Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Captain Atom: Armageddon #9 (August, 2006)



"Listen, Atom. You're a nice guy. Tough, honest, pure of heart. But I'm afraid there's no other solution to this little problem of ours. You have to die. Sorry. No hard feelings."

With that last bit of arrogance and monumental hubris, Jack Hawksmoor turned on the meat grinder. Apollo tried to kill Captain Atom, and instead started the reaction that would end everything. Apollo tried to absorb Atom's rising energy output, and talked just a little bit more crap before being flash fried into a skeleton. Hostile idiot Midnighter reacted as one would expect to the death of his lover, and was swiftly roasted. Hawksmoor had the Doctor rouse
Mr. Majestic, who understandably wanted to kill Hawksmoor. Jenny Quantum returned from Reality 440 to chastise Hawksmoor for his poor leadership and deal with Captain Atom. The preteens's eyes and teeth flew out of her head as she died.

Nikola Hanssen finally (and conveniently) transcended her humanity to become Void, and removed the splinter of her being from Captain Atom to make herself whole again. Captain Atom returned to his familiar silver and red appearance, and was sent back to the DC Universe. However, it was now Void who was set to explode.



"This world... it's gone wrong. Too wrong to continue. And we're to blame. We tried to save it, but we destroyed it instead. We reshaped it into our own twisted image. It's not a sane place to live anymore. Not if you're a normal person, just struggling to get through the day... It's all going to start again. Like it has a million times before.

After the World Storm, the Wildstorm Universe started over again with a page drawn by Jim Lee. He'd draw about twenty-two more story pages for the first and only issue of a "relaunched" Wildcats title, and Gene Ha would manage two issues of a new Authority "series," before this bold new beginning would start unraveling. Seeing as this entire series seemed to drift from fight scene to contradictory story point before petering out halfway through and phoning in a final few issues, the reboot didn't fall far from the initiating event mini-series.

Captain Atom fell back to his Earth, which looked really trashed and post-apocalyptic. As it turned it, it was just a craphole where the closing moments of Infinite Crisis was taking place. That's a set of editorially mandated plot points strung together into a "story" for another time...

"The End" couldn't come soon enough for Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sandra Hope, Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

DCn√ú Year's Wildstormin' Eve

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Captain Atom: Armageddon #8 (July, 2006)



"As strange as my line of work may seem, it's a lot like any other job in one way... you tend to end up dating people you meet at the workplace. At least that's what I did. Bette Sans Souci. Called herself 'Plastique.' She was a villain when we met, but she reformed. Happens more often than you'd think... at least on my Earth. We fell in love. Eventually, we got married. In the end, it didn't work out. American military man, Canadian separatist terrorist? Should have seen the split coming. Still hurts, though."

Lacking ties to Earth, Captain Atom volunteered for the suicide mission that blew him into the Wildstorm universe he was now fated to destroy, even as he had found a new love. Ah well, didn't matter, as Apollo and Midnighter had arrived to kill his ass. Apollo took Captain Atom to the sun to die, but Atom once again jacked with someone's atoms and caused Apollo to have a meltdown. Midnighter broke Grifter's arm, then kicked Nikola Hanssen in the ovaries, until a door opened and the roasted Apollo landed on the queen bitch.



Mr. Majestic showed back up at The Authority's ship again to once more argue against killing Captain Atom with Jack Hawksmoor yet another time, only to be belittled and brushed off by the smug prick.

Midnighter recovered enough to nail Grifter in the back with three shuriken, so Grifter talked some more instead of shooting his gun, and got his damn fool head blown off by Apollo's heat vision. Apollo and Midnighter then rushed Captain Atom and forced him through a wormhole door.

"Lessons In Nuclear Physics" was another irrelevant title that took longer to read than the story by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

New 52's Day featuring Wildstorm

Friday, December 16, 2011

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Mark Buckingham

Click To Expand & Enlarge


An outstanding piece with such few, specific, and underappreciated characters, you know Buckingham must have love for Aquaman and the Atom (and maybe their various team-up stories?)

Also, here's an extra by Gordon Purcell featuring a Flash/Superman race covered by Jimmy Olsen (with the Atom on his shoulder!) Most of the super-spectators are teeny, but they include Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Red Tornado, Plastic Man, Green Lantern, Batman, Black Canary, Aquaman, Booster Gold, Doctor Fate, Firestorm and the Manhunter from Mars.



Hero's JLA 100 Project Friday

In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Atomic acCount for March, 2012



Little Links
The Atom & Hawkman


Hawkman & Hawkgirl




BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #1
Written by ADAM BEECHEN, DEREK FRIDOLFS and DUSTIN NGUYEN
Art by NORM BREYFOGLE, DUSTIN NGUYEN and DEREK FRIDOLFS
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
On sale FEBRUARY 29 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
A new era begins with the debut of the oversized, monthly BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED, featuring the print debut of the new Justice League Beyond!
In the Batman Beyond chapter, legendary Batman artist Norm Breyfogle returns to draw the Dark Knight of the future with best-selling writer Adam Beechen. In “10,000 Clowns,” an onslaught of new Jokerz is plaguing Gotham City – and the implications of this chaotic clown menace could have disastrous consequences for Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne!
And the debut of the Justice League Beyond is here, courtesy of the BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM art team of Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs, as the first two digital-first chapters are available in print for the first time! Batman Beyond is a new recruit in the mighty Justice League, but the team will be immediately tested by a very Neo Gotham-related enemy! How will the team work together to combat this threat?
Sorry! I totally missed the debut of Micron's ongoing series last month.

BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #2
Written by ADAM BEECHEN, DEREK FRIDOLFS and DUSTIN NGUYEN
Art by NORM BREYFOGLE, DUSTIN NGUYEN and DEREK FRIDOLFS
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
On sale MARCH 21 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The excitement continues in this oversized title chronicling the adventures in the Beyond Universe and making their print debut here!
One of Batman’s most explosive villains is back! In an effort to regain his status in the criminal underworld, however, he loses the one thing he loves best...and now all of Gotham may pay the price!
The new Justice League Beyond adventure continues, as the League goes in search of AWOL member Micron – who may or may not have gone native while investigating Kobra! A larger, darker secret is about to be revealed...and it could spell doom for Earth!
Hey cool-- Micron's fighting Batman or something.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: ALL-STAR SQUADRON VOL. 1 TP
Written by ROY THOMAS and GERRY CONWAY
Art by RICH BUCKLER, DICK GIORDANO, JERRY ORDWAY, ADRIAN GONZALES and DON HECK
Cover by JOE KUBERT
On sale APRIL 18 • 528 pg, B&W, $19.99 US
In these stories from JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #193 and ALL-STAR SQUADRON #1-18, the All-Star Squadron has been founded on Earth II by the lost heroes from the JSA to stop Per Degaton from delivering mystic weapons to the Axis powers!
Golden Age Atom Al Pratt in action!

TINY TITANS #50
Written by ART BALTAZAR and FRANCO
Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E • FINAL ISSUE

In this awesome 50th issue, questions are answered! Mysteries are solved! The Tiny Titans may be one step closer to becoming Super Heroes! This issue may change your life! Plus, it’s highly recommended by Franco’s mom!
Goodbye, Atom family, who I never really acknowledged because I never bought a second issue.

SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS VOL. 2 HC
Written by GERRY CONWAY and BOB ROZAKIS
Art by MIKE VOSBURG, RICH BUCKLER, DICK DILLIN, ALEX SAVIUK, JOE ORLANDO and others
Cover by RICH BUCKLER
On sale MAY 16 • 208 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Don’t miss this second helping of tales of villainy from SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #11-15, DC SPECIAL #27, DC SPECIAL SERIES #6, SUPER-TEAM FAMILY #13-14, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #166-167 and a story from CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE #2.
I bought the first volume based on solicitation copy recycled from an aborted Showcase Presents volume that stated all these issues were to have been included there. Obviously they were not, including the previously unpublished final story. I've got to decide whether I want to punish DC fir screwing me, while punishing myself by not getting a rare story finally completed (?) in full color...

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #25-26
Written by MARV WOLFMAN
Art by MIKE S. MILLER, HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY
Cover #25 by MIKE S. MILLER
Cover #26 by HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY
#25 on sale MARCH 7
#26 on sale MARCH 21 • FINAL ISSUE
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Lex Luthor and the remaining super powered heroes on Earth have sprung their trap on Brainiac...and the real war begins! The events in this issue will be talked about for years to come!
The battle that DCUO Legends has been building to for over a year is finally here: Brainiac versus The Man of Steel! But will even Superman be powerful enough to stop this universal evil? And what stunning role will Lex Luthor play in the events? Find out in the stunning series conclusion!
Good Christ it's about time! And I'm not even Christian!

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #7
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by ALBERTO PONTICELLI
Cover by J.G. JONES
On sale MARCH 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The siege on S.H.A.D.E. City comes to a bloody conclusion, and it may mean the end of the Creature Commandos! With the Hub under Humanid control and Nina’s evil monsters staging a coup, S.H.A.D.E. headquarters is in total disarray. But nothing can prepare Frankenstein for the terrible secret that lies beneath it all!

Captain Atom
CAPTAIN ATOM #7
Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II
Cover by MIKE CHOI
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
This issue’s got all the answers! Why did Nathaniel Adam sign up for Megala’s experiment? How did he become Captain Atom? Do his powers have any limits? And what’s the deal with those numbers? It’s time to explore the past, present, and future of Captain Atom as he tries to stop a catastrophic event even though he’s already too late!
Does it involve Ozymandias?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Top 10 Atom Covers of the 1980s



The eighties were not a kind ten years to Ray Palmer. He started out the decade as a bland back-up strip in a Superman comic, and ended it with the swift cancellation of a second ongoing series that was so negligible, it didn't feel like it was even a product of its time. In between, his wife cheated on him, he got divorced, he became trapped at six inches, spent years battling creatures in the Amazon, and saw his rebound girlfriend burned alive. On the plus side, Gil Kane returned to the character for a fun genre-bending sword and sorcery mini-series, even if the premise overstayed its welcome through three follow-up specials. As a result, the Atom passed on inclusion in multiple line-ups of the Justice League, his lifeline to fandom throughout the seventies, and sank from the b-list to less notoriety than G'nort. In fact, I don't think the Atom has ever recovered from the mistakes made in this decade, and perhaps never will.

10) Sword of the Atom #4 (December, 1983)

The one fault in Gil Kane's covers is that they are of such consistently high quality, it is difficult to choose between them. That, and they are also of consistent subject matter, and there are only so many variations to be played out. For instance, this is the second SOTA cover featuring Atom riding a frog, the fourth with his swinging a sword at an enemy taking up the majority of the cover, and the second in a row on which he defends Princess Laethwen.The main difference here is a mob of humanoid menaces, but its still better than 17/18ths of Power of the Atom.


9) Power of the Atom #18 (November, 1989)

The most dynamic cover from this series landed on the final issue, and is dependent on stock draws like a prominent central figure, fire, and the threat of violence. There is nothing on this cover to establish scale, so this could be any hero with a sword and be just as effective, if not more so. Can I also take this opportunity to point out how stupid and ugly the alterations to the Atom costume were in this series? I can live without the skullcap, but why switch to trunks after a quarter century of vastly superior and obviously more contemporary pants?


8) Sword of the Atom #3 (November, 1983)

This cover illustrates one of the central problems of the series. If you have a large enough threat, the Atom is either obscured or forced into a dubious perspective. If the threat isn't large enough, it fails to impress. Thanks to the jungle setting, backgrounds tend to be repetitive, and even the large creature menaces fail to be more than a momentary distraction for a Tarzan type. In the event of more intelligent threats, like the tiny alien savages the Atom fought for much of the series, there's little to differentiate the book from any other barbarian story of the time.


7) Secret Origins #29 (August, 1988)

The debut cover to the Power of the Atom series was terrible, and a harbinger of thinks to come. DC wisely opted to use the proud central Atom figure seen here for their advertisement of the book, which ended up being a more memorable campaign than the actual series. Unfortunately, the Atom figure doesn't work as well in this context, seemingly floating in space rather than standing between the shoulders of Martian Manhunter and Batman. Why would they be so close together, anyway? Maybe if the Atom were jumping across multiple shoulders in a hopscotch, it would work better. As it stands, the main figure has no weight and the composition is perplexing.


6) Sword of the Atom #2 (October, 1983)

Rats! On pure technique, I feel that this was the best of Kane's SOTA covers. However, the threat isn't much of one, and the weakness is compounded by the Atom's cowering posture.


5) Sword of the Atom #1 (September, 1983)

The classic SOTA frog-riding image, but it loses points because of the weird looking snake, dull background and unadventurous perspective.


4) Justice League of America #215 (June, 1983)

George Perez is always pleasing to the eye, but the Gulliver angle doesn't work quite as well as it should. This is possibly due to the other heroes lacking prominence because they're too spaced out and overwhelmed by the primary colors of Ray's costume. The eye processes a waist up shot of an angry Atom tearing at cables, rather than a group of normal sized heroes pinning down a giant one.


3) DC Comics Presents #51 (November, 1982)

I've never been an Alex Saviuk fan, and you'll note the absence from this list of his Atom-as-afterthought inclusions at the bottom sixth of early eighties Action Comics covers during the Mighty Mite's run as a back-up. Still, there's something compelling about the World's Smallest Super-Hero swearing vengeance on the gravestone of Superman, the greatest of them all. It's a Samson and Goliath situation where perhaps one of the most unappreciated super-heroes is the best man to succeed at finding justice where others fail.


2) Sword of the Atom Special #1 (1984)

The Tiny Titan looking fierce with his hot jungle princess over his shoulder and a credible threat in the downed thug, who also serves as a proportional grounding. This very nearly sums up the best of the Sword series.


1) Justice League of America #216 (July, 1983)

It was really rough not having a Gil Kane or George Perez cover at the top spot, but Ed Hannigan outdid himself on this one. Great perspective that flips the usual Atom paradigm, along with well drawn figures in dynamic poses. Both a great Atom and JLofA piece, a rare intersection.

Their Top Covers of the 1980s

Friday, December 2, 2011

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Andy Smith

Click To Expand & Enlarge


Thanks to his scale, there's really no reason why the Atom couldn't appear on pretty much any of these charity JLA covers. He could literally just be a millimeter square stick figure in the upper left hand corner of any drawing and be kosher. While this deference to the Mighty Mite was still uncommon, there were plenty of inclusions, ironic for especially being the case in the more crowded scenes. Even more curious, the Tiny Titan is often fairly prominent, as in this piece where he pretty much has a starring role. The largest and most prominent figure is Wonder Woman, who is staring intently at Ray Palmer's ass, directly below the logo. A scale Atom rarely gets better visibility than that, and that scale meant that he was the only other featured hero shown in his entirety. I'll take a small but dynamic Atom over half a Flash, three-quarters of an Aquaman, or a Martian Manhunter bust! Even the World's Finest due are partial amputees...

Hero's JLA 100 Project Friday

In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!