Thursday, November 05, 2009

If you were thinking about fries for lunch, I apologize.

One of my favorite lines in Frank Miller's the Dark Knight Strikes Again comes as Ray Palmer, the Atom, enlarges out of Carrie Kelly's nosebleed: "When you get down small enough--nothing the human body does is pretty." I don't think I appreciated DK2 when it first came out, but I confess, it has grown on me since. (We'll see if I get a picture of the panels in question, since that's a tough one to cram in the scanner. And we did, but not great, sorry.)

Still, I loved that line, since it reminded me of my favorite panel from Power of the Atom. In fact, I thought I'd scanned it before, from issue #13, "Rattling the Cages!" Written by Bill Messner-Loebs, pencils by Graham Nolan, inks by K.S. Wilson. An injured bystander of a super-villain attack is bleeding in her brain, so it's up to the Atom to get in there and sew it up. Ray rides a red blood cell through the capillaries, and:
I'm sure the insides of my veins looks like the bottom of my coffee pot... Blllloorrrf. That single panel has stopped me from eating fries, not entirely, but more than a few times over the years.

Ray takes an air mask on this veiny joyride, which seems reasonable, but more often than not he just seems to shrink and go wherever. Weird. Some writers postulate that when the Atom shrinks, a bit of atmosphere gets shrunk with him, and he breathes that while small. I don't know about that one. I think the best explanation Ray has given for it is that certain physical laws get kind of dicey when you shrink a person to the sub-atomic level; which was a case of him trying to be comforting while admitting he had no idea.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to eat a bowl of plain oatmeal, in the hopes of scraping my arteries clean...

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