Monday, August 9, 2010


“Splitting the Atom”

Script: Judd Winick

Breakdowns: Keith Giffen

Penciller: Fernando Dagnino

Inker: Raul Fernandez

Editor: Ogle, Siglain & Cunningham


As the former members of the J.L.I. discuss how to best attack Checkmate to apprehend Maxwell Lord, Captain Atom recalls how, after he absorbed the energy from the nuclear bomb in Yemen, he was quantum leaped through time. He assumed that the traveled into the past and pretended to be a member of a traveling freak show as to not arouse suspicions from the locals. However, he soon came to realize that he was in the future, and that something terrible had happened in the past. Captain Atom is brought to visit “Old Karrie,” who just happens to be Karen Starr, the former Power Girl. She tells him that he needs to go back and defeat Maxwell Lord, the man responsible for what happened to the world. Captain Atom returned to his own time periond, and is now dedicated to stopping Lord, no matter what it takes…


Page 1: A retelling of Captain Atom’s origin, as first seen in Captain Atom (second series) #1.

Captain Nathaniel Adam did indeed participate in a scientific trial in 1968; I do not know if it took place at Winslow Air Force Base, though. In the original version, however, he was not placed inside the alien vessel. Rather, a piece of the vessel’s alien metal “skin” was placed between himself and the bomb detonated underneath him. After the bomb exploded, the metal “skin” bonded to Adam as he catapulted through the quantum field to 1987.

Interesting that there’s absolutely no mention of Wade Eiling or Dr. Megala in his recollections; granted, neither of them play a part in this story, but a shout-out would be nice…

Page 2: That’s Nate, appearing in all his naked, silver-skin glory for the first time in the present day.

Page 3: Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Skeets, Ice, Fire and Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.

“…and yesterday I just tried to force my way in.” Fire attacked Checkmate headquarters in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.

“We’re better off breaking into the Hall of Justice.” The Hall, of course, is the planet-side headquarters of the Justice League of America.

Page 4: Rocket Red last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.

“They know me better than anyone.” Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that about either Blue Beetle or Rocket Red, considering that they only met you yesterday…

Captain Atom absorbed the energy of the nuclear bomb blast in Yemen as seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #1.

Page 5: Captain Atom released the energy of the blast and got thrown through time on page 18 of Justice League: Generation Lost #1.

Page 6: This is Luke and Mary’s first appearance. I’m pretty sure that it’s also their last, which is a crying shame; I’m sure that they deserve a mini-series, or special or something like that. Maybe something written by Warren Ellis?

Page 7: So we have some tweaking of Captain Atom’s powers here. This is the first time that I can recall that he has quantum leaped, but expect to return to his own time after the energy is “metabolized.” In the past, if Captain Atom absorbed too much energy, he merely leaped into the future; it could be a day, a week, a month. But he then stayed there. There was no return trip, which meant that he had to be careful. Too much energy absorbed could mean that he’s miss out on things in the present.

Now it seems that he’ll jump into the future, and then jump back to the past after a certain amount of time. Very interesting.

Page 8: “I was…born this way.” In a way, Captain Atom was born looking like that.

Page 10: “You look like you don’t have no clothes on.” Out of the mouths of babes…

Page 11: Keith Giffen really seems to like blowing up the moon, doesn’t he? Anyone else remember how the moon was destroyed in the 30th century back in Legion of Super-Heroes (fourth series) #19?

Yeah, that was the Giffen/Bierbaum run on the Legion that myself and, like, ten other fans enjoyed so, no, you probably don’t remember it…

Page 15: “I weigh three-quarters of a ton.” That’s 1500 lbs., for those of you who aren’t math inclined. Or who don’t own a calculator.

“But…I’m changing.” Yeah, and you’re putting on a whole lot of weight, too.

Like I mentioned in my notes for last issue, Captain Atom is a character who has been horrible abused and neglected over the past twenty or so years. With the exception of the occasional mini-series or guest appearance, he really hasn’t done much, other than go crazy and become Monarch over and over. Here’s hoping that he comes out of this story a stronger character.

Page 16: “I’m going to outlive my children.” Nathaniel Adam has two kids, Margaret “Peggy” Eiling-Adam and Randall Eiling-Adam, both of whom last appeared in Captain Atom (second series) #50…way back in 1991. Maybe Nate should give those kids a call sometime soon?

Page 17: Yeeesh…Kara has so not aged well…

Page 19: “Oh Nate, what happened to you?!” Apparently, something happened in Captain Atom’s future to prevent him from saving the world.

Page 20: “Hard enough that he started to hurt the world.” What exactly does this mean? How does Clark hurt the world with his fighting? Story for another time, perhaps?

“He was right. The world is simpler now.” What exactly happened to the world? What did Max do…

Oh, wait, how do we even know that Max was responsible? Maybe I assume too much. Perhaps he’s not that bad a guy after all…

Page 21: “With Max. Max Lord.” Or, maybe Max really is responsible…

After Captain Atom returns to the present, he rendezvous with Fire and Ice at the J.L.I.’s Manhattan embassy to find Booster Gold beaten by Max.

Page 22: So, what I’m not sure about is did Captain Atom tell this story to the rest of the team…or was this issue all in his head? Are they aware of what the future might have in store for the world?