"Evolution of the Species": In an alley in San Francisco, a small mouse hunts for food. It crawls up to a sleeping homeless man and steals a piece of his food. As it scurries away, an odd, blue glow shines in its eyes.
- I know -- you're committed. But it's a fine line between dedication and obsession. You have to keep a balance.
- -- Captain Atom
Appearing in "Evolution of the Species"
- Pandora (Cameo)
Synopsis for "Evolution of the Species"
In an alley in San Francisco, a small mouse hunts for food. It crawls up to a sleeping homeless man and steals a piece of his food. As it scurries away, an odd, blue glow shines in its eyes.
Captain Atom, meanwhile, tackles a foe in an armored suit in Chicago. The villain blasts energy pulses at the Captain, which only prove to strengthen his abilities. As he is about to punch through the villain's armor, the armor starts to disintegrate. Captain Atom realizes he is the cause. The villain is left unarmed but Atom notices his hand is disintegrating too.
Captain Atom returns to his home-base, the Continuum, somewhere in Kansas. After some witty banter with Doctor Carter, he discusses this new manifestation of his powers with Doctor Megala. Megala theorizes that Captain Atom's powers are developed by atoms splitting and rejoining repeatedly. Now, he thinks the bonds are not reforming as quickly, allowing for the disintegration. He warns Captain Atom that use of his powers could lead to him dissipating and dying. There is no time to contemplate this warning as a volcano has been detected in New York.
Atom races off the stop the volcano but must first stop a nuclear meltdown at the Indian Point Energy Center. The emergence of the volcano disrupted the nuclear plant. He is able to absorb the energy from the plant and heads to tackle the volcano. The volcano's heat is unbearable but the danger really mounts when it starts spewing magma. Captain Atom is able to cool the magma until it transforms into snow.
Back in San Francisco, the homeless man has finally cornered the mouse thief. The other homeless men ask if he is going to eat it but he replies he will break the mouse's back for stealing his food. Just when he reaches out to grab the creature, it mutates into a giant monster.
In New York, Captain Atom is still contending with the volcano. He begins absorbing the energy but feels his atoms splitting. The splitting continues and Atom feels like blacking out. Just before he is completely overcome, he thinks that at least in dying, he has finally done something good.
- Pandora makes a cameo appearance to witness the events of this storyline, as she does all #1 issues published as part of The New 52. She can be seen among the crowd as Captain Atom battles the volcano. The clock reads "250:12:07:23".
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