Friday, November 18, 2016

Making a Splash: Steve Ditko's NEW Captain Atom

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! As the Groovy Age dawned, Charlton's Captain Atom was going through some huge changes. A slight bit of de-powering. A new uniform. And even a new attitude (hipper, going for the Marvel crowd, it seemed). It wasn't enough to save his mag from cancellation, but it did make for some fun stories. Of course, Steve Ditko's art was downright supoib (usually inked by Rocke Mastroserio) as shown by this smattering of spectacular splashes (Captain Atom #84-89, November 1966-October 1967)...

Captain Atom #88


  1. I simply adore this version of Captain Atom, the wacky blue, red, and silver costume with its gold highlights is smashing! Giordano's mandate to make the "Action Heroes" tiny powered if at all really made Cap an outlier, but he was there before any of them aside from Blue Beetle. Bringing him into a narrower range power wise was smart and made for better stories.

    Rocke Mastroserio was a talent who died long before his time. Love his work!

    Rip Off

    1. Hi Rip and Groove, granted the charlton heroes had short runs. However my older cousin and his buddies were big on Atom and Judo Master along with the Marvel standards in the mid 1960s. Any idea on why? I was born in 61 so I barely remember seeing those comics.

    2. Rocco Mastroserio inking Ditko's pencils was a good synthesis. He also did some solo work for Warren. Unfortunately he died in his 40s of cancer. Who knows how far he would have gone in the industry, especially as the Marvel age was taking over the 4 colored world and scooping up talent right and left.

  2. This was Rocke in decline and it was still about the most sympathetic inking Ditko ever got. Check back a year to Ghostly Tales #55 or thereabouts; it's really good work.

    1. He also did some great covers for the Charlton mystery line.

  3. Never cared for this revamp look. The other costume is far more iconic looking--especially the mask. No comparison for me.

  4. Oh yeah!! One of my favorite comic series ever. I love that version of Captain Atom. I actually put him on my Top 5 all time favorite superheroes list. I have several of the original issues as well as the DC Archives "Action Heroes" volume which reprints all of Ditko's Cap Atom, Blue Beetle, and The Question stories from his days at Charlton.

    I remember being quite disappointed when DC chose to totally change Cap's design when he was brought into the DC Universe. His Ditko costume (the red and blue one with the silver arms) was pure genius IMO. But DC chose to make him look like the Silver Surfer with boots and gloves. Not a fan of that look at all.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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