Captain Atom

Captain Atom's first costumeReal Name: Captain Allen Adam

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: U.S. Air Force Officer, missile expert, test pilot, trouble shooter

Affiliations: Nightshade, the Sentinels of Justice (Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, Question)

Enemies: Doctor Spectro, Drako, The Ghost, Punch, Jewelee, Fiery-Icer, Thirteen

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Cape Canaveral

First Appearance: Space Adventures #33 (Charlton, March 1960)

Powers/Abilities: Invulnerable (described as indestructible), doesn't need to breath and capable of surviving unaided in space, able to move at supersonic speeds and to fly interstellar distances, able to strike with an "atomic punch".

Captain Atom's second costumeHistory: Caught in an atomic accident, U.S. Air Force Captain Allen Adam was disintergrated. Somehow his mind survived the destruction of his body, and, mutated by radiation, he eventually managed to reconstitute his corporeal form. Now superhuman, he adopted to costumed identity of Captain Atom, a persona he used to fight the enemies of his country.

Comments: Created by Joe Gill and Steve Ditko.

After debuting in Space Adventures in early 1960, Captain Atom enjoyed a brief run in that title, before vanishing after about a year and a half (his last appearance being #42). He returned in 1965, when some of his stories were reprinted in Strange Suspense Stories (starting with #75), which then gained new tales of the hero when it was retitled Captain Atom from #78 through #89. He briefly reappeared when Americomics leased the rights to several Charlton characters and teamed them up as the Sentinels of Justice (in Americomics Special #1). Charlton subsequently folded, and sold their characters to D.C. Unlike most of the Charlton characters, the original version of Captain Atom was not revived (although he did guest in Crisis on Infinite Earths); instead, D.C. created a new version inspired by, but distinct from, the old. He also served as the basis for Alan Moore's Doctor Manhattan in the Watchmen.

Thanks to "Dalentrudy" for the original secret identity of this character.


Captain Atom (DC revival)

Captain Atom's current appearanceReal Name: Captain Nathaniel Christopher Adam

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Retired Air Force Captain, Superhero

Affiliations: JLA (reserve member), member/founder/leader of several now-defunct incarnations of the JLA, former government agent, member of L.A.W. (which included the DC versions of Blue Beetle, Question, Peacemaker, Nightshade, Judomaster)

Enemies: Major Force, Monarch, Avatar

Known Relatives: Angela Adams (wife, deceased), Margaret Eiling (daughter), Randall Eiling (son)

Aliases: Cameron Scott

Base of Operations: San Francisco

First Appearance: Captain Atom #1 (D.C., March, 1987

Powers/Abilities: Captain Atom's powers are derived entirely from the alien alloy that has merged with his body; by covering his body with this alloy at will he gains the standard set of superhero powers (flight, super strength, and invulnerability) and several others. Captain Atom has an energy absorption power that's second to none in the DCU, he is able to absorb just about any form of energy and store it in his person; however, if he absorbs too much at any given time he will more-or-less skip into the near future.

Captain Atom can also fire "atomic energy blasts" from his hands, which aren't nearly as destructive as they sound. By all accounts Captain Atom is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DCU, easily outstripping Superman in some respects.

Captain Atom with his first DC Comics lookHistory: After returning home from a tour of duty in Vietnam, Air Force Captain Nathaniel Adam was falsely accused of treason and murder. Not wanting to rot in prison for the rest of his natural life Adam agreed to be a guinea pig in a top-secret government project in exchange for a presidential pardon. The experiment's aim was to test an unknown alien alloy's resiliency against atomic weaponry, but unfortunately something went wrong. Adam was propelled 18 years into the future without aging a day and with the alien alloy somehow merged to his body.

Everyone had assumed that Nathaniel Adam had died on the day of the experiment, so his presidential pardon was never issued. Unfortunately the current government refused to acknowledge the previous administration's promised pardon. Seizing the opportunity at hand, the government used the outstanding murder/treason charges against Adam to blackmail him into being a government-controlled superhero (codenamed Captain Atom). After a time Adam apparently earned a new identity from the government and briefly became Cameron Scott in his civilian life, but this identity proved short-lived.

Eventually Adam was able to clear himself of all false charges and finally allowede to resume his original civilian identity, but unfortunately the family he had left behind no longer existed.

A mover-and-shaker in the super hero community almost since his debut, Adam has served on and founded numerous incarnations of the Justice League (he even lead the European branch of JLI and later parlayed that team into the short-lived Extreme Justice). Since the disbanding of the JLI Adam has relocated to San Francisco, which is now his base of operations. Though he is no longer on the active roster of the JLA Captain Atom is on the reserve roster and ready to aide the team on a moment's notice.

Comments: When DC revived this character, they couldn't figure a way to make the original version work, rooted as he was in Vietnam and the Cold War. So they changed his background and his true identity (renaming him Nathaniel Adam). Gabriel informs me that the DC version of this character was a "soldier experimented on, blown up and sent to the future. The more energy he absorbs, the farther into the future he will fly into. He is much more powerful than Superman and has the energy equivalent of a sun. (He) has been part of (several) major DC storylines and worked with every incarnation of the Justice League."

"Cadmus", who proved a lot of information for the D.C. version of Captain Atom, noted "Captain Atom has several interesting real world stories.

The 1991 Mini-series, Armageddon 2001, was by all accounts a horrible flop. The story centered on the idea that, in the far-flung year of 2001, a Judas hero will kill all of his comrades and take over the world in the guise of The Monarch. The climax of the series was to be the big reveal of The Monarch's true identity. Somehow, while the series was only half-done, it was leaked to the public that the squeaky-clean Captain Atom was slated to be the Monarch. Because Armageddon 2001 was meant to be the title-spanning money-maker of the early 90s the creative team scrambled to sub in someone new to preserve the series. Hawk of Hawk and Dove was subbed in for Captain Atom and Captain Atom has since led an obscure and relatively uneventful (when compared to his contemporaries) superhero career (Hawk, on the other hand, is an incredible mess).

Captain Atom appeared in the first episode of the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, his powers and nature had been changed to the point where he had more in common with the terrible electric Superman of the late 90s than with the Captain Atom we all know and love. Why, oh why did Paul Dini leave? "

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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