If you had seen the show Arrow, you might know about Dr Ray Palmer. Also known as The Atom, he is a lot the DC Comics version of Ant-Man, the shrinking hero from Marvel. The Atom must be a popular character, because I found two issues of his 1988 comic at The Dollar Tree (store that sells things for a dollar). I had no idea who this character was or his origin before I read these comics. So here was my impression.
The comics I read were Power of the Atom issues 1 and 6. Despite reading the first issue, it did not really explain the background of Ray Palmer or The Atom. From what I gather though, he uses white dwarf matter (from space?) to control his size. Apparently he can control this by using thoughts. Palmer can turn turn small or big, and can even control his density. That way he can cause a powerful punch, even when tiny.
The Atom is not unlike Ant-Man. Both characters can change their size, and sometimes attribute their abilities to their suit. Since the movie was released in 2015 people are far more familiar with Ant-Man. But once Ray Palmer appeared in the television show Arrow, new interest has been drummed and confusion has been developing between the two characters.
The background of Palmer is actually rich and deep. He had been damaged in many ways. He caught his wife red-handed cheating on him, shattering his spirit. He also developed a relationship with Princess Laethwen in a miniature kingdom on Earth.
I have always wondered what I could do with such powers. The Atom can shrink himself so small that he can travel through a phone line. To me, this seems like an excellent opportunity to do things like spy on people. It is similar to being invisible, I suppose. Any way you look at it, being able to travel in a shirt pocket or something must come in handy. Leave a comment with your thoughts.