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Thursday, 11 July 2019

Captain Atom 51 - Pops


Kelley Puckett, Colleen Doran, and Terry Austin step in for Captain Atom 51 (March 1991), a one shot tale that actually has very little to do with the title character.


The very start of the story picks up on the previous issue. Captain Atom is at the Justice League Europe headquarters and finds himself besieged by reporters, wanting more information about the cover up and the truth behind his creation. Captain Atom sacrifices Catherine Corbet, making her face the mob. You can't help but think this is payback for her turning him down a few issues before. 


But the focus of the story is on Pops, the character on the cover, and his son and daughter in law. They live in a heavy crime neighbourhood. Pops keeps out of things, but the son publicly stands up to the hoods menacing the people, and becomes a hero to them. The gang boss will not have this, and orders the man attacked.


The guy gets kidnapped, and his wife gets beaten. Pops is still reluctant to take action. We find out that he developed powers in childhood, which he used to fight off some bullies, and wound up killing them. Since then, he has sworn never to use them again.


But with his son missing, the man watches another interview with Captain Atom, in which the hero talks about the lies he told, and the way he betrayed people. He cannot change what he did in the past, but can put it behind him, and act as a hero from now on.


So that energizes Pops, who goes to save his son. Turns out the guy is immensely powerful. This could well have been a character worth seeing again, but we never did.

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