The Atom Handled Cancellation in the Coolest Way Imaginable

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Today, we see the clever way the end of the Atom's late 1980s comic book was reflected in the corner boxes of the series!

After I did an article on how the corner boxes of The Incredible Hulk reflected how the Hulk was slowly losing control of his intelligence (this was during Bill Mantlo's run when the Hulk regained the intelligence of Bruce Banner for a while) and turning back into a savage Hulk (each issue would show the Hulk getting more and more crazy, as he tears off his lab coat and becomes the savage Hulk again), reader Neil R. wrote in to note how the final few issues of The Power of the Atom did the same thing in the late 1980s.

Check out the corner boxes of the series, starting with the 13th issue (the series ended with #18). I used Comixology's image files of the covers since they're so sharp, in case you're wondering where the price tag is on the covers.

Isn't that an awesome way to say goodbye as a comic book series? The Atom just slowly shrinks into nothingness!

I tried to do it as a gif, but I'm sure someone out there can do a better job. If you do, feel free to send your gif in and I'll replace the one that I did!

I wonder who came up with the idea? Whoever it was, it really worked well. Mike Carlin was the editor on the series, and there were actually a few fill-in issues by William Messner-Loebs and Tom Peyer towards the end, as you can see from the credits above. The art for the corner box was by Graham Nolan, who was the regular artist on the series at the time.

EDITED TO ADD: Graham Nolan apparently has said that it was his idea. Great idea, Graham!

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