Sunday, June 26, 2011

The All New Atom in DCU: Brave New World #1 (August, 2006)

Alien beings called The Waiting who spoke in a garbled temporal sense were trying to "inject mind control devices" into beings of influence on Earth for unknown reason. Ryan Choi had been provided with the size controlling belt of Ray Palmer to combat the menace. "The one advantage I have over the real Atom-- is a much greater range of mass and weight control." That wasn't entirely true, as Choi could fly using a special baton, although he struggled to actually wield the thing. "Well, he's hanging on to the equivalent of four jumbo jet engines..."

Although a scientist, Ryan Choi was of the Wilbur and Orville Wright stripe of researching discoveries himself. Thankfully, he had a lifetime of gymnastic training to serve him, as well as some martial arts skill. When cannon firing flying insects have you in their sights, those could come in handy. Choi's actions in a shrunken netherworld were viewed via camera by his associates at Ivy University, some rather eccentric, plus his "bro" Panda.

The Atom managed to blast the aliens with their own hard light generating weaponry, forcing them to shrink further in retreat. It was then revealed that the entire battle had taken place in the carpet of the Oval Office, and that the somewhat askew aliens had taken over the mind of their true target-- the presidential dog Duster. After all, the president pet the pooch. "Seen must you how humbly he knelt before him?"

Meanwhile, a mysterious figure noted, "Yes, Mr. Choi. You defeated the Waiting, as I'd predicted. Of course, you could never have done it without my help. Clearly, I've chosen the correct successor."

"Handle of the Teacup" was by Gail Simone, John Byrne and Trevor Scott. It was a fun, fast paced story, but a bit too busy for my taste. There were just so many characters speaking in different voices, some intentionally impenetrable. Plus, there were true and fictional quote captions, and of course the action starts near the end with exposition slowly bringing the reader up to speed. Scott's inks give Byrne a modern pizzazz, and due credit to the influence of Ray Palmer was given. However, it's kind of phony calling a book "The All New Atom" when a character is so clearly continuing a legacy, right?

Brave New World

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