Atomic Ace: (He's Just My Dad)

Atomic Ace: (He's Just My Dad)

4.0 1
by Jeff Weigel

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So what's it like living with Atomic Ace, a dad who battles robots and can fly? It's not as weird as you might think--after all, Ace is always there to fix Saturday lunch and play ball with his son. Mom is just Mom and Dad is just Dad.


So what's it like living with Atomic Ace, a dad who battles robots and can fly? It's not as weird as you might think--after all, Ace is always there to fix Saturday lunch and play ball with his son. Mom is just Mom and Dad is just Dad.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Comic-strip panels of a Spandex-clad "Atomic Ace" alternate with cozy images of Ace's family in this humorous look at a hero balancing work and home. The unnamed narrator is Atomic Ace's middle-school-age son: "I have to admit Dad's not like other guys:/ he's got nuclear powers, and sometimes he flies!" In rectangular insets, readers see Atomic Ace conferring with a police commissioner, while newspaper headlines track the jailbreak and dastardly deeds of the villainous Insect King. Meanwhile, full-bleed pages picture Ace (still in his skintight red-and-yellow outfit) relaxing at home with his doting wife and son. Ace sits in a comfy floral chair, scowling at the newspaper, while his son practices trumpet, then tucks the boy into bed. As it turns out, Ace will miss his child's band concert due to an ill-timed battle with the Insect King. The son, like many kids, admires his father but wishes they could spend more time together: "Dad's been busy these days-there's a tough case at work./ Some guy dressed in a bug suit is being a jerk." He gets picked on by classmates when Ace fails ("Atomic Ace Humiliated as Crime Spree Continues," the headlines taunt), but ultimately sees justice done ("Nuclear Knight Outsmarts Insect King"). Debut illustrator Weigel expertly inks and colors this semi-spoof to resemble a superhero comic. Although the cutesy (and lengthy) rhyming verse makes the son seem a bit childish, the hard-boiled headlines and graphics capture the comedy of Ace's double life. Ages 6-9. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A boy has a very extraordinary dad, a dad who can fly through the air, who can lift great weights, who can even make fire come out of his fingertips. His dad is in fact is none other than Atomic Ace, the super hero and crime fighter extraordinaire. There is one thing though that it is very important to keep in mind, and the boy, keeps reminding us of this. The boy's dad is just his dad, as he says, "My family is normal! That's not so bad/Mom's just my mom and Dad's just my dad." Mind you, while the boy is telling us how very normal and ordinary his dad is, we, the "audience," get to see what Dad has been up to that day. We get to see Atomic Ace in action, doing great deeds and saving innocent people from all sorts of threats. The boy's offhand understatements about his superhero parent make things decidedly funny. Things get decidedly un-funny, however, when Dad has a close encounter with an evil-doer of the very worst kind. The boy also gets teased at school when everyone finds out that Atomic Ace has had a mishap. But, Atomic Ace, like any dad, is going to have set-backs, and like many dads he does not give up. We can feel proud of him for this, as the boy most certainly does. The author of this book has created a piece of work which is most amusing and certainly a great tribute to all dads, "normal" and superhero. By using the voice of the boy to downplay great feats and acts of valor, the author shows an acute understanding of how children perceive the world. Marvelous things are taken for granted whereas the small things are often seen as being remarkable. As a backdrop to the boy's words we have the Marvel Comics type illustrations, exploding with color and action. The gentlyrhyming test combined with the art work creates a very unique book, and a work which gives thanks to all dads. 2004, Albert Whitman, Ages 6 to 9.
—Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This story of a superhero is told through his adoring son's tolerant eyes. The Atomic Ace tries to be a good father by saving the world from evil forces and also by making sure that he is home to cook an occasional meal and to offer words of encouragement ("Don't fret about things that others might say./If you just do your best, you'll be more than okay!"). Unfortunately, an encounter with the Insect King not only causes him to miss his son's band recital, but also leaves him with the head of an ant ("Dad wasn't himself for the next couple of days./He just hates it when bad guys zap him with rays"). With the superhero's failure all over the headlines, his son must endure his classmates' jeers. However, before long, the Atomic Ace snaps out of his funk and outwits his demon, and life returns to normal. Weigel's bright, expressive artwork harkens back to the '60s and is quite appealing, both in the bona fide comic-book frames depicting the Atomic Ace's workday exploits and in the spreads that tell the "real" story. The rhyming text never misses a beat. It's not quite as touching as Reeve Lindbergh's If I'd Known Then What I Know Now (Viking, 1994; o.p.) but it's certainly a more than OK allegory about the trials and tribulations of family bonding.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Debut illustrator Weigel expertly inks and colors this semi-spoof to resemble a superhero comic."

Publishers Weekly

"The rhyming text never misses a beat."

School Library Journal

Product Details

Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.35(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Jeff Weigel is an author, illustrator, and designer. He worked with Michael P. Spradlin to create the New York Times bestseller It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies, a book of zombie Christmas carols. Weigel has also written his own children's books, Atomic Ace (He's Just My Dad) and Atomic Ace and the Robot Rampage in addition to his graphic novel Thunder From The Sea: Adventure on Board the HMS Defender.

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Atomic Ace 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What's a guy to do when he has a super hero for a father? After all, most dads can't fly (on their own) or battle robots or catch bank robbers. But, if he's the only dad you've ever known that's just normal. Your mom is just your mom and your dad is just your dad. Unfortunately, some of the kids at school tend to think this particular father isn't normal at all but rather weird. Granted, it is unusual to have a father who is sometimes zapped by rays and shrunk to six inches tall or left with an ant head by an arch enemy. When news gets around that dad has the face of an ant the kids at school really begin to tease. However, good triumphs over evil and Atomic Ace captures the Insect King, thus restoring dad's normal face. Now, dad is a hero to everyone. But, to one boy his dad is just his dad, and he likes it that way. 'Atomic Ace' is a fun and imaginative story focusing on familial love and support.