Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Captain Atom #1


The Who: Nathaniel Adams, a man convicted of false charges by a man who would steal his life away and help turn him into the powerful Captain Atom. Now Atom searches for a way to hold onto his humanity as his powers reach a frightening new level.

Why I chose this title: I grew to truly care for Captain Atom under Judd Winick in JLGL. Back when I was only getting two titles for sure I thought it wouldn't hurt to try this one out. 

What I expect from the book: Heart, the same type of writing that made me feel for Nate. Even though superheroes are afraid of him I still want those who were in JLI to be there for him. Not that I expect to see them but I don't want everyone to abandon him. This is the one I think will be the easiest to drop right now so we'll see.

Thoughts: With a character that's not familiar like Superman a writer needs to draw the reader in. For Captain Atom I think there either needs to be a hook like his friends from JLI to latch on older readers or a connection to his family to make him more relatable for newer readers. This book has neither. While two members of his supporting cast are introduced his relationships with them don't really draw you in. Most of the issue deals with him realizing that he's tapping into abilities he never had before and getting an idea how dangerous that is. 

For an introduction issue it fails to give you information on the lead. I don't think he was addressed by his real name once even in his own captions. They give little bits of information like him being a former pilot but the heartbreaking things from his origin (i.e. being falsely charged, losing his family and arriving in the future) aren't mentioned. His children are grown, the idea that he missed out on so much of their lives should be part of the picture instead we get more backstory on a new character. Speaking of which Dr. Carter is sadly not Rani. Which I suppose is a good thing. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of retelling origins in all their detail. In some cases the build up can actually be pretty exciting. When I got the back issues of the first Booster Gold series the letter pages were interesting to read because no one knew what his deal was and came up with all sorts of explanations. I don't see anything to really hook readers, whether they've been in comics for awhile or are just starting. There were also two unexplained bits that annoyed the ever loving crap out of me. The unexplained counter that kept popping up and the WTF transformation of a rat into a creature out of Animal Mans' nightmares. Sure they could be explained in upcoming issues but as a first it only serves as unwanted distractions.

Did You Notice?: Lady Flashpoint was on the page when Captain Atom arrives at New York in the crowd. 

Verdict: Sorry to say that it bored me throughout the entire read. Yes the lead reads in character but it lacks the humanity of JLGL. Not because of how Captain Atom acts as he is concerned but there are no strong bonds with other characters. He's annoyed that Dr. Carter isn't treated well, grateful for the help he gets but that's about it. 

It's just blah. While I have been unsure if I'll keep up with other books I reviewed this is the only one I read that I mentally groaned at the idea of sticking around for a whole arc. I suspected this wouldn't appeal to me but I wanted to be proven wrong. Since I already broke my own rules by trying out a book that wasn't on my list (Superboy) and trade waiting for another (Batwoman) I think I'll drop this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment