Captain Atom’s latest time jump takes him to 2017, several years after he left 2012 to go to the 1990s where he was married and apparently had a child. But back in the present, General Eiling has plans for him to rebuild his persona as a new Captain Atom whose powers he now controls. But Nathaniel Adams does not want to masquerade for General Eiling or lie to the public. But his legacy as a hero with destructive powers who killed people the last time he exploded ma force Captain Atom to play the role he resents.
This issue is as spectacular as the other ones. Let me start with the one thing that I disliked and then focus on the good. The cover by Marguerite Sauvage is atrocious. There it has been said. However, the artwork by Will Conrad continues to be superior to anything I’ve ever seen on a Captain Atom comic. This is saying a lot as Pat Broderick was known as a long time Captain Atom illustrator. Conrad adds levels of depth to the comic that match the complex and exhilarating narrative. This comic would be great just based on the story. Conrad’s work just elevates everything and makes this a must buy comic. That’s why the lackluster cover is so out of place here.
Now the plot. Cary Bates and Greg Weisman love Captain Atom. That is clear. They manage to weave back older storylines from the Post-Crisis Captain Atom while keeping things fresh. For example, the introduction of the fake Captain Atom story to fool the public and the world’ superheroes is taken from the old series but is used differently.
There are many things to notice in this comic and I am convinced that this series and Captain Atom are integral to Rebirth. First, the new look Captain Atom has in this issue is very reminiscent of Major Force, his old arch-enemy Post-Crisis. This is not a coincidence in this comic. The other element of note that you have to see is the page where we see Dr. Megala with his Asian assistants working in their secret laboratory. The representation of that scene is highly similar to Ozymandias and his own Asian assistants in Watchmen. Now we know that Dr. Manhattan was based on Captain Atom. The earlier depiction of Captain Atom in this comic and during the New 52 made him look much like Dr. Manhattan. None of this is coincidental.
I went back quickly to the two previous issues to find any other references to The Watchmen. There seems to be all around I need more time to dig further. If you are still wondering if you should get this comic, well don’t. This is an important Rebirth comic which is highly entertaining! Buy it now!
I'm taking .5 off on the rating because of the atrocious cover.