The Second Man in Space Arrives!
Before Mr. A, before The Hawk & the Dove, even before Spider-Man — the first series character Steve Ditko was ever involved in the creation of, was Captain Atom!
It's hard to believe that Charlton Comics' Captain Atom began in 1960! The superhero began in Space Adventures #33 and continued in two other series before getting his own comic book. It was written by Joe Gill and drawn by Steve Ditko & Rocco "Rocky" Mastroserio. Cover images were taken from interior stories.
The Charlton Comics version of Captain Atom was Allen Adam. The character's origin had Adam working as a technician in a special experimental rocket when it accidentally launched with him trapped inside. Adam was atomized when the rocket exploded while entering the upper atmosphere. However, he somehow gained superpowers that included the ability to reform his body safely on the ground.
Space Adventures #40
Captain Atom helps get Mr. Haynes to the peace confererance and also removes all the threats of the enemy missiles.
"The Boy and the Stars"
Captain Atom cures M/Sgt. Willkie Scott's son who was dying from gamma ray radiation.
Space Adventures #42
"The Saucer Scare"
Captain Atom challenges a group of UFO's.
"The Man in Saturn's Moon"
Captain Atom rescues Andrei Rotov from a rocket that was shot to Saturn.
"The Silver Lady from Venus"
Captain Atom must stop an alien from Venus from hypnotizing military men into wrecking missiles.
Captain Atom #78 All New! The New Adventures of Captain Atom!
"The Gremlins from Planet Blue"
Captain Atom must rescue Professor Jupe and his daughter from aliens who have brainwashed him into working for them on killer missiles.
Captain Atom #79 Witness the Birth of the Incomparable Doctor Spectro Master of Moods!
Different - Dangerous - Diabolical
"Captain Atom Faces Doctor Spectro"
When an Air Force truck is hijacked Captain Atom begins to track down the criminals. Along the way he meets Doctor Spectro, using colors and light as weapons.
First appearance of Doctor Spectro.
Captain Atom #80 Thrill to the Fantastic All Action Epic!
"Death Knell of the World!"
Captain Atom must stop a space ark from crashing into the Earth.
Captain Atom #81 Back by Popular Demand The Diabolical Master of Moods--Doctor Spectro!
"The Five Faces of Doctor Spectro"
Doctor Spectro reforms as five smaller beings. They steal the equipment they need to reform but are stopped by Captain Atom.
"Jiu-Jitsu: A Way of Life"
Martial arts feature by Frank McLaughlin (artist on Judomaster.)
Captain Atom #82 How Do You Catch a Ghost?
"Captain Atom vs. The Ghost"
The Ghost is planning to rob Fort Knox. The Government teams up Captain Atom & Nightshade to stop him.
Introduces Eve Eden as Nightshade & Alec Nois as The Ghost!
Ad for upcoming letters page.
"Judomaster: Favorite Thows"
Judomaster martial arts feature by Frank McLaughlin.
Ultimately, these Space Adventures & Captain Atom issues were reprinted in The Action Heroes Archives Vol. 1 from DC Comics. It's a highly recommended hardback edition which includes a Captain Atom feature from Thunderbolt #53.
Steve Ditko was the man to me in the sixties, when I first got into comics. Not only did he draw Spider-Man #38, my first comic book, he had already illustrated Captain Atom!
These were exciting time for the newly comic book initiated!
Tomorrow I'll wrap it up with Captain Atom. I love how he changed throughout the rest of the Charlton Comics' series!
All that and Nightshade too!
Live Large My Friends!