Who's Who in the Superman Comics

Captain Atom

Captain Atom

Real Name: Nathaniel Adam
Occupation: Federal Agent and Official Super Hero

Decades ago, U.S. Air Force Captain Nathaniel Adam was framed and found guilty of treason. Facing execution, Adam was coerced into participating in the Captain Atom Project - an experiment using alien technology to explore quantum physics. Adam was told that if he survived the project, he would immediately be pardoned.

When the test was finally conducted, Adam was apparently disintegrated. It was thought that Nathaniel Adam did perish. Actually, his body was transported into the future, and integrated with the alien alloy. Transported to roughly the same location he disappeared from many years ago, Adam emerged a changed man. General Wade Eiling, who orchestrated the original experiment, used his extensive clout to manipulate Adam. Realizing his new pawn had super powers, Eiling's ultimate goal of the Captain Atom project was achieved. Now known as Captain Atom, Nathaniel Adam was a metahuman government operative. An entire history was crafted, in order to convince the public that Captain Atom was a veteran superhero. And as an agent, it was the agenda of Eiling and others that Captain Atom could be used to monitor other superhumans, and especially watch over the activities of alien heroes like Superman and the Martian Manhunter.

As hoped, Captain Atom was initiated into the Justice League. Proving to be one of the most powerful members, his integrity was never questioned. However, Nathaniel Adam is a good-hearted man, and a true hero. He could no longer deceive those he considered to be friends. Ultimately, he revealed his true origin to his comrades. Despite the ensuing turmoil, Captain Atom would remain with the League, and even become a leader of the superhero team.

Over his career, Captain Atom has proven himself as one of the world's most powerful heroes. He has saved Earth several times, primarily as a defender against intergalactic invaders, and villainous world conquerors. While not as heralded a hero as Superman, Captain Marvel, or the Green Lanterns, Captain Atom has come to the rescue time after time, and remains a heroic entity. In fact, it is his integrity that has often led to his questioning the motives of President Lex Luthor.

Captain Atom piloted the Composite Superman/Batman rocket ship in a last ditch attempt to prevent a tremendous green Kryptonite meteor from striking the Earth. Though it's believed Captain Atom died in the blast, he was transported to a parallel Earth inhabited by the heroes of the Wildstorm Universe including Majestic.

Powers: Captain Atom gains his powers primarily from the alien alloy that coats his body and doubles as a costume. He can fly, and utilize enormous quantities of energy, channeling it into super strength, energy blasts, or even manipulation of matter itself. The Captain is virtually immortal, and has survived a multitude of attacks that would seemingly injure Superman.

First Appearance: Space Adventures #33, (updated version) Captain Atom #1

Who's Who in the Superman Comics


This is a listing of many of the notable characters and a few places that have appeared in the Superman comics from the 1986 revamp up until around 2008.

NOTE: A new, and more current version of the Who's Who is currently being worked on and can be accessed by clicking here.

Although Superman often appears in other DC Comics, this text's information is limited mainly to what has occurred in the regular Superman comics.

Many thanks to Scotty V, Derrick Lyle Coleman, Dean Vanek, Genevieve Clemens and Benjamin Grose who all helped out at one time or another with writing and updating these Who's Who descriptions.

The listings are displayed as follows:

  • Surname, Firstname - Text describing the character, place, object, etc...

Relevant issues of the Superman comics are listed as such:
  • SUP = Superman
  • MOS = Man of Steel
  • AOS = Adventures of Superman
  • ACT = Action Comics
  • MOT = Man of Tomorrow

The Issue Number for each of these titles is written in this manner: “#000”. (e.g. SUP #123)

“First Appearance” refers to the issue since 1986 unless otherwise noted.