DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
DC’s handling of the Justice Society from the ’60s forward marked an important change in how they handled story telling as a whole, at least for a while. With the dawn of the Silver Age, they had rebooted most of their popular titles, but “Flash of Two Worlds” confirmed that the original DC heroes existed in a universe all their own, where time had progressed since we last saw them. It created a universe where the heroes were allowed to age, which, in tandem, created a universe where the heroes were allowed to retire or otherwise pass their mantles onto a new generation. Roy Thomas’s All Star Squadron was a series dedicated to the exploits of the JSA after we stopped seeing them regularly, and through it we were introduced to a whole collection of legacy heroes, who would eventually become Infinity Incorporated. Amongst those heroes was the original Atom’s god-son Albert Rothstein, also known as Nuklon. Al would later move up to the JSA proper, and would take on a new identity, Atom Smasher, whose second figure I’m looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Atom Smasher was the Collect-N-Connect for Series 7 of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics. Atom Smasher would mark the first proper JSA offering within the line, but he would be the first of quite a few, including a whole JSA-themed series by the time the line ended. Atom Smasher’s status as a CnC allowed him to be a little taller than is compatriots, standing about 8 1/4 inches tall. His base body was really just patterned on the standard male body, so he kept the same basic 25 points of articulation. In terms of height, Al had the ability to vary his, much like Giant-Man, but this figure still seemed a little bit on the small side; he felt more like a kind of tall guy, and less like an actual giant. Still, it was at least a better representation of his size than *some* of the figures in this line…heck, in this very same assortment (looking at you Little Barda). In terms of sculpt, the sized up base body worked pretty well for the character’s design at least, and the figure specific elements on the neck, belt, forearms, and boots all look pretty good. The head was a pretty nice piece as well, and would wind up scaled down to normal figure size for use on Mattel’s version of the Al Pratt Atom a few years later. Atom Smasher’s paint work is pretty good, showing the slightly more involved work from earlier in this line. The base work is generally pretty cleanly applied, and he also gets some pretty nice accent work, especially on the larger stretches of the same colors on his mask and torso. Atom Smasher had no accessories, but as an accessory himself, and without any major extras that warranted inclusion, that’s really not a big deal.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Atom Smasher was a slow burn figure for me. I picked up the figures I most wanted from this assortment right away, so I had their parts for him floating about for a bit. I even wound up with the Barda figure as well, so I had her part too, but I was so unimpressed with her, and so disenchanted with the possibility of finding the rest of the parts, that I actually wound up trading off the part that came with her before completing this guy. It wasn’t until the end of the line, when I really started to go back and fill in some holes that I finally brought myself to finish him. I’m glad I did, because even at his slightly smaller size, he’s a cool figure, and it’s unlikely we’re ever going to get a better Atom Smasher.