Convergence: The Atom #1

You know the Convergence score by now. Cities from different realities have been placed under domes. New villain Telos wants heroes to fight for the right to party ... er, regain their world. Gotham City was suddenly everyone's favourite vacation destination. 

Including Ray Palmer. And Deathstroke. The latter has been lying low for a year, after the dome dampened his metahuman abilities along with those of every other hero and villain in town. Ray Palmer can no longer shrink but he's still fighting crime and saving lives with a strange new ability - the power to make his right arm stretchy, his hand massive. Think Kamala Khan in trunks. 
It's an unexpected twist from returning Atom writer Tom Peyer, along with the fact Ray may have gone a little potty. He's talking to a voice in his head, and his strange behaviour's been noticed - even kids he's trying to rescue shun him. 

Of course, Steve Dillon's mournful, overly bloody, but very well done cover drops a massive hint as to just who's in his head - could it be that at some point All-New Atom Ryan Choi was un-killed, shrunk into Ray's brain and got stuck there when the Dome switched his powers off? Somehow the combination of two Atoms gave Ray his big hand - look at that atomic effect. So Ryan's been jabbering at Ray, who's been chiefly concerned with making Deathstroke pay for his successor's murder, for a year. 

(It could be worse, he could have had ex-wife Jean Loring in his brain, with a flamethrower...)

I say 'chiefly' because Ray has had another interest - diner waitress Maria who, unlike the experienced heroes in the Convergence micro-series (and how apt that the Atom should get one of those), has figured out that they're just goldfish in someone's bowl. 
The dome comes down just as Ray finally finds Deathstroke - he regains his size and mass-changing abilities, but can't use them to avenge his protege, as he's teleported away from the assassin. He's immediately attacked by Barracuda, of the Extremists of Angor (whom I initially mistook for Captain Carrot bad guy Frogzilla), but Ray takes him down just in time for the newly repowered Ryan to reappear. 

Or maybe it's Ryan's arch-enemy Dwarfstar - this guy does look awfully white - impersonating him...

We shall find out in the concluding issue. For now, I'm delighted to have the original version of Ray Palmer back in comics - if that means we have to acknowledge cack crossover Countdown happened, so be it. And I'd be chuffed to bits were Ryan to be alive again, he didn't deserve his ignominious death in a Brightest Day story, impaled and sent off in a matchbox.  

I miss Tom Peyer, whose Hourman book was one of DC's quirkiest, best series of the last couple of decades. Hopefully this story presages a return to regular DC writing - the man has Silver Age sensibilities but a modern touch. 

Steve Yeowell, perhaps best known for his work with Grant Morrison on 2000AD's Zenith, provides straightforward but generally effective pencils. It's a shame his one dodgy moment comes on the final page splash, with the revealed (maybe, maybe not) Ryan looking a little off so far as proportions go (then again, he's just grown for the first time in a year, could be his body is settling down ... yeah, that's it. And the version of Ray's costume he wears does tend to make a fellow look tubby). Inker Andy Owens provides an old school finish I like a lot, with textures seemingly added via hand rather than some embellishing program. The colours by Hi-Fi add extra depth, while Pat Brosseau's lettering is far better than par - I particularly like the design for the title, 'Inside the Atom', which revives Ray Palmer's old lettercol header. 

This comic is just fun - a little serious, a lot goofy, another great Convergence entry. I'm already enjoying this event more than lots of DC New 52 titles, and now that we know editor Marie Javins - taken on by DC to manage this project - is staying on with the company, I cannot wait to see what she does next. 


  1. Oh, man, if only it was Frogzilla! I never cared for the Extreeeemists, and The Fastback appearance in Speed Force delights me no end.

    1. Finally, got to Speed Force and it turned out I'd saved the best till last!

  2. The Atom is not some wealthy genius in an Iron Man type suit? I guess DC has more integrity than I would have given them ;)

    1. Is that who the Brandon Routh version is? I've not seen him on the Flash. Or is it Arrow?

    2. He'll be on both martin, but primarilly on Arrow.
      I have Peyer's other Atom one-shots, and if this is as good as you say, I'm all aboard.
      I'm glad Ray's back too.


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