DCEU is getting a complete reboot. However, the last entry of the pre-Gunn DCEU, Black Adam, introduced us not only to Dwayne Johnson’s character but others that previously hadn’t been a part of any DC live-action project. One of them is Atom Smasher, the towering guy rivaling MCU’s Ant-Man. So, if Ant-Man and Atom Smasher ever fought, who’d win?
Ant-Man would win against the Atom Smasher more often than not due to his superior intelligence, additional powers, and superior size alteration abilities. While Atom Smasher can only grow larger, Ant-Man can go both larger and smaller, giving him much more versatility in a fight.
That being said, Atom Smasher is not an easy task to deal with in any way. He has the upper hand on Ant-Man in several aspects of their powers. For instance, he doesn’t need a suit to alter his size, giving him much more control over his superpowers. Let’s dive into the matchup a bit more to see all the differences and similarities between Ant-Man and Atom Smasher.
What’s the difference between Atom & Atom Smasher?
Before we dive into the comparison between Ant-Man and Atom Smasher, it’s essential to know the difference between DC’s Atom Smasher and the more well-known Atom. No – they are not the same character.
The Atom is a much closer comparison to Marvel’s Ant-Man, and their powers are much more similar. The original Atom is Al Pratt (the mantle was later taken by Ray Palmer, the most well-known Atom), who got his powers by accident while fighting crime as a vigilante.
The Atom Smasher, Albert Rothstein, is Al Pratt’s godson, and his powers somewhat differentiate from the Atom. Like Ant-Man, the Atom can alter his size in both directions – going subatomic if needed or growing as big as a building, and in both cases, he maintains his strength, or even more so, it grows.
The Atom Smasher, on the other hand, can only alter his size to grow as big as a building while maintaining the same body density. His strength grows proportionately to his size, and so does his durability.
That being said, we’re here to compare Al Rothstein, aka Atom Smasher, aka the guy who appeared in DCEU’s Black Adam, to Ant-Man. MCU’s Ant-Man is Scott Lang, but the original Ant-Man is Hank Pym, and we’ll use Pym in our comparison to Rothstein.
As I’ve mentioned, Atom Smasher’s abilities are limited to growth rather than going both ways. He can alter his size to become as big as a skyscraper, and in the process, his strength and durability also grow to depend on Atom Smasher’s size.
However, the bigger Atom Smasher gets, the more energy he consumes, meaning that his stamina is reciprocal to his size – the bigger Atom Smasher is, the less stamina he has.
Ant-Man is exactly like that, too. He can go skyscraper-big, and his strength and durability follow, but he gets tired much quicker due to the sheer amount of energy needed even to move such a huge body.
But there’s a reason why Hank Pym is known as Ant-Man, not Giant-Man. His most well-known power is going the other way – shrinking to a size of an Ant and even further. He can go subatomic – so small that he literally dwells in a different universe, known in Marvel as the Quantum Realm.
Long story short, Atom Smasher’s size alteration goes in only one direction, whereas Ant-Man can both grow and shrink, depending on what the situation requires. For that, Ant-Man gets the first point in our battle.
Point: Ant-Man (1:0) Atom Smasher
Both Ant-Man and Atom Smasher can grow in size, and their strength usually matches their size. The thing about Ant-Man, however, is that when he shrinks, he maintains his strength and mass, meaning he becomes a tiny yet heavy and powerful projectile.
But, when he grows in size to, for instance, match Atom Smasher, his strength follows proportionately. However, from what I’ve seen in the movies and read in the comics, Atom Smasher’s strength goes above and beyond Ant-Man’s when they are in their gigantic forms.
You see after Black Adam officially became a member of the Justice Society of America in JSA #23, he became close friends with Atom Smasher, mainly due to their frustrations about the moral limitations of what they’re allowed to do to enemies that were set by the JSA.
And we saw the two arm-wrestle numerous times, with Atom Smasher actually holding his ground against Black Adam. Remember, Black Adam is basically as strong as Shazam, and Shazam can rival Superman in strength, which puts into perspective how strong Atom Smasher is.
Of course, Black Adam is still stronger, but if you can make that guy work to beat you, then you got some serious strength.
For the sake of argument, even if we consider that Ant-Man and Atom Smasher have the same strength in their giant forms, Al Rothstein is certainly stronger than Hank Pym in their normal-size forms. For that, he gets the second point.
Point: Atom Smasher (1:1) Ant-Man
Suit & Armor
The thing about Hank Pym is that he doesn’t actually have any superpowers. Like Iron Man, Ant-Man’s superpowers lie in his technology and science. He developed a suit which, when paired with the Pym Particles he invented, allows Ant-Man to alter his size and essentially do all the other stuff that Ant-Man is known to do.
It also serves as great protection for him in battle – kind of like armor. Especially his helmet, which has other functionalities, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
On the other hand, Atom Smasher doesn’t really need his suit. Al Rothstein actually has superpowers that aren’t the fruit of technology or science. He can go giant mode even when he’s butt-naked, which we actually saw in the Black Adam movie.
The only function that his suit has is that it is designed in a way that allows the suit to grow in size along with Rothstein, so he doesn’t end up naked every time he grows. He doesn’t have the magic pants that never tear like the Hulk.
With time, Atom Smasher’s suit got upgraded and also worked not quite as armor but certainly as an extra layer of protection.
So, Ant-Man’s suit has more of a function, seeing that Hank needs it to even have any kind of powers. Atom Smasher doesn’t really need his suit, but it does serve as an extra layer of protection, hides his identity, and allows Al to use his powers without showing us a giant ‘dark side of the moon’ every time. I’d call this category a draw.
Point(s): Ant-Man (2:2) Atom Smasher
I’m going to keep this one short because there’s not much to dive into. Atom Smasher has one power and one power alone – increasing his size. That comes with superhuman strength and durability, but that’s about as far as Atom Smasher’s powers go.
On the other hand, Ant-Man can both grow and shrink, can essentially travel inter-dimensionally, allowing him to even time-travel (as we saw in the MCU), and visit a completely different universe – the microverse, aka the Quantum Realm.
To add to it, his helmet has a built-in system that allows Ant-Man to communicate with real ants, which he can control as a tiny army of minions. The ants can fight alongside him, give him a ride (we still mourn you, Ant-thony!), obscure cameras, allow Ant-Man to infiltrate security systems, and much more.
There’s even more to Ant-Man and his powers, but this is more than enough to give him this category comfortably.
Point: Ant-Man (3:2) Atom Smasher
Intelligence & Personality
Atom Smasher is not a dimwit, but he’s not a genius, either. Also, his personality is quite malleable, as he often jumped from hero to antihero, doing a lot of questionable stuff throughout the years – kind of like his buddy, Black Adam.
In fact, Atom Smasher and Black Adam left the JSA together at one point. They formed an anti-hero duo, doing their vigilante work, but totally lost all inhibitions and boundaries.
It eventually led to Atom Smasher ending up in Belle Reve prison and even leading the Suicide Squad on a very dangerous mission – catching his old buddy, Black Adam himself. So, Atom Smasher kind of redeemed himself and was welcomed back into the JSA, but still, his personality is murky waters at best.
That’s not to say that Hank Pym is much better, though. I mean, he never went anti-heroic or villainous regarding his superhero work, but he did develop somewhat of an evil alter-ego, usually known as Yellowjacket. He also did many morally questionable and hideous things, like abusing his wife – which is why so many people dislike Hank Pym.
Ant-Man was always obsessed with being the best and winning, leading to him going to whatever-it-takes measures multiple times. Still, I wouldn’t put him in that morally-unhinged category as Atom Smasher.
And, to add to it, Hank Pym is one of the most intelligent people on the planet, incomparably more brilliant than Albert Rothstein. For that, he gets a clear-cut point in this particular category.
Point: Ant-Man (4:2) Atom Smasher
Atom Smasher Vs. Ant-Man: Who wins, and how?
In the end, the score is obvious – Ant-Man wins by a comfortable margin. If the two were met without suits, of course, Atom Smasher would smash Ant-Man, as Ant-Man without his suit is only a man.
But if we’re talking about both being at their best, then Ant-Man beats Atom Smasher, and it’s not even close. He can do everything Atom Smasher can do and add some.
Apart from just growing in size, strength, and durability, and going mano-a-mano with Rothstein, Hank Pym is way smarter than his rival.
He could shrink in size so that the big guy can’t see him, enter his system through his nose, mouth, ears, or any other crevice, enter his bloodstream or giant brain, and then simply grow in size, turning his enemy into mush.
If not that, he can simply use the growing-shrinking tactic to stay out of harm’s way as he pummels Atom Smasher, whose strength and size wouldn’t mean a thing if he can’t get a shot at Ant-Man.
So, if we limit them to normal human size, Atom Smasher wins. If we restrict them to their giant sizes, they’d probably go smack-for-smack until someone exhausts himself. In any other scenario, Ant-Man wins against Atom Smasher comfortably.