Who Is Atom In DC Comics? 'Arrow' May Shrink Ray Palmer Down A Few Sizes
You guys, it's finally happening. Ray Palmer is becoming the Atom on Arrow . OK, so it's a slow moving process, and we've only just been clued into the fact that he's been secretly working on highly scientific stuff, but that's enough for me right now. When Ray was first introduced at the beginning of this season, fans all hoped that eventually, he'd become Atom. Now it seems all that wishing and praying has come true. What can we expect from Ray considering the Atom's DC Comics background? Like how all comic book characters have either a Marvel or DC counterpart (hey, I'm just calling it like it is), the Atom has the same cool power that Marvel's Ant-Man does: he can shrink down and become extremely small. Basically, the size of an atom.
He doesn't start off shrinking right away, though. He's really working on different techniques for matter compression, to shrink things down to tiny sizes and hopefully save the world. He creates a lens that he uses to shrink stuff, and for the most part only sticks to shrinking things, not people. But one day, he's out spelunking with his girlfriend and some of the students from his research facility. There's a cave-in, everyone's trapped, and the only way to save the day is for Ray to shrink down and escape through the crevices in the rocks. That's basically how the Atom is born.
In the comics, he doesn't so much make a super suit (like it appears Ray on Arrow is doing), but rather keeps his shrinking powers on a super belt, and later on a super glove. Then he got even fancier and more high-tech, and created a mask that allowed him to shrink telepathically.
Ray also does this other weird/cool thing where he makes a call on a landline telephone, and when the phone is answered on the other end, he shrinks himself, travels through the telephone lines, and emerges out the other side. I would like to see him try doing that with Felicity one day, because it would totally freak her out.
Atom has been a part of many different incarnations of the Justice League, and once even shrunk himself down so small, he entered Superman's blood stream (which sounds like a very special episode of Magic School Bus). He has also figured out how to shrink down others as well, when the situation calls for a bunch of tiny superheroes.
The Ray Palmer/Atom we're going to see on Arrow probably won't follow exactly along with what's been established before in the comics — if only because there doesn't seem to be a spelunking-themed episode coming up in the next few weeks. But the bottom line for the character is that he has a brilliant mind, and is going to learn to shrink one way or another. I just hope Felicity is ready to deal with another vigilante in Starling City.
Images: Cate Cameron/The CW; letsseewhatyouthink/Tumblr