Pick of the Week

October 19, 2005 – Captain Atom: Armageddon #1

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Size: pages

Story by Will Pfeifer
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks by Sandra Hope
Colors by Randy Mayor
Letters by Kristy Quinn

Published by Wildstorm/DC Comics | $2.99

Doesn’t it seem like comics, at least the major ones, are all about events these days? Between houses and crises, it seems like I can’t pick up a book that isn’t a crossover. Not that they’re bad, it’s just a little overwhelming. Can’t we go back to dueling exclusive contracts?

Today has been a rough day for me, so bear with me. I was five minutes late to my comics store, which was closed already, but luckily the owner was still in the parking lot and I found myself begging like a crack addict for him to open back up and give me my fix. Not a good sign, but I had a heck of a day and i just wanted my comics. I was pleased to see, that despite crossover season being in full effect, I didn’t pick up any of the major crossover related books. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing there wasn’t pressure to review an event book, because I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to accurately annotate and analyze it.

Little did I know, that the one book I hadn’t planned on buying, which technically is an event book would be the one I’d end up analyzing here. So how does this happen? Let’s break down the process:

  • Step 1 – Go 85 MPH in bumper to bumper traffic on the parkway, racing to get to the store before it closes.
  • Step 2 – Beg the owner to reopen, because you were 5 minutes late because some annoying person in an SUV decided to go 25 MPH on the exit ramp.
  • Step 3 – Race through the store, because you’re sure this guy wants to go home, grabbing your 8 books that you had planned on buying
  • Step 4 – Walk to the register, but pause when the pretty Jim Lee cover grabs your eye. Quick brain scan wondering if you’ve heard of this book, oh yeah, you did read something about it.
  • Step 5 – Go home and eat dinner, forgetting about the unplanned purchase.
  • Step 6 – Read the unplanned purchased book at midnight, wondering why the heck you bought it.
  • Step 7 – Write Pick of the Week.
  • Step 8 – Apologize to Conor tomorrow morning for the misspellings and grammatical errors.

So there it is. That’s how it happens.

Now onto the book, in case you’re unlike me and hadn’t read about this book, here’s the skinny:
Captain Atom, B-list (maybe a C-list?) character, actually one of the old Charlton comics characters I believe, died a few months back in the pages of Superman/Batman. In fact he also died a few years ago in Kingdom Come too, but that was Elseworlds, so it doesn’t count. Regardless, he’s not a big gun. Well, someone got the idea to take the moment he died in the DC Universe and drop him in the Wildstorm Universe.

Now this isn’t the first time this sort of take on “fish out of water” has been done in comics, but for some reason, I’m always drawn to it. I don’t know why, but I always dig these stories. But of course, it can’t be crap, and luckily for me, this wasn’t. I do not recgonize a single name in the credits for this book, but a big “Huzzah!” to all of them, as they did a bang up job. I’m all-in for the 9 issue run. Now I was probably already a sucker for this book, without knowing it, as:

a) as mentioned above, I love these type of stories
b) little known, but believable fact: I was a complete nut for the Wildstorm universe all through the 90’s. I kinda dropped off after the DC merger, but I stuck with it for a while, but I have A LOT of the Wildstorm books, right up to just before Joe Casey’s legendary run on Wildcats and the emergence of The Authority, when I seemingly dropped all Wildstorm books for some unknown reason. Impeccable comics timing. I read ’em when they suck and drop ’em when they’re good. Go figure.

But regardless of my predisposition, I’m hooked. Captain Atom is in his yellow and red uniform (which I believe dates back to Charlton Comics and was used in Kingdom Come), I still recognize the Wildstorm characters from Wildcats, and what’s best is that while this isn’t a crossover, it can be considered an event book, but I wonder, in the wake of DC’s current Crisis and Marvel’s House of M, is anyone else reading this?

Ron Richards
Hey Josh, he’s not paralyzed.

Did you read Captain Atom: Armageddon #1? Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!


  1. KINGDOM COME is not Elseworlds!

    This book actually sounds like a good concept. I like it.

    Also, this: “Can’t we go back to dueling exclusive contracts?” Funny.

  2. My Kingdom Come TPB has the Elseworlds logo, I think…

  3. Wikipedia has Kingdom Come in the Elseworlds category:

  4. It’s not though!

  5. What sort of SUV gets 25 MPG?

    Also, how does one speed in bumper to bumper traffic?

    Did I say Captain Atom was paralyzed?

  6. It was 25 MPH, i fixed the typo – you knew what I meant.

    One speeds in bumper to bumper traffic by clearing the gap between you and the car in front of you very quickly, changing lanes and getting ahead as quick as you can, and possibly driving in the shoulder for a bit. Yeah, bad driving, but I needed my comics!

    You said Grifter was paralyzed, and he was walking around in this issue.

  7. That’s right, I couldn’t remember what it was.

    He was definitely paralyzed in Wildcats. But I don’t remember if it was permanent.

    But then, in Sleeper, he was decidedly paralyzed.

    Now Sleeper, there’s a book you should read.

  8. SLEEPER was awesome. I was sad when it ended.

  9. I’ve been buying the trades of Sleeper and I agree, its very good.

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