Search This Blog

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Captain Atom 50 - the final battle against the Ghost

Bates, Weisman, and Kayanan end their run on Captain Atom with issue 50 (Feb 91). Tanghal does a few more issues of the book. This is a big double sized blowout finale, bringing all the various plot threads of the series together. In a lot of ways, this is the real ending for the series as well.

The Ghost assembles his forces as this issue begins, and it's pretty impressive. As well as his large cult following, he has Ironfire and the Cambodian, as well as Hedley, his mole in Eiling's project.

Hedley is keeping tabs on what General Eiling and his people are doing. Nathaniel Adam joins in a discussion about the missing Babylon and Jeff Goslin. Dr Megala complains that no one cares that Babylon is missing, even though they obviously do. Still, this doesn't make sense. When Babylon was taken, the story was vague as to whether Megala was kidnapped as well. Then Kobra used a Megala lookalike to try to convince Eiling and crew that he was dead. So that pretty much implied that Megala had been kidnapped. And yet, here he is alive and well. So he wasn't kidnapped. Which makes me wonder why they ever thought that he was. Poor continuity, but the only big flaw in the story.

I love the floral edging to the pages that show the marriage of Randy Eiling and Theresa Delgado. This gets intercut with Babylon showing up to attack Megala at his lab. Jeff Goslin and one of the Ghost's people show up at the wedding. They are meant to attack during the ceremony, but Jeff never got broken, and he turns on his "partner," shooting her as she shoots him.

Babylon also manages to break free of his conditioning, unable to kill the man he has looked after for so many years. On top of that, we find out that Starshine Stone has been working undercover as one of the Ghost's minions. After the attack on Jeff, more of the Ghost's people were coming, so she disguised herself as the one that got shot. She became Jeff's handler, and kept him fed and sane all this time. The two have now fallen in love.

Eiling is furious about the attack on the wedding, and goes to confront the Ghost about it. The Ghost doesn't care. He no longer needs Eiling as a partner, and now considers him someone to get rid of.

So Eiling joins the crew preparing to attack the Ghost at his base. He gets Sarge Steel to arrange with Reagan to have Plastique pardoned so that she can take part as well. She and Captain Atom spend some hot time together before heading into battle. The Black Racer looms ominously.

Captain Atom arranges with members of the Justice League to watch over the various friends and loved ones. Metamorpho, Rocket Red, Flash, Power Girl, Martian Manhunter, Blue Beetle, Batman, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny and Crimson Fox all make camoes during this bit, but the best is Clark Kent working alongside Peggy Eiling, in a totally casual way.

Then it's time for the big battle. Enough pages are devoted to it to give everyone a chance to shine. The Red Tornado was secretly brought along, though he goes into action pretty quickly.

Hedley reveals himself to be one of the Ghost's operatives, and joins the fight in his new DrSpectro gear.

Plastique defeats the Cambodian, tricking him into removing his armour by making him think she has dropped an explosive into it. Randy Eiling gets to take down the new Dr Spectro, after deducing that the real one's hair is moving in the breeze, unlike all the illusions.

But it's Dr Megala who defeats the Ghost, severing his connection to the quantum field. Without this, there is nothing giving him energy, nothing to keep him alive, and he dies right in front of Captain Atom. Somehow this also affects Ironfire, who freezes in place, and is unable to move. Sadly, this also pushed Megala beyond what his body can withstand, and he dies as well.

Megala's death will set off the satellite with his message, so Captain Atom is sent on tv to make Megala look like a villain and get a jump on the story. As it turns out, the message reveals nothing, it's just an insult to Eiling.

But Captain Atom has had enough of the lies. He chooses to keep talking, and reveals the truth about himself and his deception to the public. 

Eiling is furious, and puts some new plans into action, though I am not sure we ever learn about what those are. Nathaniel Adam proposes to Plastique again, and this time she accepts. A great resolution, which does leave enough open for any other writer to follow up on. But as it turned out, the series heads in other directions.

No comments:

Post a Comment