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"The Man in the Ion Mask!": With Jean running late for a masquerade party, she calls in to her fiance Ray Palmer to tell him that she will be there for sure. When Ray asks her what she'll be dressed up as, she tells him that he has to try and find her. Sure enough, while attending the party, Ray
Appearing in "The Man in the Ion Mask!"
- Man in the Ion Mask (First appearance)
- Ed Jameson
Synopsis for "The Man in the Ion Mask!"
With Jean running late for a masquerade party, she calls in to her fiance Ray Palmer to tell him that she will be there for sure. When Ray asks her what she'll be dressed up as, she tells him that he has to try and find her. Sure enough, while attending the party, Ray manages to correctly guesses which party goer is Jean. When she calls his bluff Ray reveals that he knew her because she had ticket number 155, and when working the door he saw through her disguise when she handed him her own ticket.
As the party continues, everyone is impressed by a party goer who has dressed up as a 20th-century Man in the Iron Mask. When the man wins first prize, he announces to all the party goers that he is looking to collect a different prize all together. Suddenly, the mask begins to glow brightly causing everyone to black out. When the party goers regain their facilities that find that they have all been robbed. When the police arrive, they ask for Ray's help in trying to solve the case. Ray goes to his lab and upon examining evidence he learns that ion energy was the cause of everyone at the party to black out.
Left in private, Ray exposes his Atom costume to an anti-ion ray so that when he runs into the "Man in the Ion Mask" again, he will be immune to the masks effects. Going out to buy Jean a birthday present Ray pops into a local jewelry store. Coincidentally this is the same store that the Man in the Ion Mask intends to rob. This time however, Ray is ready for him and quickly changes into the Atom and engages in battle with the masked criminal. Despite getting the upper hand, the Atom fails to stop the crook when the Man in the Ion Mask traps the Atom in a display case. As the Atom breaks free of the trap, the Man in the Ion Mask manages to escape.
While puzzling how the Man in the Ion Mask's powers work, Ray deduces that perhaps the white dwarf star components of his costume could be the source. However later when the Man in the Ion Mask robs the Ivy Town Bank without Ray being present ruins that theory. Looking over the list of witnesses to the previous two crimes he notices one thing in common: That a man named Ed Jameson is always present. Paying Jameson a visit at the Atom, he learns that while he wasn't at the third crime scene, he was eating at a restaurant next door. Realizing that Ed is the key to discovering the Ion Mask's powers, he decides to follow Ed around to see where the Man in the Ion Mask will strike next.
Sure enough, the Man in the Ion Mask appears at a horse betting track and attempts to rob the box office. The Atom springs into action, grabbing a horseshoe and banging it over the head of the Man in the Ion Mask, disorientating him long enough for the Atom to pull his sports coat over his arms and yank off his mask. The Atom easily knocks the man out, and Ed is shocked to find that it's his brother Bill. Bill revives and tells them that he was developing an Ion ray that didn't work until he realized that it would only operate when in proximity to Encephalonic waves, that just happen to be emitting from Ed's mind. As the police are taking him away, he explains that the ion device works by effecting the cerebellum of the brain causing the black outs.
Appearing in "The Spy Who Went Out for the Gold!"
- Boris Kalumchuk
Synopsis for "The Spy Who Went Out for the Gold!"
In the Soviet Union, an American spy is identified by Red agents who try to arrest the man. However, the agent uses a secret weapon called "DISCORD" (Distant Skin Control Over ReD agents) that amazingly knocks the gun out of the Russian agent's hand and sends him sprawling, and manages to fight off the other Russians that try to stop him before escaping. Unknown to the Russian agents, there is no such thing as DISCORD and that the force that was knocking them around was really the Atom, shrunk down to microscopic size. When the agents call in to their superior to tell them of this supposed new US weapon, the Atom uses the open phone line to travel to the Secret State Police captain Boris Kalumchuk in order to spy on him.
As the Atom travels the phone line he recalls what has brought him behind the Iron Curtain to begin with: The CIA had learned that the Soviets were planning on suddenly paying back all their debts incurred during World War I and II to other countries. This repayment, in gold no less, has the CIA suspicious that this is some sort of attack on the Soviet's enemies in other countries and had dispatched the Atom to investigate.
Following Kaluumchuk, the Atom learns that he is having his men irradiate the gold so that it poisons their enemies slowly. When going in for a closer look, Atom accidentally activates his size control devices to make him return to his real size, revealing himself to the Russians. However, he shrinks down to size fast enough so nobody gets a good look at his face. To get away from the soldiers, the Atom causes a fire and sets one of their lasers to go wild. When he's hit with the butt of a rifle and send flying toward an incinerator, the Atom leaves one of his gloves behind and shrinks out of harms way to make it look as though he perished in the flames.
Sneaking aboard the truck full of tainted gold, he learns of the source of the radiation: One of the Russians talks about how his brother, a Cosmonaut was aboard a Russian satellite when the Ikeya-Seki Comet passed through the solar system. The peculiar radiation had killed the Cosmonaut. Having analyzed the radiation, they decided to use it against their democratic enemies.
As the truck drives away, the Atom reveals himself, fights off the two Russians in the cab of the truck and forces the vehicle to drive off a bridge and crash into the water. With his mission accomplished, the Atom returns to the United States to report back to the CIA. Later, on a date with Jean as Ray Palmer, the Atom learns through her that the Russians have announced that they won't be paying back their debts to other countries after all. Wryly, Ray tells her that he has a hunch that they are better off without the communist gold.
- This book was first published on April 7, 1966.
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