Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 The Atom Movie Fan Casting: Crispin Glover as The Floronic Man

I was tempted to pull a Shia LaBeouf and cast Leland Orser in this role after conversations with Count Drunkula led us both to said actor. However, had I not talked with Daly, Orser would have never come to mind, so I figured I ought to figure one out entirely on my own. The world is still waiting for Crispin Hellion Glover to finally crack and murder some people (assuming he hasn't already, and has just successfully covered his tracks.) He was a favorite among many fans for the Joker for a number of years (never saw it myself,) but has likely aged out of that option at 49 (although Jack Nicholson got away with it around age 51.) What I like about the more mature Glover is that he can play "straight" as an evil scientist Dr. Jason Woodrue, but when he's revealed as a megalomaniacal faerie, that's right up Glover's alley as well. Then, when he goes really nuts and turns into a sentient plant, hey, that's still Glover all over.

Diabolic Movie Fan Casting

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 “21. Captain Atom” by ColourOnly85

Click To Enlarge

This round is villain themed, but there are so many heroes represented by this blog and so few bad guys relevant here to turn up so far in "The 215 Project 200 DC Characters," I figured I'd sneak this one in under "Monarch."

I Want to be Evil

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013 IGN “The Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics” countdown

Thanks to @AquamanShrine, I checked out IGN's The Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics article by Jesse Schedeen. As these things go, it's a pretty solid countdown, but also somewhat damning. Damian Wayne takes last place, despite being the most interesting character DC's created in the last decade or so. That said, he's also the fourth semi-permanent bearer of the Robin mantle (fifth if you count Stephanie Brown, and let's not even open the door to multiversal/interpretative variants.) Robin was the sensational character find of 1940, whereas Damian was just a more acerbic Jason Todd with a better pedigree of sperm + ovum. Damian is one of two Robins to make the list, plus two Green Lanterns and two Flashes. It's like seeing a countdown of the top ten soda brands and realizing a quarter of the list is simply the diet versions of the same drinks.

Ray Palmer came in at #24, with his scientific acumen, genre versatility, and troubled history highlighted. While I was happy the Atom didn't get shut out by someone like Lobo, he still occupies the "obligatory inclusion" realm. Ahead of him was Cyborg, the only non-Caucasian human on the list. Cyborg isn't even DC's best African-American hero, and he's spent the two years of New 52 comics as a glorified teleportational chauffeur/ doorman/ receptionist, but he's in the JLA and the list needed "a black one."

Hawkgirl was #22, having replaced Hawkman in the hearts of fandom through her appearances on the Justice League cartoon and by virtue of being defined as a saucy redhead instead of the dude who's angry all the time. But then she was beaten by Starfire because breasts and because the only version of Hawkgirl currently in print is an off-brand on Earth-2. Jonah Hex beat both the ladies despite being a Clint Eastwood western pastiche with a scar and a perpetually low selling book. Booster Gold is totes important as the materialistic fame seeker who got to cash in on remorse over his friend get capped in the head. With Time Travel! If I could be bothered with the effort, I'd work in a Doctor Who slam, but nope.

Excluding John Constantine at #16, the rest of the bottom ten are all handicapped by a lack of y-chromosome: Black Canary, Supergirl, and Batgirl. I'm kind of proud of Ray for being the official white guy thrown under the bus to help promote the women and minorities seated at the back of said bus. Let's just not bring up the Asian kid that got knifed so Ray could return as the Mighty Mite...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Justice #12 (August, 2007)

The Atom was set to shrink Gorilla Grodd to nothingness if he tried anything funny after he was given back the exhausted yellow power ring that had previously been unlocked for his use by Sinestro. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor had its power battery shrunken and hidden in a pouch on his person as a failsafe from Brainiac. The Tiny Titan shouted "finally" as he restored the battery to useful dimensions. While the Martian Manhunter worked with the villains to stop nuclear missiles from incinerating the planet, the Atom was more concerned with water. Solomon Grundy had punched out an exterior wall of the city-sphere, which was submerged, so the whole "town" was rapidly flooding.

In Scarecrow's city, Red Tornado blew fear gas away from the citizenry, then determined that Brainiac had escaped by shifting his "primary program to another body." Zatanna teleported Superman and Red to the Toyman factory the Hawks had destroyed, where they found Brainiac's consciousness temporarily resided. Brainiac explained that he was trying to recreate Colu by turning humans into nanite-infested automatons, then disappeared to another location. Tornado had an internal monologue about the limitations of Zatanna's powers, which made no sense in context, since the creators had to give Red a cybernetic tracking connection-amabob to Brainiac for him to have any story mileage. Meanwhile, Zee was providing transportation across all the literal mileage covered (and Zee also seemed to track Brainiac independent of Red, so so much for that.) At other locations, Brainiac tried to convince RT to turn on the humans, like a dime store Ultron talking down to the Vision.

"Chapter Twelve" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. Justice was kind of a modern deconstruction of an old cartoon, but it doesn't stand up very well to deconstruction its own self. The Atom had a fairly large role in the story, including a spotlight issue, but his arc consists of getting hurt, worrying his wife, fighting a Wonder Woman foe, saving his wife, and carrying the weight of science stuff for the heroes. "Love and protect your (psycho bitch adulteress) wife." That's deep, yo. Red Tornado served the Red Tornado role of getting violently torn to pieces to establish a threat against his team and then serving a minor, dubious role in evil's defeat. Red got to have a weird forced relationship with a Superman villain who was doing the same thing with Aquaman on the DL, and he got to hold Brainiac's ship after it had already been shrunk and frozen. It's the costumed equivalent of holding your girlfriend's purse at the mall. This comic was basically watching someone else play with action figures. The bad guys attack, and the good guys retaliate. It's stupefyingly simplistic, but hey, painted Atom in an important role. Yay.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2006 Atom: From Bruce Wayne's private files in the Batcomputer

Pencil art by Doug Braithwaite painted over by Alex Ross from the back pages of Justice #6 (August, 2006.) Text by Jim Krueger writing as Batman:
PROFESSOR RAY PALMER is a genius, a physicist who stumbled upon the remains of a white dwarf star. Palmer used fragments of the star to further his experiments in matter reduction. His experiments failed time and time again, but necessity and his belief that he could not fail forever forced Palmer to experiment upon himself, with success.

Palmer graduated from college and married Jean Loring. He became the Atom and used his life as a hero to fight crime and establish his wife's career as one of the predominant criminal lawyers in the state. Palmer became a hero for love. It is this notion that separates him from so many of the other members of the League. But I wonder, what would happen if Loring were not a part of the equation? I cannot believe the cavalier basis on which he fights crime. We cannot have relationships.

Palmer is capable of reducing himself to tiny, even subatomic, size. He can ride electronic impulses through phone lines. Despite all his discoveries, and all he experience battling crime, he has yet to find anything at a subatomic level that suggests a propensity for crime.

Crime is a choice, a matter of will. Modern sociology is the crime of suggesting that it is not.
Besides getting the Tiny Titan's origin wrong (he shrank to save himself and some students trapped in a cave-in) and expanding an aspect of his motivation into the whole of it, the Dark Knight just started rambling nonsensically like Alfred had slipped him a mickey. A devil in the details of a criminal's molecular make-up? The hell, Caped Crusader? Either you're madly overrated or your present writer is dumb as a bag of hammers.

The Batcomputer Files

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 The Atom Movie Fan Casting: Brad Dourif as Chronos

One thing I've tried to do with these POTA fan-casts is to be economical and nerdy. Casey Affleck isn't a big name or a big guy, but I think he'd be a swell Ray Palmer. Christina Ricci and Mel Gibson are both just famous enough to keep the movie premiere out of the Redbox, but are affordable and bring the right kind of baggage to their parts. With Chronos, I wasn't as picky, since there isn't a lot to the character on the page beyond the resemblance to Tricky Dick. I wanted an atypical pick-- someone believable as a criminal of science, and I could go older since the role wouldn't be physically demanding. Brad Dourif is best known as the voice of Chucky in the Child's Play series, but he's a fantastic character actor with a wide range of roles under his belt (my favorite being Doc Cochran on Deadwood.) I think he'd have great chemistry with Affleck, which to me is more important than how he'd look in green & yellow with vertical striped leggings.

Diabolic Movie Fan Casting

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Justice #11 (June, 2007)

The battle at the "Hall of Doom" continued. Giganta held up against the onslaught of Martian Manhunter, Metamorpho, and Red Tornado. The last hero broke off his attack to pin down a weakened Bizarro with tornado winds, but Hawkman and Hawkgirl took his place with Giganta. Green Lantern Hal Jordan, off battling Sinestro at another location, substituted for an omniscient narrator for no good reason other than a lack of craft by considering Giganta's "rage at being confined. She is an animal. Maybe like we all are. But maybe we can learn something where she cannot. There's always someone stronger. Someone smarter. Someone bigger." Elasti-Girl tapped Giganta on the shoulder, then sucker punched her, a gigantic butt cracking the pavement seemingly the closing of all hostilities.

Reunited with their supporting casts thanks to the efforts of Green Arrow and Green Lantern John Stewart, Jean Loring lovingly cradled the Atom against her face. Red Tornado chatted up Kathy Sutton, as the Hawks did Midway City police commissioner George Emmett.

"Chapter Eleven" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Justice #10 (April, 2007)

Previously in Justice

The Atom flew about with his jetpack and raygun at a veritable Hall of Doom, performing reconnaissance on the super-villains gathered there. "They're everywhere. Brainac's nanotechs are swarming all over the place. I think I'm too small to be detected by Brainiac's worms. And the shielding seems to be cloaking me from Grodd's mind. But I'm still not small enough to get past Luthor's force field. That's why Brainiac can't control Luthor." As Batman had predicted though, the Mighty Mite wasn't mini enough to escape the robotic flying worms after all.

The time for discretion ended, an army of heroes burst onto the scene. The Tiny Titan blasted and kicked at the "worms," while the armored Hawkman and Hawkgirl contended with Solomon Grundy. Giganta grew out of her black formal dress into a leopardskinned force to be reckoned with. Red Tornado was in the mix, but disappeared into the periphery for most of the battle, until joining in against Giganta.

Batman eventually confronted Lex Luthor, who stood unconcerned in his force field. "Why do you bother, Bruce? There's nothing you could build in that top secret cave of yours that could break through this." The Dark Knight said he was merely seeing how far along the Tiny Titan had come in dismantling Luthor's tech. "The Atom? Where is he?" Professor Palmer grew to a visible stature in front of Lex's face before punching him right in it. Standing over the fallen genius, Ray noted the scheme was "Your idea, Mr. Wayne. You know, I'm going to feel bad having to go back to calling you Batman after this is all over."

"Chapter Ten" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Justice Volume Two (2007)

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."

"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."

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...

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...

"Justice, Vol. 2," collecting issues #5-8 of the 2005 mini-series, was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Justice Volume One (2006)

Hawkman and Hawkgirl fell blazing from the sky, wings afire like Icarus...

Alex Ross may be able to paint some pretty pictures, but he's also a manchild stuck in the Bronze Age, constantly re-staging the same apocalyptic fantasy fictions. In the Justice maxi-series, where he dolled up Dougie Braithwaite's pencils and had his indentured scripter Jim Krueger on bass, the world once again went kablooey because of super-heroes with feet of clay. Of course, it's only a prophetic dream, just like in Kingdom Come, but at least the (unseen) Ray Palmer got a nice nod within...

"The Atom survives the day, I think. He becomes smaller than the flame, seeking an infinity of possibility between the molecules of the material world. Perhaps in him, perhaps in the Atom, humanity will live on. But that may give him too much credit. To survive, he must become next to nothing."

Yeah yeah, but don't forget the part where every other hero for sure bites it! Well, except Superman, but I guess that's a hell of a lot better than Ray's usual ranking in the super-hero hierarchy! Anywho, there's a surprisingly untiny Tiny Titan appearance in a double page spread group shot from the issue, courtesy of forced perspective. It looks like the Mighty Mite is evading Plastic Man's oncoming cranium...

From the Justice League Satellite, Red Tornado monitored the Earth. The android was alerted that his teammate Aquaman had gone missing, and passed the word along to Batman. The Dark Knight was occupied by a case involving the Riddler, who had stolen sensitive League data from the Batcomputer. Batman suggested Red Tornado contact the Martian Manhunter to investigate the Sea King’s disappearance until his own time freed up. The Tornado complied, returning to watching news reports of known super-villains turned humanitarian benefactors, offering extraordinary breakthroughs to the citizens of the world…

The entirety of the Justice League Satellite’s surveillance technology was unable to locate Aquaman. Red Tornado, as part of his duty as monitor, deployed the Manhunter from Mars to investigate. In the course of his search, the Sleuth from Outer Space also vanished, prompting the Tornado to rise to his artificial feet. “J’Onn? J’ONN? First Aquaman, now Martian Manhunter. Not a… Computer? Enhance southern South America.” Red Tornado followed up on reports from marine ships of unusual sea life migration patterns. Off the coast of Argentina, a pattern emerged—crosshairs that pinpointed the Sea King’s location. “You’re a clever man, Arthur.”

A figure had arrived through the teleportation tubes while this was going on, and made its way to Red Tornado, who anticipated the arrival. “I’m glad you’re here. I found Aquaman. He’s trapped in Argentina. Must be nice to have a psychic rapport with two-thirds of all life on Earth. I didn’t expect to be relieved for another two hours. What’s…?”

Suddenly, Red Tornado rose up from his seat and wrapped his own fingers around his neck. “What’s happening? Help me! I don’t know what’s… you need to shut me down!” The Tornado ripped his own head off, then continued tearing his body apart with his mechanical hands. “Someone’s controlling my motor functions! HELP ME! Why won’t you help me?!” Red Tornado’s bits and pieces lay on the monitor room floor, sitting in his internal fluids.

From his home in Ivy Town, Ray Palmer watched conservative commentator Jack Ryder on television, discussing “more reports of acts of miraculous and surprising philanthropy” from the world’s super-villain community…

The Legion of Doom began truly knocking down dominoes, claiming Earth's super friends had abandoned her, while covertly attempting to murder their alter egos.

At the Midway Museum, curators Carter and Shiera dodged the potentially lethal fire of replica prop planes. Making their way toward maces, the Hawks smashed the tiny aircraft. Above their heads, a giant Toyman marionette hovered...

A woman in sunglasses wearing camouflage carried a bag with her on a rooftop adjacent an Ivy University science building. The woman constructed a sniper rifle, then aimed it at a room where Professor Ray Palmer was working on a computer. The distraction of a phone call caused Palmer to shift his body just in time to avoid his brains spilling across the monitor, but the bullet wound in his right shoulder left a mess all its own. While Palmer bled out on the floor, the anxious voice at the other end of the phone line asked, “Ray? Is something wrong? Ray?

“Call… ambulance. Call Carter.”

Tearfully, Jean Loring dialed another number on her cell phone. 22,800 miles above the Earth, Red Tornado’s severed head sat on a counter, teleportation technology at the Justice League Satellite disengaged…

"Justice, Vol. 1," collecting the first four issues of the 2005 mini-series, was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia! Spot Entry

Click To Enlarge

Here's The Atom's pet, as created by Art Baltazar and Franco, who apparently debuted him in Tiny Titans #9 (December, 2008.) He's a smart little guy, and surprisingly gets a full page entry. I'd have figured Ray Palmer would neglect his pets as an always distracted physicist. He could have used Spot all those times he got attacked by cats! Spot's buddies are the pets of Hawkman, Superman, the Flash and Apache Chief(?) His foes are familiar to Giganta, Poison Ivy, Captain Boomerang, and Bat-Mite. So even the mutt's got to borrow for decent adversaries? The full color magazine sized 128-page book is available for just $7.95 in paperback or $18.95 in hardcover from Picture Window Books, a capstone imprint.

DC Super-Pets!
  • Jumpa @ Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman
  • Skitters @ DC Bloodlines
  • Tibbar @ Justice League Detroit
  • Zook @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu

Friday, September 13, 2013

DC Comics Supervillains: Johnny Quick with Atomica Action Figure Solicitation

Click To Enlarge

Johnny Quick
with Atomica

From their Earth to ours, the villainous members of the Crime Syndicate—Johnny Quick, Atomica, Owlman and more—invade your home with all-new action figures based on designs by superstar artist David Finch!
$24.95 US • On Sale March 2014 * Allocations May Occur

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2010 Workman DC Comics Super Heroes and Villains Fandex The Atom card

This was a nifty little reference book published by Workman Publications where you have a series of die-cut glossy stock cards detailing super-hero stats instead of recipes for margaritas or the circle of life for jungle beasts. Despite Ryan Choi still being around at this point (right?) the card features Mark Pajarillo art from an issue of JLA discussing the life of Ray Palmer. It focuses on his origin story, first Justice League adventures, some highlights from Sword and Power, then veers into Identity Crisis and finishes with the gist of Countdown to Final Crisis. That's a damned lot of information for one two-sided card about the size of a bookmark. There was even room for a tiny second picture!

Big thanks to The Irredeemable Shag for the pictures! Check out the links below for his full write-up of this novelty.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Justice League of America #19 (Schiffted Edition)

If you look at the history of comics, there are certain key moments that shaped the medium. Comic strips had been popular for decades, but a lack of available, affordable reprint material was the reason why original comic book stories were first pulled together. Early comics aped strips and pulps, but the dynamic debut of Superman gave the medium its first and most iconic wholly owned concept. Regardless, super-heroes had become passé by the end of World War II, and with the exception of Superman, could have faded away entirely. If not for Frederick Wertham's crusade wiping out the market for the once hugely profitable crime and horror comics, DC editor Julius Schwartz might never have cast about for something he could sell within the strictures of the new Comic Code Authority. Without his super-hero revival, Batman may not have sustained himself to reap the benefits of Batmania, Wonder Woman would have surely perished, and no Justice League of America means no Fantastic Four, and therefore no Marvel Comics. Everything changes.

It's worth pointing out that editors Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff originally refused Schwartz full use of Superman and Batman in his Justice League. They can be seen as pieces on Despero's chessboard on the first issue's cover, and were caught on Felix Faust's fingers on the tenth, but aside from these sort of cameos were barred from routine cover appearances until thirty issues into the ongoing series. The pair turned up in most stories, but were explicitly shown as not having founded the team in flashback adventures. Weisinger & Schiff felt that using Superman and Batman to promote Justice League of America would dilute their appeal in the solo books, but just imagine if they took the matter further. What if they outright refused the World's Finest duo, and further, how about if they withheld their other characters, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter? The JLA would have had its membership handicapped by the same number of participants as made up the Fantastic Four!

Just to show how close a call pulling the JLofA together was, I should mention that Hal Jordan made his debut as Green Lantern in a book cover-dated October 1959 while The Brave and the Bold #28 was February-March 1960. There was clearly no time to create and test any other brand new characters or reworked revivals in that four month window. If Julie Schwartz had been refused other editors' characters besides Wonder Woman, on permanent loan from the more amenable Robert Kanigher, he would have had a big enough hole to fill that he'd likely have rifled through his own moribund properties. Julie Schwartz had edited All-Star Comics in the 1940s under Whitney Ellsworth's name, which was probably why he had the Justice Society and its major members to play with in the first place. Since he'd already consigned the Golden Age heroes to mere comic book characters in Barry Allen's stories, and Earth-Two wasn't conceived yet, Schwartz basically had his leftovers to work with. His western characters wouldn't have made sense, and his animal champions Detective Chimp and Rex the Wonder Dog would have been a stretch. Under these conditions, Adam Strange would have been a shoe-in, and if Schwartz insisted on a quintet, the similar Captain Comet could have been dusted off. Elongated Man was also around in 1960, and was eventually popular enough to gain his own back-up strip, so he should have had an early entry into a less populated team.

The Justice League as published was such an immense success that it moved from a three issue trial in an anthology title to an ongoing within a matter on months. However, that team consisted of the mightiest heroes of the time. Still, if Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben could make a splash, I'm sure Diana, Barry, Hal, and the Adams could have done respectable business. Perhaps their ongoing series would have waited until 1961, by which time the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl had been introduced. Surely, the Ray Palmer Atom would have arrived by 1962, the same year a more expansive real world Justice League inducted him?

And so, to satisfy my curiosity and hopefully amuse you, above is a mock-up cover for the Justice League of America #19 that could have been!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

1978 DC Super Heroes Hollywood Reporter ad art by Alex Toth

Click To Enlarge

I hate that Ray Palmer is drawn shorter here than even Al Pratt, but at least the Atom showed up at all. From left to right, he's joined by Hawkman the Winged Avenger, Robin the Boy Wonder, Darknight Detective Batman, Captain "Shazam" Marvel, Pretty Bird Black Canary, the Scarlet Speedster Flash, and Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Justice League of America #1-2 (April-May, 2013)

A.R.G.U.S.' Amanda Waller feared that the Justice League might turn from a lawful peacekeeping collective into superhuman fascists, and set about creating a government sponsored countermeasure. Through whatever means necessary, the heroes of the Justice League of America would loyally serve the interests of the U.S., and each member would be selected as an opposing force against a matching hero in the ungoverned League. Her first recruit was Hawkman, and she explained to field leader Colonel Steve Trevor "His clashes with the authorities have been escalating. That's good for us. Hawkman will accept our invitation under the pretense that the U.S. absolves his current record and grants him diplomatic immunity to continue carrying on his hunt however he likes." The cover story was "Katar Hol is a police officer from the planet Thanagar hunting alien fugitives and the humans working for them on Earth... There's one other thing. He prefers using maces and swords to ray guns and laser rifles. We have no idea why." All Waller was concerned about was that she had someone to check Aquaman.

Putting theory into practice, Hawkman ran down a human criminal accused of trafficking women and children. The Winged Wonder kept calling the perpetrator "Byth Rok," since that's the name Hawkman intended to use in the official arrest record to explain brutalizing the creep with his morningstar...

Meanwhile, the mysterious leader of a Secret Society of Super-Villains continued his recruiting efforts, which almost included a spy dubbed "Dark Hunter," who in the end barely escaped the Society's clutches into the custody of A.R.G.U.S. Oliver Queen had taken on the role at the request of Colonel Steve Trevor, but his injuries prevented Queen from telling what he knew. Trevor and Amanda Waller discussed the situation outside of Queen's surgical suite, with the Wall in a rush to pit her new League of America against the Society as a test of their mettle.

The savage Hawkman arrived at the new headquarters of the League in Washington D.C., ahead of a press conference where President Obama would officially announce the team. The young hero Vibe asked if he was okay.
"You're covered in blood."
"It's not my blood."

After a long beat, Vibe scooted his chair further away from Hawkman. Col. Trevor arrived and told Hawkman that he would need to get cleaned up. Sometime after meeting the press, the team climbed aboard a jet bound for the Kielder Forest in Northumberland, England, where Green Arrow had been found. "If the Secret Society is hiding in these woods, why don't we knock down some trees, make some noise and get their attention?" Trevor thought that unwise, since the League knew virtually nothing about what they were up against. Then Katana vanished, Catwoman disappeared, and something unseen flew past the group. A golden lasso caught Trevor around the neck like a noose. "Steve," said a figure who appeared to be Wonder Woman, "You shouldn't have come here." She was flanked by approximations of Superman and Batman...

"World's Most Dangerous, Chapters One-Two" was by Geoff Johns & David Finch. There was a Captain Atom reference in the second issue, when Vibe saw a chair in the meeting room with a "C" on it and thought he might be joining. Turned out the chair was meant for Catwoman, though. If they really wanted to take on the true Justice League, they'd have gone with Captain Atom.

New 52's Day

Monday, August 5, 2013

2009 Green Arrow & The Atom commission by Mike Norton

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"i had mike norton who does both green arrow and atom do a great cover to the avengers 223 that had hawkeye and antman. "
Mike Norton

Friday, August 2, 2013

#1 Hawk, man?

Since I've been torturing readers of my Martian Manhunter blog with my horrible old redesign attempts for months now, I decided it was about time that I inflict the same trauma across my other blogs. Above is a series of three teensy color tests for a Hawkman costume, as well as a head sketch doodle of Katar Hol, likely done around 1995. Yes, it's filler, but it beats a single post per week, right? Right? No?

Pooping on the DCU

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Justice League #18 (May, 2013)

In the wake of "Throne of Atlantis," it was decided that the Justice League needed to expand its membership to include more dedicated full time heroes on the roster. Cyborg had become a nexus point for electronic information passing throughout the world, and used this facet of his abilities to create "The Grid," a directory of active super-heroes that he could directly contact as needed. In Pittsburgh, Firestorm was approached to join via an MP3 player, while in Baltimore, Cyborg used a billboard to assist and enlist Black Canary during a fight with Copperhead. Zatanna received a cell phone call in San Francisco, while the Atom was thanked for her help in Boston by her computer monitor during a class at Ivy University. The lot were joined for a recruitment drive aboard the League's satellite by Black Lightning, Blue Devil, Element Woman, Goldrush, Nightwing, Platinum, and Vixen. However, only Cyborg knew of Atom's existence, although Superman detected her tiny heartbeat as she lurked among the collected heroes.

The Metal (wo)Man Platinum was brought in by Cyborg as a test drive and favor to Doctor Will Magnus, but she malfunctioned and began attacking people. Magnus pleaded with Cyborg to save her precious "responsometer," so Vic Stone had the idea to have Firestorm convert her liquid platinum shell into water. Lacking coordination, the small responsometer was left to fall toward the ground as the rest of Platinum dissipated. The Atom made her debut before other heroes catching the responsometer before it could be damaged. A surprised Flash asked "Where did she come from?" The still shrunken Atom lifted her goggles up to her brow and said with a wry grin "Hi guys. Is it too late for tryouts?"

In a later meeting with the core seven Leaguers, Cyborg explained, "The Atom's real name is Rhonda Pineda. I invited her, but I wasn't sure she'd show. She's a little shy... an unsung hero. Something shut down one of Atlantis' bombs in Boston... It took me a few days to sort through the security cameras and the sat feeds. I didn't even see her at first. But she was there on the battlefield with us." Cyborg tracked her down, and along with Firestorm and Element Woman (who had also performed well against Platinum,) the Atom formed the trio of new members inducted. There was no time for celebrating though, as someone had hacked the League's computers and stolen files on their entire five year history...

"The Grid" was by Geoff Johns and Jesus Saiz. It was a mildly entertaining issue, with Black Canary dropping in a disparaging line about the absent Hawkman's lack of professionalism. So far, I've liked Saiz's take on the Pineda Atom best.

New 52's Day

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Justice League of America's Vibe #1-2 (April-May, 2013)

While employing the young Detroit-based hero Vibe as a P.O.V. character for the launch of a new J.L.A. line of books, Hawkman was brought up several times. In the debut issue, a head shot was used as part of a collage/montage/thingamajig introducing the team. In the second issue, ahead of being made aware of who his teammates would be, Vibe researched known super-heroes on the internet. "You don't think Hawkman will be there, do you? It says he's a cop from Thanagar who's now working with A.R.G.U.S. to uncover extra-terrestrial fugitives." Vibe's brother Dante noted "Hawkman's a cool name," unlike "Vibe." Later, Hawkman joined Colonel Steve Trevor, Katana, Vibe, Stargirl, and Martian Manhunter in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. for a press conference allowing President Barack Obama to announce the formation of the Justice League of America.

The stories were written by Geoff Johns & Andrew Kreisberg, with Pete Woods & Sean Parsons as the primary artists.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Brave and The Bold #53 (April-May, 1964)

A series of unnatural disasters involving alien menaces plagued Central City. Barry Allen struggled to figure it all out. The ever-understanding Iris West moaned about their canceled date "Oh, no! Why'd I ever fall for a police scientist? If I were engaged to the Flash, he'd have time for me!" Barry reckoned she'd be even more steamed to learn that he was in fact the Scarlet Speedster, but the Flash's identity remained his secret. The Monarch of Motion dealt with something akin to lava, giant robots, and disastrous plant life. Understandably, this tuckered him out.

Meanwhile, famed scientist Dr. Willis Stanton made headlines calling on the aid of the Atom for a crucial experiment. At Ivy University, Ray Palmer couldn't resist the summons, and made the trip to Stanton's lab as the Mighty Mite. Stanton had found an inert green orb that fell from out of the sky, and needed an intelligent, maneuverable replacement for a missing electron to activate the orb. Meanwhile, the Flash had traced "molecular agitation" related to his disasters to Stanton's lab. Finding both men inside above reproach, the Scarlet Streak set aside his investigation to assist in the experiment. The Flash threw the World's Smallest Super-Hero at the orb at sufficiently high speed to penetrate it. This must have distracted the Flash, as he was then clubbed on the back of the head.

The Atom caused the intended chain reaction, but as he began to grow, he found himself in a world within the orb. One levitating vehicle was in pursuit of another, firing lasers indiscriminately. One struck the Atom, but it was surprisingly reflected backward, downing the pursuing vehicle. The vehicle he had inadvertently aided stopped to offer thanks and a ride, since the Tiny Titan had just made an enemy of Attila-5. The scientist Larnus and his daughter Arbellice explained that their planet had been imperiled by a rogue star. Science saved the day by shrinking the world to safety with a Molecular-Oscillator. However, the event generated such panic in the citizenry that Attila-5 managed a successful coup against their former ruler, Zarn. Attila-5's reign was diminished by science's inability to restore their planet to its normal size. Attila-5 had been remotely monitoring Earth (named as he was after Attila the Hun,) and sent his planet to be fixed there. Taking mental control of Dr. Willis Stanton, the experiments in restoring native objects that followed had led to the tumult in Central City.

Thanks to the Atom, the orb was steadily expanding back to normal size, but in the process it would eventually displace the Earth. The Atom had to keep adjusting his own size to keep up with the changes. Meanwhile, the Flash had recovered, and used his superspeed to vibrate into the orb. Within, the Scarlet Speedster was a towering giant, but he had lost his flash abilities and was wiped out by the effort. Attack ships blasted at the Flash, and he was eventually bound by tethers. The Atom discovered this just as Arbellice had begun hardcore flirting with him, but no time for love Dr. Palmer!

On this world, an adjustment in density sent the Infinitesimal Battler flying through the air. Ships fired lasers upon him, but by twisting and turning his body, the Atom simply ricocheted the beams back at the ships. "When I took on electron status to enter this world, it must've given me immunity to them!" The invulnerable mite freed the Flash, and with a device given to them by Larnus, summoned all their remaining swiftness to break out of the expanding orb. "GO, FLASH, GO!" Outside, they found that the poor town of Hadleyville had already been flattened (no mention of casualties) and USAF jets attacks were having no effect. Larnus' device caused the orb to divide into two equal and enlarging orbs, so the Atom directed the Flash to run around them so fast that they fell into a crater and got smooshed and reintegrated or disintegrated or something. The science was very bad, and the implications went unaddressed. Point was, one small orb exited the crater and flew off back into space.

Ray Palmer gave Barry Allen a call, explaining that Dr. Stanton's trance had broken once the orb left. "Well, it was great teaming up with you! See you soon... So long!" If Ray had hung on a bit longer, he could have heard Barry explaining to a girlfriend who is somehow even more of a shrew than Jean Loring that he was just chatting with a friend. "Hmmph! You waste time gabbing, but haven't time for our date... It makes a girl wonder if she's not just wasting her time being in love with you!" Seriously, there was fear in Barry's eyes and red-purple radiation emanating from Iris West's head.

"The Challenge of the Expanding World" was by Bob Haney and Alex Toth. The plot was dull and the science was dreadful, but the art was swell and how often does anybody get jobbed to make the Atom look infallible. Dude was pimping like Superman while poor Barry came off like a winded chump. I approve!

DC Comics Presents

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2010 “Captain Atom's Family: Armagedon” animation-style fan fiction by N:TAS

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N:TAS DCU: Captain Atom's Family: Armagedon 10-20-10

Here's the final offering in the fan fiction series of "NightwingTAS" revolving around an imaginary animated series version of the Nathaniel Adam super-family as featured on the Super Buddies message board...
"Nikola Hanssen of Earth-50 is the Void host and when Captain Atom visted her world, she had to reclaim her full power from Captain Atom. While doing so she sent him back to New-Earth, and destroyed, then recreated Earth-50. Nikola is the only person on Earth-50 who recalls the previous Universe, something she did not expect, nor did she expect Captain Atom to still possess a small part of the Void within him.

During the aftermath of the Infinite Crisis Captain Atom carried a wounded woman to the paramedics and was taken by who he saw. One of the paramedics was Nikola Hanssen of New-Earth. Not fully recalling who she was but feeling a pull towards her, Captain Atom couldn't get her off of his mind, and during the Blackest night the two ran into each other again, this time while around a group of Star Sapphires who sensed in them a strong sense of love. Being urged together the two kissed igniting a dorment spark in Nikola who took the portion of the Void from Captain Atom, as well as a portion of his power, covering her in a Dilustel skin shell. her body resembling an amalgam of the Void suit and the coating that Captain Atom had during his stay on Earth-50. Like Bombshell Nikola can retract her Dilustel skin, what no one expected was what happened next, Captain Atom for the first time was able to transform back into a human form, and both he and Nikola recalled their romance from Earth-50. Now together again and in possession of this power Nikola decides to join Captain Atom as Armagedon."
Also today: Z'Onn Z'Orr: Santurian @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2010 “Captain Atom's Family: Bombshell” animation-style fan fiction by N:TAS

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N:TAS DCU: Captain Atom's Family: Bombshell 10-18-10

Here's the penultimate edition of the imaginary animated series concept cavalcade of "NightwingTAS," as the Nathaniel Adam brood is expanded by Geoff Johns & Tony Daniel via the Super Buddies message board...
"Amy Allen was a member of a rogue Black Ops Military Group and was threatened to be arrested, until she begged her father, the head of Project: Quantum to be recruited for the project. The Project bonded the same Alien metal Dilustel to her skin that compromises the body of Captain Atom. Unlike Captain Atom Bombshell can retract and engage her Dilustel skin shell at will, which she discovered when Protect: Quantum tried to have her murdered for joining the Teen Titans. Bombshell and the Teen Titans discovered from Amy's dad that it was not Project: Quantum that put the hit out on her, but a rogue group within it, and what none of them know is that the leader of the group is Bombshell's mother. Bombshell is not the by the book soldier that Captain Atom is, she is more of a shoot now and sort later frontline soldier which often causes conflict with everyone."

Monday, June 17, 2013

2012 “Sins of Youth Titans” Baltimore Comic-Con commission by Bobby Timony

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“Sins of Youth (Argent, Damage, Starfire, Flash and Cyborg) sketch by Bobby Timony from the Baltimore Comic Convention, September 2012”
Bobby Timony

Friday, June 14, 2013

2010 “Captain Atom's Family: Captain Atom” animation-style fan fiction by N:TAS

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N:TAS DCU: Captain Atom's Family: Captain Atom 10-16-10

After a lengthy hiatus, we revisit the imaginary animated series concept cavalcade of "NightwingTAS," this time focused on expanding the Nathaniel Adam's family...Super Buddies message board...
Captain Atom sacrificed himself when he absorbed Major Force's energies when Superman and Batman were wanted by the then President Luthor. Captain Atom's atomic reaction had an unforeseen outcome, instead of a time jump, he had a reality slide, ending up on another Earth, where he met and fell in love with Nikola Hanssen who is the new Void Host. Captain Atom's appearance was altered due to him possessing a piece of the Void in him, and when Nikola removed it Captain Atom slid back to the Post Infinite-Crisis New Earth, ready to resume his role of hero while still missing the love he had shared with Nikola.
Also today: Z'Onn Z'Orr: Roh' Kar @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu

Sunday, June 9, 2013

2011 Marvel Two-in-One: The Lost Issues: The Thing and The Atom

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So I guess physicist Ray Palmer didn't have any more luck curing Ben Grimm than Reed Richards, eh? Nice, clean mock cover!

...More Lost Team-Up Issues...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2001 "The Members of the Justice League of America" art by John Mundt, Esquire

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Pictured are Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Elongated Man, Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and the Atom. This was from the MCBA FallCon Comic Book Celebration of Minnesota. Mundt, artist of The Adventures of Monkey, can be found at World of Monkey Productions.

Friday, May 31, 2013

2011 Marvel Two-in-One: The Lost Issues: The Thing and The Justice League of America

Okay, so the blogger known only as Ross had The Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues, "Featuring Batman and the greatest stars from DC, Marvel and beyond! All covers are created with MS Paint." With it he created fake comic covers such as Doctor Mid-Nite & The Golden Age Atom joining the Dark Knight Detective for an adventure. When Ross burned out on that, he moved on to Marvel Two-In-One: The Lost Issues. "That's right, The great Ben Grimm will be taking on hosting duties," tackling titanic team-ups like The Thing and Tiny Titans. Ross has since moved on to broaden his spectrum, but I've actually got one more meeting with the Mighty Mite and that Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed so-and-so to link to next time...

...More Lost Team-Up Issues...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2008 “The Winged Defender” Hawkman color art by Imbong Hadisoebroto

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

2013 Hawkgirl “We Can Be Heroes: Spirit” silhouette by Steve Garcia

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“For every hero, there comes a day. A day when they step forward. A day when talk turns to action. Over 8 million people have had their lives affected by the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. It’s bad. And it hasn’t been this bad in over 60 years.

All of us at DC Entertainment are joining with Batman and the Justice League and making a stand. Today is the day we fight.”

More at Images courtesy of Bleeding

“We Can Be Heroes”

Sunday, May 5, 2013