Written and Drawn by Mike Allred
Published by
Image Comics

Early on in the MADMAN saga, Frank ran afoul of a group of street beatniks, and that encounter left them covered in alien goop that has altered their cellular structure and give them strange powers (it also left one of them as the mate of an alien bride who was going to eat him after they mated- apparently that planet never heard of RU-486). Now, those altered by the goop have drawn back together and become their own sort of twisted super-team, though they really don’t do a lot in the way of battling a lot of evil. Instead, they do just about as much of squabbling and loving each other, making this a cross between X-MEN and DAWSON’S CREEK (to use an entirely outdated reference).

Anyone who knows anything about comics knows that Mike Allred is one of the true titanic talents working in the field, as he took the world by storm with MADMAN back in the 90s, and the rain still hasn’t stopped falling. When the fifteen issues of THE ATOMICS contained in this omnibus album came out, they were first a bit of a curiosity, as many fans wondered why he would take his full focus off of Frank (Madman) and his adventures. But the answer was easy to find: ATOMICS gave him a much broader palette to paint with. There are stories here that MADMAN simply could not tell.

As with all his work, Allred’s art is striking and vivid, aided and abetted by the superior color work of his wife Laura Allred. The characters pop off the page, and when they hurt, physically or emotionally, the hues deliver that punch. This is the third massive MADMAN paperback collection Image has issued, and I think it’s my favorite to date. These books have been a gift to comics fans everywhere. Do yourself a favor and pick one up to see what the fuss is all about.

Marc Mason