Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, December 30, 2017


There are Captain Atoms and there are Captain Atoms.  This one comes from a Chicago outfit called Nation-Wide Publishing Corporation, which managed to publish a total of 64 comics from 1950 to 1954 -- seven or eight of them about Captain Atom.  With issue #2, the title was shortened to just Captain Atom.  The comic sold for a nickle at a time when most comics were a dime; perhaps this dictated the smaller size (5' by 7-1/4") than is typical for comic books.  The Grand Comics Database lists 7 issues of the comic book, ending in 1951, with a separate listing as a comic book (#nn) for a single story "Secret of the Columbian Jungle" in 1952 (the story is actually one included in issue #1 and was reprinted three years later).  There is no indication of who either wrote or drew Captain Atom.

Who is this Captain Atom?  It seems he's just a smart dude in a funky costume -- boots, blue Speedo, white undershirt, and a red pullover with an emblem that looks like a ringed Saturn and blazing yellow lightning neckline.  With the exception of young Jeff, everyone else wears regular garb; Jeff wears a miniature of Captain Atom's costume.  Also, Captain Atom doesn't have a day-to-day moniker.  It's just Captain Atom.  Probably that was the name on his birth certificate.

From page 2 (inside front cover):


"At 21 years, the scientific and inventive achievements of young Captain Atom, athlete, adventurer, scholar and outstanding American -- have been so remarkable that they have brought him world-wide fame and recognition.  It is Captain Atom's belief -- and he has proven it time and time again -- the a thorough knowledge of the sciences can furnish man with inventions capable of solving most any problem, no matter how large or small, inventions for safety, world peace, world happiness.

"At the present time, Captain Atom's amazing career is being sponsored by Professor King, world traveler and adventurer in his fifties, whose business interests take him from one corner of the globe to the other.  Among his many other activities, Captain Atom acts as pilot for the professor's custom-built luxury turbojet airliner.  The Captain's personality and scientific talents have already won great affection for him in the hearts of the professor's traveling family:  Mrs. King whose passion for the unique and whose glib tongue often gets the "family" into serious trouble; the twelve-year-old twins, Jeff and Carol, who were adopted by the professor when their parents were killed in an tragic accident; Jill Jordan, beautiful girl of nineteen, who acts as nurse and governess for the children -- and Rusty McQuigg, freckled-faced, bright young fellow of 25 who assists the Captain as co-pilot, navigator and radio man.

"As our first story opens, we find Captain Atom and his group on a flight into Northern Spain.  As they are just passing over the famous Pyrenees Mountains and are slightly ahead of schedule -- a fact the prompts Mrs. King to make a suggestion that soon will have serious consequences for all of them....."

Notwithstanding the fact that whoever wrote the above needs a remedial English I course, we should be aware that, according to the words emblazoned on the cover, ALL APPROVED ADVENTURE STORIES -- ALL BASED ON SCIENTIFIC FACTS AND THEORIES! -- another bit that should be taken with a grain of salt.

In addition to their adventure in the Pyrenees, this issue has two Captain Atom graphic stories and a two-page text tale of the Captain.  The back cover lists six of the amazing inventions that Captain atom uses in this issue.


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