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Monday, 8 July 2019

Captain Atom 31 - to Russia with Rocket Red

Captain Atom heads to Russia with Rocket Red in the Bates, Weisman, Kayanan, and Tanghal tale from Captain Atom 31 (July 1989).

As this issue begins, we see that Captain Atom is still spying on the League for the government, although he is trying to give Eiling as little useful information as he can. Even so, considering that he is the leader of Justice League Europe, this is bad form. He ranks the various members of the team according to their potential threat level. Wonder Woman, Metamorpho, Elongated Man and Animal Man are all ranked green. Captain Atom considers the Flash a bit too greedy, with a potential for taking bribes, and classifies him as yellow. Power Girl's temper and independent attitude make him rank her as an orange. Only Rocket Red, the Russian, is considered a red threat. Which, I suppose, is appropriate given his name.

Catherine Corbet also gets a small role in the story, informing Captain Atom that the League cannot take action, after Rocket Red asks them to help him with some Russian Rocket Reds who have gone rogue. Rogue Russian Rocket Reds. That's what I should have called this one!

These guys are still wearing the normal Rocket Red armour, not Dmitri's Apokoliptian suit, so they are not as powerful as either him or Atom. Captain Atom goes along with Dmitri to Russia, but is expecting this all to be a trap. It's really only when he sees Dmitri risking his life, and fighting his former friends to the death, that he accepts the situation is what is appears to be. By then it's a bit too late, as he gets knocked out, and Dmitri has to take Atom to the Justice League embassy in Moscow.

They managed to defeat two of the three rogues, but the last one has captured Dmitri's wife and kids. Captain Atom wakes and learns about this, and races to rescue them before the last of the rogues can kill Dmitri.

He succeeds, and they defeat the last of the bad Reds. The story ends with Captain Atom apologizing to Rocket Red, though he won't explain why. Not a bad story. Nice to see how Justice League Europe is being integrated into the book.

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