Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Oh, So You Want to Play Rough, Eh?"

The founding members of the Justice Society of America ranged from a crime-crushing ghost who was virtually omnipotent and a man who wielded a wish-fulfilling Aladdin’s ring to a stout, tough-talking matron whose mask was a pot with eye holes.
Also on the lower end of that power scale was a short college kid whose power was lifting weights — Al Pratt, the Atom. But with something to prove, he was a scrapper, here beating the hell out of a gang of crooked lumberjacks.
Introduced as a backup feature in All-American Comics 19 (Oct. 1940), the Atom appeared until 1951, outlasting many more powerful Golden Age characters.
In the summer of 1945, the world learned just how powerful the real atom was, and by the end of his run the presciently named Atom had acquired a new costume and “atomic” super strength.
“The art in this story, from All-American Comics #71 (1945), is by Jon Chester Kozlak, and is written by Joe Greene,” notes Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine. “In addition the Grand Comics Database tells us the editors are Sheldon Mayer and Julius Schwartz.”
“Anyone who knows the Atom in his 1961 incarnation knows the two characters have nothing in common. The second Atom can make himself small and retain his mighty wallop. I have said that DC used the old name, but appropriated the powers of Doll Man. Doll Man had been moribund since 1953, and then the publisher, Quality Comics, was sold to DC in '56. Doll Man was a direct influence on the modern Atom, but at least they owned the rights to the character they were swiping from.”

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