Sunday, 28 September 2014

Superman: The Coming of Atlas Review (James Robinson, Renato Guedes)

You guys know who Atlas is? He’s a strongman who wears red shorts and a red hood, and that’s it. He’s strong enough to fight Superman, which is what he does in this book. His reasons? Some nonsense about working with a secret government agency to kill Superman. He’ll then replace Superman and go on to conquer the world or some ridiculous crap that doesn’t make sense.

This is my third James Robinson Superman book and boy does he write terrible Superman books! This one’s about as deep as a WWE match. Superman and Atlas punch each other in the street until one of them falls down. No interesting choreography to the fight, just straight up slugging, one after the other, and it couldn’t be more boring.

For some reason Robinson puts Superman’s dog, Krypto, into the spotlight here, which I actually liked - I’m one of those people who loves Superman’s dog and the fact that Superman has a dog. I don’t get why Robinson wrote Lois the way he did though, having her hate the dog and hate that he’s stealing Superman’s attention from her (this was back when she and Clark were married). Her character’s not some insecure dimwit and having her talk crap about Krypto makes her seem like a total bitch, which she isn’t!

Also, this book might have the least satisfactory resolution to a fight, or any book, ever. Superman and Atlas fall into a hole, Superman emerges and announces to everyone that Krypto is a hero for fighting Atlas when he was down. The end. Yup, James Robinson is a mega-shitty Superman writer!

The inclusion of Atlas’ first appearance in First Issue Special #1 written and drawn by Jack Kirby could be seen as providing the reader with background info on Atlas, if there was anything more to the character than “he’s a tough guy who punches stuff”. Yeah, Atlas is not one of Kirby’s best creations - he’s a forgettable wrestler and nothing more, that’s why we never see him in any DC comics these days!

The only positives about this book (besides Krypto) was Renato Guedes’ art on the Robinson story and Kirby’s art in his issue. Both were fantastic, especially Kirby’s, though I doubt anyone’s going to be rushing out to grab this book on the strength of the art!

It’s tough finding good Superman books isn’t it? Here’s a pointer though: avoid the ones written by James Robinson, especially The Coming of Atlas!

Superman: The Coming Of Atlas


  1. I have vague memories of Robinson wanting to include Atlas in his JLA lineup around the time this came out. Thankfully, we were spared.

    1. Yikes - that would've been awful! Atlas suuuuuucks!