May present a choking hazard

May present a choking hazard

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

All New Atom #19

Written by Keith Champagne/Penciled by Jerry Ordway

Ladronn's cover here features some great cave work and some very cool creatures, but The Atom looks gangly AND lumpy... and nothing like what he will appear as throughout the entire story line. He also equips himself in the story with a sweet red flare for spelunking, which adds to the gorgeous lighting.Not that flat book light he's wielding there. Hey, it would have

We've got a guest team putting this one together, so break out the Champagne! (groan somewhere else)

After a team of spelunkers led by one of Ivy Town's own professor's goes missing, someone has got to go down there after them.This is why superheroes are good to have around. Particularly ones that can shrink and stuff.

All the Atom does down there is stumble upon an Ivy Town set back a few hundred years and steeped in ghastly horrors. An abundance of cannibalism, random executions, and extreme ugliness rule the roost here. Just another day in Ivy Town...

A man's gotta eat!

Choi gets bonked on the head by a C.H.U.D., and awakens to find himself firmly secured next to his newest best friend, Panda. Shortly thereafter, a man who calls himself Phineas Cadmish waltzes up, informs the two of what a gentleman he is, then starts handing out the slaps!

With Phineas dragging Panda off for what will almost assuredly be "no good," Ryan is in a bit of a pickle. Fortunately, what he's got going for him is that ol Atom charm! A seriously "misunderstood" underground Ivy Town school girl finds herself lost in Ryan's eyes, and therefore becomes his ticket out of wood prison.

I've already said (and shown) enough.

This is a nice little guest spot. It's cool that you can get into a 5 or 6 book long storyline with this character, and then dive into a quick wrapper upper like this one.
Champagne has spun a nifty little horror story here, and his Ryan is different, but still likable. His sense of humor is not quite as quirky, yet whenever he's laying them down, they're full of an almost depressed sarcasm. The storyline of this one, and all that happened before this issue is almost certainly responsible for Ryan's behavior, but it was definitely interesting to read him like that.

Jerry Ordway brings his gorgeous style to this comic for an all too brief stint. His work here is beautiful, and seriously appreciated. The man whips together a very atmospheric under ground Ivy Town, and I adore the lighting in his all too brief cave sequences. I would like to see what he could do with the real Ivy Town.

Next issue, Simone and Norton return for their final hurrah, where after they will be replaced by Rick Remender and Pat Olliffe for #22.


rob! said...

ive started buying Atom based on your reviews (DC now owes you a % of the $2.50), and have been enjoying the book.

i liked this issue, too, it was fun and had a sort of War of the Worlds feeling--weird happenings in a small town.

my only quibble was seeing the professor guy actually roasting on the spit. it seemed too gruesome an image for a fairly light tale and i wish it had been more off-panel.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this book has embraced the grotesque a bit too often, but it is awesome enough to be forgiven. I haven't read this one yet, Damian, but I'm going to pick up my copy today. I read the last issue, and I was a little non-plussed by it. I felt like a little too much happened with a little too little in the way of explanations. Like, what the heck was the thing controlling the townspeople?

Anyway, it's going to be a real shame to see Simone and company go! People have been predicting the doom of this book for a long while now, and I'm afraid without the great creative team, it might just come to fruition.

Damian said...

I agree with you, Rob. Although I'm as well versed a horror movie fan as anyone could be, I'd rather not see the gore and gushing make it's way into the Atom name just for the sake of doing it. Or in some scrambling attempt to draw in more readers.

Damian said...

Of course there has been the threat of cancellation hanging around the title of All New Atom since the first issue, and if it was going to happen, it's not going to be because of an unfortunate creative team change.

Everyone needs to save their money for 8 different titles featuring Superman, and 15 versions of Batman and Batman villains. Can't spend money on a new title featuring some guy that shrinks, because that might take away from me getting some new X-Men rubbish.

That's the way the world works though. It's why a movie like The Departed rakes in the cash and snags a best picture award, when the superior Children of Men gets nothing.

rob! said...

i know its OT, but since you brought it up: man, was Children of Men a friggin' great movie!

Anonymous said...

Ohh my gosh! Here I am, really enjoying y'all's blogs, thinking you two are pretty cool guys, even seeking out your input for my own projects.......but now I hear that you're fans of Children of Men! My goodness, that was one of the worst films I've seen in YEARS!

Damian said...


You're not allowed to talk to me for a long time.