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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good things come in small packages

A decade or so ago, DC Comics attempted a changing of the guard, including a new Green Lantern and new Green Arrow.

It didn’t stick: Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen are back as GL and GA. Now DC’s at it again, with a new, teenage Blue Beetle and a new Atom. There’s also Donna Troy as a new Wonder Woman, but it looks like that could just be temporary, plus Bart Allen taking over as the Flash, replacing Wally West, who replaced Barry Allen. Got all that?

Anyway, that’s my roundabout way of saying I’ve read the first issue of “The All-New Atom” - and I liked it. The series finds a young professor, Ryan Choi, taking over for Ray Palmer both in his academic role and in his role as the Atom. By putting someone new in control of the Atom’s size-changing equipment, we’re able to marvel at how cool - and bizarre - it would be to shrink to the size where a bathtub of water seems like the ocean and a rat poses a deadly threat. Writer Gail Simone also quickly establishes a fun, quirky supporting cast.

So I don’t mind seeing someone new in the Atom’s costume. But I do want to see Ray Palmer again, who disappeared at the end of “Identity Crisis” a couple of years ago. He could come back as Ryan’s mentor or the Justice League’s science advisor or something, but he deserves some kind of resolution.


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