Once, he was the biggest superhero in the world, figuratively. Now, he's going to be the smallest. Literally.

Brandon Routh, who was the Man of Steel in Superman Returns, will reportedly have a recurring role on the CW's hit series Arrow next season as Ray Palmer, known to comics fans as the Atom.

According to TVLine, Palmer will be the new owner of Queen Consolidated and a possible love interest for resident computer whiz Felicity Smoak. Smoak has already had multiple on-screen crushes -- Oliver Queen himself included, as well as Barry Allen -- but Queen Consolidated was left in dire need of some leadership after the events of the last few episodes of the second season.

What isn't clear is whether the Arrow version of Palmer will have his trademark shrinking powers. Superpowers are something Arrow hasn't been incredibly liberal about including in its stories, though last season did feature characters who had super-strength that a serum imbued upon them, as well as a straight-up comics Flash origin. Maybe if science (fiction) is involved, it's OK.

The comics version of Palmer, who first appeared in Showcase #34 back in 1961, used matter from a white dwarf star to craft a lens that could shrink different items, and eventually himself, to microscopic size. It's doubtful Arrow will follow that template, but maybe they could do what the comics did and explain it all away with a science belt.

Certainly, this season of Arrow is adding more and more comic characters. Just in the past few weeks, the show has cast a new Count Vertigo (Peter Stormare) and Katana (Devon Aoki).

Routh's been busy with TV and movie roles since 2006's Superman Returns. He played Todd, the vegan evil ex, in the Scott Pilgrim movie and appeared on the series Chuck and Enlisted, among others.