Sword of the Atom Special
Five out of five stars
The temporal position of this story in the saga of the Atom superhero is after his adventures in the four-part series with the little people in the South American jungle. While there, Ray Palmer (the Atom) was bombarded with white dwarf radiation so that his body has changed to the point where engaging in either a shrinking or growing event is extremely painful to the point that he is rendered unconscious.
The story is presented as a book called “The Atom’s Farewell,” by Ray Palmer and his wife Jean Loring as told to Norman Brawler. It describes Ray Palmer’s courtship of Jean Loring and how their marriage collapsed, leading to his trip to the city of Morlaidh, where the people were all six inches high and he was trapped at that height. He is restored to normal height by the blast of radiation and after difficulties in his old life decides to go back to look for his new love, Queen Laethwen. Norman Brawler is his sidekick in this quest.
It is an adventure the likes of which is rarely seen in the comics, where the superhero loses his powers and must somehow live the life of a normal person. In this case, it works very well and does have a happy ending. While Ray Palmer is trapped at the height of six inches, he is among his own kind and can live the fairy tale ending. This makes it a very good story, emphasizing the human syllable of the superhuman.