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Saturday, September 09, 2023 

Actor from Ant-Man movie says they copied from the Atom

Fandom Wire addressed recent statements by actor Paul Rudd, who starred in the unsuccessful Ant-Man sequel, and said in recent interviews that the film copied quite a bit from DC's Silver Age Atom, except that they screwed up with the name of the exact protagonist:
Not only was the movie underwhelmed at the box office, failing to even cross the $500m mark, but it also invited allegations of copying. In Ant-Man 3 we see Scott Lang shrink and explore the Quantum Realm – a fictional microscopic subatomic dimension. However, the concept of shrinking isn’t new in the superhero landscape. DC has its own shrinking savior, known as Atom. Al Pratt, the first hero to become the Atom, was featured in DC comics (Oct 1960) four months before Ant-Man
We seem to have here a classic case of somebody who's not a true historian writing this up, or he'd know Pratt was the Golden Age Atom who originally debuted in 1940 in All-American Comics, same anthology where the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, first appeared, and was simply a short-sized combatant. Ray Palmer was the 2nd Atom who debuted around 1961, and he was the actual shrinker courtesy of a size-weight control belt he developed. The point's made that shrinking into subatomic worlds goes back as early as the 1960s, but Fandom Wire's clearly not up to the task of accuracy.
In 2021, Rudd appeared on Howard Stern‘s The Howard Stern Show and the duo talked about the copying allegations. Stern said: “I was so deep into it that Marvel and DC had this rivalry. DC had the Atom. The Atom would shrink down to a tiny little size. Ant-Man would [also] shrink down to little [size], and Atom came first. So I remember reading and thinking ‘They are f*cking ripping off the Atom.'”

However, Stern then pointed out the difference between the two, adding he quickly realized that Ant-Man was communicating with Ants and the Atom couldn’t talk to anybody “when he was small.” The 54-year-old actor nodded, suggesting he agreed with Stern’s assessment.
But the Golden Age Hawkman (and Hawkgirl) could talk to birds, since the early stories published in Flash Comics did make use of this premise for at least a few years, almost similar to how Aquaman could talk with sea life. But, if they're implying Palmer couldn't speak even to humans, that's a lie, and just plain muddled.
Rudd pointed out how Atom’s inability to communicate was his big downfall “because Ant-Man could just bring in all the ants” to take on Atom. “And bury him with ants,” Stern added.
I'm not amused by this either. Mainly because at one point during the Silver Age tales, Ray Palmer once employed a mynah bird named "Major Mynah", which could talk like a parakeet or a parrot can. Okay, so Ray may have only used said ornothological protagonist to ride on, but there you have it, he was once depicted making use of an animal of some sort as a sidekick. But to say lack of communication with animals or insects was a downfall for the Atom is pointless, because what if that could provide him with obstacles to overcome, unlike Ant-Man? Simultaneously, interesting how Rudd must be oblivious to all the horrific abuse the Silver Age Atom wound up going through when Dan DiDio became DC's editor in the early 2000s, ditto his ex-wife Jean Loring. I guess only the movies matter to Rudd? In that case, maybe there's not much use in his complaining about the Ant-Man movie's resorting to ideas seen in the DCU either, if he doesn't care enough about the source material to lament what kind of atrocities wound up victimizing practically all their stable of characters since the turn of the century.

Anyway, even if I was more interested in adaptations to live action than I currently am, I'd still not care for an Atom adaptation at this point, because if Zack Snyder was only willing to use the PC replacement named Ryan Choi in his abortive Justice League movie, and not Ray, we can guess who the choice for a star in such a film would be if there's plans in the works for an Atom film. It's the same woke mentality the recently and equally unsuccessful Blue Beetle movie was built upon, all at the expense of the original white protagonists. If that's what would serve as the driving force behind an Atom film, there's no point making one at all. Though it sure is interesting to note that, in the past several years, the Choi version of the Atom has largely vanished along with Palmer himself from view in the DCU. Which just proves the social justice pandering isn't working out, though simultaneously, DC's clearly intent on shunning the original white protagonists as well, out of the very PC mindset they're sadly going by now. And Rudd doesn't seem the least bit concerned, putting his fandom under a question mark.

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