Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, August 13, 2021


 Captain Atom, a popular australian comic book superhero, was created by writer Jack Bellow (as "John Welles") and artist Arthur Mather.  First published by Atlas Publications, the comic book lasted for 64 monthly issues.  During its first two years the book was published in color, reverting to a standard black and white when the costs of color (colour) production became prohibative.  The character was envisioned as a cross between Fawcett's Captain Marvel and Quality Comics' Captain Triumph.  Compared to other many comic books of the time, the artwork appeare crude and amateurish, but that did not stop Captain Atom from having its own merchandising and a fan club that numbered 75,000.

Who is Captain Atom?  He's the enemy of evil!  "Into the world of today clmes the ATOM MAN!  The greatest of them all!  Drawing on his super-human powers from the limitless reservoirs of atomic force the world's greatest man dedicates his life to defeating the machinations of the wicked!"

Got that?

On an uncharged atoll near Bikini Island the wise white king's beautiful daughter Lais spots a strange craft coming to shore,  In it is a baby with a note attached to his clothers:  "These twin  boys were born at Bikini the instant the atom bomb exploded -- they miraculously escaped death but their parents and all arounf them perished -- the mystery of their survival holds the secret of the future -- who guards them guards the future of the world."

Whoa.  Wait.  Twin boys?  There's only one baby.  Well, no matter.  It is felt that this child will guard "the secret of the atoll."

A couple of weeks pass and the baby becomes a boy.  Naturally they suspect the kid is no ordinary mortal.  Within a few months he had grown to a man.  The wise white king named the boy Bikini so maybe the white king was no so wise after all.  Fast forward a few more months.  The king andLaia reveal to Bikini the contents of the note and that he supposedly had a brother.  

Meanwhile...a villainous crew led by a masked man land on the island.  Their intent is to kill everyone on the island except for the king and the daughter.  Once they are forced to reveal "the secret of the atoll," they, too, will be killed.  Bikini, who happens to be on a nearby cliff top, hears the gunshots and sees smoke coming from the village.  He rushes to the scene but is soon captured.  Tie to a tree and threatened with death, Bikini wishes that his twin brother was there to help him.  Then Bikini utters a strange word, "EXENOR!", and transforms to Atom Man.  Bullets cannot stop him and he rips a tree from the ground and tosses it at the villains.  The bad guys escape as Atom Man releases Lais and the king.

So who is Atom Man?  He is the twin brother of Bikini.  While Bikini is visable, Atom Man is invisable; while Atom Man is visible, Bikini is invisable.  Neat trick, huh?  

The bad guys fire guns from their boat, wounding the king.  Before he dies he tells Lais and Atom Man that they (and Bikini) must protect "the secret of the atoll."  Lais leads Atom Man to an underground cavern where they meet the Prophet of Exenor who tells them that millions of years ago there was an advanced scientic race on Earth which went down the path of evil and destroyed themselves with atomic power.  It is up to Captain Atom to gor against the evil forces that might use the atom for evil.  So off go Captain Atom and Lais to save the world.

Also included in this issue is an adventure of Dick Hawke, pipe-smoking detective, in "The Case of Murder on the High Seas."  Six people, set to share a large inhetience equally. are on a cruise as they get murdered off one  by one.  Hawk manages to solve the case when they is only one heir left.  He also smokes his pipe very oddly on occasion.


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