With the weekly Justice League vs. Suicide Squad series is said to lead to a new ongoing Justice League of America series next month, DC Comics is introducing some of the members of the team in a series of one-shots this month, and the first issue, spotlighting The Atom, also ties in to the ongoing Rebirth mysteries, calling back to the DC Rebirth special back in May.
Justice League of America: The Atom Rebirth 1
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Andy McDonald
The focus of this book isn’t on Silver Age Atom Ray Palmer, although he is an important supporting player and moves the story forward. No, this Atom is Ivy University student and science savant Ryan Choi, who was introduced more than 10 years ago as DC Comics pushed its legacy characters in a more diverse direction. Much like Blue Beetle, which features both the popular Ted Kord and his young replacement Jamie Reyes, this Atom reintroduction uses the more well-known character to re-establish the younger version.
The book goes over Choi’s origin for the Rebirth era – I’m sure it’s similar to the original, but I’m not entirely familiar with that version. Choi is a Korean student enrolling in Ivy University, and his abilities and knowledge in the science catches the eye of his professor, Ray Palmer. The esteemed scientist makes Ryan his confidant and partner, finally revealing his secret life as The Atom. Ryan becomes an Oracle-like partner to Palmer, leading him through secret missions. Palmer, though, disappears and leaves a message for Ryan. Palmer wants his partner to take on the role of The Atom and save him.
Anyone who read the original Rebirth book back in May might feel a sense of deja vu with this, since it rehashed a scene there, hinting that he’s been captured by the same person who has Doomsday and Red Robin Tim Drake. Given that the new Justice League of America team will be led by Batman, Choi’s determination to find his mentor could lead to Batman discovering that Red Robin isn’t actually dead. So, it’s good to know that the company is building to the next chapter of Rebirth on a number of different fronts without making it an all-encompassing direction.
Will the other JLA Rebirth one shots this month – featuring Killer Frost, Vixen and The Ray – also tie in to the ongoing mystery? Given the lack of Grade A comics star power in Justice League of America, making the book a lead-in to the next Rebirth chapter could keep the book interesting and boost sales a bit. We’ll see over the next few weeks.