Dec 4, 2013

Atom vs. a bird.

So... I started trying to experience more DC comics through back issues sometime last year. One of the reasons for this is that I have some credit at my local comic book store for back issues... which means they don't really cost me anything.

But why in the world did I pick up issues of Power of the Atom? Shrinking is a terrible power for a super hero! Oh well... at least there was this amusing scene in issue 4:

It's in two parts. The exciting conclusion comes after a few more thoughts I have on the idea of Ray Palmer.

So... like I said. Shrinking heroes are terrible. Jack Kirby once observed that he didn't like drawing Ant Man because shrinking wasn't an impressive super power -- his heroes were meant to be larger than life, not smaller than life.


It's hard not to agree with him. The super hero genre has some really specific requirements -- there are powers that would be great in real life that are useless from a super hero perspective. (For example, how awesome would it be to be able to speak any language? Well, not that awesome if you're a New Mutant, because that gets you killed off!)

Shrinking has an added wrinkle of being potentially really visually exciting -- but it's still not much of a super hero power. It's great for adventure and exploration comics. But the moment you need to fight super villains you have the crappest power in existence. The fact that writers continually struggle to make Ant Man, and the Atom successful and dynamic characters...

Actually, bugger it. I can't be bothered to talk about the Atom any more. Look up. Atom pulled off Hawkman's ears. That's hilarious.

--Andrew S.

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