"The Hole-In-The-Wall Lawman": The Atom has a feeling of deja-vu when he is hiding out in a safe that he hid in previously while fighting the Hyper-Thief. When crooks crack the safe again, the Atom springs out and knocks out the two thugs that are in the room. While the Atom is knocking these cr
The Atom #18 is an issue of the series The Atom (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 1965.
Synopsis for "The Hole-In-The-Wall Lawman"
The Atom has a feeling of deja-vu when he is hiding out in a safe that he hid in previously while fighting the Hyper-Thief. When crooks crack the safe again, the Atom springs out and knocks out the two thugs that are in the room. While the Atom is knocking these crooks out and signaling the police, the real thief -- a costumed crook named the Black Phantom -- is robbing the safe of it's contents and leaving his calling card: A single thumb print linking himself to the crime.
Back at police headquarters, the Atom and the police compare notes about the Black Phantoms activities. Studying the Phantom's routine, they know that he robs three locations in a given city before moving on and that he has successfully robbed two locations in Ivy Town already. They then decide to setup a trap for him, by guarding all the potential spots for theft except for one which the Atom will hide out in. However, the Black Phantom has anticipated this move and while the police and the Atom are staking out various safes around the city, the Phantom has broken into a scientific lab and stolen a powerful new experimental bomb. When they realize what's happened, they are informed by Professor Morton Oldham that the bomb has power enough to completely destroy Ivy Town.
When the Atom is planted in another safe in another attempt to apprehend the Black Phantom, he suddenly suffers a dizzy spell and finds himself transported back in time 24 hours into the past. Coming to the conclusion that residual energy from the Time Pool has caused this twist of fate, Atom finds that strange vibrations prevent him from doing more than reliving the last 24 hours over exactly as they had happened, including failing to stop the Black Phantom from robbing the safe he and stealing the bomb. There is only one minor difference: When reliving a date that he had with Jean as Ray Palmer, the Atom would notices that the vibrations strangely ceased when they arrived at their destination, a restaurant called the Blue Door.
That night when placed back in the safe where he previously was shunted back in time, the Atom instead finds that time continues to go forward and the Black Phantom arrives to rob the bank. Although the Phantom has prepared by having a vial of tear-gas handy, the Atom manages to escape it's effect by shrinking small enough to hide within the carpet. Using his size changing powers, the Atom manages to defeat and capture the Black Phantom.
Unmasked and taken into police custody, the Phantom gloats that the bomb that he had stolen is his ace in the hole: If the police do not let him free, the bomb will go off at 2:00 in the afternoon killing them all. Knowing that he stole the bomb, the police are hard pressed and are about to let him go when the Atom realizes that the strange vibrations of chronal energy stopped vibrating due to his proximity to the radioactive materials of the bomb. Using this as a guide, the Atom leads the police to the Phantom's hideout, which is not far from the Blue Door Restaurant and disarm it with a minute to spare.
Appearing in "The Hole-In-The-Wall Lawman"
- Black Phantom (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Atomic Flea!"
Ray Palmer has been asked to assist in Project Spaceshot-N at a secret government lab, and is asked not to reveal the labs location to anyone. Along the way, Ray stops at a nearby amusement park when he hears a shot ring out. Changing into the Atom, the Mighty Mite goes to investigate and finds that crooks are attempting to rob the money earned at the carnival's arcade. Although the Atom manages to knock out all the crooks using his size and weight changing powers, he is also stunned in the fight and lands into the tank of a flea circus. He manages to avoid a nasty fall by shrinking himself down to the size approximate to the fleas inside the tank.
Stricken with amnesia, the Atom believes that he is also a flea, and unrecognized by anyone begins participating in the flea circus. Meanwhile, Jean Loring is about to go to the carnival with her friend Melissa but stop by Ray's lab to get him to join them. A spy working for an enemy country has taken Ray's place and answers the door. The spy politely declines Jean's offer to join them and resumes his "work" while Jean and Melissa check out the carnival.
While seeing the sights, Jean marvels at the flea circus and, her appearance manages to jar the real Ray's memories. They have also uncovered other memories as well: How when he was bombarding himself with Protonic Radiation to cure the issue of residual Time Pool energy effecting him, he was visited by a group of spies who take them to their hideout and use a hypnotic device to force Ray into telling them everything about Spaceshot-N and replace him with their spy, who plans on stealing the secrets and taking them back to their country. With their plot finalized, they used the same device to make Ray forget about the encounter.
Now finally remembering, the Atom rushes back to his lab where he catches his double taking photos of the Spaceshot-N plans and decides to hitch a ride within the spy's camera. When the spy returns to base. There the Atom springs into action, using his size changing powers to trip up the spies with relative ease and turns them over to the authorities.
Later, back at his lab, Ray Palmer reviews the whole scenario and realizes that he had bombarded himself with too much Protonic Radiation, causing the earlier black-out and amnesia. As another side effect, it also caused him to briefly influence others into believing what he did, thus why everyone who saw him in the flea circus thought he was just another flea. He sums up his adventure by going out to dinner with Jean and Melissa and is amused when Jean talks about the amazing flea circus act that she saw.
Appearing in "The Atomic Flea!"
- Black Phantom (Single appearance)