Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Captain Atom: Armageddon #4-7 (2006)

Captain Atom: Armageddon #4 (March, 2006)

The WildCats were totally pissed off at Captain Atom for no apparent reason, and played Six Degrees of William Shatner "to decide who gets to kick your ass." Maul "won," even though Atom had been repeatedly filmed fighting the Wildstorm Universe's Superman, and easily handled the chump (by manipulating his atoms back to human form, another magical first time power use.)

Grifter and Nikola Hanssen were still hanging out at a burger joint, discussing her new Void powers.

The remaining WildCats talked about triple-teaming Captain Atom, but ended up falling by numbers. Since I stopped reading Wildcats comics in 1998, I was unaware Voodoo had all of Jean Grey's old powers. Get this-- Captain Atom overloaded her telepathy by "giving" her all of his memories at once and overloading her brain. How does that even work? That makes about as much sense as a magnet to a juggalo. Next, we all try to pretend Warblade is more keen than Wolverine with blades can could literally slice atoms. We know this because Warblade stood there and explained how boss he was while Captain Atom was down, before getting hit by a geyser of energy for being slow.

Katana Zealot deflected more of that energy with her katana oh right katana, which could "shave the rough edges off an electron." See, the writer remembered electrons from grade school science, and thought referencing them in a nonsensical context would make him sound mind-bending like Grant Morrison, instead of mind-thwarting like Sarah Palin quotes. The only way I could mock this more is if Captain Atom hadn't actually fought a samurai with an X-Ionizer katana that cut his shell open back in 1987. However, that guy took two issues to deal with, not three credibility-straining pages of Zealot running around in a bathing suit.

Grifter and Nikola Hanssen were held back by security forces at the monument trying to keep people away from the "meta-human trouble." I've been dancing around the DC Comics term "metahuman" for four synopsizes now because I thought Wildstorm called them "suprahuman" or "post-human" or some such. Anyway, Grifter taught Nikola how to teleport them both to the monument, where he drew down on Captain Atom. Supposedly, Grifter had a secret weapon beyond a friggin' gun, but he couldn't seem to fire it before Captain Atom finished debating stepping through wormhole to the moon generated by The Engineer. Would this comic book please just shut up?

"Fight Scene" was drummed up by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #5 (April, 2006)

While still being bitchy enough to come from this interpretation of the Wildstorm universe, The Engineer was still a hell of a lot more pleasant to Captain Atom than most as she escorted him onto The Authority's ship. The DC hero was introduced to Swift, the Doctor, and Jenny Quantum, "as in quantum theory. You know... the idea that replaced atomic theory." Yeah, we know what you're getting at, you precocious little brat, but Captain Atom's power set was replaced by quantum origins before Warren Ellis left college.

Captain Atom and the Engineer were joined by Jack Hawksmoor in a tour of hundreds of alternate dimensions, none the DCU. In one of the many instances of alternate realities where the Nazis won, the Authority members were happy to mow down goose steppers while Captain Atom hung back. Atom wouldn't even kill an aged Hitler in cold blood, making him one of the wussiest super-heroes of his type, so Hawksmoor did the Fuhrer in.

The WildCats were studying Nikola Hanssen when Mr. Majestic showed up to explain that they couldn't kill Captain Atom after all, because it would be like clipping the wrong wire on a ticking time bomb. There was only one "infinitesimal discrepancy" offering "a slight glimmer" of hope, because there always is, and it lay with Hanssen's new Void powers.

The Authority dropped Captain Atom off at a remote snowy mountaintop on Wildstorm Earth until they could figure out how to dispose of him if they couldn't get him home. However, the Engineer soon paid his a visit...

"No Exit" relented on the stupidity usually served by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #6 (May, 2006)

Mr. Majestic showed up at The Authority's ship, and was assured Jack Hawksmoor already had a plan in motion.

Captain Atom finally let loose of some power when The Engineer talked him into killing time dismantling a "bargain-basement Stalin" and his regime. "Back home, it was all about maintaining the status quo. Keeping the ship on course. But what if the status quo needs changing? What if the ship needs to be sunk? I'm not saying I agree with her methods... but they do get results."

Afterward, the Engineer was allowed to send her nanites into Captain Atom and fish out the problem. The Doctor checked to make sure everything was still intact a year in advance, and gave Captain Atom the all clear. Atom started making the sexy time with the Engineer, claiming that he had never had such an intimate relationship with a woman, even if he didn't like her resentful attitude toward saving humans.

Jeremy Stone had continued his studies, and explained to Grifter what a disaster it would be in Captain Atom ever came into close contact with Nikola Hanssen.

Separately visiting the site of the destroyed apartment where the story sort of began, Captain Atom touched Nikola Hanssen, who turned into Void while he collapsed.

"Sometimes, When We Touch..." allowed Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sandra Hope & Trevor Scott to take up maybe five minutes of my time.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #7 (June, 2006)

Nikola Hanssen couldn't handle becoming Void, and started unleashing large amounts of energy. Captain Atom embraced her, calming Void down.

On that snowy mountaintop when they first started dating, The Engineer pouted, while Jack Hawksmoor claimed that a) Captain Atom going kablooey was back on and b) "He's cheating on you." Can I take a moment to point out how contemptibly Hawksmoor and all the Wildstorm characters have been handled. They're nothing but smug, cynical, kill-happy a-holes, per this comic. Also, dumb as rocks, since the Engineer responds to Atom helping Void to chill out by trying to kill him... again. This was even after Captain Atom willed himself a week into the future (not how that usually works) to immediately find Nikola Hanssen (really?) and borrow her newspaper (oldest cliché in the time travel book, and never a deal maker.)

Grifter shot the Engineer with a super-rifle, and rather than killing her ("Wildstorm" must be an anagram for some form of murder,) the Captain rearranged her atoms until she was powerless. The WSU couldn't abide such a peaceful solution though, so Apollo and Midnighter were dispatched to dispatch him.

You know, this is why Wildstorm closed down at the end of last year. First it was an artists' company like the rest of Image, and then they hired British writers and became a contender. Next, the art started to slip, and they couldn't keep the writers, both of which probably had something to do with being purchased and micromanaged by DC. This was the point where there was enough of a vote of no confidence that a reboot of the entire universe was imminent, and the up n' coming writer than never came up was assigned, and the art was... yeah. Americans trying to write like the British can't get the balance right, so all the characters come across as awful people with lousy attitudes you actively root against, like the kids in slasher movies. Just terrible, hateful slogs to read.

"Who Says The World Needs Saving?" expertly combined the stupidity and viciousness of previous issues with the more recent welcome brevity by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

Wildstorm & the New 52

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2006 "The JLA" painting by Rhiannon Owens

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Acrylic painter Rhiannon Owens' takes on the Justice League of America is this 18" X 24" group shot. Featured are Aquaman, the Atom, Batman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, Superman, Wonder Woman. For more, check out her deviantART Page or listing at Comicartfans.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Captain Atom: Armageddon #1-3 (2005-2006)

The sad thing about my covering this mini-series is that I seriously had the entire thing written up the first week in January. I have always had a healthy amount of material "in the can" for this blog. Bronze Age Atom strips. Silver Age Captain Atom strips. George Perez postcards. Miscellanea. The problem has always been that low readership here fails to motivate me past 1-2 posts a week, and these completed posts are always tied to other blogs for themed days. The Golden Age Captain Marvel stories I haven't edited pictures for. The Silver Age Wonder Woman comics I don't have color art for. The DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar mini-series with all the tedious references to plug in but no great shakes of a story.

Captain Atom: Armageddon was poorly written, and I didn't care for the art, but I figure it at least deserves the single scan per issue I give most every other book. As a mea culpa in a universe where DC and Wildstorm are now permanently merged in a new continuity(an eventually unseen when I started this thing,) here is a re-presentation of the mini-series to date over two weeks time with new scans, to be followed by the final two issue synopses...

Captain Atom: Armageddon #1 (December, 2005)

"Not long ago..." Mr. Majestic stabbed Spartan with a sword, and pink energy exploded. They were calling each other by their first names like good little X-Men clones, and Spartan was asking to be stabbed, and something something Void something something annihilation and scene. This was all very gay, both in tongue-in-cheek misread subtext, and as juvenile derogatory for a bunch of obtuse crap that's meaningless to anyone but the most devout Wildstorm geek.

"Not long ago..." Captain Atom volunteered to fly a giant composite Superman/Batman robot away from Earth into a soon-to-collide kryptonite asteroid that would otherwise exploded our planet into itty bitty bits. This wasn't as gay, even though Captain Atom pictured himself in tighty whities while thinking about "another cockpit" before getting swallowed by the head of a metal penis. The artist was lazy enough to cut and paste that happening twice. Also lazy was the wimpy two page look at Captain Atom's Post-Crisis incarnation before blowing himself up to escape a lousy Jeph Loeb plot thread.

"Hell. Better pay attention. I've got a job to do. Goodbye. And God bless America."

A bald Captain Atom appeared for a moment in front of Superman and Batman, sometime after his funeral, probably to pay off a teased return that wasn't properly thought through. He then was transported to the Wildstorm comic book universe, where he flew uncontrollably into a building like a missile.

An EMT tried to help an old man who giddily anticipated his death by super-hero collision. The EMT got a splinter of pink Void energy in her paw. Captain Atom got a "new" costume that was on loan from his brief appearance in Kingdom Come. The EMT ran away in fear of the super-human, because a) you would too if some dude knocked over your building, and b) everyone on Wildstorm Earth was afraid of super-humans, because that kind of bloodletting happened all the damned time there. Mr. Majestic then showed up to start punching Captain Atom.

Grifter was in a bar, drinking to the memory of his dead robot friend who got stabbed to death at the beginning of this synopsis. He got excited when he saw the stabber fighting on the TV.

Captain Atom took some blows, then decided to show how tough he was by pounding Mr. Majestic into the ground. Atom thought he was being heroic, but all the bystanders were still afraid of him, even after he explained that he was a super-hero. You see, Wildstorm is a dark, hardcore universe where puny humans are always caught between gory battles and political upheavals, while DC is a bright, happy universe where super-heroes' wives get sodomized and their kids murdered and whole cities razed but everyone still loves super-heroes anyway.

"A Scream Across The Sky" was by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #2 (January, 2006)

Grifter met with his WildCats teammate Jeremy Stone to use his computer to detect not one Void energy signature, but too. Woooooo.

Captain Atom determined that that he wasn't in Kansas anymore, in part because this Earth lacked the cities of Metropolis, Gotham, Opal, Keystone and Sub Diego. Yes, Sub Diego, because the writer of this mini-series created Sub Diego during his brief Aquaman run, and not entire nations like Bialya, Qurac, and so forth. Nathaniel Adam then assumed his human form to learn once again that nobody on this Earth ever heard of super-heroes from his Earth, and that everyone's afraid of super-people here, and that he's too dense to have gotten that point last issue, and that it'll be made again in future issues because of that. Captain Atom then directly tapped into every computer on Earth through a pay phone, which I don't recall as being one of his powers, but it's done all matter of fact-like.

Grifter brought the WildCats back together to investigate the Voids and to be snarky to one another for reasons DC readers wouldn't understand, because nobody got a proper introduction.

Captain Atom and Mr. Majestic fought a little bit more, then Majestic gave a brief half-assed explanation of the Kherubim-Daemonite war that formed the basis for much of Wildstorm's continuity. Then Majestic ran some tests and determined that Captain Atom was going to blow up and destroy the entire Wildstorm Universe, so I guess its origins didn't really matter all that much. Further, Atom couldn't be gotten rid of by any known means.

Grifter approached that EMT from last issue, Nikola Hanssen, and started talking to her about Void type stuff.

Captain Atom, predicted destroyer of all Wildstorm reality, decided he should turn to someone with real power... the President of the United States. In the Wildstorm Universe. Because if he can't beat Superman, maybe he can out-dumb Hal Jordan...

"Brave New World" was inflicted by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #3 (February, 2006)

Captain Atom just showed up floating in front of the White House in the super-hero fearing Wildstorm Universe, so of course the Join Chiefs of Staff decided to nuke the area, as "It's the only chance to save America." Captain Atom absorbed the blast, then teleported into the Oval Office to talk with the president. Guards fired conventional weapons at his deflective skin, because they're stupid. Atom started explaining his situation, ending with "I'm a military man, sir. That means I respect authority." Yeah, that's readily evident in his actions, right? "Authority, eh? Funny you should put it that way." The President explained that he was only human, and in a post-human world, "we answer to a higher authority."

Grifter kept trying to explain to Nikola Hanssen that she had all these Void powers from her splinter, but she was kind of in denial.

Mr. Majestic showed up to talk at Captain Atom some more, but the latter was all pissed off by how jacked-up Wildstorm comics were. Captain Atom actually spit in Majestic's face like a little bitch, and gotten thrown through the Washington Monument. Nanobots would tidy up that mess later.

The artist referenced Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, because that was clever thirty years ago in a Howard Chaykin comic or something. Grifter called the WildCats to meet at the monument.

Mr. Majestic explained that Captain Atom wouldn't go explodey if he got deadened first, but Atom sought a second opinion, and Majestic was cool with that. Captain Atom then directly accessed the Pentagon's computers through his powers, and ran all sorts of equations that all ended him him going all explodey. All mopey, Captain Atom returned to the restored Washington Monument, so the WildCats could get snarky with him.

"Power Struggle" was perpetrated by Will Pfeifer, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope.

New 52's Day

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Atomic acCount for February, 2012

Little Links
The Atom

Captain Atom


Cover #23 by MIKE S. MILLER

In the aftermath of a failed and deadly assault on Brainiac’s mothership and a costly betrayal that will set the stage for a massive invasion of Earth...are there any heroes left to save humanity? #23 on sale FEBRUARY 15

And in issue #24, Luthor has hatched a plan that, with the help of the Justice League, might just save the world...but since he’s the most wanted man on Earth, how can he execute it?#24 on sale FEBRUARY 29

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Everybody but the Atom is on this freakin' cover.

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Cover by J.G. JONES
On sale FEBRUARY 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Frankenstein and The Commandos head back to Vietnam to take out a rogue super human whom Frankenstein fought beside back in 1969! Meanwhile, The Humanids stage a revolt in The Ant Farm, and Nina and Lady Frankenstein are all that stands between them and total chaos. But they soon discover other deep, dark secrets hidden in S.H.A.D.E.City.

Cover by ED BENES
On sale MARCH 14 • 192 pg, FC, $19.99 US

This volume collects issues #8-15 of the twice monthly series as the heroes and villains of the DC Universe must form an uneasy alliance to combat the threat of Brainiac! As the battle rages on, tension rises not only between Lex Luthor and the heroes, but also between members of the Justice League!
Try to stifle that yawn.

On sale MARCH 21 • 224 pg, FC, $17.99 US

The Justice League of America must bring in Green Arrow for murdering the villain Prometheus in this title collecting JUSTICE LEAGUE: RISE AND FALL SPECIAL, GREEN ARROW #31-32 and THE RISE OF ARSENAL #1-4!
Hello, cameos.

Captain Atom
Written by J.T. KRUL
On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
A great danger has been lurking in the shadows while Captain Atom continues his crusade to help those in need. Now, the time has come for him to face a threat unlike any other – yet strangely similar to himself. Discover the secret connection between Captain Atom and this unholy beast. And brace yourself for an ending you’ll never see coming!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 THE ATOM: Original Art by Shelton Bryant

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Up on eBay for $17.95. I'd buy it if I could right now. Anybody who paints Ray Palmer this often with the expectation of making less that twenty bucks a pop is a stand-up guy in my book.

THE ATOM on an 8 by 11 acid-free, 100% rag Lanaquarelle watercolor sheet (140 lbs mould-made.)

Splendid abstract/realism, original wash and pencils signed by Shelton Bryant ( creator of "Melinda " and artist of "The Upper Hand" and "Ill-Conceived") .

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 The Atom negative charge Watercolor by Shelton Bryant

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"ATOM on an 8 by 11 acid-free watercolor sheet (140lbs )."

Shelton Bryant