Sword of the Atom by Jan Strnad & Gil Kane

August 4, 2023|In General

The Atom had initially done well in the early 1960s as part of DC editor Julius Schwartz’s retooling and revival of the company’s Golden-Age heroes. Like Green Lantern, his tryout began in Showcase and he soon graduated into his own title.

But he never grew to be quite as popular, even though Kane’s art was often more dynamic and inspired in The Atom. Nearing the end of the 1960s, The Atom was merged with Hawkman. That lasted a few issues before cancellation and then Atom was relegated to back-up story status, with some additional team-ups and regular appearances in Justice League of America.

With DC revitalising itself in the early 1980s, it was the time to take fresh looks at established characters and concepts. Much like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars and Carson of Venus, turning Ray Palmer into a miniature sword-wielding adventurer brought a lot of pulp appeal to Sword of the Atom, even if it wasn’t an obvious thing to do with the character.

Jan Strnad’s scripts brought a new depth to the Atom’s world with sensitive handling of Ray and Jean’s marriage and Ray’s eventual integration into an alien culture. After a four-issue mini and three specials, the concept seemed to have played itself out, but those of us who really liked it of course wished for more.

There was a bunch of great Kane art to be found as scans for this one, so we end up with a big post this time. Kane appears to have relished this assignment, bringing a lot of detail to his always dynamic art.

New colour and packaging by me.


Sword of the Atom No. 1

Sword Of The Atom 1 published by DC Comics

As published.

Sword Of The Atom TPB published by DC Comics

DC trade paperback collecting the mini-series.

Sword Of The Atom 1 cover art by Gil Kane

Original art scan.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied. The original SOTA logo has always felt awkward to me, so I built a new one using The Atom’s original logo as the design basis.


Sword of the Atom No. 1 – Alternate Cover

Sword Of The Atom art by Gil Kane

An unpublished piece by Gil Kane.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied.


Sword of the Atom No. 2

Sword Of The Atom 2 published by DC Comics

As published.

Sword Of The Atom 2 page 2 art by Gil Kane

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.


Sword of the Atom No. 4

Sword Of The Atom 4 published by DC Comics

As published.

Sword Of The Atom 4 cover art by Gil Kane

Original art scan.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied.


Sword of the Atom Special No. 1

Sword Of The Atom Special 1 published by DC Comics

As published.

Sword Of The Atom Special 1 cover art by Gil Kane

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied.


Sword of the Atom Special No. 1 – Alternate Cover

Sword Of The Atom Special 1 published by DC Comics

As published.

Sword Of The Atom Special 1 page 9 art by Gil Kane

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied.


Who’s Who in the DC Universe

Sword Of The Atom Whos Who published by DC Comics

As published.

Sword Of The Atom Whos Who art by Gil Kane

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour and page layout re-created.


Omnibus

Amazing Heroes 28 published by Fantagraphics

Amazing Heroes No. 28 from Fantagraphics.

Amazing Heroes 28 cover art by Gil Kane

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied.


Tom Derenick

Sword Of The Atom art by Tom Derenick

Original art scan.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

Colour version.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created and new trade dress applied.