"My Life in Miniature (Part III of VI) - Binding Energies": At Ivy University, a mysterious stranger hands Sylbert Rundine a costume and a Bio-Belt and gives him the name Dwarfstar. He follows by saying that he has a small chore in mind for Rundine.
- I think I'm failing the 'hero' test. Because when the hero meets the monster for the first time... I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to have problems controlling their bladder.
- -- The Atom
Appearing in "My Life in Miniature (Part III of VI) - Binding Energies"
Synopsis for "My Life in Miniature (Part III of VI) - Binding Energies"
Meanwhile, the Atom is in the sewers of Ivy Town where he faces the monstrous entity known as M'nagalah - the Cancer God. M'nagalah claims to be the creator of all life on Earth, but now he wants Ryan Choi to merge with him and become a part of his essence. Ryan discovers that the missing homeless woman has already accepted M'nagalah's offer and her face appears in the mass of M'nagalah's flesh. Ryan doesn't understand why M'nagalah would want him. He tells him, "I shrink, I get teensy. That's all I do."
Moments later, agents of the Waiting come swarming down the sewer tunnels and attack the Atom. Ryan fights them off and destroys one of their robotic mounts. Peering into the cracked shell, he discovers a miniature particle drive. Ryan takes the device and quickly effects his escape.
The following morning, he meets with Helmond Kettering and Panda Potter and shows them the particle drive. Ryan wants to modify the drive into a "fire rocket" and use it as a weapon. Realizing that he's now officially late for his first day at work, Ryan quickly changes clothes and rushes down to Ivy University. He is greeted by one of his colleagues, Professor Doris Zuell. Zuell has a dominating personality and displays an intense interest in Ryan - notably by pressing him against the wall and kissing him. She tells him that they will go on a movie date that evening at 7:00 pm. Ryan doesn't feel that she is giving him any choice in the matter.
That evening, Ryan and Doris take in a double-feature at a drive-in. In the middle of the film, Doris begins to grow in height. She is in fact the super-villain known as Giganta. Giganta appears to be under the spell of M'nagalah and tells Ryan that the "Cancer God says hello". She scoops Ryan up in a giant hand, seals him inside a circular petri disk and swallows him. Soon after, M'nagalah rises from the depths and appears before a nest of worshipers at the movie theater.
Back at Ivy University, Panda Potter returns home to find Dwarfstar standing in his dorm. Holding a knife to Panda's throat, he tells him, "...I just want to read you a poem".
- This issue is reprinted in The All-New Atom: My Life in Miniature trade paperback.
- M'nagalah alludes to its encounter with Swamp Thing in Swamp Thing #8 while talking to Ryan. The drive-in movie Terror In Tunnel Thirteen seen in this issue is also based on the events of that issue, with an altered ending where M'nagalah defeats Swamp Thing.
- Throughout the series, random quotes from famous scientists are interspersed amongst the narratives. This issue has a quote from Ray Palmer, Ryan's predecessor as the Atom.
- Panda Potter has a Power Girl poster in the wall of his dormitory. He kisses the poster every night when he comes home.
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