Captain Atom: J.T. Krul, Freddie Williams II, Jose Villarrubia, Rob Leigh, Mike Choi
And now! The conclusion to the Chrono Mota story! So we discovered that the purple energy cloud, Chrono Mota, is actually another form of Captain Atom. The Atoms are all still within the timestream/ocean thing and it’s time to fight to save the world! Even after it’s already gone!
Immediately, what’s interesting about this issue is how Atom admits fear of the end of the world, thanks to Sunday school teachings as a child. He used to imagine what it would be like, the End Times, apparently. Then, in what I take as a Ghostbusters “destructor” moment, a giant beastly mouth comes raging out of the time-sea. And, suddenly, I’m thinking of the Beast From the Sea in the Book of Revelation. Dunno if that was Krul’s and Freddie’s intention, but it comes off well.
The Atoms find their atomic attacks are useless against Mota, and Atom goes into the timestream to try and find the genesis of all this madness…the point that created his God Complex. He imagines what the world would’ve been like if he had never become Atom - kind of an interesting statement to make so close to the end of the canceled series.
Atom in the past figures that certain actions he took at the beginning of the series were important, and couldn’t be touched…or were unimportant to the impending doom of the world. He realizes it began when he realized he could stop people from dying. Mikey Parker, the boy with cancer. The boy that became a disciple of Atom’s in the future and helped Mota release the “vessel” that destroys Earth.
So…what must Atom do to keep that from happening? Well…Mikey cannot live.
It’s a sad story, really. I was so happy way back when Atom saved Mikey, and THAT was so well done. So to have that suddenly taken away, ripped away, was difficult.
Atom comes to terms with his abilities and uses them to create a separate form of himself, a human form. Like he used to be. Separate his “Nateness,” he calls it. This allows him to go have dinner with Ranita while Atom simply watches out in the rain. It’s kind of sad to see this, especially - and it’s the most brilliant part - how, after, Atom asks his Nate self, “Will it suffice?” His face is all flat and emotionless, eyes half-lidded. You can almost hear the monotone in his voice. It’s like he poured all of his feelings into this creation.
The most interesting part of this is…what will this become? Will these two now be at odds with each other because neither can experience what the other has? Or will they be a tag-team of awesomeness? I’m excited to see..
I almost didn’t mention this here, because it feels like just a footnote, and I don’t want it to be a footnote. I want it to be an actual note. Or something. But anyway, Freddie’s art is beautiful. I mean, did we expect anything different? This unique style really works for the character, and I love all the stuff taking place in the timestream. There’s something old-fashioned about some of the panels, like those where Atom’s creating Nate. It totally takes me back to 30s, 40s comics.
Captain Atom #10, the verdict: I like how the ending of this issue winds us down. It feels very much like the third act of a movie. Which is fitting considering it’s the end of the Chrono Mota arc. There’s a lot of tragedy in Captain Atom’s life. And not life-altering, limb-severing tragedy. I mean subtle stuff. Heartwrenching moments of truth and revelation where Atom realizes just how different things are now. I’ve always liked his “outside looking in” status, and with this new Nate creation, that’s going to change.
(Photo Source: The Day the Web Stood Stupid)