The Captain Atom

Captain Atom (DC version) as depicted in Justi...

Captain Atom (DC version) as depicted in Justice League Unlimited. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who likes Captain Atom?  This guy right here.  Why?  You may ask. There is this whole flight, super-strength, and radiation absorbing thing!  He was also the inspiration for Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen. Well this man has had quite an adventure to get to be the character he is today.  Lets start with the beginning.

Did you know that Captain Atom wasn’t alway a DC character?  In the mid 80s a company called Charlton Comics was bought out DC.  Therefore DC got the rights to all the characters.  One of them being Allen Adam.  Adam was a technician for an experimental rocket.  It launched accidentally, and Adam was atomized when it exploded in the upper atmosphere.  Somehow he gained superpowers that gave him the ability to reform his body safely on the ground and called himself Captain Atom.  His outfit was red and yellow and was designed to protect people from his radiation. Later he replaced his uniform with a liquid-metal that laid under his skin and he transformed when he powered up.  The last appearance of Captain Atom with Charlton Comics was as the leader of the Sentinels of Justice.  There he was joined by Blue Beetle, Nightshade, and the Question.  Their first appearance in the DC universe was during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which introduced Earth 4 as Captain Atom’s reality, and the other Charlton characters were there too.

Many things changed when he was put into DCs main stream continuity.  The modern Captain’s name is Nathaniel Adam. A captain in the US Air Force.  He was framed for a crime he didn’t commit and faced the death penalty. In order to not be executed Adam was invited to participate in Project: Captain Atom, a military experiment with almost no chance of survival, in exchanged for a full presidential pardon.  The experiment was testing the hull of a crashed alien ship by placing a human in and exploding a nuclear weapon under it.  Adam and the metal disintegrated.  He appeared 18 years later with the metal bonded to his body, and new incredible abilities.  Captain Atom joins the Justice League, and later at the request of the government becomes the leader of Justice League Europe.

He has had tough times too.  Like becoming the the villain Monarch and later kryptonite Man.  Despite that he has still managed to stay in good graces.  He was leader of the offshoot team Extreme Justice, and also be part of the Living Assault Weapons or L.A.W., the members of which were previously Charlton Comics characters.  In the new 52 his atoms are constantly being split and reconstituted.  So with his powers being nuclear in nature he is always under suspicion by everyone.

But since his comic was cancelled last september all he has now is his role on Young Justice.  Now with that being cancelled too I guess he doesn’t have much anymore.  No more comic, and no more cartoon.  Looks like DC’s moving him to the side, and for some reason made room for Vibe.



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