Atomic Mouse is a pioneer of the funny animal comic genre that first appeared in March 1953 and continued for 54 issues through June 1963. The creation of the series is credited to cartoonist Al Fago, his brother Vince Fago did inside front and back covers, and some front covers although the signature is clearly Al Fago. At the time Vincent Fago was doing a daily comic strip entitled Peter Rabbit and wished to disassociate his name from comic books. Atomic Mouse was the first and most successful superhero series from Charlton Comics running into the 1960's with original material and occasional reprinted runs thereafter into the 1970's. In later years at Charlton, Pat Masulli took over as Executive Editor from issue #24 on after Al Fago left. Although you can clearly find Pat's work on earlier versions of Atomic Mouse. Archie artist Jon D'Agostino worked well with Pat Masulli and did much of the work along with Masulli. The last signed cover for Al Fago was Atomic Mouse issue #23.
In the comic, Atomic Mouse protected the citizens of Mouseville from the evil Count Gatto and his sidekick Shadow with the help of superpowers gained from U-235 pills developed by Professor Invento.
Modern age revival
Atomic Mouse was briefly reprinted in the '80s by Charlton and later by the American Comics Group, owned by Roger Broughton. However Brougton aside from one reprinted issue of Atomic Rabbit, the character hasn't resurfaced since. It is also a mystery where Roger Brougton is? And some of his reprint holdings going all the way to the Philipines, have been recently purchased (it was announced in 2009) by DC Comics, or now known as DC Entertainment, and arm of Warner Bros. Atomic Mouse saw a revival through Shanda Fantasy Arts, first appearing in SFA Spotlight #11 in May 2001, then getting his own series in September 2001. Al Fago, is listed as the creator and original artist, Vince Fago may have given his blessing, which was not his go give to Shanda Fantasy Arts, he did contribute new material for the new version. However Al Fago who passed away in 1978 was the sole creator of both Atomic Mouse and Atomic Rabbit. The new comics provided a striking contrast by juxtaposing reprints of Al Fago's original series with all-new stories and art in which Atomic Mouse is "transported" from the classic comics into modern-day "reality" to protect the city of Rodentia.
In the new series, a planet of funny animals is threatened by a meteor and Professor LaSerne creates a machine that brings images to life, placing an Atomic Mouse comic in front of it. Subsequently Atomic Mouse goes to the publishers of the comic, and they provide him a home and headquarters where he protects the city of Rodentia from such villains as the Mustard King (Poupon DeJean), Professor Pizarro and Super Rat. He has a romantic relationship with Lillian Mouse (a mouse of color) who writes and draws the comic, and a backup series focuses on the Legion of Almost Villains, who are five minor powered crooks who seek to enhance their reputation by defeating AM, who is unaware of their existence. They even spawned a spinoff group, the Legion of Substitute Villains. Atomic Mouse relaxes in a civilian identity of Vince Mouse, taking his name from the character's creator, and once had an adventure with the Charlton funny animal version (meeting Atomic Rabbit in the process).
The series is currently on hiatus at Shanda Fantasy Arts, but will return in 2009 with a one-shot episode called "Atomic Mouse vs Power Jack and the Lost Menagerie". This 48 page General Readers parody comic will detail his adventure with a dimensionally displaced superhero funny animal superhero team familiar to furry fans. Talents on the issue include Dr Comet, Shawntae Howard, Ron Murphy, Malcolm Earlie, Jerry Loomis and Louis Frank.
|Shanda Fantasy Arts|