DC Comics has been shaking things up lately with the DC Universe: Rebirth relaunch and the latest to feel the ripple effect is the line-up of the flagship team of superheroes, the Justice League. The days of the "big seven" are over and a grouping of heroes are being moved in to finally get their day in the sun.
The new line-up includes a plethora of interesting picks, from The Ray and Vixen to the reformed super criminal Killer Frost. A classic hero, The Atom, is making his debut on the team, as well - at least, a version of him.
The DC Comics superhero The Atom is a lot less Ray Palmer and a lot more Ryan Choi. The news that Choi is joining the newly formed Justice League team, helmed by writer Steve Orlando and a yet to be named artist, was recently broke over at Comicvine. The Atom will be introduced into the team as part of a series of four one-shot comics, before the Justice League of America launches to its ongoing bi-monthly release schedule.
"Foes of evil! Enemies of injustice! As it began in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, for the mighty heroes of the Justice League of America, all wrongdoing is a menace to be stamped out! Whether it comes from outer space, from the watery depths of the seven seas, or springs from the minds of men, the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA is back—just when we need it most!
In January 2017, kicking off JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (hitting shelves twice monthly starting February 2017) are four DC Rebirth one-shots. They make four bold statements that form the foundation of a team that will bring justice to places that have given up on hope; places that thought heroism would never find them. The Justice League of America goes there! They explore the Microverse, the Hidden Cities, the worlds within worlds; they go to the other side of the map and explode forward with the new face of Heroism.
This is a Justice League that looks like America, that proves Heroism can look like ANYTHING and ANYONE.
From February 1960 to February 2017. The mission hasn't changed. It's just evolved."
A character description included in the solicitation for the issue explains Choi's character:
"Who's on the roster? The Atom. Meet Ryan Choi, prodigious theoretical physics student, hyper-allergic, and crippling social anxiety sufferer. But little does young Ryan know, his first day at Ivy University will begin an epic journey that will take the all-new Atom into the very heart of the DC Universe."
If you don't follow the comic books closely you may be a bit confused, but this is just one of many changes that DC Comics has been making lately. The Atom has been Ray Palmer since his creation back in 1961, when he debuted in the pages of Showcase #34. The character has been prolific in the comic books for decades and has even crossed-over to cartoons and television over the years. Palmer was most recently brought to life by Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) on the CW series Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
Ryan Choi was first introduced to the pages of DC Comics back in 2006 in DCU: Brave New World. He is Ray Palmer's protégé and assistant, until he becomes The Atom after discovering the bio-belt. He engages in a large story arc in the repaired multiverse and eventually is killed by Deathstroke in 2010. The death became a major event in the DC Universe, but it was undone by the events of the Flashpoint story arc. In the new DC Universe: Rebirth readers meet Palmer's assistant Ryan Choi, only to soon see him take the helm as The Atom. Palmer had been missing for a time, having discovered a threat in a microverse. He bestowed the mantle of The Atom on Choi to helm in his absence.
Ryan Choi is a major part of The Atom mantle these days and his addition to the new Justice League of America is a confirmation of this. He will help round-out the team as they look ahead to a Justice League of America vs. Suicide Squad crossover series. Choi's version of The Atom has managed to crossover into other media, as well, such as the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon and the DC Universe Animated Film Justice League: Gods and Monsters.
Justice League of America: The Atom #1 will drop in comic shops on January 4, 2017