Captain Atom’s instability makes him the worst kind of liability. How does one live life as an unstable weapon of mass destruction? If the opening issue of The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom is any indication, we just might enjoy finding out.
The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom # 1 (DC Comics)
In a post 911 world, it’s become something of a cliche to label superheros and villains as weapons of mass destruction. While the label may be a bit grandiose for some of the more modestly powered metahumans, there are few characters that bear the name as earnestly as Captain Atom. There’s a reason why so many of the character’s best stories center around his own volatility and the risk that he poses to his surroundings.
It is so with The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom, the latest series to tackle the character, where we pick up with Captain Nathaniel Adam mere moments before he is set to meltdown. Over the course of the issue we learn about a bizarre illness that is making the Captain’s powers unstable, see him struggle to save the passengers of a sinking yacht, and watch as Superman, Green Lantern and Cyborg hope to rush the increasingly volatile hero to a specially constructed containment center.
The art in this book is fantastic, with stellar pencils from Will Conrad that pop off the page. His renditions of the Justice Leaguers make them feel like real people, though the shots of General Eiling and Dr. Megala are easily the most striking. Though the artwork is sublime, it should be said that the coloring in this book may be the real star. It’s done subtly, but each sequence has its own slightly altered color scheme, with the pinks and reds increasingly creeping into the environment as the Captain grows more and more unstable.
Dialogue in the book can get a touch jargon heavy, but the slow degradation of Adam’s mental state as he continues to fear for the safety of those around him gives true depth to Will Conrad’s words.
Is It Good?
All in all, this is a strong opening shot for this book, providing readers with great art, a compelling story and a mystery creating final scene that will bring readers back for more.