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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 an expert physicist at a prestigious Boston university.


Prior to his League days, his scientific work was known to Vandal Savage, who attempted to use it to build a superweapon, before being stopped by the Justice League.[2]

After the Thanagarian invasion, the Atom joined up with the expanded Justice League. When Amazo returned to Earth, the Atom secretly accompanied Lex Luthor to his refuge, because of his expertise in nanotechnology, to help him building a nano-disassembler beam cannon that would stop the android. When Amazo proved resistant to even that, as a last resort Atom shrunk both himself and Luthor down to the subatomic level.[3]

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 was embarrassed to report 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 or other people of objects he is in contact with. However, whilst he has shrunken himself, he retains all of his physical strength that he would have at his normal size, making him seem surprisingly 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.

Appearances and references

Justice League

Justice League Unlimited


External links

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