Atlas was a giant beetle created by Panacea to aid Skitter in her fight against the Slaughterhouse 9. Skitter used Atlas primarily as a mode of aerial transportation and thought of it as a mindless automaton/pet.
"Six and a half feet long, five feet across and five feet tall. A giant beetle. It looked like she had used a Hercules beetle as a starting point, but built it broader, with larger, longer legs and two forelimbs with what looked like praying mantis style blades. Sporting a black shell that looked almost ragged, the tips a gray-white, it also featured a single large horn that curved overhand, pointing down at the ground."
"It ran on the ground, slower than me. Its shell parted behind me, revealing an overlarge, complicated set of wings. They began to beat, thrumming with sixty or seventy flaps a second, powered by an efficient machine of what I took to be a combination of biological hydraulics and musculature."
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Atlas had the ability of mechanical flight, but could only handle a single full-grown person at a time. It was also durable enough to survive a ten to twelve foot crash without any noticeable damage. However, Skitter felt it was too fragile to survive any hostile actions while in air.
Atlas' large scythe-like talon could also be used as a weapon, though it had never actually engaged anyone with them. Though like its other legs, it was a hydraulic-based system that could not be utilized during flight and vice versa.
After Panacea elaborated on her restrictions when it came to manipulating biology, Skitter asked Panacea if she could think of some other way to assist.
Convinced to help out in the fight against the Slaughterhouse 9, Panacea set out to create a form of transportation for Skitter upon overhearing Grue mentioning the lack of such.
Atlas was formed from the mass of bugs Skitter sent to Panacea, who created him using a Hercules beetle as its base. Skitter immediately used Atlas for flight upon meeting it to escape Crawler and the imminent PRT bombing.
Despite being based on a scaled up hercules beetle, Atlas had no instincts or any inherent knowledge of a beetle and required Skitter to fully manage its flight at all times. With trial and error (crashing once), Skitter managed to familiarize herself with its mechanics of flight to confidently fly it at a relatively high altitude away from the expected blast zone.
After Skitter returned from scouting the battlefield, Panacea modified Atlas once more to make it simpler to fly, by allowing it to repeat any previous action performed. This removed some of the focus Skitter required before, though she found it more irritating than helpful, as it may continue to fly without her should she be incapacitated. Panacea wanted to leave Atlas to starve to death but Grue used his new abilities to modify Atlas with a human digestive system.
Atlas was then utilized to perform aerial bombings and strafing (with grenades and a revolver) to remove the cars atop a frozen Cache and Clockblocker as well as to fend off both Mannequin and Crawler. After Glory Girl had been seriously injured by Crawler, Skitter unsuccessfully attempted to carry the combined weight of herself and Glory Girl to be evacuated. Instead, using Glory Girl's own flight ability, Skitter used Atlas to lead her to Panacea.
The Undersider's former benefactor made sure to remove Atlas from play when it came to betraying the team.
Used in the fight against Echidna.
After reuniting, Skitter noted the stress and tear that was accumulating on Atlas.
Atlas eventually died when Skitter was incarcerated after turning herself in to the Protectorate, as it was unable to eat without Skitter's direct control.
- Tattletale commented on the similarity of atlas name and the mythic Giants role of beating the heavens on his shoulders and skitters role of keeping the peace.
- There is an actual atlas beetle that is related to the Hercules beetle, though much larger.