Friday, January 6, 2017

The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1

I know why he fell. He was written by J.T. Krul.

Captain Atom is a really clever character because his secret alias is Captain Adam. He is also subversive because he's become a caricature of Doctor Manhattan who was a caricature of Captain Adam. I don't know why that makes him subversive but it sounds like it probably does and by saying it, it sounds like I know things that I really don't fucking know. It's better to write vague things that hint at hidden depths than to try to write long explanations of things you hardly understand. That's tantamount to dumping a whole load of chum in the ocean to bring sharks to your boat. Except the ocean in this instance is the Internet and the sharks are the Actually Nerd Trolls. Boy how I hate those guys. Nobody ruins a good joke like an Internet Actuallyier!

I don't remember when we last saw Captain Atom. Probably in Convergence or Futures End but those don't count. He may also have made a cameo in Firestorm or some other comic book that treats nuclear men farting radiation across the city as normal and nothing to be afraid of. But I think, in regards to this story, the important last time we saw Captain Atom was probably in the last issue of the J.T. Krul series which went about five issues too long (most of those issues were at the beginning of the series. What I'm saying is that Krul began the story in entirely the wrong place). In that issue, I believe Captain Atom had decided to go live on Mars like another character that he was based on who was based on him. You know the one! The one that, along with his friend Ozymandias, is fucking with the Rebirth Universe.

Before I begin reading this book, I'd like to be transparent about my bias of Captain Atom. I don't have a specific problem with his character (except that he's military and, thus, lacks any sort of whimsy that doesn't involve calling your friends gay retards with whores for mothers). I have a problem with his usual cast of characters. Why does he always have to be at odds with General Eiling? That guy isn't a super villain at all! He's just a regular villain. And Doctor Megala?! He's just a pathetic old Daddy Issue in a wheelchair. I really wish Captain Atom would kill them both so he could find a proper nemesis, maybe Captain Atomess! She's be super hot and horny and constantly be making fusion innuendos.

The issue begins at the end of 2012. Captain Atom isn't hidden away on Mars but he has been contained by Dr. Megala deep underground. Captain Atom decides he's too dangerous to live and meltsdown. But that's probably not the end of his story because I'm only on page four of the first issue of a six issue series. Hopefully he'll simply time travel to 2016 and become the new Jonni DC, continuity cop. But instead of making sure everything is in continuity and fixing the shit that isn't, he should just go around saying, "Who cares. Don't care. That's continuity now even if it makes no sense. Yep, that's continuity too. And that. And that. It's all canon, bitches!"

After Captain Atom blows, the narrative moves to twenty-three minutes earlier instead of four years later. Dammit! Is this Captain Atom story going to start in the wrong place as well?! Writers need to stop thinking they need to explain every single little thing and just let the story get to the interesting bits. Not knowing the whole story is always better than knowing the whole story. Nobody needs Star Wars Episodes I-III! We're better off imagining that shit!

Oh, he was on the moon. That's super different than going to Mars. Totally not like that other guy.

Captain Atom is out flying around irradiating everything when he comes upon a cruise ship being swamped by a giant wave. He decides to intervene so that now the people on board don't just have to worry about drowning, they have to worry about cancer as well. What a huge dick. I mean, he keeps the boat from sinking but only due to a huge burst of radiation which changes the water around the boat into gelatin.

Oh, fuck you, random nobody boat person with opinions.

Well, I'm convinced! Those passengers on the cruise ship must know what they're talking about since they're people and they're talking which means they're, like, influential and shit. I mean, I do hate when people talk shit about Batman and Superman when they're only trying to help. Am I, in a way, one of those people? I don't talk shit about Batman and Superman though. I just talk shit about D-list superheroes who have never been able to rise in popularity even when they had a huge starring role in Zero Hour.

Captain Atom's rescue of the ship has sent his body into spasms of nuclear explosions and is about to endanger all life on Earth. But being on the moon was so lonely!

Captain Atom's "flare-ups," as they're being called by Eiling and Megala for insurance reasons, attract the attention of Superman, Cyborg, and Hal Jordan. Remember, this is 2012! So Hal Jordan is still a stubborn piece of shit ready to fight anything with fists Green Lantern. And Superman is still New 52 Superman. And Cyborg is still boring.

Dr. Megala explains to the Justice League that Captain Atom isn't the dangerous threat they think he is; he's actually a lot worse. And he says it right in front of Captain Atom. No wonder Captain Atom kills himself at the beginning of this comic book.

The Justice League decide to escort Captain Atom back to Megala's Suppression Dome but don't make it back in time. Another way to look at it is that they brought Captain Atom over a populated area just in time to destroy most of the city when he blows up. I suppose they save everybody by blocking the individual rays shot out of Captain Atom as if he were a grenade throwing shrapnel instead of a seamless burst of deadly energy that would have been impossible to stop. Or at least harder to depict being stopped by Cyborg's White Noise Cannon in a visual way.

The narrative finally catches up to the point where Captain Atom tried to kill himself. But instead of dying in an atomic blast, he's shot through time back to 1994. Oh no. Am I going to have to relive Zero Hour all over again?!

The Ranking!
Once again, a Captain Atom comic book has begun at the wrong place in the story. There is too much prologue here. I suppose it's one way to flesh out a six issue miniseries seeing as how six issues is always about two issues more than the story needs. But even though I'm not a fan of Captain Atom and this story was relatively mundane and probably unnecessary, I'm interested to see what they do with Captain Atom going back to the Zero Hour year. Will he fix continuity so that I can just resume pretending every story I've ever read from DC actually matters to the current universe? Not that I don't already think that anyway. I just wish DC Comics would put out a press release that just says, "Fuck it! We screwed up multiple times since 1985. Just forget all that shit about certain stories not having occurred. They all happened and every character remembers every story whenever the current writer needs them to remember it!" I think Captain Atom could be that press release!

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