Raymond Palmer (The Atom)

atomfilmNow for the second character who has a cameo in Injustice: Gods Among Us: in the background of the Insurgency stage, we can see The Atom working at the computers. The character has had two live action appearances so far, both quite disappointing: the first one is in the tv special Legends of the Superheroes, in which the hero, portrayed by Alfie Wise, speaks about his engagement to Giganta. The second one is in Justice League of America tv movie: Atom, played by John Kassir, is the overweight and nerdish founding member of the Justice League, who befriends Ice and introduces her to the team. Needless to say, in the comics The Atom is quite different. Quite a lot, in this case.

Little or less is known about Raymond “Ray” Palmer‘s early years, but that he was born in Ivy Town, Connecticut, from David and Sue Palmer. David died from cancer when Ray was still a teenager, and he tried his best to help his mother raise his little brother Danny; both Sue and Danny died shortly after, and Ray was left alone. Thanks to his great intellect, he managed to enter Ivy University, studying physics, and becoming one of the best students of renowned scientist Alpheus Hyatt, who would have become his friend and colleague post-graduate. During his studies, Ray met Jean Loring, a brilliant law student who became his girlfriend. Dr. Palmer atomcomics1brilliantly ended university, and asked Jean to marry him, but she refused (more than once, actually), since she wanted to establish herself as a famous lawyer before creating a family of her own. The two stayed together, and Ray started working as a researcher for Ivy University. After retrieving a small fragment of material from a dwarf white star that had fallen on Earth, Palmer started studying it, discovering its incredible properties: projecting ultra-violet rays through a lens made from the fragment, he could shrink any object to a minimal size. His experiments were meant to find a solution to problems such as overpopulation or famine: altering the size of people and food could have saved lives. There was a problem, still: everything he shrinked became unstable, and exploded moments after size alteration. The technique surely needed improvement, but Ray didn’t know where to start from in order to stabilize matter during the shrinking process. As often happens, enlightenment came from the least forseenable source.

A couple of days after the first experiments, Ray, Jean and some friends went on a country outing; during their trip, they explored a cave, that collapsed and trapped them inside. After some time in the cave, Ray decided he would have sacrificed his life to save Jean’s and his friends’ ones, and secretly used the lens on himself, shrinking to the size of an ant and escaping from the cave to search for help. Unexpectedly, he didn’t explode. At first, Ray thought this was because the cave’s moisture that had altered the beam, but this proved to be wrong. Without any possible explanation Ray, now back to his normal size without countereffects, concluded he had some unique x factor in his genome that allowed him to survive the process (that proved to be the metagene, a dormant gene that allows some unique individuals to develop superpowers under special circumstances). Keeping his discovery a secret even from Jean
atomcomics2and the friends he saved from the cave, Ray created the super identity of The Atom, and started fighting crime as a superhero. After some training, he mastered some forms of combat, like judo, but above all he learnt how to use his powers: size alteration came with mass alteration, and he was able to concentrate his body mass in single limbs to gain super strength. He first appeared publicly when he stopped the petty criminal Carl Ballard from using the innocent alien Kulan Dar to do his business for him; Ivy Town instantly fell in love with its new hero, and The Atom started a heroic career that saw him defending the town from many threats, including his first supervillain, the Floronic Man, who tried to conquer Earth with the bred plants he brought to our world from his Floral Dimension. The Atom started working for CIA, and developed a special means of transportation: he called somewhere with a telephone, and when someone answered on the other side, he shrinked to sub-atomic size and travelled through the phone lines, arriving anywhere in a matter of seconds. When Amos Fortune tried to use him to destroy the Justice League of America, The Atom proved to be a tougher opponent than expected, and helped the League to bring Fortune and his men to justice, gaining a place in the team. Known as the Mighty Mite, The Atom soon became one of the most active and popular heroes of the United States.

Ray Palmer is an extremely brilliant and intelligent man, who uses his knowledge and intellect to help other people the best he can. With a good heart and a natural compassion for every living being, Ray became a hero with the genuine intent of making the world a better place. As The Atom, he’s able to shrink to any size he desires, even subatomic, using the special lens he grinned from the white dwarf star’s fragment (the activators of the lens are located in his gloves). At whatever size, Atom is able to alter his mass in order to gain superhuman strength, or to alter his weight so that he can become light enough to glide on air currents. Often underestimated by his enemies, The Atom is a living warning on how appearances can be deceiving.

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16 Comments

  1. […] seen in the preview, Green Arrow will not be the only one struggling against the supervillain, as The Atom seems to be pretty much beaten-up (poor guy, he’s built a high-tech armor and the best he […]

  2. […] by Emily Kinney. She arrives in Central City just in time to face not only The Flash, but also The Atom, briefly in town to ask S.T.A.R. Labs a help with his suite of armor. Well, in the comics Larvan […]

  3. […] he possessed; the second time occured when Libra stole the JLA’s powers, and Batman and Atom used Amazo to retrieve them and transfer them back to their legitimate owners. During this two […]

  4. […] becoming a lawyer: born in Ivy Town, she studied Law, and she started dating brilliant physicist Ray Palmer, who became her boyfriend. She started her activity as a lawyer more or less the same time her […]

  5. […] have much of a role, and she issued an interview for announcing her future marriage with The Atom. Let’s see who she is in the […]

  6. […] his front-activity as a clock shop owner, Clinton learned from one of his costumers, scientist Ray Palmer, that Ivy Town had a brand new atomic clock. As Chronos he decided to steal it, and he easily got […]

  7. […] in an apparently embarassing series of defeats: he got beaten by Batman, Hawkman, Elongated Man, The Atom, Air Wave, Green Arrow and Black Canary, becoming renowned as one of the most useless and […]

  8. […] portrayed by Stephanie Corneliussen. Apparently, Valentina will reject without a second thought Ray Palmer, but she will be more than disposed to give Leonard Snart a chance… Waiting to know who […]

  9. […] in Soviet Russia, something goes terribly wrong with the mission, and Martin Stein, Heat Wave and The Atom are captured by an enemy officer, who’s name happens to be Mikhail Arkadin, portrayed by […]

  10. […] the hiatus, even Legends of Tomorrow is back, and in Left Behind we find Ray Palmer, Kendra Saunders and Sara Lance still stranded in the 1950s. Looking for a place she knows, […]

  11. […] Prince) and the Shrinking Man, a genius scientist who could change his size (counterpart to The Atom). When the four of them joined forces and brains, nobody on their Earth could challenge […]

  12. […] to return to action to help the younglings. In this team-up, Al even met his successor, the new Atom. The battle over, the old heroes found out they still had some fight in them: it was time for the […]

  13. […] himself the Plant Master, Woodrue launched an all-out attack on the planet, but he was stopped by The Atom right before he could put in motion his cataclismic project. Considered delusional and psychothic, […]

  14. […] tsunami and to join the Justice League of America, and she also starts a romantic relation with The Atom. In the comics, her backstory is completely different, as well as many other things. Let’s see […]

  15. […] criminals together, often teaming up with other heroes such as Batman, Zatanna, Green Lantern and The Atom. These adventures helped him make a name for himself in the superhero community, where people […]

  16. […] homage to E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial with the last episode Phone Home, and we saw a bit of Ray Palmer‘s childhood. In the time travel to 1981 we also meet the hero’s mother, Susan, […]


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