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

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