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Wednesday, July 09, 2008 

The All-New Atom's finale: what was the whole point?

I probably shouldn't even have to care how this is ending, considering how it was launched through incredible disrespect for Ray Palmer and Jean Loring to begin with, but still, it is kind of mind-boggling: according to Broken Frontier, this is what happens in the last issue of this latest failed series from DC:
A Crisis in Time? – Those looking for a sense of closure to recent events in the Mighty Mite’s book may be a little disappointed as The All-New Atom #25 leaves the readers with a plethora of Lost-style loose ends and startling revelations. Trying to unravel the final issue could probably take a column in itself! The pertinent points, though, are that Chronos and Lady Chronos (who was Ryan Choi’s first love Jia as we predicted here in ATDCU Week 4) have been manipulating Ryan’s life all along. The ultimate aim of this scheming remains a mystery but they considered Ryan a "tool" for their ends.

His correspondence/friendship with Ray Palmer was also a sham, concocted by the Chronoses
(is that the plural of Chronos?). There’s no explanation of the Atom/Lady Chronos corpses locked in one final battle in the sub-atomic world the last few issues have taken place in either. Is this Ryan And Jia’s final fate? And Dwarf Star, one of the book’s recurring villains, turns out to be Lady Chronos’s son in a revelation that just has to be deliberately and teasingly casual. The issue ends with the promise of more Ryan Choi appearances in the near future. Let’s hope they tie up at least some of the loose threads...
Like I said before, given the unfair circumstances through which this was launched in the first place, that's probably why it doesn't really matter, but still, it is dumbfounding in its own way. Even before this book ended, from the synopses I read, it sure did seem to me like it was "running in place" with nowhere to go. The transformation of Ivy Town into Time-Warp Town, for example, was not exactly a way to write the series if any convincing character development were to take place.

And yet, that's probably only minor compared with how DC has continued to punch Ray in the face. According to this blogger:
As for the aforementioned Ray Palmer, I was expecting him to be revealed as a fake - he's brusque with Ryan, oddly unwilling to costume up to help out, terribly enigmatic for no apparent reason and tells Ryan that taking time out from being a hero might be a good idea. He's a bit of a jerk, truth be told. But apparently it is the Silver Age Atom, meaning that where Ryan is continuing Ray's legacy, Ray himself is spitting on it.
Exactly why I'm glad I never read the book to begin with, since it was all done at Ray's expense, and even if he wasn't responsible for time-warping the town, they still do little to nothing to make us appreciate him here. As I saw in the synopses/reviews I read, they kept implying that everybody's mad at him or that he's a piece of crap (in Countdown to Final Crisis #18, it was implied that as a youngster, he'd been a coward), and when I think about it now, it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

Another way you know that they're heading for the cheap with their current protagonist is when you see that the powers are being internalized. According to one poster on CBR:
I didn't care for Remender's stuff either. Too dark. Also, I don't like that Ryan doesn't have to use the belt anymore. There aren't enough superheroes still around that have to rely on super-science gadgets. They all seem to "internalize" their powers before long, whatever that means.
When you see that all they can do with these characters is make the power something right within their own molecular structure, making them too powerful, you know that they've really run out of gas. I think the same took place very quickly within the new Firestorm: soon afterwards, Jason Rusch no longer need to combine with another human in order to become the Nuclear Man. Here, however, the result is much lazier.

But it's the still prevailing disrespect for Ray that really makes me want to see him back in his rightful place as the Atom, and to see Jean exonerated as well. They really knew how to make me look down at them in disapproval with this dud.

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