Could RAY PALMER Be Trapped In MR. OZ's Prison Too?

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Atom scenes
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

In this week's Detective Comics #940, readers learned that the mysterious Mr. Oz may have imprisoned more than one key DC character. More specifically, it is revealed that assumed-dead Tim Drake is Oz's latest prisoner, and it is heavily-suggested at least two other figures are trapped in other cells.

Theories about who those two figures could be range from Doomsday (whom Oz captured in Action Comics #962) to "New 52" Superman and Superwoman (who are both presumed dead, similar to Tim Drake's current status).

However, readers may forget that they may have already seen another "prisoner" in DC's Rebirth era - Ray Palmer. Could the current location of Ray Palmer actually be Mr. Oz's prison?

In the May one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Ray Palmer sent a message to his assistant Ryan Choi, stating that he was in "big trouble." Palmer's message indicates that he needs rescued.

And the reason that he became trapped? He was investigating "a disruption deep within the temporal nanostructure of the time line."

Credit: DC Comics

"I thought it was Chronos," Palmer says in the message. "I put on the Atom suit, shrunk down and I know it's unwise, but I jumped into the time pool. And I quickly discovered this disturbance wasn't because of Chronos."

"I found evidence of something much bigger than a few historical robberies within the very essence of time," Palmer says.

Credit: DC Comics

Palmer tells Choi that he shrunk down so far that he discovered the "Microverse." He asks Choi to similarly shrink down to come rescue him, but he says that Choi needs to watch out for someone when he gets to the "first world of the Microverse."

But his transmission was cut off before he could describe who this "someone" is that should be avoided.

Credit: DC Comics

Could Ray Palmer's discovery of the timeline discrepancies - what he calls "something much bigger than a few historical robberies" - have gotten him captured by Oz and locked up in a prison next to, now, Tim Drake?

Readers are already aware that DC is giving all indications that one or more Watchmen characters have been messing with time. In fact, according to the older Wally West, the character's (or characters') influence has been felt in the DC Universe for some time. It was somehow the cause of the "New 52" (beyond what was seen in Flashpoint's finale), and it has effectively stolen a decade from the universe's continuity.

And the mysterious Mr. Oz, whom many have theorized is actually Ozymandias from Watchmen, appears to be functioning somewhere outside the current reality of the DC Universe. When he told Tim Drake that he took him off the playing field, he seemed to be indicating that their location was somehow located outside - or removed from - current main DC Earth.

Perhaps Palmer is away from the main DC Earth not only because he shrunk down, but because he was captured by someone - and that someone is Mr. Oz.

In the message Palmer sent to Choi, he is very clearly in a room made up distinctly of stone walls, similar to what might be seen in a dungeon or prison.

Given Palmer's experience as both a scientist and a superhero, it's doubtful he'd speak of the Microverse with such awe if it was a realm made up of entirely four cinderblocks walls. By all indications he's stuck, trapped, or imprisoned somewhere within the Microverse.

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

The stone walls don't exactly match what was obscurely (perhaps intentionally?) shown in Detective Comics #940, where Tim Drake is in what appears to be a modern facility with transparent doors. However, in one panel of that issue, where Tim Drake yells, "this isn't over," it could be argued if you're so inclined that the lines in the wall indicate some type of stone or cinder block structure.

Also, there's another prison door that might lend credence to the theory. In Superman #34, Mr. Oz is talking to someone that he has imprisoned behind a pair of giant doors that have an old-fashioned design to them - something that also has a dungeon feel.

Of course, if we believe that Palmer is the prisoner of Mr. Oz, there are suddenly more questions - is Mr. Oz's prison in the Microverse? Or did he simply grab Palmer out of the Microverse and take him to a different location? And even if we believe that Palmer is one of the presumed two other prisoners beside Tim Drake, who's the other one?

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