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“Captain Atom’s Secret”

  • Writer: ??? (possibly Pete Morisi)
  • Pencils/Inks: Frank McLaughlin

Thunderbolt was another of Charlton’s heroes from the 1960s.  This two-page story appeared in the back.  Despite the intriguing title, the story is basically a science lesson.  Cap tells us about Einstein’s theory that mass is a form of energy and energy cannot be created or destroyed. He tells us that Enrico Fermi bombarded uranium with neutrons to produce an atomic reaction.  He tells us about the first atomic bomb used in warfare in Hiroshima and that atomic energy was used to power submarines and merchant ships.  Not to mention, of course, the first nuclear-powered man, Captain Atom, “performing mightily in his Charlton comic… now on sale at your newsstand!”

McLaughlin’s take on the Captain is nice (he missed Cap’s chest symbol in the first panel).  There really wasn’t anything for Cap to do in this issue. I’d like to think Captain Atom’s inclusion in this book was to help boost Thunderbolt’s sales or something, but they made no mention of his appearance on the cover.

The story is what it is — just facts — so I give it a D.  The art was pretty good but nothing fantastic, maybe a C+.  Overall, “Captain Atom’s Secret” is a C.

This “universe” was absorbed into DC Comics’ Multiverse when the Charlton characters were purchased by DC (including Peter Cannon).  This universe became Earth-4.