"Yesterday's" Comic> Armageddon: The Alien Agenda #4
Armageddon: The Alien Agenda #4 FINAL ISSUE DC Comics (February, 1992) “…All This And World War Too!” WRITER: Jonathan Peterson PENCILER: Dick Giordano INKER: Steve Mitchell COLORIST: Tom McCraw LETTERER: Albert De Guzman ASSISTANT EDITOR: Scott Peterson EDITOR: Denny O’Neil When we last saw Captain Atom he had been bounced from the Old West to a Nazi prison camp. As we start this issue he is being tortured for information about the Detonator but he won’t talk. They throw him in with the prisoners, where he makes friends with two children whose mother was sent to the gas chambers. This gets Nat angry enough to call his powers again and, still aware he might be messing up history, blows the place to bits and helps the prisoners escape. Having seen a calendar on the wall, he knows that on this day a secret bomb test may be his ticket home. However, it also happens to be the island Monarch landed on, leading to another battle, only this time the Detonator is destroyed, setting the bomb off early and killing the bomb testers with a tidal wave. Monarch ends up wherever he’s going but Captain Atom finds himself in farm country, with a dog’s tag proving he’s back home. But not free, because the alien civilization is now aware of him and the current Prime One is determined to avenge his people on the hero. What they got right: I understand Nat’s dilemma here. Do you let the kids and other prisoners die to protect the timestream or do you save them? It may just be an excuse to write a story where Captain Atom beats up Nazis but when you’re trying to create a new Captain Atom comic, what better way than beating up Nazis? How about an entire alien civilization who wants to kill him? What they got wrong: In the end, that may be the only reason they continue to pop up, setting up the foes for the new comic. As interesting as it was to see the civilization evolve (despite a lack of females, or at least anyone with a female pronoun) they don’t offer much else to the story beyond setting up events. Also, the kids may escape the prison camp, but when Captain Atom goes to take his bomb ride home the kids and their caretaker (who stayed behind to say goodbye to the Captain) are shot by a gun whose wielder we never get to see. I don’t think we needed these three to die in order to remind us the Nazis were evil. Events in this story proved that. Other notes: Monarch will return in future stories and as we discussed previously they’ll try again to turn Captain Atom into Monarch. Recommendation: This is only a must-own tale if you wondered what happened to Captain Atom and Monarch or as a setup to Captain Atom’s own comic (and I have to keep writing the full thing out to not confuse with the other superheroes with Captain in the name as well as a hero called The Atom), but it’s still a decent enough tale to check out.