DC Animated Universe
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"He's bigger than my car now. Personally, I blame you."
"How is it my fault?"
"Because otherwise it would be my fault, and that can't be right. I'm a professor.
— The Atom

Professor Ray Palmer, a.k.a. The Atom, was a snarky size-altering member of the Justice League, and one of many who joined after the Thanagarian invasion.


Ray Palmer was an an expert physicist at a prestigious Boston university. His scientific work into white dwarf star matter was known to Vandal Savage, who attempted to use it to build a superweapon. It was stopped by the Justice League.[2]

Atom helps Luthor

The Atom helps Luthor.

After the Thanagarian invasion, the Atom joined the expanded Justice League. When Amazo returned to Earth, the Atom, using his expertise in nanotechnology, helped Lex Luthor build a nano-disassembler beam cannon that would stop the android. When Amazo proved resistant to even that, the Atom shrunk both himself and Luthor down to the subatomic level as a last resort.[3]

Atom stops heart flow

Disrupting the Dark Heart's blood flow.

The Atom's expertise was of vital importance when the League was menaced by the Dark Heart, an alien war machine based on nanotechnology. After shrinking to microscopic size, he was able to enter the machine and discern its programming and purpose, but was unable to destroy its control center. Instead, he interrupted its flow of liquified matter feeding its nano-assemblers with raw materials—much in the same way a blocked artery stops the flow of blood to the heart and induces a heart attack.[1]

In the aftermath of Superman and Captain Marvel's titanic fight over Lexor City, the Atom examined a device that Superman had been suspicious of (since it incorporated Kryptonite), and reported that it appeared to be completely benign, as Lex Luthor had insisted it was.[4]

When the Watchtower was temporarily shut down by an accidental discharge of its Binary Fusion Generator, the Atom worked in the reactor room, trying to shorten the time needed to reboot the system. Unfortunately, he was incapacitated by Galatea, who was set on blowing up the reactor, and the Watchtower and the League with it.[5]

The Atom was one of many Leaguers who leaped into action to combat Darkseid's second invasion of Earth.[6]

Powers and abilities[]

The Atom possessed a belt that can shrink and grow his body to varying degrees, including the subatomic level. This ability is not restricted to him, as he is also capable of reducing the size of other people or objects he is in contact with. However, whilst he has shrunken himself, he retains all of his physical strength that he has at his normal size, making him seem surprisingly super strong.

Background information[]

The Atom (Ray Palmer) was created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane, and first featured in Showcase #34 (Sep-Oct 1961). Raymond Palmer was a physicist and university professor who devised a reducing ray using a fragment of white dwarf star matter. However, he ascertained that the subject exposed to the beam would explode soon after being shrunk. Palmer determined the beam was too unstable to be used, but he was compelled to use it on himself one time to rescue people trapped in a cave. Much to his surprise, he discovered that he could safely use the beam on himself, complete with being able to easily resume his normal size, without any side effect. Palmer then adapted his shrinking technology to a costume, and used it to fight crime as The Atom. His exploits often involved helping out his lawyer girlfriend, Jean Loring, in solving her cases. Palmer later developed a new technology to attain desired molecular densities, which enabled him to travel through phone lines and air currents, and throw a punch carrying the same impact of his normal size, while on subatomic level.


Justice League

Justice League Unlimited


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ellis, Warren (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (December 11, 2004). "Dark Heart". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 10 (airdate). Episode 10 (production). Cartoon Network.
  2. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Lukic, Butch (director) (November 29, 2003). "Hereafter, Part II". Justice League. Season 2. Episode 20 (airdate). Episode 44 (production). Cartoon Network.
  3. Berkowitz, Stan (story) & DeMatteis, J.M. (teleplay) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (September 18, 2004). "The Return". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 8 (airdate). Episode 7 (production). Cartoon Network.
  4. McDuffie, Dwayne (story) & DeMatteis, J.M. (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (June 11, 2005). "Clash". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 20 (airdate). Episode 20 (production). Cartoon Network.
  5. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 9, 2005). "Panic in the Sky". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 24 (airdate). Episode 24 (production). Cartoon Network.
  6. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (May 13, 2006). "Destroyer". Justice League Unlimited. Season 2. Episode 13 (airdate). Episode 39 (production). Cartoon Network.

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