Atom(Ray Palmer)

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Researched by: Darth Supremus

The Atom is a fictional character, a DC Comics superhero introduced during the Silver Age of comic books in Showcase # 34 (Sep-Oct 1961). He was named after Raymond A. Palmer, a science fiction magazine editor.

Using a mass of white dwarf star matter, Ray Palmer fashions a lens that enables him to shrink any object to any degree he wishes. However, any object so treated soon explodes as a side effect, which obviously precludes any practical use of the lens.

During a spelunking expedition, Palmer and his friends find themselves trapped in a cave when the entrance collapses. In desperation, Palmer secretly uses the lens he has carried with him to shrink himself down in order to be able to climb to a small hole high in the wall that leads to the outside, knowing full well he will likely explode. Using a diamond engagement ring, Palmer enlarges the hole sufficiently and descends to the floor to try to alert the others of the escape route before dying. However, upon entering the lens' beam, he finds himself returned to normal size. As the lens is covered with cave moisture, Palmer thinks this fact has altered the beam to allow this strange effect. When subsequent experiments show no change with the explosions, Palmer concludes that there must be some mysterious force in his own body that allows him to be shrunk safely and later returned to normal. He decides to use this effect to become a superhero. A later retcon, post-Brightest Day removes the influence of his exotic physical makeup, tying instead his survival to the discovery of a special compression matrix, a fabric able to spread the effects of the ray on the entire body, thus making it stable even when shrunk down. The prototype matrix later became his costume.

Ray Palmer creates a belt tool from what was initially depicted as white dwarf star matter, which allows him to shrink down to subatomic size. Furthermore, he develops a special costume that he can wear at most times that only becomes visible when he shrinks significantly. In addition, he develops new equipment that allows him to instantly alter his molecular density to whatever degree he desires. This allows him to glide on air currents on a low setting, while a high setting allows him to handle or strike objects with the equivalent strength of his normal size and build. A favorite travel method is to call some location on the telephone and when the intended phone is answered, Palmer can shrink down enough to literally travel through the phone lines in seconds to emerge out of the answering phone.

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Official Site: D.C. Comics
Links:  Wikipedia Atom   The Atom-Toonopedia   JLA Watchtower  

Atom(Ray Palmer)

 

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