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DC Comics Presents: The Atom

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004
By: Michael Deeley



“Ride a Deadly Grenade”
Writer: Dave Gibbons
Artists: Pat Oliffe & LIvesay

“Ride a Deadly Grenade”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Dan Jurgens & Jon Bogdanove

Two tales of the Atom involving Julie Schwartz and time. First, the Atom is blasted through Prof. Hyatt’s time pool and into our world! Only the brainstorming powers of Julie Schwartz and a good pitching arm can get our hero back home! Next, who’s been giving Ivy Town’s crooks ideas on how to trap superheroes? And can the Atom save him from Chronos, the Time Thief?

Look at the credits again: Written by Dave Gibbons. Not penciled; written. One of the greatest artists in comics is not drawing. *sigh* But that’s OK, because he writes a good story. The Atom arrives in the real world offices of Gardner Fox. The portal back to his world is shrinking. Whenever the Atom gets close to it, it moves away. Fox calls Julie to think of a solution. Julie calls his friend Tex Ford, New York Yankees pitcher and Korean War grenadier. Julie glues the Atom to a live grenade, and Ford throws it at the portal.

And when I see Ford throwing his Atom-grenade, and Julie’s yelling, “Go, Yankees! Go, go, go”, I realize everybody’s high! That alone is worth 3 bucks.

But there’s more! When Schwartz mistakes some crooks for writers, he gives them ideas on how to pull off crimes and trap superheroes. Chronos captures him and the Atom and lock them in a room with a bomb. Now Julie’s in one of the inescapable situations he always put his characters into! Only the Atom’s power and Julie’s tie-pin can save them.

Until now, these stories have been either tributes to Julie Schwartz, or original stories based on the covers. These are both Schwartz tributes. In fact, I think Waid’s had this Schwartz story on his mind for years. I prefer the original stories, as they’re more in keeping with the spirit of this project. But as long as we get great tales and fine art, I can’t complain.



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