Captain Atom layeth the smacketh down.
In further honor of Captain Atom getting a back-up feature in Action Comics, I thought I'd post some images from Will Pfeifer's Captain Atom: Armageddon. To put these images in context, after saving the earth from a giant kryptonite meteorite, Cap found himself blasted into the Wildstorm universe. He soon encountered one of that universe's two Superman equivalents, Mr. Majestic. Majestic attacked Cap without warning or provocation. :
Cap was then attacked by the WildC.A.T.s They didn't fare much better. First up is Maul. Note that in the first panel, Cap tries to reason with him:
Some people have suggested that Maul might be based on the Incredible Hulk. Just because he has an inverse relationship between his strength and his intelligence, his civilian identity is a scientist, and he has a green and purple color scheme. Surely that's just a coincidence. Anyway, next up is Voodoo:
That didn't go well. Warblade tries his luck. Cap, although clearly getting pissed off by this point, does try talking to him first. No luck though. By the way, does Warblade remind anyone of a certain short, hairy Canadian? Just me?
I think he'd say that you just brought a knife to a nuke fight. Or maybe he'll just show you:
So now it's Zealot's turn. The WildC.A.T.s wikipedia entry says she may be a combination of Wonder Woman and Elektra. I guess I can believe that. Cap refuses to give up his faith in reason:
Well, he tried. And she does do a little better than some of her teammates. A little:
Note that Cap is no killer:
Cap's refusal to start shooting first and asking questions later is eventually rewarded when he encounters Nikola (again):
In one of my earlier posts, I suggested somewhat facetiously that William Moulton Marston would have liked Captain Atom. In all seriousness, though, one of the things he does have in common with Wonder Woman, and one of the many things that make him such a great character is that, unlike the vast majority of superheroes, especially in the "grim and gritty" nineties of which the Wildstorm characters were so archetypical, he makes a genuine and sincere effort to only use violence as a last resort. When he gets to that last resort, however, as against the Wildstorm universe's other ersatz Superman, and its ersatz Batman, you can be sure that Cap will layeth the smacketh down:
Sorry to interject some nerdiness into this, but even though this is how the sun is often shown in comics, it only looks like this in ultraviolet photographs. All those prominences are invisible to the naked eye, to which the sun appears as, well, a big yellow ball. But that's neither here nor there.
And now, all that's left is to deal with Midnighter:
"Easy? You call that easy?"
There were a lot of things I liked about Armageddon, which was actually a very interesting and subtle story. One of its less subtle but most enjoyable virtues, though, was seeing Cap kicking everybody's ass. After seeing him get turned into the butt monkey in Formerly Known as the Justice League and in JLU (repeatedly), despite being, on paper at least, the most powerful DC superhero after the Spectre, this was a great change of pace. Also, it was nice to see that Pfeifer remembered that Cap is not a violent man by nature or inclination, and prefers talking to fighting. But I have faith that Rucka and Robinson will also get what makes Cap special and interesting.