Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Atom Vs. The Punisher



I'm not sure what is going on with The Atom at DC these days, but it's been years since the character has been given a fair shake.  Things began to go downhill with the Identity Crisis mini-series where Ray Palmer's  ex-wife was revealed to be a murdering psycho.  Palmer went into hiding after that and a new younger, hipper Atom - Ryan Choi - was introduced. Just as Choi was gaining some popularity, he was killed off.  Palmer returned just in time for one more big DC event, The Blackest Night, and  not long after DC revamped their entire line with the New 52.  Ray Palmer has popped up out of uniform, but from solicitation images it looked as though Choi would be back as The Atom... but apparently there seems to be an even newer Atom in the Justice League titles, this one a female.  It's all very strange and it makes it hard to invest in a character when DC keeps switching identities on us.

14 comments:

AirDave said...

That cover is really cool!

I would argue that Ray Palmer has been confused since Sword of the Atom: where he apparently abandoned the rest of the world for a tiny jungle kingdom. Then he returned, only to be de-aged to a teen and led the Titans. No wonder Jean snapped.

It's characters like Ray Palmer and Ted Kord that show an apparent "red-headed stepchild" syndrome that DC operates on. Unless you're Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman - and in that order - there's no place other than the kiddie table at Thanksgiving, which is unfortunate. But then, for so much of the Golden and Silver Ages these characters were pretty much the same as each other...there really was no diversity, and now, when they introduce it, it just feels wrong for some reason...

Ross said...

Oh yeah, I forgot about the de-aged Palmer in Teen Titans! I didn't mind the Sword of the Atom phase though - at least it was still Ray Palmer acting heroically - with beautiful Gil Kane artwork to boot, nobody drew the Atom better than his original artist.

Energy Law said...

Its ironic someone should bring up the Sword of The Atom saga from the 1980s, cuz that was the LAST time I brought and enjoyed several issues of anything involving that character, and I was just in the 4th grade at that time!

Isaac said...

Great cover Ross. But wouldn't Punisher be better suited against the Vigilante? Golden Age or Modern Age, that's one I'd like to see.

Anonymous said...

he can shrink small enough to get free and not be affected by explosion from grenade also since dc can have many gls and flashes why not more atoms

Ross said...

Isaac, one does not preclude the other.

Meriades said...

Absolutely love this blog. There's such a genuine nostalgic delight about it all, so evocative of the mid-to-late 70s when I personally started collecting (especially being a massive fan of team-up titles myself).

This is a terrific cover; like so many of them it makes you wish there was a real story behind it to read. You can't beat a Dillon Punisher, and seeing that cover on a rack would scream "BUY ME!" if I spotted it in the store.

Great work, and thank you. Always a pleasure to check in here every couple of days!

Ross said...

Thanks, Meriades!

Bob Greenwade said...

This is one very cool cover. Did you do the headstone yourself, or did you grab it from somewhere?

Ross said...

I made it with an engraving style font.

Rick L Phillips said...

I don't really care for when they have many Atoms. Having more then one takes away from the character being special. The only time it makes sense is when they are part of a speical police force like the Green Lanterns at DC or the Nova Corps at Marvel.

Dr. OTR said...

At some point, DC decided to treat their heroes like they elected officials, positions that can be filled by anybody. There will always be a mayor in your town, a governor in your state, a President of the country. And that's a pity when it comes to the comics. Great heroes should be like your favorite bands -- they have a great run, get worn out, and then break up and aren't replaced. Oh, occasionally a band trundles on with a new lead singer and virtually all of the original lineup gone, but only in very rare cases does the new version approach the original, either artistically or commercially. When a hero has run his course, let him retire gracefully, and then use your creativity to think up somebody new, with a different shtick, to fill the same niche! Comic books used to be about creativity. Sure there were some real clunkers thought up, but some really great ideas came forth as well. Now it's just "let's take Hero Z, kill him off, and replace him with his gay stepdaughter who never met him, not because it makes sense organically or creatively but because fans of the old Hero Z will keep buying his comic!" And then DC wonders why its sales are flat (and only a tenth of what they were 30 years ago).

Rick L Phillips said...

Dr. OTR; Marvel did the same thing for awhile. Super-Patirot became Capt. America. Jim Rhodes became Iron Man. Beta Ray Bill became Thor. The stories were well written but I was glad when the originals came back.

Andrew Kolvek said...

Dillon even drew an Atom Special in the 90's.

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