By RazzaTazz 14 Comments
One of the interesting directions for me in the new 52 of DC is the focus it has placed on science. It has tended to focus on topics which would be a lot closer to real science as opposed to the standard empowering radiation origin so common among many heroes. Even the radiation based heroes are getting decent treatment with the new Firestorm and Captain Atom. One of the pre-eminent scientists of the DC Universe has mostly been left behind though, the Atom. Ray Palmer (the Atom) is a character whose publication history goes in cycles, but he has maintained no significant following since the early 1980s. Granted with DC focusing on more realistic science it makes sense that his shrinking belt be left by the wayside. It is one of the most unscientific scientific inventions in comics, as instead of going for the mystical unexplainable science of cosmic rays or mutation, it instead chose to incorporate things like what dwarf star matter. Still Ray is showing up, but more as a technician and the inventor of the base of operations, a miniaturized fortress known as the Ant Farm. Instead of getting the science treatment Ray is getting the fantasy genre, though it is based partially in science. Another way in which Ray is lacking is in companion. Most of the science based characters have a relatively smart female counterpart which has already been introduced. The Firestorms have Tonya Lu, Captain Atom has Ranita, O.M.A.C. has Jody Robbins, Mister Terrific has Aleeka, but Ray has Father Time, a previously male villain turned good that has inhabited the body of a pre-pubescent girl. Granted Ray’s female counterparts in the past have been either psychotic (Jean Loring) or otherworldly (Laethwen) but this is a pretty big departure. Overall I would say that Ray is one character that DC could do more to rehabilitate. There is a lot of potential there, especially in the right hands.