We’ve currently got Ray Palmer over on Legends of Tomorrow, but this new hero is someone a little different. Meet Ryan Choi, a science student of Palmer’s who struggles with day to day life due to allergies and social anxiety. Not exactly superhero material, until now. The Atom Rebirth #1 is an origin story for a new version of The Atom, but it plays out brilliantly. Similar to how Peter Parker used to be a student balancing his superheroic acts, it looks like we’re getting a new underdog in the world of comics. And he’s a joy to read.
He’s definitely not Superman, he struggles with normal socialising and he has extremely low self esteem. And the issue doesn’t treat that as a hugely negative thing, it’s just the base of his character to build upon. And the partnership between Choi and Palmer reads perfectly. This is mainly focused on Choi, and bringing him to the forefront rather than Palmer though. Some of the action in the story is a little weird in places, given the bugs and germs that Palmer fights occasionally.
The only problem with The Atom Rebirth #1 is that it feels incredibly rushed. As if they didn’t want to spend enough time letting the reader get to know Choi a little better. It skipped over months and months of time of the two working together just to get to the conclusion of Choi taking on the mantle of The Atom. We can forgive it a little, since this is a Rebirth issue – but it would’ve been great to see the pair working together a little more instead of rushing ahead to the finish line. Overall, this issue manages to set up an interesting and very real character for the audience to connect with whilst proving to be a good read, if a little rushed in places.
- Character Development