Thursday, 29 December 2016
Space Adventures ft Captain Atom (Charlton/1978)
One of Charlton Comics more successful and best known characters was Captain Atom originally introduced in Space Adventures #33 (March 1960). This came at a time when the superhero genre was beginning to stir once more but the Marvel revolution in which the good captain's artist Steve Ditko was to play a major role.
My own introduction to Captain Atom came not through Charlton but the black & white reprints featured in Alan Class comics. Can't remember which after all these years, but certainly had never seen the origin story before picking up some delightful reprints of Captain Atoms's early adventures in a reprint form also published as Space Adventures.
These are in fact very cheap and affordable comics worth picking up if you are a fan of Captain Atom or just Steve Ditko who drew all the stories published in this four issue run.
All the stories are short with no room for character development and are very much anti-communist stories from the cold war since Captain Atom spends much of his time blowing up foreign powers nuclear weapons, though there is the odd alien encounter....
Captain Atom went into hiatus for a while until revived as part of the short lived "Action Heroes Line" when Charlton attempted (unsuccessfully) to cash in on the superhero boom of the mid sixties.
Other than an appearance in Charlton Bullseye and short lived revival under the Americomics imprint, the Captain had to wait until DC comics purchased the rights to Charlton's superheroes where he was to get his own book with a fairly long run.
The Charlton heroes of course were the template Alan Moore used for the seminal Watchmen comic. Captain Atom became Dr Manhattan.