- You have a very strange sense of humor, Dr. Palmer.
- — Superman
Synopsis for "Enter the Microverse"
In the Ant Farm, Father Time and Dr. Belroy determine that their intervention is not required in Green Arrow's battle with the Outsiders in Prague. However, metahumans appear to be clustering up in Canada, requiring some attention. Suddenly, an alarm sounds, and they realize that their microscopic base has been grabbed out of the air by Superman, who demands to speak with Dr. Ray Palmer immediately.
Within two hours, Superman has Dr. Palmer with him at the Fortress of Solitude. Superman explains that ever since repairing a Chinese space station, Batman has been unresponsive. Ray is confused, because he's a physicist, not a medical doctor. Superman reminds that Ray's work centres around matter reduction and shrink technology - so who better to investigate what infected Batman, when he is affected by something so unique? Handing Ray a small blood sample from Batman, he allows the doctor to inspect it on a microscopic level, revealing that among the blood cells, there floats what appears to be a microscopic dead super-hero. In fact, Superman had discovered an entire microscopic city built up in a blood vessel in Batman's brain. That city - or whoever built it - is killing Batman, and Superman feels that he and Ray need to get into that blood vessel and remove the danger. Ray admits that he can help.
Soon, Ray has dressed himself and Superman with special containment suits equipped with personal reduction matrices - or shrink belts. He explains that he has added a failsafe for Superman's, so that if anything goes wrong, he'll immediately be ejected and returned to his normal size. Arranging to arrive in Batman's brain to scale with the city, which is located in the part of the brain that controls sleep - explaining the coma Batman has fallen into.
Inside Batman's brain, Ray determines that the jungle surrounding the city is certainly alien in nature, with an artificial structure underneath its roots extending all the way to the centre of the city. In fact, he believes that the city is actually some kind of microscopic spacecraft in its totality. Suddenly two of the city's inhabitants rush over to them, speaking in an alien language, but Ray's S.H.A.D.E.-issued Universal Translator provides them some insight. The woman begs for help, explaining that something that her people had been transporting to their homeworld had got free and killed the captain of the vessel, making all the inhabitants into slaves. Ray suggests that the body they found in Batman's blood was their Captain Boltstar.
Unexpectedly, two strong looking aliens attack Superman, and the woman identifies them as Dr. Smashammer and Titan Super Gladiator - greatest criminals of the empire (Ray must admit that the translator isn't perfect, with names like these). While fending off Titan Super Gladiator, Superman's shrink-belt gets yanked off, and before he can be stopped, the brute has grown several times his size - ejecting suddenly into the Fortress of Solitude, and finding himself standing next to Batman. Assuming that Batman must be the king of this world, he resolves to kill him and win his kingdom.
Meanwhile, Superman manages to subdue Dr. Smashammer, allowing Ray the opportunity to use his P.R.I.M.P - a portable reduction inducing matrix pod. With it, he shrinks down the city and its inhabitants within an empty Ant Farm, so he and Superman can get out of Batman's brain with it.
In the Fortress, Batman wakes suddenly, and is forced to defend himself almost immediately upon doing so. Unable to understand his attacker's alien language, Batman assumes that the creature his hostile and flings razor-sharp batarangs at it.
Batman's physical altercation has seemingly earth-moving effects in his brain as Superman and Ray wait for the city to finish shrinking. Ray explains that Batman's blood pressure is increasing, and it might even tear the city apart before they can do a thing to save it. Fortunately, Bruce rallies, allowing the shrinkage to complete. Finally, Ray and Superman can escape the brain - using just the remaining power in Ray's shrink-belt, in Superman's belt's absence.
As Superman and Ray are expelled through Batman's nose, Bruce reacts with total confusion. Upon returning to their normal size, Superman smirks at the sight of the unconscious alien on the floor of the Fortress, realizing that he should have known Batman wouldn't need saving. After hearing their otherworldly explanation for Titan Super Gladiator's attack and their being in his head, Batman simply grunts that he needs an aspirin and takes his leave.
Later, Ray decides that he should take the microscopic city-ship back to S.H.A.D.E. with him, promising Batman that he will take full responsibility for them, knowing that S.H.A.D.E. has not earned the heroes' trust. Before going on his way, Ray suggests that he has been thinking of a code name for himself: The Atom. Grimly, Batman reminds Superman that they have already met an Atom from another Earth, and expresses suspicions about all the technology that S.H.A.D.E. seems to have.
Meanwhile, from the Ant Farm, Father Time and Dr. Belroy gleefully congratulate themselves on having surreptitiously planted trackers and sensors on both Superman and Batman without either their or Dr. Palmer's knowledge.
Appearing in "Enter the Microverse"
- The Atom (Ray Palmer) (First appearance as the Atom)
- Dr. Smashammer (First appearance)
- Titan Super Gladiator (First appearance)
- Captain Boltstar (Appears only as a corpse)
- Green Arrow (On a TV or computer screen)
- Martian Manhunter (On a TV or computer screen)
- Red Lantern Kara Zor-El (On a TV or computer screen)
- Hawkman (On a TV or computer screen)
- The Atom of Earth 3 (Mentioned only)