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"Skin Game": A nervous Anton Kraft leaves the airport in a cab; destination: 155 Fontain Drive - Norm Brawler's house, where Ray is dictating his Brazilian tragedy to Norm. Because of the approaching manuscript deadline, Ray Palmer ha


Quote1 Well we do thell cookieth to regular folkth -- and pellets to gerbils like you! Quote2
Girl Scout Humbug

Power of the Atom #14 is an issue of the series Power of the Atom (Volume 1) with a cover date of July, 1989.

Appearing in "Skin Game"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Blacksnake (First appearance)
  • Gestalt (Behind the scenes) (As a Voice)
  • Humbug (Flashback and main story)
    • (Disguised as a Delivery Man)
    • (Disguised as a Girl Scout Robot)

Other Characters:

  • Anton Kraft
  • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Agent Fields (Flashback and main story)
    • Agent Shepperd (Flashback and main story)
    • Agent Bailey (Mentioned only)
  • Jack Webb (Mentioned only)
  • Ivy Town Police Department

Locations:

Items:

  • Humbug's Artificial Skin
  • Humbug's Novelty Glasses and Nose (Emits Gas)
  • Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum
  • Whip
  • Wig

Vehicles:

  • Overnight Express Delivery Van
  • Taxi Cab

Synopsis for "Skin Game"

A nervous Anton Kraft leaves the airport in a cab; destination: 155 Fontain Drive - Norm Brawler's house, where Ray is dictating his Brazilian tragedy to Norm. Because of the approaching manuscript deadline, Ray Palmer has not examined Humbug's hacked-up skin[1] and time has run out. The skin slithers under the door of the lab and into Ray's house, just as a suspicious deliveryman drops off a package.

As Ray retells the story of the Humbug, the old skin opens the package and Humbug pops out like a jack-in-the-box. With Norm in a stranglehold, Ray does not know what to do. Humbug's master calls him off, in a voice that only he could hear. Humbug vacates yet another body and appears back in the deliverymans. His master is not pleased, and forbids him from future contact with Ray Palmer.

The two C.I.A. Agents that Humbug had falsely sent to Utah were impatient for orders. They realize their dire situation when the killer Blacksnake kicks in their door. They blind him with a lamp and make their escape, knowing that they had become deserters.

The doorbell rings again at Norman Brawler's, but Norm does not worry as it was a girl scout -- until she takes off her false nose and glasses and gasses the house. Humbug jumps from her robot body to the previous skin, and Ray shrinks and jumps into its ear. Humbug is full of living circuitry, but the creature jumps again and the lights go out. Ray is trapped within Humbug's skin.

Anton Kraft walks up Ray's path, and is tackled first by a robotic girl scout and second by a confused Norm, thinking Anton is another Humbug skin. The girl scout robot grabs the Atom, who shrinks only the matter in her hand, which destroys her. The other skin is animated by Humbug, and face-to-face with Anton Kraft, they recognize each other -- and Humbug smashes Kraft to the ground. An enraged Atom puts a high density fist through Humbug, destroying that skin.

Though gravely injured, Anton tells them "Humbug... Gestalt... Watching you... Hummmb*"

The Gestalt itself deals with Humbug for its attack on Anton. Anton was one of their own. Humbug's body fell, a husk, and the Gestalt voice found that no other animate skins activiated. But in Humbug's delivery truck, the remaining boxes emit evil laughter.



Notes

  • Anton Kraft last appeared in Showcase #36, and was to be replaced in America with a doppelgänger, until the Atom saved him.

Trivia

This is the first issue in a series featuring The Atom shrinking from his standard size next to the logo; in subsequent issues, artist Graham Nolan has him shrink until disappearing entirely in Power of the Atom #18.[2]



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

  1. Paul Hoben had hacked the skin up in Power of the Atom #12
  2. The Atom Handled Cancellation in the Coolest Way Imaginable
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