Splitting Atoms (Justice League of America #17)

Justice League of America #17
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Ivan Reis
Cover Artist: Ivan Reis and Marcelo Maiolo
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Publisher: DC Comics

Justice League of America presents the Finale to Panic in the Microverse.

What You Need to Know:

The Justice League of America is Vixen, Black Canary, Killer Frost, Lobo, The Atom (Ryan Choi) and Batman. They have embarked on a journey into the Microverse to find Ray Palmer the original Atom.They were accompanied by a living ship that was the essence of a dying sentient planet. This is their story.

What You’ll Find Out:

In an effort to save the Microverse and rescue Scientist and Justice League Member Ray Palmer or the Atom, a hero that can control his size and shrink to a subatomic size, the Justice League of America teamed up with a scientist of microscopic origins to reach the ignition point. They have been through some tough battles, and they are tired and injured and seeking their friend Ray.

What Just Happened?

The Justice League arrives and is immediately warned that they were tricked into bringing the Scientist Dr. Aut to the Ignition Point. This was a clever ruse orchestrated to gain him the access to the center of the Microverse. He enacts his betrayal on the team by shrinking them to an even smaller stature. Ray Palmer states that at this rate they will eventually explode if they cannot reverse the transformation

Dr. Aut enlarges a machine to blast a hole in the ignition point and supercharge a rift, thus tearing apart the Microverse in a Doomsday scheme, and destroying reality as they know it.

He is taken down quite easily by Ryan Choi, who bests him in a fistfight and then has an idea on how to repair the rift in the ignition point. He grows and seals it in with his outstretched hand, which fills in the gaps. Crisis averted.

We move on to the team is saved and then we see the team leave in their sentient Shrinkship to return back to their Normal sized Universe. Ray returns to his Microverse home and is greeted by a passionate kiss from his love Preon.

He decides to stay and study the Microverse. He believes that it is an extension of the Multiverse and as such is connected. His theory was awfully close to the way that Ryan devised his solution to fill the rift and seal the Microverse.

The story concludes, but not before Ray Officially hands the mantle of the Atom to Ryan, including his Dwarf Star matter, which allows him to shrink without the use of a special suit. Ryan reluctantly accepts the passing of the torch.


Rating:  4/10

Final Thought: To start off I am a generally positive comic book fan, and I find a great deal of joy in reading them. There will, of course, be times that stories will require a transition, or as we call them “Filler issues”. This one actually disappoints on the level, that the ending is very quickly and conveniently handled by the characters, and then it is mostly pages of exposition setting up the next story. Lobo, the character that normally gives the most one-liners and funny quotes, barely has any lines! I found that this story was much less of a finale, but a transition to a different Atom Character. It featured very little of other characters and was pretty boring. The saving Grace was that I absolutely love Ivan Reis’s artwork. He was the power behind the DC Event Blackest Night, and I love to see the ultra detail that he uses. That to me was the saving grace of the story that could not keep itself together. Again I am rarely completely negative but this was a rushed, and contrived plot that severely underutilized the characters and an anticlimactic ending to a story arc that deserved a better ending. 

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