The Atom takes on the Titans

Size-changing superheroes don’t get the credit they deserve, like not being in the Avengers movie, for instance.  But we always forget that shrinking means more than cartoonishly running away from your own house cat.  If heart disease kills more people than any other cause of death, why would a superhero not fear a little man surfing a red blood cell into his aorta?  Today, one supervillain team learns this the hard way by going up against the Atom Ryan Choi in the controversial Brightest Day crossover Titans: Villains for Hire Special one-shot, written by Eric Wallace and drawn by Fabrizio Florentino.




Major supervillains hanging out in your home never ends in coffee and Grey’s Anatomy marathons. Especially Deathstroke, who spends most of his time in comics fighting seven or eight Teen Titans at once.  And while Choi doesn’t know this yet, this issue’s Titans title implies a team effort.  So in a fight against Deathstroke that he may (slim chance) be able to win, it’s about to get exponentially harder.  Plus, lots of trips to Ikea to replace all the destroyed furniture.



Some of the suspension of disbelief in superheroes remains in the usefulness of martial arts. Batman goes into combat armed only with batarangs and an overbearing sense of justice, but if he destroys a small battalion of soldiers, we don’t even bat an eye.  I wonder the effectiveness of kung fu against high-powered rifles and such, but I also don’t question when a man can shrink and grow at will, so my priorities may be lopsided.  But while a trained fighter like Cheshire (well, including Deathstroke to be fair) can totally karate chop Atom into a defeated mess, it’d help to have some extra muscle around.



The size-changing powers make for some cool fight scenes.  Though I figure if a man can make his tattoos come alive, he’d have more than a mere handful.  Cover himself head-to-toe in laser guns and body armor and giant bears and pterodactyl wings.  But then again, the only thing a tattoo would bring alive in me would be regret.  I’m old fashioned, as in, I don’t know how I would explain my full Captain America back tattoo when I’m in the nursing home.




The next step would be to go microscopic and leave the house through the floorboards.  Atom could gather up Superman to throw them all in space before they can attack again.  Size-changing seems to be a more defensive than offensive power, but then again so is Kitty Pryde’s phasing ability and she’s destroyed enough sentinels to fill a small city.  Unfortunately, Deathstroke survives by being evil Batman — being prepared for every possible situation no matter what.  That and a few more friends.




I’m no scientist, but a few well-placed kicks in the brain should be enough to defeat Cheshire.  No amount of judo or karate can protect the brain from a small superhero climbing in your naval cavity to uppercut your noggin.  Especially when Choi keeps his normal strength even while tiny.

In one of the strangest twists, Deathstroke then does something noble.  I mean, he did break into Atom’s house and is currently attempting to murder the superhero, but like supervillain-level of noble.



And with that, no innocent bystanders will be hurt as Deathstroke’s Titans claw and ignite the Atom. Also, can we talk about how ethnically diverse Deathstroke’s team is?  He’s an elderly man leading an Asian woman, an African-American man, and a woman made of lava.  Plus, let’s not forget the final member of his team: the Middle Eastern magic Superman:



Poor Atom, he may be a member of the Justice League, but I can’t think of any Justice Leaguer who could solo the whole team now.  That and Deathstroke hasn’t lifted a finger yet.  Shouldn’t the man in charge have his moment in the spotlight?  He is, after all, the main jerk here.




Choi loses.  It’s inevitable.  But we’re talking about a Brightest Day crossover — an event that’s own name implies a sense of happiness and relief.  Sure, superheroes get beaten up all the time, but we must trust that help will come for dear Atom — every superhero story builds suspense that way. Because while Choi lies bloody on his floor, we know that good will always triumph over evil, fate will always reward those who fight for justice, and bad guys fail every time they try to emerge victorious over the world’s true heroes.





Or not.  Say goodbye to Choi, who never shows up in a comic again after his unfortunate death here. What a total bummer, right?  I’ll try to find something more uplifting for Monday — or at the very least no superheroes impaled on swords.


5 Comments on “The Atom takes on the Titans”

  1. Reblogged this on Twilit Dreams Circle and commented:
    ….well, that was grim. I got my hopes up at the end for nothing. Maybe they’ll replace the dead evil atom with his New 52 version.

  2. furyoffirestorm78 says:

    Ryan should have shrunk Slade down to micro size and gotten the hell out of there instead of fighting him. I’d imagine that Deathstroke hasn’t been shrunk down enough times to know how to maneuver while a few microns tall, and would be really disoriented from the sudden change in perspective.

  3. furyoffirestorm78 says:

    If anyone is interested on grabbing all of Ryan Choi’s adventures on the cheap, has a huge 65% off sale on DC TPBS, including all three volumes of The All-New Atom. Together, they cost less than $17! (Not including S&H, but all orders over $50 get free shipping, so take advantage of the hot sales while you can!)

  4. js says:

    Marvel has issues… many of them, but DC breaks my heart. Once again, they got rid of an old time legend, the Atom, replaced him with a newer, younger version, showed us that this new Atom was a great character, a guy you can root for, cheer on, and enjoy seeing… Then they kill him off in a terrible way just to drag the old version back and say “Ta-daa! See? we have the REAL one here good as new”. They did it with The Atom (Ray and Ryan) , Green Lantern (Hal and Kyle), Flash (Barry and Wally, and even Wally and Bart, then some how Barry again). Hell, they even did it with Batman (Bruce and Jean-Paul even though most of us hated him, and again with Bruce and Dick). Come to think of it, Superman himself was replaced too, only it took four guys to do it.

    The only thing sadder is when DC pulls these stunts and Marvel copies it. Time lost Batman/Captain America? Four new Supermen/Four new identities for Spidey. Green Arrow dying and getting replaced with a younger one then comming back to life via strange wish magic/Hawkeye and Kate Bishop.

    It’s getting to the point that they can’t tell who is stealing from who anymore 🙂

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