Dr. Manhattan or God?
When the New 52 started this was one of those books that got me really excited.It wasn't because of Krul or Williams II but because of Captain Atom.He is a character that I have always been interested in after I saw him in Justice League Unlimited and this series was one of the must buys.I read it when it came out but decided to reread the whole series and do reviews for both volumes to share my thoughts.
J.T.Krul has always been a mixed bag for me.Some of his work is really good and I enjoy it a lot but some of his work like his Teen Titans run is just too bad for me to even mention.After I saw the previews and the interior work I was really disappointed that he has agreed for this look of Atom.He doesn't look like himself but more of a Dr. Manhattan rip off and I can't understand why he even looks like it.Is it because they tried to make him more abominal after the experiment or because they wanted him to get more attention because Dr. Manhattan has already appeared in the DC cinematic universe and fans would recognize him more easily,it will always remain a mystery for me.
The first thing I need to say is that the origin of the character isn't changed unlike some other characters from the New 52 but his appearance is majorly changed.Even though the appearance was made like that to win more fans but there were more new fans brought to the book while the old fans of the character were disgusted by this change.I myself am not a big fan of the change because I don't want my favorite characters to look like they are some stupid rip offs of other characters from the same publisher even.It would've been good if the change was only in the appearance but it isn't because even his powers are ripped off from Dr. Manhattan.The powers that we see from Atom here are all based on molecular manipulation and acting all god-ish like Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen.
With a concept like this in which the main character is considered nearly a god there are not many interesting plots that can be brought up.The most cliched and used one is to make people fear the character and that is what we get in here.We have antagonist like General Eiling who is trying to stop Captain Atom because he doesn't want to volunteer to be the next ''atomic'' bomb for America and is acting reckless.It's nothing new brought to the table and you can often get bored while reading the story.There is no main villain or a character that is supposed to be the antagonist but you can consider Eiling as a such.The other one is that other creature that has gone through the same experiment as Adam.
And that creature is a rat.And Krul again seems to be going to a ''creative'' thing to bring up to us but that isn't something you can like or enjoy.The rat doesn't get much spotlight,he only receives a couple of pages in every issue and it is the same in the 6th and last issue of this volume in which he actually attacks Eiling and Captain Atom.You can't like this rat(villain) because you just simply aren't given any reason to like him.He doesn't get enough time to do anything meaningful or cool and also he has no dialogue or even monologue,he is just there as a Captain Atom copy that didn't turn out as planned as Atom.
The artwork by Freddie E. Williams II is the best thing you receive here.And the thing that I enjoyed the most.His pages are beautiful.Williams II's artwork is a mixed bag most of the times because it can be really good but if it doesn't have a good colorist and inker it can turn out pretty bad.There are panels like that in which his style doesn't work well but most of the time the cartoony style fits the story pretty well and the Dr. Manhattan design of Captain Atom doesn't look that off putting and ugly.
This is a volume and a book that I simply wanted to enjoy and enjoyed it because of my love for the character but if I look at it from a different perspective then this is one of the worst things that has came out of the New 52.Almost nothing is changed for Captain Atom from the reboot in means of the supporting cast and characterization but the whole idea for him and powerset is completely different and off putting in my opinion.His character should have received better treatment and better series but this is what we get and it is simply bad and I can recommend it only to new fans who don't know anything about the character.