The Fall And Rise Of Captain Atom #5 Is Veering Off A Cliff

Written by: Cary Bates and Greg Weisman

Art by: Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes

Cover by: Paul Davey and Steve Rude

Release: 5/3/2017

Issue: 5

Publisher: DC Comics

Captain Atom faces off with his “Reverse-Flash” named Ultramax.  Atom also spends time with his son.

Ultramax was a money-for-hire hitman in his past life.  He was turned on by a former client, but he doesn’t know who.  Ultramax decides to kill all his former clients just to be safe.

Atom discovered he has a son in the previous issue and he devises a plan to see him and spend time with him.  His son, Genji, is looking to join the JROTC, so Atom poses as a JROTC rep.  Atom takes Genji out to an air base and flies in a F-16.

These scenes between the two are kinda nice, but Genji is still a too-cool-for-school teenager which is funny.  Atom is flying at mach 2 trying to impress him.

When Atom has lunch with Genji he learns about when the family was like after he was sucked back into the future.

This series had been really good in previous issues.  All the time travel stuff with how the time works and the butterfly effect.  It was a really interesting tale of time travel which happened to be set in the DC Universe.

In earlier issues the reader also got some a really good story of redemption.  After Atom exploded and killed some people it was interesting to see him come back from that.  He wanted to take the blame and receive the punishment for what he had done.  However, he decided to assume the new identity so he could spend time with his son.  I really enjoyed that aspect as well.

In the last two issues and especially in this issue the comic has really gone in the wrong direction.  The comic has left most of the time travel stuff and focused on the superhero aspect.  Atom is a generic shiny guy which is not great but ok I can accept that.  However, the villain Ultramax is another generic shiny guy.  

I have a problem with this for two reasons.  The first is it is lazy to just re-skin the hero and make that the villain.  Give the villain its own look and personality and not just copy off the hero.

My second issue is that I got confused who was who.  When Ultramax first started killing his former clients I was wondering why Captain Atom was doing that.  When a comic doesn’t have distinct characters and it leads to confusion it takes away from the comic.

This is issue five out of six and it is probably too late to recover from the tailspin it is heading down.  It is a real shame because the series started really strong.

I have my fingers crossed this series can end somewhat strong and be closer to how it began.


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