Monday, December 11, 2017

Real Name: Ryan Choi
First Appearance: DCU: Brave New World (August, 2006)
Fight Club Ranking: #288

Featured Fights:
- vs KILLER MOTH: Justice League: Cry For Justice #1 (Sep 2009)

After many months of anticipation - Injustice 2 has finally unveiled its smallest downloadable fighter: The Atom! As reported on Mortal Kombat Online, the new trailer reveals the Ryan Choi incarnation of the character, fighting in search of his missing mentor and predecessor: Ray Palmer.

In the context of a fighting game, there aren't a whole lot of differences between the two generations of Atom. Some might consider it a small blessing that Ray Palmer's spared the NFL Superpro looking design NetherRealm Studios has saddled the character with. Not that their usual junk action figure aesthetic is solely to blame - several of their DC designs are hindered by inspiration from their CW television counterparts, or movie compatible New 52 updates.

The look is a suitably small complaint when seeing the Atom in action! Small characters have a troubled history in fighting games, but it looks like Atom is going to be a whole lot of fun! It seems NetherRealm have done well to take standard issues into consideration. Though he'll fight at a variety of heights and scale, the Atom shouldn't permanently frustrate like Gon or Yoda in Namco's Tekken and Soul Calibur series.

It's hard to say if it's deliberate reference, but when Atom goes half-pint, it reminds of the Golden Age Atom, whose short stature was his trademark. The real fun kicks in when the character becomes a mere glowing blue dot scrambling across the battlefield. That's about the closest you can practically get to the molecule-riding Atom we love from comics -- and it looks like it'll be fun to play with!

Long time comics readers will think fondly of Ray Palmer riding phone lines to get from one destination to the next. I hope we can all appreciate the meta value of Atom being downloadable content, added to the game only after travelling through your connection.

Injustice 2 has done a really good job of putting together a fun cast of characters who pull from all corners of the DC Universe. Some of the favourites are still missing: the sequel has lost the likes of Martian Manhunter and Captain Marvel from the first game, and never went for the natural choices of Steel or Bronze Tiger. Small sacrifices when you consider just how much it's added!

About the only other complaint I'd have for Atom is that his moves include a sequence that takes him giant-size. I just don't associate the character with that.

Atom's great hook is packing the punch of usual mass into the head of a needle, or riding electrons at microscopic level. If you want a fist as big as your body you can leave that to Atom Smasher. The super-move in I2 just compares unflatteringly to Ant-Man, who many unread gamers will know from the recent movie(s). It would be great to see NRS sharpen up their references, throw out the New 52 books WB may or may not have comped them, and tap more iconic and definitive references.

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