Review: All-New Atom: My Life in Miniature

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

A pretty quick review today of All New Atom: My Life in Miniature, the first volume of Gail Simone's new Atom series. Simone nicely hews close to the basic concept of the Atom -- guy shrinks down and finds secret worlds hidden inside our own -- while imbuing the series with a fresh-feeling sense of science and whimsy. The new Atom, Ryan Choi, is a gifted young professor backed up by a team of kooky scientists; Choi idolizes the previous Atom Ray Palmer, such that his predecessor inhabits these pages almost as much as Aquaman does in Sword of Atlantis. Simone also fills each page with pop-up-video-esque quotes from scientists both real and DCU-imagined, differentiating the series even further from your average superhero fare.

Like the first volume of the new Blue Beetle series (see our review), however, somewhere toward the end it kind of falls apart. The biggest difficulty is that comics legend John Byrne leaves after the third issue, and Eddy Barrow's art just doesn't have the same fluidity that sells the Atom concept. Second, while I'm glad to see the Brave New World story included here, it feels slightly shoehorned in, making sense to the plot only in retrospect--and this confusion bleeds over to include a scene where a whole bevy of DC villains collide over Ivy Town for reasons never fully explained. And while I like the quotes that Simone sprinkles throughout the story, they just get annoying amidst all the chaos at the end.

Also like Blue Beetle, however, Atom is engaging enough for a second chance, and I'll be picking up Future/Past when it comes out in December. We'll see if that one holds up any better.

[Contains full covers]

Moving now to Captain Atom: Armageddon, Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven, and then maybe some Superman. Excelsior!
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2 comments:

  1. Hey, I was looking through your posts and wondered if you've ever read "Sword of the Atom". It was one of those I was considering getting after Ray's Indigo Tribe-ness.

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  2. Never picked up Sword of the Atom, but sure thought about it. If it's referenced in Blackest Night, that'll put it higher on my list.

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