While there are plenty of extra-large villains for Mattel to choose from as Build-a-Figures, there are far fewer super-sized heroes. One of those few, though, is Atom Smasher. Created in 1983 by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway, Atom Smasher gained popularity as a founding member of DC’s current version of the Justice Society of America (as opposed to the Justice League). While the Justice League gets all the press and features high-profile heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, the Justice Society has carved out its own niche in the DC Universe.
The godson of Al Pratt, the Golden Age Atom, Albert Rothstein acquired his mutant powers of super-strength and control over his molecular structure (allowing him to alter the size and density of his body) from his grandfather, a reluctant supervillain known as Cyclotron, allowing him to fight crime first as Nuklon, and then, later, as Atom-Smasher.
Packaging: None–Atom Smasher comes in pieces with the other characters in DCUC Wave 7: Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Big Barda, Captain Cold, and Kid Flash. (The Flash is also in the wave, but he only comes with a display stand.)
Sculpt: Atom Smasher’s design isn’t complicated, but the Four Horsemen have done right by him. The most interesting parts of the sculpt are the boots, gauntlets, and head, which does a great job of capturing the look of a mask over real human features.
He stands about nine inches tall, towering over regular DCUC figures and on par with the line’s current tallest BAF, Solomon Grundy.
Plastic & Paint: Solid work all around. The blue trim doesn’t quite line up between the inside of Smasher’s right hip, but other than that, I’m pleased with all of the paint work, particularly on the head and boots.
Articulation: Atom Smasher has ball joints at the neck and shoulders; swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and lower thighs; and hinges at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, with H-hinges at the hips to allow for a ball joint-like range of motion.
The neck articulation is a little odd, and has a somewhat limited range of motion. Also, the ankles don’t have any “rocker” motion, which unfortunately means his left foot can’t stand flush against the floor.
Accessories: None–he is an accessory, technically.
Quality Control: I understand some of the smaller figures have been coming with the wrong Atom Smasher leg, but my figure is fine.
Ultimately, Atom Smasher is a rather average figure–he’s really just a larger-than-usual basic DCUC superhero figure. He doesn’t have any of the unique body style or grotesqueness of a Solomon Grundy or a Kalibak.
However, he’s well-designed, and it’s great just to finally have a large guy on the good guys’ side. Plus, he’ll look great with my growing JSA collection (which will triple with Wave 8).