Saturday, October 16, 2010

ATX

ATX Volume 1 #1 was published by Atlas Publishing Co., Inc. on January 2003. It was written by Reginald Ting and illustrated by Jim Jimenez, with character design and colors by Gilbert Monsanto.


WHEN TITANS CRASH

Gregorio Emmanuel "George" Perez IV (get it?) was a brilliant scientist working for RP Robotics, a firm that manufactures high-tech weapons for the military. Driving from work one night, a pickup truck with a drunk driver behind the wheel loses control and smashes into his car, causing it to crash.


It turns out that the pickup's driver, Eddie Valdez, possesses superhuman strength. He pulls George out from the wreckage of his car, saving his life.


Unfortunately, the accident had seriously damaged George's legs, and needed to be amputated. The now-invalid inventor vents his anger on Eddie, holding him responsible (and rightfully so) for the loss of his legs.

Now, conventional comic book logic would dictate that the vengeful scientist transforms himself into a supervillain, and the super-powered young man becomes the hero who will try to stop him. But it is at this point that the story deviates from the norm.

The guilt-ridden Eddie tries to make amends by working as George's house servant. One time, George angrily snaps at Eddie, rebuking him for not using his strength for the betterment of society. Eddie then makes a deal with the bitter handicapped scientist: he will agree to put his powers to good use if George stops feeling sorry for himself and uses his genius to make himself walk again.
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With Eddie's help, George eventually builds himself a pair of robotic legs that enable him to walk. In the process, he comes to realize that everything he had ever invented in the past were all weapons for the government, and that he had never really created anything that would benefit mankind. He decides to make up for this by helping Eddie fulfill his part of the bargain.
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Clad in a special costume of George's design, which enhances his inherent superhuman abilities, Eddie thus becomes the superhero Mr. Atlas (named, of course, for the Titan who carried the entire world on his shoulders), while George assists him under the codename Promiteyo (after Prometheus, the Titan who brought fire to the mortals).
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Created by George Perez?
No, not really.


MR. ATLAS
Art by Gilbert Monsanto

Real Name: Eduardo "Eddie" Valdez
Occupation: Construction worker
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Eddie possesses natural super powers such as superhuman strength and agility, and limited flight. How he came to acquire these abilities is unknown. As Mr. Atlas, he wears a costume made from a special fabric that renders him impervious to most forms of physical harm, and is fire and electrical resistant as well. It is also equipped with infra-red and night vision, optical camera lenses, and two-way satellite communication capabilities.
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PROMITEYO
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Real Name: Gregorio Emmanuel "George" Perez IV
Occupation: Inventor
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Serving as Mr. Atlas' tech support, Promiteyo's main asset is his intelligence, with his advanced knowledge in robotics and his years of experience designing weapons for the government. His cybernetic legs are capable of moving at high speeds and jumping long distances.
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SUPPORTING CAST
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KAREN

Eddie's wife, with whom he has a young son, Jay-Ar. She discovers that her husband is none other than the hero Mr. Atlas.





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DETECTIVE CUESTA

A police officer who dislikes superheroes in general and Mr. Atlas in particular.






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MELANIE NORIEGA

A TV reporter who just can't get a break.









MARIA MAKILING
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Apparently, a modern-day incarnation of the mythical diwata of the same name.
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VILLAINS
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MALINDIG
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An evil sorceress with a mysterious past, she appears to have some history with Mr. Atlas/Eddie, who recognizes her as an old classmate named Anna. Her alias is derived from Mount Malindig, a volcano in the Philippine island of Marinduque.
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DAMON

Malindig's son, who was conceived stillborn. To save his life, his mother traded his soul to a demon, who bestowed him with mystical rings that would keep him alive. He also wears a stolen agimat that grants him powers such as super strength, invulnerability and flight.



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MALAKAS AND MAGANDA

Named after the Filipino equivalent of Adam and Eve. Malakas (which means "strong" in English) naturally has superhuman strength, while Maganda (meaning "beautiful") has the power of-- uh, beauty, I guess.

"DEMONYO"
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The nameless demon to whom Malindig sold her son's soul, though he appears to be under the sorceress' control.


ATLAS SHRUGGED
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ATX was intended to be the first in a new line of comic books, which would have included RAM by Gilbert Monsanto, Belladonna by writer Richie Ramos and artist Rodel Noora, and Alagad Inc., written by Monsanto and drawn by Kriss Israel S. Sison. Unfortunately, the line never materialized.

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Alagad Inc. would eventually see print in 2006 as one-half of Sacred Mountain Publications' Rambol Komiks. Some pages of RAM had been posted online in Monsanto's blog, santomon's name.
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As for ATX, Mr. Atlas just wasn't strong enough to carry his own title, which was cancelled after only its first (and ultimately last) issue.
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