Since the beginning of this Superhero Background series, we’ve looked at some new faces in the DC’s Legend’s roster. But this time, we’re going to delve into the history of a hero we’ve already been introduced to. This week, it’s all about the billionaire playboy. Wait…that sounds familiar.
That’s right, it’s Ray Palmer. Founder & CEO of Palmer Technologies, but better known as The Atom.
If you don’t know him by now, trust us, you’ll get to know Palmer more than ever when he dons his A.T.O.M. suit in the upcoming series, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Making his debut back as early as the Silver Age of superheroes, Dr. Raymond “Ray” Palmer was a physicist and a professor, too, at Pace University in Ivy Town where he specialized in matter compression in hopes to, one day, end overpopulation, famine and numerous other issues around the world.
And one night, after a piece of a white dwarf star lands on Earth, Palmer constructs a lens that allows him to shrink anything he desires. What he failed to realize was that compressing any object will destabilize its molecular structure, resulting in explosions.
Dr. Palmer would first use this discovery to shrink himself after a spelunking expedition he went on inside caves with his students and his girlfriend, Jean Loring, in order to become appropriately sized to climb through a small opening that the fallen rocks had created in the cave.
However, through the use of a diamond engagement ring he intended for his girlfriend, Palmer, after accidentally entering the lens’ beams, returned back to his normal size without running the risk of dying via explosion of compression. Later, he discovers it was because of a mysterious substance from the cave moisture that had covered the lens that it had altered the lens’ beam, allowing him to return from any size back to normal.
It is after this incident that Palmer decides to create a belt that will control his miniaturization to subatomic size while being powered with an emergency backup mechanism in the gloves of his suit and adds a built-in device that will lessen his weight, allowing him to fly with the currents of air with a low setting and allow him to strike/control objects with the strength he has in his normal size with a high setting. His suit is also built to be revealed only when he shrinks to subatomic sizes. Pretty cool stuff, right?
Not cool yet? Well, Palmer can also find the means of traveling by using telephone lines. That’s right. Telephone lines. Palmer can shrink to such subatomic sizes that he can travel through phone lines in seconds and emerge out the other end of the line and return to normal size.
These days, however, we’re not too sure if that would work in the present since everyone uses mobile phones.
Now, as we’ve seen on both Arrow and The Flash, Ray Palmer is the owner of Palmer Technologies and expands the company after acquiring Queen Consolidated on his first day in Starling City. He even forms a romantic relationship with Felicity Smoak for quite some time in Season 3 of Arrow.
He secretly vows to create a powered suit to fight crime after his fiancée was murdered during last year’s city invasion by Deathstroke’s men. A suit which he likes to call his A.T.O.M. exoskeleton.
After helping save both Starling City and Central City on a few occasions, along with the help of both Arrow and The Flash, Palmer continued to work on the kinks of his suit by tampering with the nanotechs he installed in the suit. Eventually, this resulted in a large explosion on the top floors of Palmer Technologies, causing Palmer to shrink in size.
How The Atom will play his part along with everyone else in the team is left up in the air for everyone’s imagination.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premieres in 2016 on SFL-TV, the CW!