OMG. Capital G for God. Capital C for Crazy.

"Atomika" #10 from Mercury Comics (formerly from Speakeasy Comics)

This book is just about as I remember it. That is to say: It's fucking crazy.

(I haven't read issues #5 through #9 for reasons kinda complicated and stupid. Therefore I will not bother with them.)

Have you read the final fight between Superman and Doomsday from "Superman" #75, the 'death' of Superman issue from 1992? Do you think back on that fondly as an intense comic you read in your youth? Atomika spits in your face and says, "That is not the truth, you can't handle the truth!" In THIS comic-book a supremely powerful god-like being in a tattered red cape fights a giant immortal monster described as "Koschei The Deathless" in the sky and beats him by THROWING HIM INTO THE SUN. This book does not skimp on intense superhero action. In fact, it never has. Almost every issue of this series that I've read feels like the series could end right HERE, because THIS is the most intense fight the character has been in.

Now, is that a bit grating over and over again? Yes. Read on.

(The cover of "Atomika" #5)

The thing that makes this book wonderful is that it has utter disregard for the rules of superhero comics. More importantly, it's got fantastic prose text-boxes and it's really smart. (In this issue, Atomika looks at a Russian city FILLED with statues and reliefs of himself and says: "I built this world in my image, and it terrifies me.") The main character Atomika IS Twentieth Century Soviet Russia. He is the child of Mother Russia stolen in his youth by Arohnir (the god of Greed? War? something like that...) and infused with the power of the Atomic Bomb. It's like what it would be like if the "Watchmen" character Dr. Manhattan was raised by a Russian child molester and had to fight gods on a daily basis. Like I said: Fucking crazy. Furthermore, the character is changing as he grows older. The time given in this issue is the year 2ooo and Atomika was born in (guess when?) 1917, so, in his own words, "Now I am older, and wiser, and afraid."

Why aren't more people picking this up? Well because the art matches the story. It's sometimes hard to decipher. Abbinanti goes for scratchy and dramatic on almost every panel. This comic IS over the top and DOES take itself seriously. But that is another part of what I find so refreshing about it.

This is a book that does not pander to the mainstream tastes. Instead it rocks them in the same way the 1960s Stan Lee stuff did. Physically, the same thing happens every issue: Atomika defeats another "old god". Emotionally, something very different is happening inside the main character.

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