I think it’s only appropriate that a series about a nuclear-powered superhero should deal so much with fallout. Not always the literal kind, of course, but that’s what the whole “Quantum Mechanic” story arc has been about: Dealing with the fallout of Nathaniel Adam’s horrific accident. Hopefully, THE FALL AND RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM #5 will stay this course.

Last issue, we saw Adam reintroduced to the world (under an alias) as the new Captain Atom. His primary mission: to convince the world that though he uses the same name, he is nowhere near as unstable or dangerous as the first Captain Atom. His first real task is to deal with one tragedy of his fall. Max Thrane was a killer, condemned to die for his crimes when Captain Atom’s explosion caused him to be frozen in time in a quantum field. Adam attempts to remove him from this field, and succeeds, but creates a new supervillain in the process: Ultramax! Powered by the same quantum energy that fuels Captain Atom, Thrane becomes a force to be reckoned with. He escapes, but we meet him again in THE FALL AND RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM #5!

Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A paid hitman, Thrane got sold out by a previous client. Now, it seems he’s looking for revenge. The preview shows him going after past clients, trying to find out who betrayed him. The rest of the preview focuses on the government team behind Captain Atom trying to minimize the fallout from the new Captain Atom’s big mistake. They decide to blame it on the old Captain Atom. Atom, never really on board with the “new Captain Atom” plan, flies off in frustration to deal with a problem closer to his heart: his son.

Chemistry Changes

This brings up the only problem I’ve had with this series. In recent issues, THE FALL AND RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM strayed from the character-based storytelling that made it so successful at first. The series was at it’s strongest during the issues focused on Nathaniel Adam, not on Captain Atom. It appears the journey of “fall and rise” sets itself on an emotional course not as well supported by the superhero action the title currently uses. To me, Adam losing his life to time-warps twice was far more interesting than some flashy powers. Even the struggle between Adam and General Eiling fascinates. In conclusion, these emotional plot threads differentiate THE FALL AND RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM from other superhero comics, and I think that’s a good thing. The preview promises us more of this kind of story with Adam’s son. I couldn’t be more excited.

THE FALL AND RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM #5 hits shelves Wednesday, May 3rd – make sure to grab your copy! You can find the full preview below. It gives us just enough to get us excited for next week!




  1. Sam Sobel

    April 26, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks for reading! I guess I wasn’t all to clear, but in this series they’re actually time-displaced versions of the same character, so race isn’t a part of the story. Hope that answers your question!


  2. emersonsquill

    April 26, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Great article Sam. Got me immediately interested in reading about characters I haven’t really been familiar with.

    I’m curious, do the writers take advantage of racial differences between Atom 1 and Atom 2? That is, are they making race a part of the story at all?


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