NOTE: Major spoilers for Arrow’s second season finale and some mild spoilers for the direction of the show’s upcoming third season are present in this article.
In a surprising announcement today, The CW has just revealed another bit of casting for the upcoming third season of their biggest hit show, the DC Comics-inspired Arrow, and it’s quite a big role! None other than DC veteran, Brandon Routh will be coming to the series for Season Three, this time as another DC Comics hero, The Atom! Well, Ray Palmer to be exact, the man who eventually becomes The Atom.
Routh’s most well-known breakout role was as the Man of Steel himself, Superman back in 2006’s Superman Returns. While he only got to portray Superman one time in the end, before Henry Cavill took over the role in the modern DC Cinematic Universe started with last year’s Man of Steel, Routh can now return to the DC ranks as another beloved superhero in the DC pantheon.
Arrow has actually been teasing an appearance by The Atom for a while, dropping a casual reference to, “Ray and Jean” during a flashback scene in the first season (i.e. Ray Palmer and Jean Loring, the man who would become The Atom and his wife), and then featuring Jean Loring as Moira Queen’s attorney during several episodes of the show’s second season. It’s unclear whether the two will be married or still affiliated in any way during Season Three at this time however.
The announcement confirms that Ray Palmer, presumably pre-Atom, will take over as the new head of the Queen family company, Queen Consolidated during Season Three, following its recovery from Isabel Rochev and Slade Wilson after Season Two, with Isabel being killed by Nyssa Al Ghul, and Slade being imprisoned on the island, Lian Yu during the Season Two finale. The character is described as, “An unparalleled scientist and inventor who plays an unexpected role in the lives of Oliver and [his ally], Felicity.” It’s also claimed that Palmer has plans for Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences division, which are, “Shrouded in mystery.” A tease to his future superhero identity?
In the DC Comics Universe, Ray Palmer invents matter compression technology that allows him to change size at will, even to subatomic levels, and uses said technology to adopt the superhero mantle, “The Atom.” While The Atom has appeared in numerous DC Animated Universe films and shows, Routh’s portrayal of Palmer on Arrow marks the first time that the character will be realized in live-action.
The CW was predictably coy on whether or not Palmer would eventually acquire his size-changing abilities, or if he may already have them, during Arrow’s upcoming third season. It’s especially likely that Palmer has yet to become The Atom when he debuts on Arrow though, given that his mass-manipulating abilities are never directly addressed by The CW. Still, given the second season’s scrapping of the initial rule to avoid superpowers on the show, particularly with spin-off, The Flash now going to series, it’s very hopeful that we’ll eventually see The Atom as a potential new ally to Team Arrow at some point during Arrow, even if it’s not right away.
In any case, the DC Universe welcomes back Brandon Routh! Don’t forget as well that Arrow’s third season will premiere on Wednesday, October 8th at 8:00 P.M. EST, on The CW in the U.S., and CTV for us Canadians.
Eggplante will continue to shoot you all news and updates related to Arrow.