Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Classic Comics - The Atom #8

   One of the knocks on the Silver Age version of The Atom was that he didn't have much of a rogue's gallery.

   And that's a fair cop - far too many of his adventures were either against plainclothes crooks with super science weapons or Time Travel action (courtesy of the Time Pool).

   In fact, the only villain I can name offhand who exclusively fought the Atom was Chronos (and a strong villain he was).

   But that doesn't mean all his other foes were pushovers. Perhaps his biggest challenge early in his career was Dr. Light, the villain who almost destroyed the Justice League through his mastery of light-based weapons.

   So what chance does the smallest member of the League have - especially when his size-changing equipment has been disabled?

   Ah, but that's the fun of the hero - he always found a way (however painful) to escape deathtraps and outwit the bad guys.

   As always, writer Gardner Fox provides a sharp, clever script, and the amazing art is by the team of Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. They skillfully manage to convey the otherworldly adventures of the Atom, constantly placing him in situations where you get a sense of his stature.

   Continuity fans will also enjoy the brief crossover with the Justice League - one that actually spilled over in a small way into an issue of the JLA (and such things were extremely rare at DC Comics in 1963).

   Oh, there's a backup story in that issue, too. It provides a mystery for the Atom to solve, one that involves a plainclothes villain with a super science weapon.

   You can't win them all!

Grade: A



Anonymous said...

That cover is money.....

Kevin Findley said...

While the Atom may have had a weak rogues gallery, he did have the benefit of those beautiful covers. That one in particular is a favorite and a perfect example of the Silver Age.