Captain Atom is a fictional character, a comic book superhero that has existed in three basic incarnations. Created by writer Joe Gill and artist/co-writer Steve Ditko, he first appeared in Space Adventures #33 (March 1960). Captain Atom was created for Charlton Comics but was later acquired by DC Comics and revised for DC’s post-Crisis continuity. In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its superhero comics and restarted the histories of some characters from scratch, including Captain Atom, giving him a new origin, appearance and slightly altered powers. The character of Captain Atom was the inspiration for the character Doctor Manhattan who was featured in the graphic novel series (and later live-action film adaptation) Watchmen.
In all incarnations, the character initially worked for the military. In the Charlton Comics continuity, he was a scientist named Allen Adam and gained his abilities by accident when he was seemingly "atomized" and then somehow reformed his body, now existing as an atomic-powered being. In both DC Comics incarnations, he is Air Force pilot Nathaniel Adam who was used as a test subject in a scientific experiment and wound up seemingly disintegrated in the process, only to reappear later as Captain Atom, now blessed with superhuman abilities.
Throughout the years, the character has been featured in several moderate-to-short lived eponymous series, and has been a member of several different versions of DC’s flagship superhero team Justice League. In the new continuity of DC's relaunched universe, Captain Atom has never been a member of the Justice League and the team views him with distrust.
Famous quotes containing the words captain and/or atom:
“Do you know whos sneaked into my stateroom at three oclock this morning? Nobody, and thats my complaint!”
—S.J. Perelman, U.S. screenwriter, Arthur Sheekman, Will Johnstone, and Norman Z. McLeod. Groucho Marx, Monkey Business, a complaint shipboard stowaway Groucho makes to the ships captain (Ben Taggart)
“The flame from the angels sword in the garden of Eden has been catalysed into the atom bomb; Gods thunderbolt became blunted, so mans dunderbolt has become the steel star of destruction.”
—Sean OCasey (18841964)