Friday, January 6, 2017

The Atom Rebirth #1

Time for the Atom without a military rank.

I've never read a Ryan Choi comic book other than Convergence (which, as I've noted before, doesn't count. Convergence never counts. It was awful and the only part of DC's vast continuity that I completely and utterly reject). Even if I had been reading comic books when Ryan Choi emerged on the scene, I would not have read a Ryan Choi comic book. Not because I'm racist (although I probably am, being half-white and half-Spanish with the ability to pass as full white so I'm just fucking white, okay? I mean, I know some Spanish like mal niño and cállate and pedazo de mierda thanks to the things my Grandmother used to scream at me. What I should describe myself as, since it totally gets to my DNA makeup, is Californian) but because I hate the character The Atom. You might be thinking, "Didn't I just read this commentary?" No, no! That was Captain Atom! I also hate him. Maybe I just don't like science.

This issue begins with Ryan Choi moving into his dorm room in college. Just his luck, he winds up with a roommate who will be his super-villain nemesis, Adam Cray. I don't know what super-villain he will be but isn't that how these kinds of stories work? He'll probably be The Atom's opposite which is probably Elemental Jerk. That's opposite for reasons I don't have time to explain right now.

I took rugby in college. Never went to a class and was too lazy to do the paperwork to drop it. I got a B.

I say a lot of untrue and exaggerated stories for effect and for the joke so I should probably amend the above caption with "True story." Apparently the rugby coach simply gave everybody on his roster who came to the final an A and everybody else on the class roster got a B. My friend Soy Rakelson got an A, the little responsible kiss ass.

Ryan Choi's only class that matter is kinematics. That means something scientific, possibly the study of the movement of cows. Whatever. The class isn't the important bit. The important bit is that the teacher is Ray Palmer. He's normal white male heterosexual The Atom. I added the normal there to piss you off. Sorry about that.

This is a lecture class on the first day. How the fuck does Professor Palmer know Ryan Choi's name? Fucking pervo stalker, probably.

Even by the end of the semester, a professor never knows every student's name in a lecture class. Here's how they decide which students to take an interest in and whose names they'll learn. After the first big test or essay assignment, they make a note of all of the students who said intelligent things on their papers. Then the next class, they'll say, "I'd like to put a few faces to some of these names." Then they'll read out a bunch of names of the people who impressed them and remember who they are so they can call on them for intelligent discussion and ignore all the other blockheads who turned in shitty assignments. Now you know why your teacher never remembered who you were!

Another way to be noticed by your teacher in a lecture hall is to go to your Children's Lit class dressed as Alice Cooper in Wonderland carrying the bloody, cut off head of the white rabbit. Again, true story. A lot of students had to ask me what the costume was. All of my teachers knew instantly. Except my Creative Writing professor. She was blind.

One year later, Ray Palmer decides to question Ryan Choi's motives for studying science. That doesn't seem like the purview of the kinematics professor but then maybe he's also a counselor or dean of something or other. Also, he might just be a pervo stalker who wants to experiment on Ryan Choi. Because who will miss the student from Hong Kong with no nearby family when the miniaturization process disintegrates him?

Ryan Choi is all, "I just want to not be asthmatic!" And Ray Palmer is all, "I think there's more to it than that! Like how you've allowed me to get all of these science awards on the back of your genius!" I'm starting to think Ray Palmer has a serious ulterior motive to his stupid question if it's that obvious why Ryan Choi is pursuing science. Because he's Goddamned fucking great at it?!

If any of my professors had ever gotten this intimate with me, I'd have dropped the class and/or slept with them.

Instead of contacting the colleges head of human resources to report Ray Palmer's stalkery attraction to him, Ryan Choi says, "I want to prove to people that small penises matter!" And Ray Palmer said, "Did you say small penises?" And Ryan said, "Things! Small things matter!" That's when Ray Palmer says, "You're ready! I told that fucking Batman that I could get a sidekick too! But he was all, 'Nooooooo waaaay! Who wants to be with Tiny Man?! Not even your stupid ex-wife who is going to kill Sue Dibny! Unless that has already happened. Or will happened. know what? Who cares? Nobody cares about you, The Atom!'"

Ray Palmer reveals himself to be The Atom. He also reveals his mission statement: to beat up those fucking butterflies before they have a chance to cause a hurricane. I knew he was a pervo stalker but I guess he's insane as well.

Even though it's totally weird and crossing a personal line between teacher and student that probably shouldn't be crossed (although not quite as bad as the line Adam Strange crossed with Alanna), Ryan Choi accepts. He'll be a sidekick! And, eventually, the main hero when Adam Cray destroys Ray Palmer! I guess Adam Cray is going to become Butterfly Guy.

A year later, Ryan and Ray go out to celebrate. They have some alcohol but Ryan points out the only drink he's not allergic to is Poire Williams. I don't know what that is but I think I have the Asian Flush. I often get intensely sick from sinus shit with just the smallest amounts of alcohol. But not always which is why I constantly tempt fate. I wonder if I should assume a whole bunch of things and now believe that drinking whatever Poire Williams is will solve my problem! I'll test it out and get back to myself!

A week after the drink with Ryan Choi, Ray Palmer disappears. Sometimes people disappear and it's nearly impossible to find them. Finding a guy who can shrink to microscopic sizes when he disappears? Super impossible to find him! Luckily, Ray Palmer left a video message for Ryan detailing exactly where he went. He found a microuniverse lying within a tear in the temporal nanostructure of the timeline. That must be where the Preboot Universe is! Or the Pre-Crisis universe! Or the other Pre-Crisis universe! Or the Post-Pre-Zero Hour universe! Or maybe it's just where Ray Palmer dies since Ryan doesn't find the message until a full week after Ray disappears. At least Ray left Ryan an Atom Belt so he can take over as The Atom after finding evidence that Ray Palmer was consumed by microscopic protozoa.

The Ranking!
It was a Rebirth issue! They're all kind of the same. But in that context, this was one of the better ones. Ryan Choi and Ray Palmer are now back in the DC Universe, even if it is only the Rebirth Universe. I'm sure it'll be all of the universes soon enough, after the Watchmen are defeated and everything coalesces back into one sort-of-cohesive-if-you-squint-funny universe.

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