I recently read the final issue of the All-New Atom and it literally crushed my soul. This book had gone from, when it began, a quirky read to by the time it ended a title that left me befuddled and saddened.
I don’t get it.
I mean, did DC know that the book was ending when they passed the baton from Gail Simone to Rick Remender? It certainly read like they did. The last arc for the All-New Atom reads like DC handed the reins to Remender with the simple instructions of “just turn the light off when you’re done.”
And that’s not really a strike against Remender, I’m sure he’s a capable writer. It’s just that while reading the final arc I found myself longing for the Ryan Choi that I’d grown accustomed to during Gail’s tenure. He was a guy who was funny and self-deprecating. He was a guy who fell into the hero gig, not a crusader. Like I said, the last arc left me befuddled.
And this isn’t the first time DC has brought in a ringer to close out a title, ending it in a thud. They did the same thing when Paul Levitz decided to end JSA with the team battling the Gentleman Ghost?! Wally West’s era as the Flash ended with him matching wits with Vandal Savage. And while I appreciate the symmetry of Vandal being the first and final villain of that title, the story stunk. DC did the same thing with JLA and Firestorm.
My question is why shouldn’t a title go out with a bang? Why bring in a new creative team to stink the joint up and leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth? Not only does it make readers bitter, but it also causes readers to fear when creative teams leave a title. For instance, I’m now really, really afraid for Jamie Reyes, now that Blue Beetle has a new creative team.
But back to Ryan Choi’s final adventure for a moment. The last issue really made me sad. (SPOILER WARNING)) I mean you’ve got Panda aging way fast and then dying. You’ve got the love of Ryan’s life growing to be Lady Chronos. You’ve got Lady Chronos and Atom potentially killing each other, plus we find out that Ryan and Ray weren’t pen pals after all.
I swear to you that I kept hoping for a Deus Ex Machina that could return the book to the status quo that I knew and loved. But the further and further I went into the issue the more I kept thinking “man when that status quo fixer comes, it’ll be welcome but it’s going to seem so forced.”
Well that status quo fixer never came. And now the book is over. And I’m sad.
What I’ve Read Recently: DCU Men Edition
Green Lantern #32 – While I do kinda dig how Hector Hammond is handled, this tweaking of Hal’s origin is still largely unnecessary. Yeah, I get that Blackest Night is a big deal, but do we have to see Hal’s origin again?
Superman #677 – Robinson actually makes me not hate Krypto. I loved the introduction to Atlas and how Robinson really added the human layer to Metropolis. Travis DuBarry’s thoughts on Superman seemed so genuine. I hope the human perspective stays in this book.
Detective Comics #846 – Wow, Dini has got me caring about Hush. I’ve always felt that Hush was a good character, handled poorly. Dini’s got a good handle on him. But damn him for killing Doctor Aesop. I kinda liked the guy.
Nightwing #146 – Some really creepy visuals this issue, but the story was jam packed. I loved the dynamic between Talia and Nightwing. It’s such a great tension. I also liked the epilogue with Superman and Nightwing. The ramifications of the action in the arc are actually addressed. I don’t know if we’ll see anything come of it, but at least it’s been addressed.
Blue Beetle #28 – I love Pfeifer, but the villain in the story was so obvious when he first appeared. Still despite such telegraphing, the supporting characters and nice human moments make the issue a winner. It’s fun to see Dani and Peacemaker meeting up with Jamie’s other support.
Booster Gold #1,000,000 – Peter Platinum felt forced. I’m lukewarm about how this issue taints the Killing Joke. But I did love seeing Hal and Ollie react to Booster being on the scene. And I loved seeing Skeets in a beret. I’m tolerant of Michelle’s return, because I guess it make sense, if you blink (though I’m expecting Johns to pull the same logic when he resurrects Bart Allen.) I loved that Booster vs Brainy vs T-Rex is still looming in the future and that someone is trying to taint Ted Kord’s legacy.
Action Comics #867 – Eh, I’m not completely sold on what Johns is doing with Brainiac. I liked the alien from Colu who merged with Milton Fine. I don’t dig nanites in the brain. I don’t like city collectors, but I do like the notion that Kara’s afraid of Brainiac. I don’t know. I’m really kind of torn on this arc.
Batman #678 – I loved this issue. I loved strung out Bruce Wayne. I loved Nightwing defeated. I loved imaginary homeless guy (too bad he wasn’t Hungarian). And I loved Batman’s new costume. Seriously, this arc is great business.
The Flash #241 – I also liked this issue. I loved Edwar being chased by the Nzame. I loved the Flashes kicking asses. I really liked Wally struggling with Inertia. Really strong issue.
All-New Atom #25 – Really? Haven’t we already gone over this?
Tags: Batman, DCU, Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Superman