Welcome to the first of a week of “intereviews” with the members of DC Universe Classics Wave 4. My first guest is Captain Atom. Captain, please tell us a little about yourself.
Certainly. I was originally created by Charlton Comics in 1960. I was working on an experimental rocket when it exploded, atomizing my body but giving me superpowers that allowed me to re-form my body, in addition to many other powers. After DC Comics bought the rights to the Charlton characters in the early 1980s, I was re-introduced as an Air Force officer in the Vietnam War who had been framed for a crime I didn’t commit–shades of A-Team, no?–and rather than being executed, I was allowed to participate in an experiment that threw me into the future and gave me superpowers, including the ability to grow this nigh-invulnerable silver metal shell and to control energy.
While most of my regular readers might be aware of this, for those who might not be, Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen was based on you, right?
Yes. Originally Alan Moore was going to use the Charlton characters for Watchmen, but the powers that be decided the story would prevent them from building equity on their purchase of the Charlton characters–for obvious reasons, as anyone who read the story can tell you. And so Doctor Manhattan was born.
Do you wish it had been you?
Yes and no. I’m not sure Watchmen would have been quite the same project had Moore used the Charlton characters–there might have been more editorial interference, for one thing. And I also think it would have been a different book. And while DC hasn’t quite figured out how to handle me (though I enjoyed my re-imagining in Justice League Unlimited), I do like, well, actually being alive and well in current continuity. Um, sort of…
Let’s talk about action figures. Your appearance in DC Universe Classics isn’t your first figure.
Nope…I got a figure in DC Direct’s Superman/Batman line a couple years back. It was based on Ed McGuinness’s art, so it’s got that whole ‘roids thing going on. I also (finally!) got a JLU figure from Mattel.
None taken–look, I’m just a muscled-up guy in a skintight suit. No reason to give me an entirely new sculpt! I do have a great head sculpt though, complete with this awesome 1980s Pat Broderick hairdo. The only thing I might have liked is some retool work on my thighs…it looks like there are clothing folds there, but as any fan can tell you, my silver Dilustel suit is a second-skin. You know, like the T-1000 from Terminator 2. Remember that movie? I haven’t seen that in ages…it’s on DVD, right?
Terminator 2? Like, the best action movie ever made? Yeah, that’s on DVD.
Hey, I was just asking. Jeez.
Sorry, I haven’t had my morning soda. Anyway, your paint applications seem to have come out pretty well.
Yeah. I’m glad they went with the flat silver instead of trying to vac-metallize me in chrome…while that might have been more “accurate” to my look, it would also have been a CSI fingerprinter’s dream. And it looks cheap. Really, there’s not much to be done–paint me silver, give me some blue boots and red gloves, throw this molecule-looking thing on my chest, paint my eyes and you’re done. I’m pretty pleased with it all. I’m glad my symbol isn’t off-center–that’s been a bit of a problem on DCUC, like with Green Lantern. And (whispers) Batman Beyond.
Batman Beyond: I heard that!
Hey, quiet in the green room! You’ll get your turn.
As for articulation, you’ve got the usual DCUC stats: ball-jointed head and shoulders, H-hinge hips which allow for ball-joint like motion, swivels at the biceps, thighs, waist, and wrists, and hinges at the knees, elbows, ankles and torso. Like Green Lantern, your ball-jointed head has a good range of motion, allowing for flying poses.
I note that, aside from Despero’s mighty torso, you don’t come with any accessories.
No…which makes sense, since I don’t carry any. Still, some cool crackling energy bits, like the ones that came with Superman Blue/Red, would have been nice. They could have just cast those in clear yellow. Maybe some enterprising customizer will step up?
We can hope! Thanks for sitting down with me, Captain.
Thanks for having me!
TOMORROW: Batman Beyond!