The All-New Atom #10


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The All-New Atom #10


  • Words: Gail Simone
  • Art: Eddy Barrows
  • Inks: Trevor Scott
  • Colors: Alex Bleyaert
  • Story Title: Jia Part 2: Unwanted Advances
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 4, 2007

The Atom continues to struggle with the demons of his past, as he journeys back home to aid his lost love Jia.

Well, for all you Gail Simone fans, her latest script for this issue of The Atom really goes to great length to prove that bullies know no bounds. In fact it might be quite ridiculous to find the Atom dealing with a villain who still holds a grudge against him even in death, but the love/hate themes percolating from it speak volumes about the story crafted by Gail Simone.

She really knows how to tighten the screws when it counts the most, and the issue starts off with bang when Ryan faces off against the three bullies who taunted him in his youth. Of course these bullies are now essentially dead and have returned as zombies bent on taking Ryan out of the equation. Surprisingly though, Ryan has gone through a transformation of his own as he battles back as the Atom. The three foes then flee into the night, giving Ryan a chance to collect himself and head to Jia’s apartment for some answers, only what lies ahead there is an even bigger mystery that will no doubt astound the Atom even more.

Well, this script reeked of morbidity and in some ways it was quite a change from the type off kilter humor we have been accustomed to in earlier issues. The change in tone worked for me, and Gail is certainly showcasing a broader palette this time around. I also liked the spin she utilized on a clichéd idea of facing off against a childhood bully, and who would have thought she could mutate that plot device into a story filled with such mystery. If anything, the plotting here is solid and it’s nice to see Ryan filling out a bit as a character we can all grow with.

The bright spot for me beyond the stellar writing is the bristling art of Eddy Barrows. His work looked amazing throughout the issue, and I liked the panels that painted a not so pretty picture of the three bullies. In some pages they looked like rotting corpses that could force anyone with a weak stomach to retch in disgust, but that’s what I found appealing here. My only regret is that Eddie will be leaving this book shortly in favor of artist Mike Norton, but that’s not to say that his replacement isn’t worthy enough to illustrate this book. It’s just that Eddie’s style has grown on me and I like the work that he has contributed thus far. He’s going to be missed though, so I hope Mike is up for the challenge.

So again, I have nothing but high praise towards the creation of this new interpretation of the Atom. Gail’s writing is spot on and filled with off kilter humor and loaded with some of the strangest imagery to really make this title unique from its predecessor. I also think it helps to have quality artists to support the stories and so far I like what I am seeing here. It’s great that this book has found the right amount of success early enough, and now all the Atom needs to do is survive his trip back home to continue his fruitful existence in his role as superhero. I say good luck to him!

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