Atlas was a giant beetle created by Panacea to aid Skitter in her fight against the Slaughterhouse Nine. Skitter used Atlas primarily as a mode of aerial transportation and thought of it as a mindless automaton/pet.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Atlas has a Hercules beetle body plan scaled up. Roughly two meters long and one and half meters tall at the shoulder and wide, large enough for his master to ride. He is colored black excepting some white along the edges of the rugged carapace that holds his wings. His legs are splayed out longer then a beetle of equivalent size would be and he has two mantis like scythe limbs. His horn curves up like a regular beetles but ends up pointing downward.[1]

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.[2]

Atlas' large scythe-like talons could also be used as a weapon. Though like his other legs, it was a hydraulic-based system that could not be utilized during flight and vice versa.[1]


As he was essentially a brainless extension of his Master he had no tactics of his own but he was instrumental in several. He was used like an attack drone on at least one occasion.[3]


Background Edit

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.[2]


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.[2]

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.[4]

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.

Post-Slaughterhouse NineEdit

When Skitter and Ballistic were sent in to deal with Parian, Skitter was captured by Parians friend Flechette. She brought in Atlas as a stop gap measure if she wasn't able to to convince Parian to leave Brockton Bay or join the Undersiders. Eventually, Atlas was spotted, alarming everyone present besides his master.[5]

The Undersiders' former benefactor made sure to remove Atlas from play when it came to betraying the team.

He was eventually found and returned to his master, just in time to join in the fight against Echidna, where Skitter had him land and use his scythe limbs to attack and to form flanking maneuvers with Weld.[6]


During a quiet moment thinking to herself Skitter noted the stress and tear that was accumulating on Atlas.[7]

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. There were plans to turn him into a mold for a bronze statue, honoring everything the supposed villain did for the people of Brockton Bay and the Boardwalk.[8]

His master would eventually be given a flight pack to make up for the mobility Atlas had given her.[9]


The statue was eventually completed, it survived the end of the world though damaged.[10]


  • Tattletale commented on the similarity of Atlas' name and the mythic giant's role of holding the heavens on his shoulders and Skitter's role of keeping the peace.
  • There is an actual atlas beetle that is related to the Hercules beetle, though much larger.
  • As a one-off artificial organic construction with no ability to breed, Atlas is effectively genderless, but regardless of this the beetle is still continually referred to as a 'He' in text and the choice is replicated here.

Fanart GalleryEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 I landed, and I couldn’t get the beetle’s legs under him to brace our landing. He hit his stomach, his legs squashing against his underside.

    “What?” I hurried to get off him. “Is he okay?”

    “It’s a he?” Tattletale asked.

    Amy stepped forward a little, “Its legs work through something like hydraulics. When it’s flying, it diverts those fluids to the flight system. Do you know how hard it was to make that thing able to fly? It’s not like I’ve practiced this sort of thing.” - Excerpt from Prey 14.5
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Prey 14.4
  3. Colony 15.6
  4. Prey 14.5
  5. I directed Atlas in through an open window. Every set of eyes was on Flechette and I, which made it easy for him to slip into the room. My bugs had identified tripwires Parian had set, and navigating Atlas around them wasn’t too hard.

    “Stop it!” Parian cried. For a second, I thought it had to do with Atlas, but her shout followed within a second of my question to Flechette.

    Flechette looked like she’d been slapped. I stopped Atlas where he was, poised a few feet behind Parian. I folded his scythe-like claws down and out of the way. - Excerpt from Colony 15.6
  6. I stood on Atlas’ back as he descended to the road, shaking my mask to let the glass fall free before carefully pulling it back on. Weld glanced at me and nodded as I appeared at his left, helping to form a defensive line.

    Weld’s hands started to change into long blades, and with the reach they afforded him, he was able to defend more ground.

    I stepped off Atlas and let him stand on his own, his scythelike forelimbs raised. He wouldn’t be that good in a fight, but the clones were fragile, and two more weapons was better than nothing. My knife and baton slid free of their respective slots in my compartment, and I whipped the baton out to its full length. It offered me a little more reach, an excuse to take one more step away from Scapegoat’s body and the frozen Tecton. In this fashion, Weld, Atlas and I formed something of a triangle. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.5
  7. Atlas started to falter. Compared to humans and other animals, bugs didn’t quite have the same ability to push themselves past the breaking point. Most bugs were small, and their bodies were hyperefficient, condensed down to the essential elements. If a bug needed to be able to leap, to lunge or to fly, it maintained a certain capacity and it didn’t generally go beyond that. It wasn’t absolute, but I’d found it was a definite trend.

    In brief, there wasn’t really a hundred-and-ten-percent. When Atlas started demonstrating fatigue and difficulty in carrying me, I wasted no time in setting him down on the ground.

    I ran my hand along the giant beetle’s shell while Tattletale and Rachel caught up.
    “What’s wrong with Atlas?” Tattletale asked.

    “He’s wearing out,” I said. My voice sounded flat. “During the Echidna fight, I saw how quickly he was getting tired, and I chalked it up to the fact that he hadn’t eaten properly while separated from me… but I’ve been realizing that it’s more than that. I haven’t figured out the perfect diet to give him absolutely everything he needs, and I’m only barely managing to maintain an equilibrium. Every time he gets hurt, every time he gets tired, there’s general wear and tear I can’t compensate for.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.2
  8. Atlas died. I wanted to let you know. Tattletale had him, but he wouldn’t eat or move. We asked for him, and we found a place for him. The guys say they think they know a good way to make a mold. They’re covering him in brass.

    A way of saying you’re still with us. Take care of yourself.

    -Char - Excerpt from Drone 23.3
  9. Drone 23.1
  10. A bubble sits suspended in the sky. Some earth still clings to it, but the ground dropped and the bubble remained fixed to this point in space. Off to the side, a scarab beetle is cast in bronze, the pedestal broken, the statue sitting askew on broken road. - Excerpt from Heavens 12.all

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