The Atom is one of several; characters revived as Silver Age science/fantasy heroes alongside Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Flash. Initially a short of stature kid with a chip on his shoulder fighting alongside the rest of the Justice Society of America through the second world war, the Silver Age Atom was a size-changing scientist. Back in 1983, DC tried something new by reducing him in size ‘permanently,’ and set him up as a Conan-meets-McGyver-type protector to a tribe in the Amazon.
DC Nation took this up as inspiration behind a series of short cartoons. It’s innocent breezy fun and is also based on continuity, so parents cam actually get just as excited as kids. It’s so brilliant I wonder why it had not happened earlier.
Currently, fans of DC Comics are still reeling from losing Young Justice and are unsure of what to make of Beware the Batman. Likewise, the Atom is nowhere to be seen in the monthly comic books. As a parent, I can see that my son is eager to pick up any new colorful character and while I’m glad that this kind of cartoon exists (even in limited form), I have to wonder why there isn’t more of this kind of thing out there?
The real tragedy is that my son is a big fan of Robin, a sidekick hero to a younger generation who has become 30 miles of rough road in comics. Damian Wayne was gutted in the pages of Batman Inc., Dick Grayson, the original Robin , is rumored to be on the path of evil, Jason Todd is a gun-toting loon and who knows what to think of Tim Drake’s awful Red Robin costume. There are toys out on the shelves of the rest of the JLA (in various iterations of their iconic or New 52 looks) but no sign of Robin. Because that cat is deader than disco.
I like these short cartoons, even the goofy Animal Man ones, but there’s a part of me that wonders how much more DC could accomplish with more content that is less invested in reaching slasher flick fans or those who need a Batman comic to feature severed heads, chopped off faces, etc. I’m not saying we need to go full out Teen Titans Go! but what about books that are not one step away from a brown paper cover?
What kind of cartoons or comics would you like to see come back?