2017 Geek-A-Long: The Atom

Before Marvel released the Ant-Man movie two summers ago, The Atom was the best-known shrinking superhero. He made his debut in a 1961 issue of DC’s comic anthology, Showcase, like a lot of other heroes we love like the silver age Flash and Green Lantern. The Atom, also know as Ray Palmer, possesses the power to alter his size down to a subatomic level and still keep his natural strength level. In the comics, this was accomplished by using the remnants of a white-dwarf star made into a belt buckle. He’s able to do all of the cool things one would expect a shrinking dude to do like enter Superman’s bloodstream and manually rearrange his molecules, which he totally did in the Blackest Night crossover storyline.

Ray Palmer is a physicist, which you might’ve guessed at this point, and also a professor at the fictional Ivy University. And I know what you’re thinking:

Hey, Jac. I’ve seen Arrow. Ray is supposed to be a sexy CEO of Palmer Technologies.

Actually, the beautiful Brandon Routh, who portrays Dr. Ray Palmer in the Arrowverse, was originally not supposed to be the Atom. If you do a re-watch of Arrow, you’ll notice that as early as season one they reference Kord Industries. I might be remembering this wrong, but I believe that Felicity even worked for the company at one point when Oliver’s family lost control of Queen Consolidated. Anyway, Kord is a reference to Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. He’s very similar to Palmer. They’re both genius inventors who uses gadgets to fight crime. Originally, Brandon Routh was supposed to play the Blue Beetle, but DC decided that they wanted the Arrowverse to use a different superhero since they had “other plans” for Kord. They recommended the Atom, so now we have Ray as a big time CEO instead of a college professor.

I think Brandon Routh makes an excellent Ray Palmer, but as a big fan of the Blue Beetle portrayed in Young Justice: Invasion, I wish they’d give him to me already. My prediction is that he’ll show up in Supergirl eventually since Maxwell Lord and Project Cadmus both have ties to the character.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the The Atom pattern here. Instructions and charts for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to Instagram your squares at us @lattesandllamasyarn with the hashtag #geekalong!

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Jac
The cute thing about this being knit with the Bottle City colorway of Geek-A-Long Yarn, is that at some point The Atom does use his shrinking powers to go to Superman’s Bottle City of Kandor, for which the color was named after.

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