both super teams witness the experimental “City of Tomorrow” literally transformed from the world’s greatest hope into a deadly threat to world peace! As Dr. Ramzi’s dream of global harmony melts before their eyes, can the united 99 and JLA reverse the damage?
On sale FEBRUARY 23 • 5 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US

Captain Atom
Written by JUDD WINICK

Mind-controlling mastermind Maxwell Lord is targeting the members of the defunct Justice League International in this hardcover collecting the first 12 issues of the twice-monthly series tying into BRIGHTEST DAY. Now, surviving members Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Fire and Ice must stop him from destroying the entire Super Hero community.
On sale APRIL 13 • 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US

So many signs the end is nigh. The bi-weekly begins to trade, starting with an oversized hardcover I could have sworn Keith Giffen co-wrote...


Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by SAMI BASRI
Power Girl fights alongside the Justice League International, and they’re moments away from uncovering Max Lord’s master plan. Can Power Girl convince others to join their cause? As the battle of this lost generation of heroes comes to a head, sides are chosen and partnerships are forged!
On sale FEBRUARY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
The build up to the big battle begins...

Written by JUDD WINICK
Issue #19 art by JOE BENNETT
Issue #20 art by AARON LOPRESTI
1:10 Variant covers by KEVIN MAGUIRE
DC’s biweekly JUSTICE LEAGUE event continues!
In issue #19, Justice League International is finally joined by Power Girl! But even with their combined strength, will they be able to track Maxwell Lord down in time to save Blue Beetle?
In issue #20, all of the pieces are finally in place, and Max Lord’s ultimate plan finally reveals itself. This is a special can’t-miss issue featuring Max Lord’s origin and the reason he’s made it his life’s work to snuff out metahumans, aliens and the entire Super Hero community.
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #19 on sale FEBRUARY 9
Issue #20 on sale FEBRUARY 23
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Well, it's almost over,  forging a legacy of awesome covers and retarded retcons.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Justice League of America #217 Twin Pocket Folder and Notebook Style #3009DC

I can't say for certain if I was introduced to the Atom through his segments on the '60s The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure cartoon, the better animated Super Friends, or, least likely, from actual comic books. What I can say is that George Pérez's covers to early '80s issues of Justice League of America made a big impression early on, although the Atom didn't exactly stand out on JLofA #217...

Have you spotted the Mighty Mite yet? Damian at The Tiny Titan Blog used to draw a circle to point Ray out, but I'm going to give you a bit more time if you needed it. Anyhow, this is one of my all time favorite covers, so when Rob Kelly blogged about a stretchable fabric book cover, I pricked up my ears, even though I had no use for such a thing. Then The Irredeemable Shag posted about a notebook with the art at Firestorm Fan, and after I showed it to my girlfriend, she bought me a whole batch, including pocket folders with their corresponding notebooks. Thanks, Shag!

Back Cover:

By now, you should have spotted the Atom at the lower left corner. Originally, the Tiny Titan stood on the UPC box, which came in handy. That got erased on the folder and notebook, for Ray's just kinda falling through space.

Notebook Front Cover:

Most of the bottom row heroes were victimized in translation, as Black Canary, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Elongated Man all had their legs amputated. You might think the Atom escaped harm, but in fact, he was targeted for special treatment. As you can see above, the bottom hole punched out of the notebook kneecapped the World's Smallest Super Hero! It'll be so much harder to use an eraser on your desk as a trampoline with only one leg! By comparison, the Atom got off lucky on the folder, with only his right hand perforated. I just don't have the heart to pop those things out for placement in my three ring binder.

Notebook Back Cover:

Monday, November 15, 2010

2009 SDCC Golden Age Atom Cosplay photo by Matt Kindt

Jeff Lemire posted this photo on his blog after last year's San Diego Comic Con of Justice Society of America members Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman, Jay "The Flash" Garrick and an accurately ripped Al Pratt. Aside from probably being a mite tall, "Pratt" is excellent, no?

Dragon*Con 2011 CosPlay

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Firestorm the Nuclear Man #91 (November, 1989)

After Alan Moore revised Swamp Thing into an Earth Elemental, it was only a matter of time before somebody felt compelled to complete the quartet. I believe Red Tornado began shifting into the Wind Elemental in 1985's Justice League of America Annual #3 during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, although he probably wasn't dubbed such a thing for a few more years. John Ostrander turned Firestorm into the Fire Elemental, and with the creation of Naiad as the Water Elemental, ignited "The Elemental War."

I think somebody had the bright idea at one point to try to make Captain Atom the Quantum Elemental, which blessedly never took, but Nathanial Adam did get a cameo during the aforementioned four-part story arc. On base, the Captain felt a nagging sense of being needed elsewhere, and a touch of dissociative identity disorder, but dismissed both out of a desire to not be bugfug crazy like his enemy Major Force.

A couple of issues later, the war was over, and Red Tornado was in need of a new android body to help him manage his anger issues. The elemental incarnation of Firestorm had sworn off using his transmutation powers because objects effected by them were structurally unstable, but he was convinced by Swamp Thing to make an exception this one time. Tornado was a tad (understandably) hesitant, and offered a name capable of providing a more permanent solution: Captain Atom!

Wh-what?!? Nathanial Adam? The guy who let himself get blown up as part of a military experiment after losing a murder case? Even the brilliant scientist Charlton version, Allen Adam, wasn't one of those ridiculous Silver Age polymaths that could just randomly up and build a robot. Nathanial Adam, while no dingaling, was no rocket scientist either. I guess both characters had their history with Nate, though. "I know Captain Atom. A... fair choice." Fair? Was Firestorm still a Russkie, because we know how the Captain feels about Russkies?!

Anyhow, Firestorm (the guy known for puffy sleeves and flared shoulder pads) and Red Tornado (who accessorized a red & yellow striped costume with a blue vampire collar cape and a traffic arrow on his forehead) combined their awesome anti-aesthetic to create an exceptionally hideous fashion crime punishable by fines levied against DC Comics in nine states. Red Tornado, even as a robot with multiple long term wardrobe malfunctions on record, was aware that there was something "stiff-- strange" about his ensemble. Reddy (who was awful yellowy all of a sudden) flew to get a new body from Captain Atom as swiftly as this "vivified shell" could carry him, and I understand a federal couture statute prohibited this outfit from ever being seen or mentioned again. You can totally tell Captain Atom had a hand in the next (birthday) suit too, as Red Tornado was essentially a monochromatic "naked" dude for the next several years.

Thanks to Shag for supplying the above scan, as I've never read the issue, but always welcome Captain Atom material on this blog. I will be reading his coverage of "The Elemental War" at Firestorm Fan. Also, the Red Tornado end of the story will be handled by Doug at Red Tornado's Path, which will offer a wealth of scans related to the appearances. Follow the links below to experience the tale for yourself!

The Elemental War

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1993 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Role-Playing Game Third Edition Terminator Entry

I was a Deathstroke the Terminator fan back in the day, collecting his entire (mostly rotten) series before growing bored with the character. However, killing Ryan Choi makes him an Atom foe, and Lord knows the Tiny Titan needs more of those (in quantity and quality.)

Slade Wilson has a Dexterity of 10, comparable to Batman & Bronze Tiger. His Strength of 6 is max human, 900-1,600 lbs. Body of 7 withstands small arms fire, like Aquaman and Hawkman. Intelligence of 8 seems a bit high, in Nightwing's realm, but I guess his enhanced brainpower accounts for that. Will of 9 allows one to override self-preservation to enter battle, like Sgt. Rock or Martian Manhunter. Mind of 10 indicates an individual with the self-discipline to undergo torture with grace, like Eclipso and Wonder Woman. Influence of 6 can hold the attention of a large audience, as Black Canary and other JSAers can. Aura of 6 rates about the same, along the lines of Aquaman or Queen Hippolyta. Spirit of 6 expresses a security of belief one is willing to die for, like Huntress and Booster Gold.

Deathstroke had some okay special powers, but his skills really level him up, like a 9 in acrobatics, 8 in charisma, a 9 Martial Artist, 11 in Military Science, 9 Thief, 8 Vehicles and 12 Weaponry. Under those terms, you can see how he could threaten metahumans seemingly outside his weight class.

More Mayfair 3rd Edition for Today:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Justice #8 (December, 2006)

The Atom had been studying the artificial worms found by his present friends Hawkman and Hawkgirl at the Fortress of Solitude. When Superman reported the involvement of Brainiac, it cinched the deduction the little buggers were alien in design. Millions of the critters had been inside the Man of Steel, controlled in tandem by a single extant intelligence. "That mind would need to be amplified well beyond even the specifications on Brainiac in the League's files. These machines seem to have limited capabilities for independent operation as well. They really are genius in their simplicity.

Green Lantern Hal Jordan finally made his way to the Fortress of Solitude, as a relieved Atom standing on Captain Marvel's shoulder offered, "I can't believe it. We all survived."

Red Tornado was in a sort of monitor womb, and announced that everybody's supporting cast had been kidnapped, including Jean Loring and Reddy's gals Kathy and Traya...

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Eight" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 "DCUniverse Vol.7: The Injustice Gang" Doctor Light by alexmax

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Deviant Artist alexmax has done a series of themed DC Universe group shots that I quite like, and even created an all-encompassing wallpaper that pays homage to the underrated Marvel Universe Series III card set. Of "DCUniverse Vol.7: The Injustice Gang" he said:

More Villains. This time, it's the Injustice Gang. I wanted to make a lineup with, what I feel are, the most iconic arch-enemies for each of these guys. Inspired in large part by what Grant Morrison did during the Rock of Ages storyline...

Alessandro included Dr. Light as a substitute parallel for Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, which I felt was a stretch. A case could be made for pitting him against Martian Manhunter as well. However, Ray Palmer was to my knowledge the first hero to fight the Justice League of America villain solo, and pitting two micro-specialized scientists against one another feels natural.

For more spotlights from this mural, see the following:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Justice #7 (October, 2006)

Doc Magnus, having rebuilt Red Tornado, contacted Wonder Woman in her invisible jet with the android's report. Batman had betrayed the League, causing Tornado's dismantling and the destruction of the Justice League satellite.

As Hawkman ruthlessly smashed Brainiac bodies, Hawkgirl agreed with the Martian Manhunter that a conspiracy was afoot. Katar dropped a bomb down a Brainiac's throat, then hauled his wife through an exit before it exploded. "Next time, tell me. It's not a plan I can be a part of if I don't know what you're doing." Dismissing his partner, Hawkman caught one of the many worms raining down with the debris.

Red Tornado was joined by the Metal Men at the rendezvous point outside Superman's fortress of solitude. Batman greeted him with an extended hand and an apology. "I understand. We are all slaves to our programming." The Atom was presumably present or en route...

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Seven" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Top 5 Major Force Covers

Major Clifford Zmeck is basically the evil version of the Post-Crisis Captain Atom. Having been rightfully incarcerated for violent crimes (especially against women) and liberated to take part in the same military program that gave Nathanial Adam his quantum-based powers, Major Force is one of the most dangerous sociopaths on the U.S. government's leash. He later became well known for killing newly minted Green Lantern Kyle Rayner's girlfriend Alexandra DeWitt, the original (and literal) woman in a refrigerator. Major Force also murdered the once and future Green Lantern Arisia, and was himself executed by Guy Gardner, but neither demise stuck.

More of Today's Cover Countdowns!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Atomic acCount for January, 2011

Jean Loring: Still Crazy After All These Years

The Atom and the Justice League guest-star as Ray Palmer comes to some dark conclusions regarding Ryan Choi’s murder. Meanwhile, the Tattooed Man must finally decide what kind of man he is when Deathstroke hands him his son’s killer, while Osiris has already chosen his path in bringing back his sister Isis – but what will Osiris do when he runs into Shazam?
On sale JANUARY 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Woo- Ray's finally on to Deathstroke! Fight!

JLA/THE 99 #4
The monumental meeting between DC Comics’ JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and Teshkeel Comics’ the 99 continues…
The alien invasion is putting a strain on the efforts made by the JLA and the 99! Firestorm has to contend with three startling additions to his matrix, while Hawkman disagrees with the 99’s approach to stopping the Noor Stone’s latest candidate. Rughal’s nefarious team-up with the space-born villain has successfully put the JLA and the 99 at odds unless Batman can find the one item that will end this assault on the two venerable super hero teams – and the Earth itself!
On sale JANUARY 26 • 4 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
Cover spot!

A villain who once battled Green Lantern Abin Sur returns to face The Atom and Hal Jordan in a tale from LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE #28-29! Plus, in a story from LOTDCU #40-41, The Atom battles Chronos, who’s trying to commandeer the Time Pool, forcing our hero to use both his super-powers and his professorial ability to inspire his students.
On sale JANUARY 19 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
I'm debating buying this, but I remember Klaus Janson's inks butchering some of Gil Kane's last work, plus I could just buy the back issues for about a buck each.

Captain Atom
Written by JUDD WINICK
Issue #17 art by AARON LOPRESTI
Issue #18 art by JOE BENNETT
1:10 Variant covers by KEVIN MAGUIRE
Max Lord’s plan is coming together in issue #17. The United Nations revokes Checkmate’s charter, Captain Atom is wanted for murder, and the JLI is still viewed as a colossal joke. Now the team will have to gather their wits to face a new enemy – Power Girl!
In issue #18, the JLI takes on former teammate Power Girl, but will they pull their punches? Meanwhile, Max Lord continues his interrogation and torture of Blue Beetle, and Batman’s investigation leads him to a discovery he would never have predicted!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #17 on sale JANUARY 12
Issue #18 on sale JANUARY 26
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Justice #6 (August, 2006)

"Get back in bed, Mr. Palmer. You've been shot. You have to rest." Ray argued with Jean, explaining that no member of the Justice League had answered his signal, and that he was likely not the only target of a potentially lethal attack. Jean rebutted that both the League and herself need him at his best.

A statuesque red-headed nurse agreed with Ray's wife from the door of his hospital room. Loring left the hospital to get some sleep, explaining that she would swing by in the morning before work, because she's an icy bitch. This allowed the nurse the opportunity to give Ray another pillow, held tightly over his face. The nurse was pissed Ray wasn't dead by her bullet earlier, and really blew up when he reached for his size-altering belt. Literally, her body began to warp and expand like something out of Akira, smashing the hospital room in hopes of hitting the Atom.

The Mighty Mite didn't recognize Giganta as he dive-bombed her eye, sending the Wonder Woman villainess through a wall and down the side of the building. Giganta almost hit Jean along with her car as she landed hard on the street below, proving God's benevolence only extends so far. The Tiny Titan then hopped on his wife's shoulder. "I'm okay, honey. But I think I'm bleeding again."

Presumably, Jean muttered obscenities while calling her claims agent, as the Atom wondered if he was the last living Leaguer. Ray worried for the missing Green Lantern, Aquaman and the rest, considering this threat to friends and family "the high cost of doing the right thing." Ray managed to reach Wonder Woman in her invisible jet, who confirmed the Atom's suspicions, and directed him to meet at the team's secret rendezvous site...

Meanwhile, Carter and Shiera Hall changed into their Thanagarian gear to fly with the Martian Manhunter to Metropolis, where the Sleuth from Outer Space had tracked Toyman. Hawkman thanked J'Onn for his help, noting this would be his first visit to the city. Hawkgirl said the same.
"It better be."
"Ha. Don't worry Carter. Everyone knows you're my Superman."

The Manhunter from Mars left for other business, while the Hawks forced their way into a darkened warehouse. "Carter? ...Just in case. I love you." The pair was suddenly surrounded by a store's worth of demented killer toys. "Oh, yeah. I love you, too." Medieval weapons smashed modern distractions, until the Hawks uncovered a factory building Brainiacs by the dozen...

The Justice League Satellite exploded in space, leaving Captain Marvel and Superman unsure of Red Tornado's fate. As it turned out, Zatanna had previously used her magic to send the android to Doc Magnus for repairs, as the Metal Men looked on. Magnus managed to reactivate Red Tornado, who repeated "I found Aquaman."

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Six" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

1991-92 Impel DC Cosmic Cards #69- Peacemaker

How do I define injustice?

The Atom was created in the Golden Age, reinvented in the Silver Age, was a featured player on two major super teams, all besides starring in two multi-year solo series and a string of mini-series. There was no Al Pratt trading card in this set, and Ray Palmer didn't get a new card of his own-- only a a reprint of the cover of his first appearance.

Peacemaker, star of a four issue direct market mini-series and featured player in several failed books, received a card by one of the few "hot" DC artists of the time. Sure Bart Sears' perspective was jacked up and his musculature typically obscene, but it still looked contemporary and spiff.

Then again, has Peacemaker ever appeared on any kind of trading or gaming card since? Hell, merchandising of any kind? You realize Jemm, Son of Saturn has an action figure? Karma is a harsh mistress, you magnificent bastard.

There's a lesson to be learned here. The first is that the Atom was probably still thought dead at this time, which is still no excuse to exclude him. The second is that characters who debut in titles that accept colloquial contractions don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

More Impel DC Cosmic Cards

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2009 "C is for Captain Atom" by Dave Reynolds

Click To Enlarge

It only took half a freakin' year to do the next one. Hopefully it won't take another seven months to do "D".


Sunday, October 10, 2010

1991-92 Impel DC Cosmic Cards #87- Chronos

Ah, the first ever DC Universe spanning trading card set, meant to ape the far more popular Marvel Comics set, right down to the hideously drab gray borders. I believe they were originally going to be metallic ink, but somebody went cheap, to the horror of all. Chronos here was given the gift of Kane, but Gil didn't seem to grasp the concept of trading card art. Instead of supplying a spotlight figure, you can see he went all out with the giant clock and the street scene with fleeing bystanders and Chronos riding a dinosaur that could receive UHF signals (loved Land of the Lost, hated Minilla.) Clearly Kane's art was cropped all to hell, and the image reduction surely lost some detail. Is it just me, or did Kane "sign" his work by putting himself on that billboard?

More Impel DC Cosmic Cards Posted Today

Thursday, October 7, 2010

2010 Indigo Lantern Ray Palmer art by Gary Gretsky

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Back in 2008 on Damian's Tiny Titan blog was published two pieces of art by Gary "Gaz" Gretsky depicting Ant-Man putting the bite on the Atom (a.k.a. "Incorrect") and The Mighty Mite Triumphant over Giant Man (a.k.a. damn skippy.) Ray Palmer was a barbarian warrior who hacked in his weight class, while Hank Pym couldn't even beat his wife plausibly, so I don't see the matter as a subject for debate so much as a litmus test for the opposition's miserable lack of rightness.

Speaking of the sword & sorcery days, here's the second coming of Gaz and the loincloth look, published in the San Diego Comic-Con International 2010 program book. That is one fine looking piece made all the better with digital coloring, so I recommend you give that link a click. Thanks to Gaz for giving me the go-ahead to forward this to ya'll, and check out his blog!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Justice #5 (June, 2006)

Comatose, Ray Palmer survived his wound and was transported to the hospital. While he lay unmoving in his bed, breathing through a respirator, Jean Loring watched over her him. "Come back to me, Ray. Please. I don't know what I'll do if you're not in my life. I love you so much. I know I said I didn't want you to be the Atom anymore. But if that's the only way I can have you, it's okay. I just want you back. Please." Tears streamed down her face as Jean held Ray's arm. She had uncovered his waist, revealing a size-altering belt underneath...

Midway City Museum burned, its faux-Egyptian pillars crumbled. From within a sheltering sarcophagus, Carter and Shiera Hall finally emerged. They could both hear J'Onn J'Onzz contacting them telepathically. "It was Toyman, J'Onn. Toyman did this. But why?"

"It wasn't just him, Hawkgirl. It was all of them."

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Five" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Palmer Posterior #6201001

Look at the Tiny Titan jumping on that seed! Try not to read too much into it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Peacemaker Cosplayer

When it comes to the Charlton Action Heroes, I figure in for a penny, in for a pound. Captain Atom is a co-star on this blog, so why not keep the door open for any of his chums I might like to cover. Besides, I've sucked at posting this week, so something's got to be better than nothing.

Peacemaker is another character that DC completely warped in the translation from Charlton. He's the kind of character, like the Punisher or Captain America, that you can't write if you don't buy into their bullstuff. You just have to accept that Christopher Smith loves peace so much that he is willing to fight for it. Sure, by "peace" he probably means atomic age white upper-middle class protestant American values should reign over the earth, and by "willing to fight" he means he'll roast anyone who opposes him alive in napalm while smirking. Regardless, at least while writing him, you have to believe in the legitimacy of that far right wing world view, or just leave the character alone. Making him a headcase who takes orders from the ghost of his Nazi father or tatting him up and pretending he's just an ornery tough guy from just off Yancy Street ruins the very basic appeal of the character. Sure, Peacemaker can be as horrifying as any super-villain, and he was the basis for the Comedian after all, but that's the point. Peacemaker is John Wayne filming The Green Berets during Vietnam, not Sean Penn filming Casualties of War after Vietnam. Peacemaker is the Pat Tillman quitting a pro football career to serve in Afghanistan, not finding out Tillman was killed by friendly fire. Peacemaker is the American aggressive interventionist myth, not the liberal condemnation of it. At his best, he's a hopelessly square peg with a big plastic covering around it forcing its way through a round hole until the whole damned thing shatters because damn it, what do you need besides that badass square peg, anyway?

Here's a guy in an original Peacemaker costume. I always dug this suit, and the only commercially liable part is that friggin' bucket on his head, but that's part of the square peg thing. My favorite interpretation is when it's a transparent dome over a face shield, but every artist offers their own take. I like this, but I find it amusing that the cosplayer looks like he's about to cry. He must be heartbroken that he's forced to take a break from brutally killing America's enemies for this convention appearance.

Once again, this pic is from Shag Matthews of Once Upon A Geek, who offered up oodles of photographs and related his Dragon*Con 2010 Weekend of Insanity a few weeks back. Thanks again!

More Cosplay of the Day:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Atomic acCount for December, 2010

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Co-feature written by JEFF LEMIRE
Co-feature art by MAHMUD ASRAR & JOHN DELL
The rebuilding of the Green Lantern Corps in the 31st century starts here! Now set in “contemporary” Legion times, this issue tells an all-new tale starring the last survivors of the fabled Corps. Their next recruit will shock you!
In The Atom’s co-feature, the Colony continues its assault on Ray Palmer with more shrinkable suicide bombers!
On sale DECEMBER 1 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
I'm not even going to try to stifle the yawn. This book is dead to me.

1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS
The hottest series in comics blazes on as the legacy of the new Aqualad is forged and the extent of his powers is revealed! Plus, Aquagirl joins the battle, and Firestorm seeks out the Justice League’s help!
Retailers please note: These issues ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #15 on sale DECEMBER 1
Issue #16 on sale DECEMBER 15
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Now that I've dropped Adventure Comics, it'll be nice to get a little Ray Palmer fix here, even if he's playing support and drawn by Scott Clark's computer.

Written by GAIL SIMONE
The pedal-to-the-metal conclusion of the “Reptile Brain” storyline is here as the survivors of the two warring factions of the Secret Six face a danger even more horrifying and revolting than each other! And if this is Skartaris, who’s playing Warlord?
On sale DECEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Tradeworthy Dwarfstar and Giganta appearances? Anyone?

The inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over, and Deathstroke’s team of misfits is fighting for their lives against Gotham City’s most dangerous lunatics! Will Deathstroke and Arsenal be able to side with Batman long enough to survive the night? Plus, Ray Palmer guest-stars as he continues his investigation into Ryan Choi’s murder.
On sale DECEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Wait-- now Ray gives a crap about Ryan? That kind of leaves a bad taste in even my mouth, and I criticize the guy in death.

In this never-before-reprinted tale from JLA #91-93, the team finds itself in a dilemma when a mysterious, shapeshifting creature from another planet gets blasted into our solar system. But is it friend or foe? Plus, Wonder Woman and Batman examine their relationship in a tale from issue #90 that spins out of “The Obsidian Age.”
On sale DECEMBER 29 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
Who was like, "yeah, let's reprint the one with the monkeys that nobody like. There's a reason this never made it to trade.

Captain Atom
Written by JUDD WINICK
Issue #15 art by JOE BENNETT
Issue #16 art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
1:10 Variant covers by KEVIN MAGUIRE
DC’s biweekly JUSTICE LEAGUE event continues!
In issue #15, the world blames the Justice League International for the recent Chicago death toll and the death of a hero. As our team deals with the fallout, Captain Atom returns from a dark future with information on Max Lord’s ultimate plan – and Wonder Woman plays a major part in it!
In issue #16, the Creature Commandos have attacked the JLI and one of the team lies dying. Meanwhile, Power Girl swears vengeance on the JLI for her friend’s death, but Batman suspects foul play.
Retailers please note: : These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #15 on sale DECEMBER 8
Issue #16 on sale DECEMBER 22
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
It's seems odd to pair off the Modern Age Captain Atom and Wonder Woman for stories, but in their Silver Age stories, it would feel so perfectly natural.

Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by SAMI BASRI
It was bound to happen what with her participation in JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST – Power Girl relies on the JLI to help her turn her recent fortunes around! But how will that sit with her current teammates in JSA ALL-STARS?
On sale DECEMBER 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Joining a super team really helps guest appearance bookings.

In this new volume collecting JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL #2-3 and JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE #1-6, the team is reborn as Justice League International, featuring The Flash, Power Girl, Metamorpho, Animal Man and The Elongated Man.
On sale JANUARY 19 • 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US
A Justice League Europe collection. It never even occurred to me this might be coming, but it makes perfect sense, and I bet Bart Sears' art will reproduce way better today.

The Charlton Heroes Who Inspired 'Watchmen' to Appear in Morrison's 'Multiversity'

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Top 10 Atom (Ray Palmer) Covers of the 1970s

10) Justice League of America #142 (May, 1977)

It’s a stupid robot and a silly layout , but there just aren’t very many covers from this decade where the Atom figure is prominent and dynamically engaged in the situation at hand.

9) DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6: World's Greatest Super-Heroes! (1971)

It’s the Tiny Titan centrally located in a layout with the spotlight on him while sitting on Hawkman’s shoulder as drawn by Neal Adams. Sure he’s only barely in the light near the bottom of the page, in an homage using a more simplistic art style, but a Mighty Mite takes what he can get. Besides, he looks like he could be eight inches tall!

8) Super-Team Family #14 (January, 1978)

Maybe it’s funky perspective, but a much taller than average Atom is sort of at the forefront of a cover with Wonder Woman playing second fiddle (although she’s first billed.) Again with the generic robots, I know.

7) Action Comics #443 (January, 1975)

Of course Superman opening the book is the first thing you see, but then negative space and the cuteness of the World’s Smallest Super-Hero running off the corner attracts your eye. Maybe. It’s still better than being another jerk in the mob.

6) DC Comics Presents #15 (November, 1979)

The largest square footage (inchage?) for the Atom of all these covers, plus he gets a big second-billing logo. On the other hand, he looks like he just got a major ouchy, and his relative size doesn’t really convey his powers, do they? This cover says “big wimp,” not Tiny Titan.

5) Super-Team Family #13 (November, 1977)

In America, we read left to right, up to down. The Atom is assigned the top left panel, right near his logo. He’s also dynamically posed in his unique environment. That’s all I’ve got.

4) World's Finest Comics #213 (September, 1972)

Speaking of unique, name another hero whose death trap could naturally involve being trapped in a constricting phone line. Not that you’d want to, but still.

3) DC Special Series: 5-Star Super-Hero Spectacular #1 (1977)

Again with the Neal Adams, this time at the peak of his powers! Everyone on this cover comes off great, in their appropriate postures (although Aquaman could be more divey, or something.) Sure the Atom is small, but he’s strategically located with a boss energy field emanating from his body.

2) World's Finest Comics #236 (March, 1976)

One way to make a hero uncool: have them consistently in vulnerable positions on the cover, especially when they have undesirable powers to begin with. Yet, you can’t miss the Atom here, and the situation grabs your attention, regardless of how little it inspires your admiration.

1) The Brave and The Bold #115 (November, 1974)

Truly a classic Atom image, working to the character’s stealth strengths. See, the motherlovin’ Batman is down for the count, but them punk ass gangsters don’t realize the Mighty Mite is on the scene, plotting their downfall. That’s how you sell shrinking as a good thing. Also, there’s an alright full-sized painted version of this in the European market, but one quarter Aparo is worth three quarters of amateur swipe.

More of Today's 1970s-tastic Cover Countdowns!