Review: Justice League of America: The Atom #1

jlareb_atom_cv1_dsMeet Ryan Choi, prodigious theoretical physics student with severe allergies and crippling social anxiety. But little does young Ryan know, his first day at Ivy University marks the start of an epic journey into the very heart of the DC Universe!

I’ll be honest, I know little about Ryan Choi. I vaguely remember reading the comic where he gets the Atom suit, but it’s been a while so reading this helped catch me up.

Written by Steve Orlando, Choi is a character and superhero we can relate to. He has bad eyesight, really awkward, and not all that athletic, in other words, he’s actually pretty normal. Like so many other “scientist” characters it’s his brains that get him where he’s at as he also tries to fit in at college.

This is a fish out of water story and an origin in not just Choi becoming the new Atom, but also his just becoming more social. Orlando gives us a positive spin to all of the issues I mentioned above and presents a character and outlook that so many more of us should subscribe to.

jlareb_atom_5What I really particularly enjoyed was we see a progression in Choi. The character grows throughout the issue and begins as a fairly socially awkward nerd. From there he needs to adjust a bit to college life which you can see in the image to the right. It’s a familiar situation we’ve all been in and really reiterates how human Choi is. From that beginning awkwardness, Choi’s relationship with Palmer grows and we see him grow as well and come out of his shell. Again, relatable.

And, how this new Atom fits into the DC Universe as a whole is something I find really interesting. The Previous Atom, Ray Palmer, is missing by the end of the issue (not a spoiler this has been a known thing) and there’s a mention of “time” by Palmer. “Time” is also the big mystery of DC’s Rebirth, is one tied into the other? My gut says yes, so Choi, Palmer, The Atom, could become a pretty important character going forward.

The art by Andy MacDonald is good. It doesn’t jump out at me too much, but it also doesn’t distract in a negative way. Choi, Palmer, and everyone else within, are presented in good ways with clothes that feel pretty realistic and surroundings that at times reminded me of my college experience.

Since this is a solid introduction to Ryan Choi, to me it’s a buy, especially if you don’t know the character and plan on checking out the Justice League of America series. You’ll leave wondering not just how he’ll be with all of the other superheroes, but what Ray Palmer’s disappearance might have to do with Rebirth.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Andy MacDonald
Story: 8.15 Art: 7.65 Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review