“Captain Atom Goes to War”
Written by Cary Bates & Greg Weisman ° Pencils by Pat Broderick ° Inks by Bob Smith ° Letterer: Carrie Spiegle ° Colors by Shelley Eiber ° Editors: Denny O’Neil & Dan Raspler
Well, Nate has gone off the rails in some Central American country (we never learned where he actually was last issue). He has taken the law into his own hands in an attempt to stop a civil war and created an embarrassment for his own country. Meanwhile, Wade Eiling pays a visit to Amanda Waller to find out who authorized her to send Nightshade out after Captain Atom. Waller politely shows the General the door.
Down south, Nate is melting choppers left and right but sparing the operators. He’s only after the weapons. It seems a military man like him would realize there’s always more weapons. Burn them all and people will just use their hands, Nate.
En route, Nightshade (Eve) is being briefed by Waller and thinking to herself she would have jumped at this opportunity regardless. Seems Eve is still carrying a torch for Adam. Back in New York, a frustrated Maxwell Lord fields multiple calls about his rogue Justice Leaguer. Nate, meanwhile, continues to melt tanks and piss everybody off.
Back at the base camp, Nate tries to convince his fellow soldiers that maybe what Captain Atom is doing is right but they won’t hear it. How have they not out two and two together? This white haired pinko shows up in X country the same time Captain Atom shows up and starts melting helicopters and they can’t see they are the same guy? While sitting watch for the night, Cap is knocked out and dragged off by Plastique. The next morning his fellow soldiers are none too concerned as they break camp and move on.
When he wakes up, Nate finds Bette has fitted him with a special collar. If he tries to change into Captain Atom, the explosive will take his head off. She’s also unbuttoned his shirt, but that was really just for her.
In an effort to try and convince Plastique they can make a difference, Nate leads her to a pit where he has melted the government’s and the rebel’s stolen arsenals. Bette did not realize he had been disarming both sides. Back home, Eiling and Allard have realized the same thing. Wade says Nate is in for a rude awakening.
Back down south, Nate asks Bette if she’ll give him give days to sort this war out. But whatever will they do for those give days?
Sly old Nate seduced Bette in an attempt to lift the key to the collar off of her. But she’s too quick for him and ends up pinning him down. Just then darkness falls, but it isn’t a natural darkness. Nightshade has arrived. Realizing there is no way to fight her in the dark (Eve’s turf), Plastique unlocks the collar and Captain Atom brings in the light.
The women begin to scrap, but Nate interferes. He says he’s out to stop all conflict in the country, not just the war but also between Eve and Bette. But before anyone can do any real damage, the trip smells something burning and discover a nearby village in flames. Without their weapons, the soldiers have resorted to using torches. As Adam and Eve watch the locals have at each other with whatever they can get their hands on, Bette slips away.
Nate finally realizes there is no way he can stop this war. He gathers up Nightshade and they fly home.
Overall, I liked this little two-parter. This is the kind of stuff Captain Atom was getting into in his Charlton days, so it was only fitting Nightshade was along for the ride. Only, in those days, he would have solved the problem and not accepted defeat. But this ain’t your grandpa’s Captain Atom. A well-crafted story and great art. Broderick and Smith are a dream team. A.