Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sword of the Atom by Gil Kane

One of the series that Gil Kane drew for DC Comics in the early 1980s was Sword of the Atom.  This is one of those gems that I didn't quite like when it came out.  But now I love it--the setting really provided a fertile ground for Kane's illustrations.

Amazing Heroes 28 Sword of the Atom cover by Gil Kane 1983

Amazing Heroes previewed the mini-series in 1983 with this terrific Kane cover.  Kane always did a great job with sword & sorcery.  The story by Jan Strnad put Ray Palmer's marriage to Jean Loring in turmoil and sent the hero into a microverse populated by barbarians.

Sword of the Atom 1 cover by Gil Kane 1983

The first mini-series sent die-hard silver age Atom fans into a tizzy.  I remember reading this and thinking, but yeah, where's the JLA?  Of course, that was the whole point, to reinvent the Atom and send him off into another world.

Gil Kane splash page from Sword of the Atom Special 1 1984

Reading this stuff all over again, it was clear that Gil Kane loved this story and did some very inspired work.  After the first mini-series finished, there were 3 more specials that were published in 1984/85/86. This splash page was from the 1984 special, where Ray Palmer reflects on his feelings between the Jean and barbarian babe Laethwen.  If only the Atom could know of Jean's future actions in Identity Crisis...he would have stayed in that microverse forever. Nuff Said!


  1. Sword of the Atom was a strange mixture.DC must have wanted to do something different with Ray Palmer.Gil Kane wanted to another John Carter like series,about a man from our world depositted in an alien one,like you see done by Edgar Rice Burroughs.Problems was to do this new concept,the old had to done away with.


Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain