Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Bronze Age Captain Atom, Captain Atom, Chip Kidd, David McCaig, Dick Giordano, Doctor Spectro, George Pérez, Nightshade, Saida Temofonte, Scott Lobdell, The Ghost, The Madmen, The Question, Yishan Li
- Writer: Scott Lobdell
- Pencils & Inks: Yishan Li
- Colors: David McCaig
- Letters: Saida Temofonte
- Cover Artists: George Perez, Dick Giordano, Chip Kidd
>>>SPOILERS<<< >>>SPOILERS<<< >>>SPOILERS<<< >>>SPOILERS<<< >>>SPOILERS<<< >>>SPOILERS<<<
(You’ve been warned.)
This is what I’ve been waiting for. The Bronze Age (and “original”) Captain Atom returns in this Convergence tie-in. Cameos aside, this version of Cap hasn’t seen this much action since Americomics Special: Sentinels of Justice #1 in 1983 (yes, Cap was a prominent character in Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, but he was not sporting the white hair, red tights, and silver arms designed by Steve Ditko in 1967). And even this Captain Atom isn’t exactly the Bronze Age Cap (but close enough). While I thoroughly enjoyed his return to the printed page, I’m wondering why this issue was a Blue Beetle and not called something else (Sentinels of Justice, perhaps). Blue Beetle isn’t really the focus of the book. There’s as much Captain Atom and the Question in this as there is Blue Beetle. But that minor complaint does not make me enjoy this issue any less. I was happy with it from start to finish and am extremely pleased to see Captain Atom in any form.
The issue opens with WHUB News reporter Vic Sage (aka the Question) reporting on a terrorist attack on the already-besieged Hub City. One of the many cities domed and cut off by Telos, Hub City is at the mercy of the Madmen. The Madmen – armed to the teeth – are facing off against the National Guard (led by Captain Nathaniel Adam).
Okay, so Irritating Minutia Point #1: This version of Captain Atom’s real name is Allen Atom, not Nathaniel Adam. But they are essentially the same dude so I’ll let that one slide.
The Madmen open fire so Captain Adam’s men retaliate in kind. However, they’ve brought some more heavy weapons than the Madmen.
Vic sends his crew to upload the story and approaches Captain Adam in the aftermath of the destruction. The Madmen appear to have all been killed. Donning his Question mask, Vic says he’s not pleased with Adam’s handling of the Madmen situation, but that isn’t what he wants to talk about. He tells Adam that Ted Kord requires his help. The two part ways, with Adam not very thrilled at the prospect of hanging out with Ted.
Later, in the rooftop lab of Ted Kord at the top of Kord Industries headquarters, Ted’s assistant Tracy questions Ted about his latest “nothing burger” invention and his need to put a door in the roof of the building. Captain Adam enters (with his side-arm drawn!?!?!?) and Ted accosts him at once about the attack on the Madmen.
Ted reveals his new invention may free Hub City from the dome and wants Nate’s approval to try. Thinking back on the pile of dead Madmen, Nate says he has no objection. Ted pulls a lever and the machine fires a pink blast at the dome. It appears to not even scratch the surface. Ted collapses, sure he’s failed, but Tracy tells him to take a look at Nate.
Captain Atom has returned to full power. As the two heroes bicker over whether or not Ted should be allowed to suit up as Blue Beetle, Cap notices a bunch of swirly colors in the sky. Figuring he knows what this means, Captain Atom flies off to investigate.
Irritating Minutia Point #2: There is clearly a door in the ceiling of the room they’re in. Tracy questioned Ted about it earlier and Ted shot a pink ray at the dome through it. Why did Cap burst through a wall to exit the room? Is he just being an ass? I do like that Yishan Li drew the little sparkles around Cap, though. Haven’t seen those in a while.
Above the streets of Hub City, Cap finds Dr. Spectro blasting the dome with his colorful rays. Cap automatically (and wrongly, of course) assumes Spectro is behind the dome and demands answers. The two are interrupted by the bizarre appearance out of thin air of a costumed individual neither of them recognize.
It is Booster Gold, who does not exist in the Hub City Earth (Earth-4 for those of you keeping score). Cap assumes Booster is in league with Spectro and gives him an atomic blast. Blue Beetle, now in costume, hurries to the fight and arrives just as Booster fades away. This scene has played out before. We saw it from Booster’s perspective in Booster Gold: Futures End #1 in November 2014.
As soon as Booster vanishes, Cap loses his powers. He drops from the sky and Blue Beetle scrambles to catch him. Neither of them are concerned about Dr. Spectro, who also loses his powers and drops out of the sky. The Question appears on the rooftop with them, but neither Blue Beetle or Captain Adam are interested in what he has to say.
Thinking Hub City is falling victim to an earthquake, the three heroes jump off the roof onto Beetle’s Bug (piloted by Tracy). The building they were on transforms into Telo, who tells them they must fight the heroes of the other captive cities. The dome drops, resulting in Captain Atom’s powers returning again.
The dome drops and the heroes brace themselves for what comes next (in Convergence: Blue Beetle #2). To be continued.
We are treated with a brief history of the Charlton characters of Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, and the Question.
Yishan Li is a capable artist, perhaps not my favorite but by no means bad. I give his art an A. Scott Lobdell, I feel, did the best he could with what he had (basically this is just setting up the big fight with the Legionnaires next issue) so I give this issue an A for writing as well.
(All characters and images belong to DC Comics and I am not making any profit off these characters or images.)
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The Irredeemable Shag said:
i really really dug this issue! I didn’t plan to get it, not having read any Charlton books, but picked it up on a whim. Was thoroughly pleased! Glad to hear the Captain Atom expert enjoyed it too!!
Well, “expert” is debatable. But seeing as it came from a Firestorm expert, I’ll take it. BTW, one of the things that bugged me most about Convergence was the exclusion of at least one version of the nuclear man.
The Irredeemable Shag said:
I KNOW! A crossover involving Dan Jurgens and no Firestorm!?!? Simply criminal.
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Doctor Clu said:
Man you are right. There is like 0 Firestorm in all of this. And like 130% Blue Beetle. Anyway, what did you all think of part 2 of this?
I was more pleased with Blue Beetle #2 than I was with JLI #2. Review should go up soon. I’m still mulling it over.
The Irredeemable Shag said:
I haven’t picked up my copy of Blue Beetle #2 yet. I enjoyed JLI #2 more than JLI #1, but in general didn’t enjoy either all that much.
I liked Blue Beetle #2. I would read a Captain Atom/Blue Beetle/Question series.
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