Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Cary Bates
Co-Plotter: Greg Weisman
Artwork: Will Conrad, Ivan Nunes (colours)
Release Date: 1st February 2017
Full disclosure: my only real prior exposure to Captain Atom was when he appeared in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series, and he seemed to me like a more interesting Superman caste character, torn between his military duty and heroics.
This series is giving the character some much-needed development, with the plot in a nut shell essentially boiling down to “superhero Quantum Leap”. The Captain even has his own “Al” in the form for a Harvard Professor. Unlike Samuel Beckett however, Captain Atom isn’t looking for the next leap home. He just wants to build one and impact the time stream.
In the story, we see a powerless Atom building a family and enjoying his life before superheroes start to become commonplace, which provides a nice fresh perspective as it’s something we don’t get to see heroes do normally. Unfortunately (for me, at least), by the end of the issue his powers return and the time stream forces him to leap once more.
This is where this amazing issue falls down for me. The writing is brilliant, but I can’t help but feel that writer Cary Bates should have keep him powerless and going through the major events of the current continuity. It could have been similar to Marvel Comics’ “Marvels” series. The crescendo would obviously been him having to step in to an event, accepting his powers and leave that timeline. We could have seen the personal and interpersonal conflict arising from his inaction despite having the power to make things right. The interplay of selfishly wanting an easy life and the responsibility could have made this book on of the greats.
That said, this is still a really good issue, and one that I would definitely recommend you pick up.
[Click to Enlarge]
The writer of this piece was: David Gladman
David Tweets from @the_gladrags