“Don’t thou be frontin’.”
This line greeted me early in the comic, uttered by an Amish “driver” whose buggy is nearly sideswiped by Ryan Choi. Probably the least funny lines ever written in history. A line that warned me to leave this place and never come back, a Ducreux meme gone terribly wrong. Did I listen? Hell no. Should I have listened? Hell yes.
The comic opens with Ray Palmer walking across what, at first, appears to be some wasteland. Upon exposition, we learn that he’s shrunken down to a size that so small it’s nearly impossible for his eyes to process colors and shapes.
He no longer has his belt and has to wait for the effects to wear off to return to his normal size. He vows his revenge on those he believes betrayed him—including the new Atom, Ryan Choi. This part wasn’t actually that bad. It set the readers up for something that sounded like it would be great.
Some things can be so deceiving.
Forward to Ryan Choi who has just got back to the city of Ivy. He’s tired, a little emotionally beaten, and on a quest to find Ray Palmer. This just about where things stop being good and decide to go on the path of abject stupidity.
Just a rundown of some things.
There’s a welcome back party that gets trashed by some ridiculous villains called the Rogue Atoms, one of whom can’t believe that an old professor can bag such good-looking “broads.” You get science and philosophy quotes added to random panels. There are two warring miniature tribes in some jungle somewhere.
You have guest appearances by a few heroes like Donna Troy and the Blue Beetle who get to fight a Hitler with bat wings in a version of Heaven and Hell that resides in a tiny city on Choi’s dog’s butt. A cheesy fight between two Z-list monsters who are actually trying to mate. And there is one really random scene where everyone starts acting like they’re in the 70s or whatever.
Long story short: I want the part of my life I spend reading this crap back. It tries too hard to be cute, funny, and hip, which resulted in the story seriously lacking. Not all the things I mentioned necessarily make for a bad story. I’ve read much odder and have come out much more satisfied. This just seemed to be clamoring to me most of the time.
Admittedly, Ryan and his friends are geeks, and you expect them to make stupid jokes that aren’t funny. However, there was nothing endearing or charming about it to add to the characters. It was annoying, distracting, and stupid, making the story about as fun and funny as listening to my grandmother read a how-to manual on rock pets.
And it was probably intentionally over-the-top to add to the cheese factor, but it backfired. I can’t recommend this to anyone in good faith. I would feel like I’m sending someone to their death if I did. I don’t think I ever want to read another Atom comic after reading this. I did get it .5 of a rating because I liked the beginning, and I liked the talking head. Everything else was tripe.