Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Best Books You Aren't Reading: The All-New Atom

First, I have to apologize for not posting that deck-list - I left the deck at my girlfriend's place. Apologies, all. Now, back to me telling you what you should be doing with your life and your money.

The All-New Atom is insane. I mean this literally. The book has some of the craziest imagery, settings, and characters imaginable. Born from the mind of comics legend Grant Morrison and written by one of the industry's best, Gail Simone, The All-New Atom deals with Ryan Choi, a young Chinese professor come to America to teach in place of his mentor and friend, the missing Ray Palmer.

The first thing the book establishes Ivy Town, the traditional home of Ray Palmer, as a magnificently warped town. There are Lovecraftian-style Old Ones in the sewers and a group of the most bizarre aliens around living on and controlling the town's dogs. Some of the parts of town dress and talk largely like it were still the 1700s (but with updated slang). And let's not even star talking about the Ivy University teaching staff...

The one thing this book has that most other books on the shelves right now don't is a sense of humor. A great sense of humor. The dialogue is fun, but it's more than that. The supporting cast is great - especially the Lighter Than Air Society, and Head, and Doctor Zuel, and... - and it has, in the Big 2 of Marvel and DC, some of the craziest visual storytelling around.

So, here are a few things that should entice you to read The All-New Atom.

The first arc deals largely with a war between Magic and Science for the soul of Ivy Town, with Ryan Choi stuck in the middle. On one side, the Waiting, alien conqueror wannabes. On the other side, representing magic, is M'Nagallah, an ancient Cancer God and former enemy of Swamp Thing. There's betrayal, a little bit of romance, an enormous romance, fighting, fighting, mad science, and the Old Ones. How much better could things be?

So, to recap:

1: Awesome Fights!
(I had to leave out the tragically awesome fight that preceded this scene between him and a giant, naked Giganta)

Aw, man, the above image is obviously not working. That's tragic - I'll try and find my copy to scan.

2: Gail Simone gives you Head.

Head is an evil alien overlord conqueror captured by Ryan Choi while he was trying to stop the aliens from killing his father and best friend. Ryan never really got around to returning him to the aliens, so now, Head lives with him.

3: ...interesting cameos?

Indeed. Reality has jumped the shark.

Give the book a shot. Remember what I said a week or two back? If you want to try an issue of one of my The Best Books You Aren't Reading, leave a comment here telling me which book you're willing to try, and I'll give you a good jumping off point. If you aren't satisfied with the book, PM me on VSRealms and let me know why you didn't enjoy it, and I'll send you a MVL or DCL foil or rare.

The list is now as follows
The All-New Atom (Gail Simone)
Criminal (Ed Brubaker)
Blue Beetle (John Rogers)
The Immortal Iron Fist (Ed Brubaker)

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