Comic Name: Brave New World/The All-New Atom
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: John Byrne/Eddy Barrows
# of Issues: 7
Release Date: 2007
Reprints Brave New World #1 and The All-New Atom #1-6 (August 2006-February 2007). Ryan Choi is living his dream. He is getting to explore science and he has a new tool. When he finds his mentor Ray Palmer has left him the belt that gave him powers, Ryan is out to explore the potential of the belt and its power. Unfortunately, Ryan discovers that his new job in Ivy Town is a little more difficult than he thought…Ivy Town is a hotbed for strange happening. When Ryan receives warning that a war between science and magic is about to break out, Ryan must become the new Atom to stop it!
Written by Gail Simone, The All-New Atom Volume 1: My Life in Miniature features the relaunch of the Atom title after Infinite Crisis and the “One Year Later” storyline. The series spawns out of the one shot comic Brave New World #1 (which is featured in the collection). The series features art by .
The Atom is one of those characters that could be fun, but has always seemed limited in the stories that were presented. With a new Atom and a push for new ways to use his powers, The All-New Atom has potential to be as the title promises…all-new. The series does fulfill this, but it also has room for improvement.
I felt like I was missing points in this story. The tone of the storytelling wasn’t quite matching up. Simone seems to be going for a surreal tale (borrowing heavily from Whedon’s Buffy-verse with Ivy Town almost a ringer for Sunnydale), but the story doesn’t come off as surreal. It just comes off as a bit of sloppy writing. The story is also littered with quotes from famous scientists and fictitious scientists…instead of adding to the story it feels a little pretentious.
The art for the story is decent. John Byrne brings his distinctive style to the Atom. Byrne is a good choice for this type of story because the story is very character driven and Byrne always does a decent job giving characters life (I’m a bit bias there because Byrne’s Fantastic Four run and Alpha Flight capped off my comic reading).
Gail Simone is quite hit or miss for me and The All-New Atom kind of falls in line with this. The character she created in Ryan Choi is interesting enough that makes me want to read more of the series, but some of the storytelling isn’t very good. The collections for the series are out-of-print, but I liked The All-New Atom 1: My Life in Miniature to consider trying to find them and check out the rest of the series. The All-New Atom 1: My Life in Miniature is followed by The All-New Atom 2: Future/Past.