For DC week here on Panel Discussions, I thought I’d look back not only on the company’s hit comics over the years, but also on some of the misses. Power of the Atom #8 is just such a big swing and a miss for me. This is a comic back from 1989 that I not so long ago picked up in a bargain bin for $0.75.
This is one of many examples of a misleading comic book cover (for another, see my post on Sad Sack #227). First, in the foreground it looks like The Atom’s suffering some serious Irritable Bowel Syndrome problems (I can assure you no such thing happens in the issue). In the background, there appears to be the withered and desiccated husk of Hawkman. Hawkman, dead? Never mind that Hawkman has the ability to be reborn. If you read the issue, this turns out to be a sight gag. The way the cookie crumbles, the body on the cover belongs not to Hawkman but to another Thanagarian. Once The Atom figures out it’s not his friend, he doesn’t seem to care much.
The one good moment in this comic came when the villain tried to kill the hero with a bomb, and then says The Atom will be “atomized.” A pun worthy of the 1960s Batman series, old chum.