There's always another way.
— Captain Atom
Captain Atom: Armageddon provides examples of:
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Captain Atom stops Voodoo during her psychic assault by routing the entire internet into her.
- Always Someone Better: Captain Atom plays this role to The Authority, and, indeed, the entire WildStorm Universe).
- Apocalypse Maiden: Captain Atom discovers that he is going to destroy the Wildstorm universe if he stays there, and that he also can't leave, and that if he dies, the destruction will happen instantly. In the end, Nikola cures him and sends him home. Then she destroys the universe, then remakes it.
- This transfers over to Nikola / Void, once she heals Captain Atom, but decides that their universe needs resetting.
- Apocalypse How: This was the main driver of the plot. Captain Atom, quite against his will, was going to explode and destroy the entire universe, and nothing could stop it.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Inverted. The Midnighter saw Captain Atom as just another target for a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Instead, Captain Atom treated the Midnighter to a total Curb-Stomp Battle, showing that sometimes Awesome by Analysis is no match for raw, unadulterated, world-shaking power.
- Beware the Superman: When Captain Atom turned up, he was horrified - and deeply, deeply displeased with The Authority. Given that he's a reality warping Superman class Flying Brick, this did not end well for the Authority.
- Chrome Champion: All over the place, Captain Atom, The Engineer and Nikola / Void.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Authority goes up against Captain Atom, a guy who can swat them down like flies, and does so. Captain Atom's thrashing of Midnighter was one brutal beatdown.
- Dark Age of Supernames: Spoofed both ways a few times, with Captain Atom commenting how the named heroes of the Wildstorm Earth have little flair or pizzazz. On the flip side, Jack thinks that Captain Atom didn't have confidence in his name and had to stick a title to it. It gets very personal (and more than a bit hypocritical considering his own name) when Midnighter threatens Nikola this way:Midnighter: "Do you have a clever name like 'Grifter'? One that sounds hip at first , until you realize it's trying too hard?"''
- Despair Event Horizon: The Doctor gets one at the end of the series, declaring that he has given up and that they should all just stop trying to prevent the end of the universe, as several of the most powerful superheroes have already died trying, and should instead focus on trying to meet the end with dignity.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The series thrusts Captain Atom into Jim Lee's WildStorm universe. The mini-series functions as a Cosmic Retcon for Wildstorm, and allows those comic readers who generally hated the ridiculousness of The Authority watch them get their heads handed to them.
- My Skull Runneth Over: Captain Atom does this to Voodoo when she tries to invade his mind. He uses his neural uplink to the Pentagon's computer net to basically KO her with the Internet.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Captain Atom is generally considered a second-tier hero at best in the mainstream DC Universe, however, when he is transported to the WildStorm universe, he proves to be almost unstoppable, all but casually walking through the Authority, that world's mightiest "heroes". Of course, part of this is that Captain Atom holds back a lot.
- Oh, Crap!:
Maul: Uh oh.
- Captain Atom goes up against Maul. Maul's power is that he can reconfigure his body mass and become a figure similar to the Hulk. Captain Atom can manipulate atoms, and he turns Maul back into his skinny scientist self.
Captain Atom: That's right. Uh oh.
- This was the look on Midnighter's face, right before Captain Atom tosses an unconscious Apollo at him.
- Outside-Context Problem: Captain Atom is this for the WildStorm Universe. The WildStorm heroes, especially the more powerful ones like Mr. Majestic and the Authority, thought that they had their world pretty much in hand, and that they could handle just about anything that came their way. When Captain Atom showed up and, through no fault of his own, contracted a condition that was going to cause him to destroy the universe, they figured that they could cure him. When that failed, they figured that they could kill him. Cue a very satisfying series of Curb Stomp Battles.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Captain Atom is a ticking time bomb set to destroy the entire universe.
- Phlebotinum Overdose: How Captain Atom beats Apollo, he goads Apollo into teleporting both to near the sun, then uses his powers to overclock Apollo's solar absorption and forcing him back to Earth, unconscious.
- Reconstruction: The series functions as this. By the time it came out, the Wild Storm characters had come to embody all the excesses of the Dark Age, so DC brought Captain Atom, who, while hardly what you'd call a traditional superhero, nonetheless was a much more wholesome, positive character to set the WildStorm Universe to rights.
- Reincarnate in Another World: Captain Atom was killed at the end of Public Enemies via nuclear explosion, and reformed himself in the WildStorm universe.
- Soft Reboot: The series serves as a soft reboot for the WildStorm Comics universe.
- Sympathy for the Hero: Captain Atom gets a lot of this, especially from Mr. Majestic and the Authority, who both recognize that Cap is a good man and a hero, and that it's not his fault that he's going to blow up and destroy the universe. They do their best to help him, and Angie Spica, the Engineer, a member of the Authority, even gets romantically involved with him. That doesn't stop her, and the rest of the Authority, from trying to kill him, in the mistaken belief that that will stop him from destroying the universe.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Captain Atom refuses to kill Hitler.
- Transhuman Treachery: How most supers feel about humanity after becoming super heroes, with even the nicest of them viewing humanity as second class or lucky to be "protected" by them.
- Underestimating Badassery: This is why Apollo and Midnighter lose to Captain Atom. The pair think Atom is just another super-powered mook, not realizing that Atom is more powerful than all the members of The Authority combined, including Jenny Quantum. The only reason they last as long as they did is that Cap refuses to go all out against people he barely knows, even ones who are currently trying very hard to kill him. Really, just about every superhero in the Wildstorm universe was guilty of this. Midnighter and Apollo were just the most egregious case because they were the last. They knew, or should have known, that Cap had already beaten Mr. Majestic, the Wild CATS, and the Engineer, all of whom were also guilty of severely underestimating Cap, to the point where the Wild CATS deliberately attacked one at a time, as if it were a game.
- The Worf Effect: The entire WildStorm Universe is this for Captain Atom, with him basically beating the crap out of everybody. His casual dismissal of Midnighter's abilities ("Care to try that with me?") and his curb-stomping of Apollo were particularly entertaining.
- What Measure Is a Non-Super?: A theme from the start, Captain Atom is horrified that the heroes of this world have beaten down humanity to the point they feel powerless and fearful of all superpowered beings.