JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… Captain Atom Conspiracy

Another "Meanwhile" episode covering items outside of the monthly JLI series! The Irredeemable Shag welcomes guest host Martin Gray to discuss Captain Atom spying on the JLI! Martin and Shag briefly touch on Captain Atom issues #10 thru #28, and then recap and discuss Captain Atom Annual #2! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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12 responses to “JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… Captain Atom Conspiracy

  1. Oh wow… I NEVER noticed the “Adam and Eve” thing either!!
    (…and duh!! Nightshade’s last name is “Eden”!)
    Man, you’d think I would have picked up on it, at some point over the last thirty years. …but nope!

    1. here’s another thing. Back in 1989, Batman comes out with Michael Keaton in the title role. Now there was huge outcry over this, and most revolved around the fact that Keaton was best known for comedy roles (Mr. Mom.but more on that in a minute.) I was open-minded about the casting and found that I really loved Batman ’89. As a result, I started hearing Keaton’s voice whenever I’d read Batman comics. About two years later I was introduced to Justice League: A New beginning…..and the infamous “One-Punch!” during my first year in college. During that time between Batman and Batman Returns I had watched all sorts of other movies including Mr. Mom. (I had watched it long before Batman but now a scene in the film had suddenly caught my attention.
      Towards the end of the film, Keaton’s character was being offered his job back by his frantic supervisor. During the desperate man’s entreaty, they are introduced by Keaton’s “son.” The harried executive yells at the kid and Keaton punches the man out to which his kid simply exclaims: “Wow! One Punch!” I chuckled at the time but as I sat listening to this podcast series,I suddenly drew the line from Keaton’s One Punch to Batman’s and all these years later, I’m suddenly hearing Keaton’s voice as Batman again (particularly in Justice League International)

  2. Thanks for great episode.
    I freely admit that I didn’t really collect either of these titles at the time. But buddies did so I occasionally flipped through their books.

    The most interesting thing here is that this plot wasn’t covered at all in the JLI book. Did the books have different editors? I do wonder if the tone of the books made it such that they kept it separate. Did military intrigue really fit in the Bwa-ha-ha-ness of it all?

    As for the annual, the art is pretty lackluster. For me, I always thought Bruce Patterson was the best inker for Cullins.

    Thanks for covering this interesting wrinkle in the two books! And always good to hear Martin!

  3. Good show! I was reading both at the time of course, but rereading JLI more recently, I was confused by the compartmentalized subplot. It makes sense to keep them separate tonally, but in isolation, it feels like you missed something. Thanks for untangling that for us.

  4. When I moved to Denmark I would mak biscuits and gravy for people and only give them the name at first but only as an explanation say that what it was is not what you think it is. Then have fun seeing a look of relief and confusion when they saw what I made. Most of them were worried that I was going to have cookies with some weird sauce on them for breakfast. Generally the concensus among Danes seems to be that biscuits and gravy is good but to heavy for breakfast and it might be better for dinner.

  5. JLI seemed to be existing in its own separate universe. There was a JLI in the DC Universe as well, but it seemed like when you went into the actual JLI title, it was like entering Toon Town in Roger Rabbit or something.

    Always a pleasure to hear Martin, and since I never was a regular reader of Captain Atom, I found all of this quite fascinating. Great show fellas!


  6. Happy new year from the Irish Embassy and it is a great start for the Irish Embassy as we have received our first Bwa-Ha-Ha award through Jack O’Lantern! As Jack is currently ensconced in Bialya, it is my pleasure to accept this award on his behalf….Ahem…

    Thank you so much for this award – for an intangible award, it feels pretty hefty. Jack, through a secret morse code, wishes to thank Queen Bee for setting him up in a great underground lair (although the aerial design is a bit questionable); Captain Atom, for his role opposite Jack, and…oh wait, the music is starting to play…..We’d like to thank Martin and Shagg for the nominations and finally, you love us, you really love us!!!!

    Anyway, on to the podcast, and it was great to hear Martin contributing to the podcast. It was the UK reprints of JLI in Superman monthly that first got me into the JLI, so it can be said that Martin is the reason that I am commenting on the podcast today! (Please don’t shun Martin as a result, folks!)

    The Captain Atom series was one that I did not read regularly, but I do have a few of the issues, including some of those discussed today, so it was good to have the overall discussion on the “Captain Atom is a Spy” storyline. It is a pity that the Showcase Presents reprints has been discontinued as the Captain atom series would have been a great place to reprint this series.

    It is interesting that the Spy storyline was ignored totally in the JLI series – only on re-reading it now that you maybe get a glimpse of Beetle’s hatred of Atom – his rather abrupt “You’re late” comment to Atom in JLI 8 and “shoot your kneecaps off” in JLI 21 may be seen, through the lens of reading the Captain Atom series, as showing contempt to him, as opposed to being a throwaway quip. Only in the JLA annual 3 do you really see Beetle’s anger. This is why it made no sense really for Beetle to throw in with Captain Atom in the aftermath of the Overmaster storyline and following on into Extreme Justice, but then again, that was outside of the Giffen/deMatteis JLI series.

    Captain Atom Annual 2 was a fun romp – I wonder though had Cary Bates discussed with Keith Giffen about Bialya when plotting this, as the idea of the Queen Bee brainwashing a hero will come up again very soon in both JLA and JLE (Foreshadowing!!!).

    Great episode Martin and Shagg, and am looking forward to hearing about the Mister Miracle/Dr. Fate series in the next “Meanwhile..” podcast………BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What was that? And why is there a naked Emmanuel Marcon and Angela Merkel in the Irish Embassy?!?!?! Oh, Martin sent them to Apokolips and Darkseid has the Irish Embassy co-ordinates ** so he just boom-tubed them on to us here! Thanks very much Martin! Well, will take a month to clear this mess up so will see you then!

    ** Editor’s note – Darkseid had these co-ordinates from the comments on JLI 21 http://fireandwaterpodcast.com/podcast/jli-21/ – see, continuity is important even on the comments page!

  7. One of my comic-collecting regrets was not following Captain Atom during this era. There’s so much love and respect for it today, that I kick myself for not reading it. I also didn’t foresee it being such a companion series of my beloved JLI, but I forgive myself for that as it didn’t carry the BWAH-HAH-HAH tone.

    This was a great overview of Cap’s series crossing over with JLI, gentlemen. I’m hoping Comixology will offer that series as a collection, but maybe I’ll see about targeting these specific issues.

    Ok, little comment on Queen Bee. Yes, she’s fiercely patriotic and loves the people of Bialya. As a whole. But we’ll see more in the future that she has no compunction about killing individual citizens that displease her. The citizens are there to serve her, and she protects them, so no one better hurt her people. Besides herself, of course. Gosh, that sounds a lot like how a certain leader of that Middle European nation acts as well. What’s his name? Doctor Voom? Something like that.

    From the annual, this is not the best Cullins art, to be sure. A shame, because I love his stuff. Got to meet him at Baltimore ComicCon, and boy, he’s a hoot!

    Mr Miracle AND Dr Fate? Excellent!

    Well done, Martin. You certainly made up for Shagg’s lackadaisical attitude.

  8. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake that not much of Captian Atom’s spying was mentioned in JLI. Maybe he was such a good spy that he had stuff on Giffen and DeMatteis and the only way Blue Beetle, Buster Gold and Mister Miracle could this info out about him was by going over to Captain atom’s own comic to confront him. Bet you never thought about that

  9. Ok, so, I didn’t read either of these (or DC at all) when these were coming out, but in the mid-90’s, I moved from my ‘DC Starter Kit’ (i.e. Vertigo) to the wider post-crisis DC Universe, by way of the Back Issue bins, and was able to piece together near complete runs of JLI/A/E, Hawk and Dove, Dr. Fate and Mr. Miracle (so, Bonus! for next Meanwhile, i guess)… but I never read any Captain Atom, till the new 52 version, which was better than I expected, though I agree it was more a Dr. Manhattan story than a Captain Atom story.

    Anywho, I had heard, over the years, that this JLI-era run on CA was pretty good, so when I came across it for a steal, I jumped at the chance and have been reading thru it, Here and There, for about a year, and recently read issue 20. I’ve been REALLY enjoying it, which kinda surprised me since I’m not really a fan of the character… but all of that means that I have, for the nonce, paused this ep ~38 minutes in, because I didn’t want to uget spoiled! Thus, I’ll endeavor to ‘speed thru’ up to issue 28 (air quotes because I pretty much never read the same comic series/watch the same show twice in a row, so It’ll probably be a week or three before I’m done), and then come back to this podcast, and resume from that point.

    As for the Guest, I’ve quite enjoyed Sir Martin of Gray’s comments and occasional guesting on other Podcasts over the last few years, so It’s been nice hearing more from him.

  10. Only about half way through the episode, but wanted to make a couple of comments….

    First, I never read Cap’s book, and honesty, 30 years later I have NO memory at all of even the references in JLI that you mentioned. So I’ve found this episode totally fascinating. Uncovering new, uncharted 80s ground for me.

    Second, you mentioned Black Canary a couple of times. Since my timeline memory is fuzzy – how does her appearances with the league in Cap’s book line up to her departure from the main JLI book? Appropriate or out of place?

    Third, you hit a sweet spot for me – the time between Crisis 12 and the “settling” of the new DCU. Back in my collecting days, I was obsessed with Superman, and especially the year or two before Byrne took over.

    I prided myself on collecting every appearance of Superman prior to Action 584/Adventures of Superman 424/Superman 1 for three or four years back.

    That would have included stories like the DCCP story you mentioned. What a time it was, as you had basically the Pre-Crisis heroes existing in this post-Crisis universe. Loved the mention of a Captain Atom that shouldn’t have existed.

    Back to the episode!

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