First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast Ep.18: Captain Atom #24

Bass and Siskoid cover Captain Atom #24, in which leaders are named in the fight against the alien alliance, and an evil plot threatens to undermine the resistance effort!

Listen to Episode 18 below (the usual filthy filthy language warnings may apply), or subscribe to First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: First Strike ep.18 Supplemental

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17 responses to “First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast Ep.18: Captain Atom #24

  1. If this issue proves anything, it’s that Canary’s jazzercise/mom outfit is NOT hot. Did Beetle and Booster ever react to Canary in JL/JLI in this manner? I think not.

    I remember hearing that the Captain Atom as Monarch surprise was really torpedoed by a DC sales meeting. DC invited some big distributors and retailers to a retreat, and leaked the news of who Monarch was. One of the larger comic shop chains then printed the spoiler in their newsletter, and even in the pre-internet days, it got around to enough folks that it made DC squirmy, and hence the bone-headed decision to slap Hawk in to the ill-fitting Monarch armor.

    That might be total bunk, but I’ve heard it in several places. And you know…the internet!!!

    Great episode as always fellas. Keep ’em coming!


    1. Holy rumor mill! I had heard the above, too, but also that there was some phone number thst played a recorded message of comics spoilers, rumors and speculations. The Monarch/Atom thing had either leaked or was deduced (CA was not receiving an annual), DC got spooked and orederd the last-minute “Hawk is Monarch” change.

    2. Clearly Chris’s taste in superhero costumes is mixed up. Jazzercise Black Canary for the win! And yes, Booster was hitting on Canary in the Jazzercise outfit in JL Annual #1, until she threatened his life.

      I can vouch for that Captain Atom/Monarch rumor getting around (but can’t vouch for the origin). As a retailer during that era, even we’d heard in our small town about Captain Atom was going to be Monarch. So when issue #2 of Armageddon 2001 dropped, we were all pretty surprised (which I guess is what DC wanted). Though it wasn’t a good surprise.

  2. I have never been much of a fan of CA, so all this history you laid out was new to me. I love the idea of using his Charlton history as a fake “cover” story. That’s a really imaginative idea, thanks for pointing it out on this episode.

    From the pages you showed, I like Broderick’s work here. The splash page is suitably dynamic, and the bit of business between Beetle and Booster re: Canary is cute. I imagine that’s what would happen if Shag was a superhero.

    BTW, have I mentioned I attended the Joe Kubert School?

    1. You did? That’s so cool! I wish you’d said something!

      We’re just kidding around folks. Rob doesn’t name drop the school that often, though this is the second time in the last 24 hours. He certainly doesn’t mention it as often as I do Canada.

    2. Nice thought Rob, but that panel doesn’t really capture how I would have reacted. There would have been more drool and creepy leering.

  3. Back in 2000 I embarked on a massive reading project that engulfed a number of DC titles. I read them by cover month instead of by title and one of the books I threw on the pile was CAPTAIN ATOM. I had been picking up the series through the cheap bins and it was finally time to go through that series along with Firestorm, the Outsiders, Suicide Squad and other non Batman or Superman DC books of that era. Captain Atom fit right into the tone of the various books I was going through and I quickly developed a fondness Nathaniel Adam and his world. I liked the “man out of time” element and watching as Adam had to lie to the heroes he worked with. Rob nailed it in a previous comment; the idea of using the Charlton stories as his cover story was brilliant. The first few years of the book are so good but eventually the original concept ran its course and even John Ostrander couldn’t save it by the end.

    What followed was a colossal mistake followed by repeated attempts to fix said colossal mistake. The various post ARMAGEDDON 2001 mini-series were valiant attempts but the only good to come from them is that the JSA returned in the third one. I have to admit that EXTREME JUSTICE tried like hell to bring Captain Atom back to glory but the revelation that the Captain Atom we’ve known all this time was actually a “quantum clone” and the real Nathaniel Adam was a real D-bag that assumed the identity of Monarch once again sank any attempts to make Captain Atom an interesting character again.

    The less said about the L.A.W. mini-series from 1999 the better. Living Assault Weapons, my eye. They were an assault all right. An assault on good taste.

    Great job as always, good sirs. You continue to do the Lord’s work.

  4. I had always learned that DC accidentally leaked the reveal of Armageddon 2001 on a 900 number preview line. (Oh, the halcyon days of no internet and 900 numbers!) And because of that, they got nervous and scrapped the intended ending. It is a shame because it left Atom sort of listless. And it totally destroyed Hawk and Dove (one of my favorite books at the time) making them a toxic property since.

    As for Capt. Atom, I first met him in Crisis on Infinite Earths when he had that wonky blue tanktop/silver arm look. He did have one post crisis appearance in DCCP where he looked like that before the Bates/Broderick reboot.

    I enjoyed the first couple of years of this book, especially how Bates wove the pre-Crisis history as a phony backstory for the character. That was brilliant. A nice bonus was the reintroduction of Nightshade. I feel this is Broderick at the height of his powers.

    Finally, the jazzercise Black Canary costume is hot.

  5. Another great episode! During the Invasion I wasn’t reading Captain Atom, though I loved the idea of the military superhero taking charge of the heroes. I had built up this superhero military response in my head. Sadly the issue you described didn’t really play as well as my imagination. Regardless, great Broderick art!! And as always, a very enjoyable podcast from you two crazy Canucks!

    Australia. Never forget. Never again.

  6. I was very into Captain Atom for the brief period I could get my hands on issues, roughly #7-12, but then I ran out of sources until right around Invasion! As previously mentioned, the event itself turned me off, so I only bought the JLI tie-ins. I recall flipping through this issue on the stands, but it was so far up Invasion’s junk that I passed on it. Another major problem was Romeo Tanghal on inks, which overwhelmed Broderick’s pencils the same way he had Perez’s. I’m learning I actually like Tanghal as a penciller on Super Friends, but as an inker I say his name with the same contempt folks usually reserve for Vinnie Colletta (who I sometimes like a lot on inks, especially over Kirby on Thor.) My reading of this book after the first year remains spotty, but I tend to agree that it suffered the same fate as Firestorm. It lost Broderick and replaced him with a less exciting version of Rafael Kayanan (Tanghal strikes again) plus the book seemed to completely lose its way right around the same time. All that stuff with losing his powers, then trying to be a Quantum Elemental and hang out with Death? Blech!

  7. [I don’t know how you stand on late comments; I’m caught up to May, but this is the one I want to comment on.]

    I’ve not read the Invasion! crossover, but you are making it fun to follow. I especially appreciate you pointing out the Durlan in a non-Durlan ship in this issue. I don’t know if the various alien empires had these designs outside this series; over at Marvel it was mostly whatever the artist of the story wanted to draw, and any stylistic elements that would contrast them to other alien fleets were only for the issue. You demonstrate here that attention to this is not just a geeky trainspotting obsession, but potential use of a storytelling tool, an example I will follow whenever I need to hide the fact that it is my geeky trainspotting obsession.

    I’ll look for this series for its ships, and the ones in Wonder Woman, Doom Patrol, New Guardians, Captain Atom (because even the wrong ship is still an example of the ships) and at least the cover of Power of the Atom.

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