J.T. Krul Sets the Stage for Captain Atom

Posted by G-Man (37025 posts) - - Show Bio

Captain Atom is a character we don't see a lot of. It's like he shows up every once in a while but lately he hasn't had too much of a major presence in the DC Universe. All that is about to change.

J.T. Krul, who recently talked to us about the upcoming Green Arrow relaunch, is bringing Captain Atom to the front of the stage with the ongoing title as part of "The New 52" in September. We asked J.T. a few questions to find out what we can expect from this hero.

Comic Vine: What was it specifically about Captain Atom that made you jump at the chance to write him?

J.T. Krul: The thing that appealed to me most was the tone and feel of the book. This isn't like anything else I've written. We're really delving into some heavy topics and dealing with a character whose powers are virtually limitless. I've worked with characters struggling to have the means to get the job done, but in this regard, he's got all the powers at his disposal. And that might be part of the problem. Plus, there is this sense of isolation to the character that I'm drawn to. He's a total outsider - a stranger in a strange land even though he is (or used to be) one of us.

That made me jump at the case to write the book, but what's proved to be the best part about the book is working with Freddie Williams II. It's been an amazing experience to build this world together - absolutely one of the most collaborative projects I've ever worked on. And, his art is simply stunning. I think he really was born to draw this book.

CV: What sort of threats/villains will he deal with?

JTK: With a character like Captain Atom, the threats have to be a bit different. This isn't a normal superhero book. There is a creepy sci-fi feel to the tone, especially as we start to introduce a new threat in the first issue that will exemplify the notion that things are not always what they seem. At the same time, Captain Atom's powers themselves will also prove troublesome as our hero grapples with the ramifications of everything he can do.

== TEASER ==

CV: Does he have a set base of operations or will he go where he's needed?

JTK: The scope of Captain Atom is as limitless as his powers. As he sees what he can do, he'll be asking himself - where is he needed most? And that question will see him traveling across the globe and perhaps beyond, but he'll also have a place of comfort if not a place to call home in a place called the Continuum - an advanced research facility operated by the man responsible for his accident - Dr. Megala.

CV: What about a supporting cast? What does Captain Atom do when not in action?

JTK: In addition to Dr. Megala, there are a few other people at the Continuum that will play roles in Captain Atom's story, including Dr. Ranita Carter - a woman who proves to be something of a link to the human world that Captain Atom is beginning to lose touch with due to his extreme powers. But in his current state, having and developing reall connections to other people is going to be problematic to say the least. That's not to say he won't be out in the world. In fact, he'll have a very real impact on many people within the first few issues, but not exactly a saving-the-day kind of moment.

CV: What sort of interaction will Captain Atom have with the other heroes? Do they know who he is? Do they want anything to do with him? Will they go out for a beer with him?

JTK: The world view towards "superheroes" in general is rather precarious. Most of society isn't sure that they like the idea of masked individuals operating beyond the scope of the law.

For Captain Atom, it's even worse because the very nature of his abilities is unsettling - many view him as the world's greatest loose cannon, a walking nuclear bomb. And, that mindset carries over to the heroes themselves. Hell, even Captain Atom wonders about his stability. There is a guest appearance in Issue #3 that we are really excited about - one that shows two heroes in a way that we don't always get to see them in.

Be sure to check out Captain Atom #1 on sale September 21.

#1 Posted by Golden Cod (430 posts) - - Show Bio

So they're going to make him more like Alan Moore's version of him: Dr. Manhattan.   There's something beautifully ironic in that.

#2 Posted by Benzo (621 posts) - - Show Bio

I am actually quite tempted to get this. I always wanted a Captain Atom book. 

#3 Posted by mbsprime (2 posts) - - Show Bio

I've had this book on my New 52 list since day one. Don't know why exactly. I guess I've always been intrigued by the Captain Atom concept. And the more I hear from JT Krul, the more sure I become of picking this up.

#4 Edited by Dernman (15266 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm trying to give the new Dr Manhattan book a chance before judging.

#5 Posted by snowtires (28 posts) - - Show Bio

This sounds like what they tried to do with the Mr. Majestic series. 

#6 Posted by The Stegman (25166 posts) - - Show Bio

ugh i'm so on the fence about this book, one day i think i'm definitely getting it, other days it's less appealing..

#7 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio
@Golden Cod said:
So they're going to make him more like Alan Moore's version of him: Dr. Manhattan.   There's something beautifully ironic in that.

Yeah, this. And that's why I'm not buying the argument that the nDCU is somehow a "post-Alan Moore" DC universe just because they're rolling back Swamp Thing as human and making Babs Batgirl again. DC will be banking off of the Moore stuff forever. 
  
 
---
Honestly, I like this direction, I just hope they don't drop the personality and "punching" fighting style we're used to with Atom. At least, not entirely. I only know the character through JLI, but I like him there. I'm just really torn because I'm also really excited by the idea of an honest sci-fi book that's not, well, superhero adventure in space. I want them to explore some of the transhumanist themes and the like, which is normally something you'd only see in the fringe books like Doom Patrol (e.g., Robotman) or in some of the older, weirder Green Lantern stuff (e.g., Mogo, the F-Sharp Bell Corps).
#8 Posted by Bestostero (5618 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll definitely pick this up since Captain Atom is one of my favorites!

#9 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, I'm finding the Alan Moore/Dr. Manhattan interpretation here ironic myself considering the latter was inspired by Nathaniel Adam in the first place.  At any rate, one theme I'm seeing among all the New 52 is that this is a world now where superheroes aren't so much celebrated and where popular opinion toward them is ambiguous at best.  And that is exemplified in this title as well.  Makes me wonder if DCU is going with a more "Marvel route" in dealing with superheroes relations with the public.

#10 Posted by LordRequiem (1322 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not struck on the new look, his hair (or whatever that tuft is on the top of his head) makes him seem like a boyband member.

#11 Posted by the creator (8577 posts) - - Show Bio

So basically they are making Captain Atom far more like Dr Manhattan, which is ironic as Dr Manhattan was based on the original Captain Atom. 
 
Even Krul's comments indicate a shift in the Captain's personality and world view to one that is closer to what Dr Manhattan displayed, 
 
"including Dr. Ranita Carter - a woman who proves to be something of a link to the human world that Captain Atom is beginning to lose touch with due to his extreme powers. But in his current state, having and developing real connections to other people is going to be problematic to say the least."
#12 Posted by sesquipedalophobe (4769 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm surprised no one has called him Dr Atom or Dratom Mancaphattantain.

#13 Posted by Green ankh (998 posts) - - Show Bio

I am looking forward to this book very much.  I have always been a fan of Cap Atom and to see him back in his title is great news.
#14 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (34016 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it wrong that I'm really exited for this?

#15 Posted by difficlus (10679 posts) - - Show Bio
@the creator said:

So basically they are making Captain Atom far more like Dr Manhattan, which is ironic as Dr Manhattan was based on the original Captain Atom. 
 
Even Krul's comments indicate a shift in the Captain's personality and world view to one that is closer to what Dr Manhattan displayed, 
 
"including Dr. Ranita Carter - a woman who proves to be something of a link to the human world that Captain Atom is beginning to lose touch with due to his extreme powers. But in his current state, having and developing real connections to other people is going to be problematic to say the least."
pretty much. 
And yay you're back!!
#16 Posted by Scodiac (38 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87 said:

Is it wrong that I'm really exited for this?

Not at all! I'm looking forward to this series too. I'm really interested in Captain Atom as a character. The creative team seems to be excited as well. Hopefully, it will be a great comic.

#17 Posted by tensor (4707 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't wait

#18 Posted by The Impersonator (5564 posts) - - Show Bio

I would go out for a beer with Captain Atom.

#19 Posted by DoomDoomDoom (4252 posts) - - Show Bio
@sesquipedalophobe said:

I'm surprised no one has called him Dr Atom or Dratom Mancaphattantain.

What a mouthful haha.
#20 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always been interested in Captain Atom I just never could find any books with him that I thought were interesting (all that Monarch stuff just wasn't for me). but now, especially after seeing the cover for the november issue, this is a sure thing for me

#21 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

I want DC to explain the hair. It is ridiculous. It's wider than a mohawk but narrower than a high-and-tight. Nobody can take this character seriously with that hairstyle. It's like If Superman had a giant Hello Kitty instead of an S, his powers and story don't matter because nobody is paying attention to that.

#22 Posted by Grand_Supremor (47 posts) - - Show Bio

So I guess DC's Sentry. Tons of energy powers and mental problems, just great............
#23 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

This just made me wanna buy captain atom. AWESOME~

#24 Edited by DCVibe (37 posts) - - Show Bio

There are a few things that come to mind regarding the new series:

1. I am looking forward towards seeing a Dr. Megala again. I think he is a great character for Captain Atom series. I hope they keep him the same in regards to having caught the radiation that made him paralyzed. He better have Babylon with him as well. If they make him a villain then I will know for a fact  that the series is going the wrong way.
 
2. I also hope that General Eiling is part of Captain Atom's story, it's just two characters (him and Megala) that have to be in Captain Atom stories.

3. The look is not working for me. I understand that he is practically a nuclear bomb but the thing that made him great in his 1980s series was that he was trying to find a way to find his identity especially after he is not in his correct time. The sci-fi tone is okay I just don't want the theme to be lost. I prefer him with his blue boots and red gloves.
 
4. Will Plastique be part of Captain Atom's life and love interest or has Dr. Ranita Carter taken that spot? Hopefully Plastique will appear, doesn't have to be love interest but at least have some part of his life.
 
5. I notice that J.T. Krul said that the threats will have to be different but I thought the villains he had in the 1980s comics were good especially Major Force and the Ghost.
 
6. Will any of the Monarch story be part of this new series. I know a lot of people hated Monarch but I think it was a great idea but just was not done right. I mean this is a person who went through the Quantum Field, comes back about 20 years later and has to live with this new side of him. Once he thought he had it all figured out, he gets slapped in the face by Monarch who revealed to be the real Nathaniel but with a now twisted mind because he has been stuck in Quantum Field this whole time. It brings back the idea of his true identity which is, to me, a key part of Captain Atom's stories.
 
7. Will the origin be the same with him being transported 20 years later with his wife dead and kids all grown up? I hope so.

#25 Posted by IamKryptonite (42 posts) - - Show Bio

I really can't wait to pick up Captain Atom. I'm intrigued by some of the less prominent characters to get their own titles. I know Mr. Terrific was in JSA but i'm kinda stoked to see what direction he will be taking aswell.

#26 Posted by DEGRAAF (7898 posts) - - Show Bio

Dr. Manhattan was my favorite character from Watchmen (minus his genitals all hanging out)

I think it's a great idea making Captain Atom more like him and this makes me really excited to see it. I would love to see how the DCU character react to a human being with the abilities that Dr. Manhattan had.

#27 Posted by Decept-O (7280 posts) - - Show Bio

This I will check out. Sounds great, great character and the story premise is interesting, if not a bit vague but enough to get me to check it out.

#28 Posted by BransonHuggins (97 posts) - - Show Bio
JTK: The world view towards "superheroes" in general is rather precarious. Most of society isn't sure that they like the idea of masked individuals operating beyond the scope of the law.
 
We saw what marvel did with Civil War and said screw it, that's what we are doing.  Come on DC, I like you, but seriously, all of you guys need to start thinking of new things to do.  Instead of rehashing the same old same old constantly. 
#29 Posted by positronic (42 posts) - - Show Bio
@RedheadedAtrocitus said:
Yes, I'm finding the Alan Moore/Dr. Manhattan interpretation here ironic myself considering the latter was inspired by Nathaniel Adam in the first place.   
 
AND Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom. It's not generally acknowledged, but look at the origins of both. They're both nuclear physicists, whereas Captain Atom is a military officer.

At any rate, one theme I'm seeing among all the New 52 is that this is a world now where superheroes aren't so much celebrated and where popular opinion toward them is ambiguous at best.  And that is exemplified in this title as well.  Makes me wonder if DCU is going with a more "Marvel route" in dealing with superheroes relations with the public.
DC Civil War???  ...And the Marvel route of superhero relations with the public is essentially "Watchmen lite".
#30 Posted by slick23 (460 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh sounds very interesting! I think I'll pick this up after 2-3 issues :)

#31 Posted by SuperXAsh (512 posts) - - Show Bio

oh geez... this is going to make Mr. Moore bellyache some more. 
 
So they couldn't come up with ANYTHING new for Captain Atom, so they gotta go rip off an almost thirty year old story.

#32 Posted by Thorion88 (310 posts) - - Show Bio
@DEGRAAF said:

Dr. Manhattan was my favorite character from Watchmen (minus his genitals all hanging out)

I think it's a great idea making Captain Atom more like him and this makes me really excited to see it. I would love to see how the DCU character react to a human being with the abilities that Dr. Manhattan had.

Honestly, if they wanted Dr. Manhattan in the DCnU why not just use him rather than making another character like him?
 
Sorry, but I like Captain Atom just fine. This just proves how fairly unimaginative comics are becoming if they have to rip-off a story from close to 30 years ago.
#33 Posted by Static Shock (47329 posts) - - Show Bio

Absolutely no comment...

#34 Posted by davidgrantlloyd (356 posts) - - Show Bio

I think I might check this title out.
 
I know it sounds a lot like what Moore did with Dr Manhattan (who was obviously based on Captain Atom) but that's what intrigues me: to explore in greater depth and detail the confronting angles this character has.

#35 Posted by IamKryptonite (42 posts) - - Show Bio
@Static Shock: But you did comment....
#36 Posted by Static Shock (47329 posts) - - Show Bio

@IamKryptonite said:

@Static Shock: But you did comment....

No comment in reference to the drastic changes being made to one of my favorite characters. You knew what I meant.

#37 Posted by DEGRAAF (7898 posts) - - Show Bio
@Thorion88
yea but Dr. Manhattan was supposedly based off Captain Atom to begin with so really they are kind of basing him off of an old version of himself and looking at him in a different way similar to how they looked at Dr. Manhattan. The writers of Dr. Manhattan realized that the creators of Captain Atom thought to small or were to worried about getting their character to be relate able.
#38 Posted by GT-Man (4054 posts) - - Show Bio

freaccckyyyy
#39 Posted by GT-Man (4054 posts) - - Show Bio

Nah jk this looks AWESOME!

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