From the site, Comic +, I chose to give “Captain Atom” a read. There were three different issues available to read. From those that were available, I read issue number 4 “The Forbidden City”. This issue was published in 1951 by “Nation-Wide Comics”. It did not take very long to read as it was only about twenty pages long. To my knowledge, there were seven issues of Captain Atom published by Nation-Wide Comics, from 1950 thru late 1951. Which were sold at 5 cents each. Today, they would definitely be worth quite a bit more depending on the physical condition of the comic itself.
Before the Nation-Wide Comic’s version of Captain Atom, there was another version published by an Australian publisher; Atlas Comics. There were 64 issued from 1948 thru 1954. In this, Captain Atom (also referred to as “Atom Man”) was more super hero-like and was able to fly and such. It was said that he gained his superpowers after a test of an atomic bomb had fused two brothers together. However, there is not much information (that I can find on the internet specifically) that would be able to explain much more than I already have here. I would have to say that the best way to learn more about Captain Atom in all its forms would be to obtain physical or digital copies and investigate for yourself.
It is somewhat apparent that this series of comics were mainly focused at the audience of children. Teaching the young readers about science (as it was known at the time) and keeping them entertained at the same time.
Captain Atom, as depicted in the comic series, was similar to that of a “super hero”. He used his gadgets and modern marvels to ward off and to fight enemies. Of these gadgets, he utilized an auto-gyro parachute, an atom powered noiseless ram rocket, walkie-talkie television, atom submarine, spectroscope, and a uranium amplifier. With the general advancements in technology and the discovery and application of nuclear science prevalent in the recent years before its first publication, this is not that surprising.
Now, back to the 1951 issue, #4 “The Forbidden City”. It starts off with Captain Atom and his crew, they are arriving at San Lu by what it looks to be a rocket type plane or jet. As they arrive, they are welcomed by gunfire from soldiers below. Jeff proclaims that “we better fire back!”, but the Captain decides to talk to these soldiers instead. He tells them that they are there under special invitation by the “Great Lama” and demand to know what is going on with all of the shooting. While seemingly unsuccessful, other soldiers arrive and help the crew to safety and to see the Grand Lama in the city.
The Lama then explains how their enemy, Yagar, most likely thought that they were coming in defense of San Lu and that is why they opened fire. Later, Kason the custodian of the temple, escorts everyone to their quarters for the night and informs them not to enter the temple before dawn. However, they were curious and went sightseeing around the temple, and eventually were caught by Kason who declared to not speak of the event. Later, the Lama finds a jewel to be defective and unlike it was previously during a ceremony the next day. Kason then puts the blame on the visitors. Captain Atom uses his investigative knowledge and gadgetry to prove to the Great Lama that Kason had betrayed him by swapping some jewels for fakes.
He professes this information after he saved the city from attack by dropping “infra-red stunner bombs” on them. Once the Great Lama learns of the truth, Kason is locked away and then thanks Captain Atom and his friends for their great service.