DC’s round of #0 issues is supposed to provide a jumping on point for new readers and give some background and insight into the characters for existing readers. I decided to take that challenge head on and read a comic that I’ve never read to see if this issue will teach me what I need to know about the character and convince me to pick up the ongoing story. Imagine my chagrin when I learned that Captain Atom had already been cancelled and the zero issue was the final issue. Still, there’s always the question of whether it’s a good read, and I can tell you that after the jump.
Or – “The Circle Of Influence = The Circle Of Life.”
Captain Atom first appeared way back in 1960 and has changed costumes, powers and even publishers over the ensuring 5 decades. Perhaps his biggest claim to fame, though, is in being the inspiration for the character of Doctor Manhattan, the quantum-powered being central to the story in ‘Watchmen.’ Interestingly, in this New 52 incarnation, Cap is clearly being reverse-influenced by what Moore and Gibbons did with the good Doctor, making for an interestingly circuitous reading experience. Your Major Spoilers review of the final (regular) issue awaits!
Or – “Hey, Look! More Ditko!”
An interesting thing (at least interesting for ME) about the DC Relaunch has been seeing the balance of titles, decades, classic creators and even other comic book companies that are represented in the mix of books. We’ve seen Grifter (1990s; Wildstorm; Jim Lee), O.M.A.C. (1970s; DC Original; Jack Kirby), Static (1990s; Milestone; Dwayne McDuffie & Denys Cowan), and even the Blue Beetle (1940s/1960s/1990s; Fox Features/Holyoke/Charlton/AC Comics; Will Eisner/Steve Ditko/Keith Giffen/Six Dozen Other Guys). Now, Charlton Comics’ original Silver Age Steve-Ditko-created nuclear man returns, but will we even recognize him?
Or – “I’ll Never Long For What Might Have Been…”
Starting in the 1950s, Charlton Comics began experimenting with superhero tales, debuting Captain Atom late in the decade, transitioning into the mid-60′s with the full slate of Action Heroes (Blue Beetle, The Question, Peacemaker and friends) before sliding off into eventual oblivion. These days, the Charlton Action Heroes are probably best known for inspiring the story that became Watchmen, but DC’s updated version of Captain Atom and Blue Beetle ended up factoring heavily in the JLI, while the Question went on to a long run under the pen of Denny O’Neil. But in between 1966 and 1985, Charlton’s properties didn’t get a lot of play, save for the time they banded together as the Sentinels of Justice! Ya don’t remember the Sentinels, you say? That’s okay, turns out they never really happened…