IS NOT WIZARDO.
I understand, deeply, the wish for the Atom to have a more robust Rogues Gallery. But continuing to perpetuate the falsehood that this figure is Wizardo and that Wizardo is a foe of the Atom is simply shoddy scholarship and must be stopped.
Let us look at the story where Wizardo -- the real Wizardo -- appears (as well as this guy in the astronaut suit): "The Riddle of the Two-Faced Astronaut" (The Atom #6, May 1963).
|Just to prove I didn't make that title up.|
That "two-faced astronaut"? THAT is the guy in the astronaut suit. His name is Peter Venner...
|OR IS IT...?!?!?|
See the guy with the characteristic ugly drawn-by-Gil-Kane mug, in the bowtie? THAT, people, that is Wizardo. He is a stage magician.
Peter Venner is his assistant; he's not a real astronaut. It's just the theme of the magic trick. Remember, this is 1963 and space exploration and astronauts are delightfully new for the public.
Venner is just there for an astronaut-themed version of the old disappearing act by Wizardo, who is not a foe of the Atom but an old friend of Ray Palmer.
|Jean Loring's "How EASY it can be to make someone disappear!" face.|
Silver Age heroes were a lot like Jessica Fletcher; they had hordes of unmentioned Old Friends who would pop up at a moment's notice to spark a plot, never to be heard from again. Except unlike Jessica's friends, they didn't die. I cannot imagine the circumstance under which a young physics student became friends with an older stage magician, but I'm sure there's slash fic about it somewhere.
The plot thickens when magician's assistant Peter Venner is accused of robbing a nearby bank. It's actually a company with a cash payroll, but that's gibberish to any modern reader, so I'll just call it a bank for ease of comprehension.
|That's Chief Baxter of Ivy Town. He's a moron.|
|It must be MAGIC, Chief Baxter. Moron.|
Chief Baxter manages to use his words enough to explain what appeared to have happened.
|If "in a glen plaid suit" didn't make you laugh, why are you even reading this blog?|
So, painfully obviously, nobody actually saw Peter Venner do anything. They saw a guy in an astronaut suit, and, as I can tell you from my days hanging out at space bars, all guys in astronaut suits tend to look alike.
|Except for Val Kilmer, because BATMAN LIPS.|
Wizardo (who is Ray's FRIEND not his ENEMY, I reiterate) explains how the "disappearing act" works to show that suspecting Venner is moronic, CHIEF BAXTER.
|So, what do you imagine Wizardo DID during that deadtime on stage? |
Ten minutes is a LONG time for the audience to just stare in silence at a big globe.
If Venner IS the bank robber, then he's a moron, because he's wearing the most identifiable outfit imaginable: an astronaut suit and a fake ray gun. This is the Atom's Ivy Town, not Martian Manhunter's Apex City (which actually is a center for space exploration on the Florida coast, where one might reasonably see an occasional man in an astronaut suit). If you REALLY wanted to go about unnoticed in Silver Age Ivy Town, you should probably wear something common that would blend in with everyone else. Like an orange glen plaid suit.
Regardless of whether Venner is a moron, Chief Baxter IS a moron, and so:
|Criminal attorney Jean Loring knows: gloves leave no fingerprints. |
Especially on flamethrowers.
Always desperate for attention, Jean Loring never met a case so stupid she wouldn't take it (like the time she defended a swan in court as her client). And so, the show must go on:
|Wha-hat?! ANOTHER man in an astronaut suit?! |
To quote Tom Kalmaku, "What goes on? What goes on?"
So there is the real robber, who, you might notice, is ALSO a moron. If he'd simply taken the night off from astro-robbery, there would be no evidence to suspect anybody BUT Venner and our fake fake-astronaut would be in the clear. Moron; he's the perfect nemesis for Chief Baxter.
Naturally, Ray shows up and atomizes this guy.
|This is just like that Twilight Zone episode with Agnes Moorhead. Except in reverse.|
Sigh. Cuz you need nature's most awesome source of energy and the power of The Atom to defeat a guy lumbering around in a fake astronaut suit. You're six foot, 180 lbs, Ray; just walk up and punch him in his moronic astroface. This story, by the way, perfectly illustrates why the Atom never really took off as a character: too many of his stories don't really require him to be the Atom at all. This is a "Roy Raymond, TV Detective" story, and not a very good one at that.
As it turns out, when they pull his mask off it's Old Man Withers, the caretaker at the amusement park.
|Or Howard Crane, the Stage Manager. |
Something like that.
The guy does have a super-power, though: FASHION.
|Not enough super-seamsters in comics, nowadays, that's what wrong with 'em.|
So, I'm going to skip the part where Stage Manager and Super-Seamster Howard Crane manages to escape the Atom and tries to rob the post office, where he mailed the loot to himself, because it's just too painful. Instead, let's skip right to the gratuitously sexist wrap-up, where Jean Loring decides to change out of her circus aerialist costume into something less ridiculous.
|JEAN LORING KNOWS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HER AND IS NOT OKAY WITH IT.|
Note again: that's Wizardo (no real name given). He's not an enemy of the Atom, he's a friend of Ray's. His assistant, Peter Venner, the guy in the normal fake astronaut suit, is not an enemy of the Atom. His stage manager, Howard Crane, the guy in the reversible orange glen plain astronaut suit, isn't really an enemy of the Atom, either; he's just a moronic super-seamster who made the mistake of working for an old friend of Ray Palmer. The Atom has (nearly) nothing to do with it.
So, Comic Vine and Fandom database, et al., stop blindly parroting one another without actually doing the most basic original research.