Must Read: Atom: Sword Of The Atom

Illustration for article titled Must Read: Atom: Sword Of The Atom

Must-read graphic novels are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale.

Title: Atom: Sword Of The Atom
Date: 1983

Vitals: After Ray Palmer's wife cheats on him, he runs away to South America and gets trapped at small size. There, the Atom encounters a whole civilzation of teeny barbarians, including a hawt princess, and he becomes their protector.


Famous names: Jan Strand, Gil Kane

Crunchy goodness: 3

Spinoffs/Sequels/Copycats: Three stand-alone specials returned Ray Palmer to his mini-kingdom, only to have loggers destroy it at last. The original miniseries, plus the three specials, go for about $9 on ebay. Plus DC recently issued a trade collection, which goes for $20. More recently, The All-New Atom revisted this mini world, and found a whole village that worships Ray Palmer as a god.


Elevator pitch: It's Conan the Barbarian, only carrot-sized!

Sights you'll never unsee: The Atom, all done up with his barbarian bling, rides into battle on a frog.

The shit: Gil Kane's art has seldom been so dynamic, not to mention fun. He manages to make a fight with a mouse look intense and death-defying.

Life lesson: Sometimes waving a big sword and banging a yellow princess is just more fun than couple's counseling.


Cullen Bunn Column on Sword of the Atom

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