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“Mission Creep”The_Fall_and_Rise_of_Captain_Atom_Vol_1_6

  • Writers: Cary Bates, Greg Weisman
  • Pencils & Inks: Will Conrad
  • Colors: Ivan Nunes
  • Letters: Saida Temofonte
  • Editors: Jim Chadwick, Kristy Quinn
  • Cover Artist: Anna Dittmann

Time to rip off the band-aid and dive into the last issue of this mini-series. At first I put off covering this one because I wanted to see where Captain Atom went next (nowhere as it turned out). Then I just kind of forgot about it. For about four years. If you want to hear my initial thoughts on the issue, listen to this episode of my podcast. For the purposes of this blog, I will not relisten to the episode and do this fresh. Is that cool with all my reader?

This story opens with Mr. Thrane approaching an abandoned car in a desolate valley in 2008. There he finds a dossier and a video message from Eiling. Thrane’s target is Flip Kovic, a terrorist-for-hire that the US government hasn’t had any luck taking down. Eiling reports Kovic is somewhere in the United States before doing a quick and awkward Liam Neeson impression.

Eiling gives Thrane the number of a third party who is brokering a deal with Kovic and informs him half his fee has been transferred to his Cayman Island account. As Thrane strolls away from the vehicle it explodes.

In present day (2017), Captain Atom is at Eiling’s house warning him that Thrane now has a kill list and Eiling is on it. When they were fighting in the quantum field, Atom and Thrane merged minds and Nate saw Eiling hiring the killer in 2008. He tells the General to cut the crap and be straight. Eiling finally comes clean and says he hired Max Thrane to take out Kovic, which he did by feeding the man to alligators in the Everglades. He says he is the one who flipped on Thrane. Atom pulls a Batman and leaves the General in mid-sentence while his back is turned.

The next morning, Nate is at his wife’s grave. He tells her he has met his son Genji and understands why he hates his deadbeat disappearing dad. We then cut to a news report where the broadcaster states that if he really wants the public to accept him, Captain Atom needs to bring in Ultramax.

Ultramax has sent Captain Atom and General Eiling an ultimatum. Present themselves to him or he kills Genji, whom he has kidnapped. Turns out Max learned some secrets himself when he and Nate merged minds. He wants Nate and Eiling alone at dawn in the same valley from 2008. If anyone else shows up, Max will kill Genji.

Megala and Eiling think they might have a chance against Ultramax with the special ammo they’ve developed, lead-lined explosive uranium bullets. Apparently they were created to take down Nate in his previously unstable form.

The next morning, Cap and Eiling arrive at the meeting point. Max releases Genji as Atom releases Eiling. As they pass each other, Eiling whispers to the kid to watch for his signal. He whips out his gun and tires as Captain Atom swoops in and flies his son to safety. Of course the special ammo doesn’t work. It just pisses Max off.

Captain Atom flies in and deflects Ultramax’s attack. Max says after he killed the General he was going to come after Atom and Genji anyway. Nate unleashes quantum hell on Max while protecting Eiling from Max’s attack.

Eiking tells Nate to leave him and save his son. Nate wasn’t born yesterday though. He has figured out what Project Resurgence is and why the military was keeping close tabs on Genji and keeping Nate away from his son.

Reflecting Ultramax’s power back at him knocks the psycho out. Genji comes out of hiding and joins Eiling and Nate. Genji shakes Captain Atom’s hand before Nate gathers up Max and flies him to seek medical attention.

Very early the next morning, Megala meets with Eiling back at the base. According to their surveillance, Genji actually absorbed a bit of Max’s power, which should have killed him. It looks like Genji just might actually be a Captain Atom Junior.

Back at his wife’s grave, Nate gets a final message from his whistle blower. It is, of course, Dr. Megala. He doesn’t tip Nate off about Genji’s possible powers though. The issue and mini-series ends with the Justice League in the Watchtower viewing a news report stating that the public now has trust in Captain Atom.

As of this writing, it has been about four years since this book was published. The next time we saw a Captain Atom, he was back in his old silver skin with boots and gloves. His old ’80s look. He did not join the Justice League, and we never learned what became of his son. If we ever get another series written by this team, I’m sure all these questions will be answered.

I absolutely love this book. I think the writing was excellent, and it was some of the best art in a Captain Atom series I have ever seen. No offense intended to the legendary Pat Broderick. I give this book and the series a solid A.

Edit: After I wrote this, I listened to the episode of my podcast where I discussed this issue. Apparently at the time I was not impressed at all with this one. I have no idea why my opinion changed over the course of the last four years.