Cities On Flame With Batton, Holt

Link To Sunday

“Done something about” what, exactly? Smoldering futuristic cities? And how does Atmos hovering in the air help the situation in any way? Why didn’t he act BEFORE his planet was consumed by climate damage? Why doesn’t he ask Oceanaire to splash some water on it? What the hell do the other The Elementals do, anyway? They’ve been working on this for months and THIS is what they came up with?


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44 responses to “Cities On Flame With Batton, Holt

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    So Issue No. 2 is the first part of their four-part trilogy.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It makes no sense whatsoever, not even by Atomik Komix standards. Atmos is just floating there in some sort of force field as towering skyscrapers burn in the background, unless they’re supposed to be some sort of futuristic factories or something. Is it his home planet, some sort of Elementals headquarters or what? It’s just painfully generic, especially when you consider the fact that this is an imaginary fictional comic book sub-universe, where he’s free to let his imagination (as it were) run wild.

      • William Thompson

        It makes sense when you realize that Number One could put the fire out, while the story itself is pure Number Two.

  2. William Thompson

    “It’s still not too late to buy marshmallows and weenies and roast them over our burning cities!”

    “That’s so wrong! Think of all the calories I’d have to burn off after the picnic!”

  3. billytheskink

    I’m guessing Dr. Atmos’ concern about air pollution is largely about self-preservation. The worse it gets, the more people are going to want to breathe him…

    • Epicus Doomus

      Is that what’s going on here? See, I thought everything was on fire due to climate damage. Then I saw the billowing smoke and I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be smokestacks of some kind.

      • billytheskink

        Maybe it’s supposed to be the Point Dume fire, and Dr. Atmos is in the process of helping Les and Masone rescue half of greater Los Angeles from a fiery death.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    This never stops being on point:

    • be ware of eve hill

      LOL. Tom Batiuk Seal of Bitterness.

      Has that always been there?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It has! What hasn’t always been there is the “where it’s always issue No. 1” designation. I inadvertently uploaded a version that didn’t have that layer visible.

  5. Sourbelly

    What am I looking at? Nuclear war? Caused by Doctor Atmos? And what is Batton so worried about? It’s just a shitty comic book cover. We ALL wish you jackholes had done something about that, like come up with an idea that didn’t suck!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batton Thomas’ presence this week makes even less sense than the cover. All they did was tell him what they were already making – he didn’t even contribute in any way. I’d wager that next time it’s Comic Book Cover Week (probably in about six weeks), Batton will just be there with no explanation. Or they’ll spend another week formally adding him to the staff.

  6. Hitorque

    What I hate about Dr. Atmos is as a cloud in a helmet, it’s impossible to tell what emotions he’s feeling, what emotions he’s trying to express, or even what he’s looking at in a given moment.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Frankly, I couldn’t even tell which way Doc was facing on the cover at first. I finally assumed he was facing the reader by the position of the feet.

      And exactly what purpose was served by having guest auteur Batton Thomas. The Creator of the Comic Strip “Three O’Clock High,” pop by to work out on Durwin’s Cosmic Treadmill souvenir? So he could toss out today’s non sequitur “punchline”?

      The sad part is that, now that Flush Freeloader and The Late Phil Holt have come up with at least one of the four covers (Batiuk hewing to the “Design a Catchy Cover First” philosophy of Silver Age DC editor Mort Weisinger), we may have to be on the lookout for future arcs where they actually write and draw the furshlugginer story that goes with it!

      • sorialpromise

        I went back and looked again at the cover. I believe you are correct, Atmos is looking at the reader. That makes it appear that he is the cause of all the destruction! (It does make the cover better.)

        • be ware of eve hill

          Dr. Atmos’s thumbs are also facing the reader. That would also support the fact he’s facing the reader.

          Being a gaseous entity, is it possible for Dr. Atmos to put his suit on backwards? Why have a humanoid form at all?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It really is a monument to how uncreative this all is. Here’s a character who has no form because he’s gaseous, so what does Batiuk do? Jam him into a silver age superhero suit! Never mind how something with no mass could even move clothing.

            Sad thing is, you could tell some clever stories with a character like that. A character that can’t be seen or perceived, who can go through any sized opening? He’d be perfect for stealth missions. It’s a legit skill. A superhero team could use someone like that. How many versions of “guy in tights who punches people” do they need?

            I always liked the bit in Mystery Men where one of the superheroes’ powers was to be invisible, as long as nobody was looking at him. Which actually turns out to be useful, when they have to get past an alarm system.

    • be ware of eve hill

      If Dr. Atmos is a gaseous entity in a containment suit, he doesn’t have vocal cords or ears. How does he communicate with the other members of the Elementals Force Farce.

      Sign language?
      A pen and a pad of paper?
      Does he make squeaky sounds like somebody slowly letting the air out of a balloon?

  7. Y. Knott

    While it’s not elegantly, eloquently or even particularly coherently explained, this is clearly meant to be OUR world, destroyed by climate change. We’re supposed to say, “Oh my god, THIS IS WHAT WE’RE DOING TO OUR WORLD! I NEVER REALIZED IT COULD BE THIS WAY! IF ONLY I HAD PAID MORE ATTENTION TO THAT ‘RAPPING AROUND’ CARTOON I SAW ONCE IN 1970!”

    Dr. Atmos, meanwhile, is … uh, going to be crucified for our sins? I think? Yeah, okay, sure. Why not?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah, it looks like they forgot to pose him. He’s just randomly floating there, like they just added his layer to the image and haven’t done anything with it yet. He’s completely flat while the background has a perspective. And is this town supposed to be suffering climate change, or did North Korea just nuke it? This is a complete mess.

      • be ware of eve hill

        The way Dr. Atmos is just floating there, he seems lifeless. I can picture a child holding Dr. Atmos like a toy balloon. Just tie a string around his ankle and hand it to a kid.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It was the same way with “Starbuck Jones”. We know so little about the character that the Sunday covers don’t have any context. Does Dr. Atmos dwell here on Earth, in the present? Where is his “home”, exactly? We just don’t know, and we never will.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    I will say that the artwork by itself is good. But I can also imagine that James Pascoe, Rob Ro and Chuck Ayers got minimal input from The Author as to the plot they were supposed to be teasing in the illustration (because he hasn’t given a scintilla of thought about what the plot of the four part “trilogy” would be).

  9. ComicBookHarriet

    Dr Atmos asserts his dominance over the Burning Man festival with T-Pose!

  10. Charles

    “I was kind of hoping that we would have done something about this by now.”
    “Yes, it’s truly terrible.”
    “Oh well, now that I’m done using Pete’s treadmill, I’m going to jump in my car, by myself, to drive the 40 miles to get back home.”
    “Hey, we were thinking of going out to Red The Steakhouse Downtown if you’d like to join us.”
    “Sounds great! So all of us?”
    “Darin’s got to first go to Chagrin Falls to buy this weird pen he insists on using, but after that, he’ll be joining us.”
    “A pen? I thought that was what his wife brought him earlier.”
    “Nah, she drove in to give him some lunch money because he forgot it.”
    “So is Pete coming too?”
    “He will after he picks up his Shelby at the shop. Fix Or Repair Daily, amiright?”
    “Ha! Good one! So is Mindy coming with him?”
    “Nah, she’s driving herself so she can go visit her grandpa or some such shit after work.”
    “And Flash will be there, right?”
    “Dude can’t drive himself, so when his daughter gets here to drive him. She comes in from Youngstown each day to bring him to work.”
    “So she will be joining us?”
    “Shame he can’t drive anymore. What about you?”
    “Still got my ’54 Imperial! All original parts!”
    “That’s cool!”
    “Almost as cool as the stretch limo Chester drives around in!”
    “What about Ruby?”
    “She can’t come because Red The Steakhouse Downtown isn’t on a bus line.”
    “What a loser!”
    “You said it!”

    • gleeb

      That’s much too natural-sounding dialogue for Batiuk.However, “Red the Steakhouse Downtown” is a painfully stupid name for anything, so it fits in.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Red is a steakhouse in Cleveland, it’s a great restaurant.

        • Charles

          It is. I used the full name, and I suspect Batiuk characters would certainly use its full name, after all the “Diversity University – Ironton” crap.

          I’m not actually familiar with the place, I just looked up the best steakhouses in the Cleveland area and used the most appropriate one for the purpose. I also researched the MPGs of various cars which was what got me to decide that Mopey drives a Shelby. I also looked up various communities in the vicinity of Cleveland to make plausible places for these dopes to drive to and from for their dumb stuff.

          See how research can improve a joke, Batiuk?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            “Red The Steakhouse Downtown” sounds exactly like a name Batiuk would give something. Especially if it’s a real-world trademark and he thinks he’s obfuscating what it really is.

  11. robertodobbs

    Imagine the person who only reads the Sunday paper coming across this, sideways no less. I guess it’s on to the Lowe’s and Ace Hardware circulars! (BTW I “got” and loved the BOC ref that took me back to Jr. High.)

    • Suicide Squirrel

      One of my brother’s favorite albums of all time was the live album ‘On Your Feet or on Your Knees’. He played that album constantly.

      I was a Blue Öyster Cult fan too. We saw B.O.C. live at least three times in the late 1970s/early 1980s. ‘Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll’ was a concert staple. Last I heard they were still touring.

      The first person who comments “needs more cowbell” will be clubbed and skinned.

  12. batgirl

    “I kinda thought we would have done something about this by now.”
    Okay, doomer.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s as if cancer and amputations don’t interest Batiuk anymore. He’s got to kill everyone now, and make it everyone’s fault. He’s like a porn addict who needs more and more extreme material. He’s basically Brooke McEldowney at this point.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “He’s basically Brooke McEldowney at this point.”

        Very true. Only their obsessions differ.

  13. The Duck of Death

    I’m assuming “we” here refers to humanity, and “this” refers to climate change? Is Batiuk truly unaware of the countless initiatives, local and global, legislative and corporate, to combat climate damage? Is he unaware of the Paris Accords?

    The answer is most likely the same as always: He doesn’t know enough to care, and he doesn’t care enough to know.

    But he wants it to be noted that he’s One of the Good Guys on the Right Side of History. OK, Tom. Your yeoman efforts to improve the conditions on our home planet have been duly noted. We’ve put in for your medal.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Yup, it’s the gun control protest all over again.

      Things are still happening! It must mean that NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.

      • batgirl

        At least with the gun control protest he acknowledged that young people are taking action and raising awareness – I guess he had to, since it was directly related to school shootings. But I guess only old white guys care about saving the world.
        Did they give Ruby’s drafting table to Holt? Or are they saving it for Batton Thomas? Oh, wait, they can give Mindy’s desk to Batton, since TB has already made his brave stand for respecting women as comics creators and doesn’t need either of them in the strip any more.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          That’s all he ever does: acknowledge that something exists. For a man who’s incessantly preachy and constantly fishing for awards, he never takes a stand on anything. Which, sadly, is preferable to if he actually tried.

        • Suicide Squirrel

          Ruby and Mindy got sick and tired of watching Flash and Phil congratulate themselves every day. They moved their work spaces as far away as possible to a far corner of the floor. They set up privacy curtains and Ruby is playing her record player real loud.

          I’m sick and tired of watching Flash and Phil fluffing up each other’s egos.

  14. be ware of eve hill

    Thank you for rotating the image.

  15. Westview Radiology

    I’d rather see Les & Dinklage than this borefest.