Action Comics Weekly #627 (Green Lantern)
“And Now… Captain Atom”
Writer/Co-Plot – James Owsley
Pencils/Co-Plot – M.D. Bright
Inks – Romeo Tanghal
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil
Check out the cover… Nightwing’s back! Not only that, he’s brought Speedy back with him (again). Not only that… that, but they’re going to take up the entire back-third of the issue! Gotta wonder how something like that happened?
If I had to make a guess… and I don’t, but I will… I’m gonna say that Starman one-shot back in ACW #622 threw a bit of a wrench into the lineup. It pushed Deadman back a week (remember, the cover to ACW #625 claimed that “Deadman wraps it up” or whatever), so he actually wrapped up the following week with Shazam!. I’d guess that the Nightwing & Speedy feature was actually supposed to start last week!
Speaking of the newbies, I had to get “creative” (well, as creative as my freebie image editing program allows) with the “trade dress” for their shared feature. I figure we’ll alternate these two pieces:
What does any of this have to do with today’s Green Lantern feature? Well, to be honest, not a damn thing… I’m just not all that excited for it!
With all that said, though… let’s get into it! Enter: Captain Atom!
We open with Captain Atom arriving at Big Trees. Turns out the sensors at the Justice League International Embassy picked up some strange hoo-doo, and so, he’s come to look into it. This was during the time where Nate was leading the Justice League Europe, in case you was unawares. Cap happens across… why, that’s Randy Violence! He’s the star of Much Blood Part II! What’s he doing in the middle of the woods chopping lumber?! Our man tries to get the actor’s attention… and winds up getting eye-beamed for his troubles.
We shift scenes to an unspecified Los Angeles highway, where Hal Jordan is riding shotgun in his “best friend” Chip’s car. Now, that’s “Chip” not “Ch’p”… just so we’re clear. Though, the latter would almost certainly be more interesting. Anyhoo, Hal’s lost in his thoughts, patting himself on the back for helping out that strange alien visitor last issue… and decides to check in on him/her/it before he/she/it leaves.
Upon arrival in Big Trees, Green Lantern is whizzed past by Captain Atom… who, by this point, has been repeatedly eye-beamed across the forest by Randy Violence. What was that “definition of insanity” again? Gonna have to pop onto social media for a refresher on that!
Atom notices the arrival of his fellow “good guy” and asks Hal what their next “move” is. Hal informs him that there ain’t gonna be a next “move”, and instead heads over to Randy Violence and shakes his hand. Must be a big Much Blood fan… you can always tell the Much Blood fans. Nate ain’t digging the looks of any of this… though, he also hasn’t the foggiest idea what’s going on.
He then comes to the conclusion that Green Lantern was swervin’ him (bro) when he said he didn’t have a “move”. Ya see, Atom is now certain that Hal’s only playing nice as a distractionary tactic… and so, he does what any superhero would do in this same situation: Waits for Hal and Randy to step away from the spacecraft/shrine (that’s Bethel if’n ya recall), and then dramatically blows the thing to pieces! And remember… this guy runs a branch of the JLI!
We wrap up with the heroes getting in each other’s faces… ya might wanna get used to that, because we’re going to be in for a lot more over the next few weeks!
I might have led with the pessimism too soon… because this installment isn’t all that bad. It sets up our conflict… and, for once, it kind of depicts Hal as a sort of tactician! Ya see, he was “playing nice” because he saw his alien pal as getting ready to leave Earth forever. It’s only because of Captain Atom’s hotheadedness (and inability to “read” a situation) that “Randy Violence” has a reason (no choice really) to stick around!
Now, that scene we closed with? The one with Hal and Nate up in each other’s faces debating their methodologies? That’s going to get old… real fast. This is coming from a guy who likes both characters too. I just don’t think Atom is used as best as he could have been here.
I’m not sure what Priest’s politics are, and I don’t want to know… though, I suppose I could hazard a guess. With Captain Atom going full “nuclear option” on Bethel, part of me wonders if this is an attempt at commentary on where the world was back in ye old 1988? I dunno… just seems weird for Captain Atom to act just so foolishly and thoughtlessly here. I’m not a fan of strawmen from either side… and can’t shake the feeling that Nate is being built up as one here.
Overall though, not a bad chapter… one I’d recommend checking out, if not for the rest of the story that’s gonna follow! Worth saying, M.D. Bright’s art is especially nice here.
Tomorrow: Mockingbird… unmasked (with his back to the camera)!!!!