Atom-Smasher (DC)(02 - Al Rothstein)
Real Name: Albert Rothstein
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Already super-strong at his normal size 7-foot-6 Atom Smasher's strength and density increase proportionately to whatever size he chooses. (It was enumerated in JSA #75 that his muscles and bones actually break and reform as they grow in order to achieve these great heights.) The upper limits of Rothstein's growth spurts are unclear, but heights above 50 feet are believed to tax his molecular structure and could cause permanent cell damage. During his time as Nuklon, Albert was able to phase through walls; he has either lost this power in recent years, or it has been retconned away. Rothstein is also a skilled pilot and mechanic. In the first few years of JSA, he could be seen piloting the JSA's jet, the Steel Eagle, as well as the Star Rocket Racer in JSA: Our Worlds at War, and earlier being Infinity, Inc.'s primary pilot.
The godson of Al Pratt, the Golden Age Atom, Albert Rothstein acquired his meta-human powers of super-strength and control over his molecular structure (allowing him to alter the size and density of his body) from his grandfather, a reluctant super-villain known as Cyclotron, allowing him to fight crime first as Nuklon, and then, later, as Atom Smasher. As Nuklon, Albert was a charter member of Infinity, Inc. and subsequently served in the Justice League. During his time with the League, he dated Fire. He was embarrassed by her outgoing attitude; he once politely asked her to show less cleavage.
He took the Atom Smasher identity shortly before the founding of the current Justice Society of America, of which he is a charter member. He views Pratt's son, Damage, as a brother, and acted as an older brother figure to Stargirl. While Stargirl has (or at least had) some romantic feelings for Atom Smasher, he has not yet openly reciprocated.
For years, Atom Smasher cherished his role in upholding Pratt's legacy and constantly sought to prove himself worthy to his Golden Age idols especially when many of them became his teammates in the JSA. But when Albert's mother was murdered in a plane crash engineered by Kobra, he became consumed by vengeance. Not long after the fatal crash, Albert with the aid of Metron of the New Gods went back in time and replaced his mother with a weakened Extant, saving her life but murdering the super-villain.
When Captain Marvel's longtime adversary Black Adam reformed and joined the JSA, he and Rothstein developed a kinship; indeed, Black Adam once commented that he thought of Atom Smasher as the brother he never had. Encouraged by Adam, Atom Smasher grew frustrated with the JSA's moral boundaries, especially when Kobra blackmailed authorities into granting his release. Albert and Adam promptly quit the JSA after Kobra's escape.
Shortly thereafter, the unlikely duo settled each other's personal scores. Adam killed Kobra; Rothstein killed the dictatorial president of Khandaq, Adam's home country. Atom Smasher helped lead a team of rogue meta-humans (including former Infinity Inc. teammates Brainwave and Northwind) that invaded the country and overthrew its oppressive regime. Atom Smasher initially fought against his JSA teammates in Khandaq before deciding instead to help forge an uneasy truce -- Black Adam and his compatriots could remain in power so long as they never left the country.
Atom Smasher remained in the Middle Eastern nation for a time, although he eventually began to question Adam's motives. Rothstein perished in JSA #75 while fighting against the Spectre, but was revived by Black Adam's lightning, and carried back to JSA headquarters.
He was later put on trial for his actions in Khandaq and pleaded guilty to all charges. Whilst in jail, he has been approached by the founder of the Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller. In 52, he has been seen assembling a new Suicide Squad under Waller's orders, instructed to fight Black Adam, and, unbeknown to Atom Smasher himself, push his family to overreact. They succeed, and Osiris is disgraced and exposed for having killed a Squad member, leading to the downfall of the whole Black Marvel Family, and a murderous rampage of Black Adam, dubbed World War III.
He then sides with the Justice Society, trying to apprehend Black Adam, but refusing to condemn him in any way.
The Black Adam series has recently showed that Albert is currently searching for his former friend. It also shows that he has recently cut his long locks of hairs.
Atom Smasher has not yet been seen during the One Year Later storyline. However, in Manhunter #22, a character named Al who fits the description of Atom Smasher is visiting Obsidian in Los Angeles off-panel, suggesting that Atom Smasher may be alive and no longer incarcerated.
First Appearance: JSA Secret Files (1999) #1
Nuklon (DC)(01 - Al Rothstein)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
52/WW III (2007)
TPB All Star Comics (1999)
- 'DC: World War III'#1
- 'A Call To Arms'#3
- 'Hell Is For Heroes'#4
- 'United We Stand'
Black Adam: The Dark Age (2007)
TPB Blackest Night (2009)
- 'Black Adam: The Dark Age'#1
- 'The Dark Age'#2#4#5
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps (2010)
HC vol. 02 Blackest Night: JSA (2010)
- 'Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Volume Two'TPB vol. 02
- 'Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Volume Two'
#1 Booster Gold (2007)
- 'Lost Souls'#2
- 'Troubled Souls'#3
- 'White Lightning'
#1 Brightest Day (2010)
- '52 Pick-Up, Chapter 1: Secret Origins'
TPB vol. 08 Chase (2011)
- 'Catwoman: Crime Pays'#77
- 'Waking Up On the Wrong Side of the Universe, Part Three'
Dark Days: The Road to Metal (2018)
HC Day of Judgment (1999)
- 'Dark Days: The Road to Metal'
TPB DC 2000 (2000)
- 'Day of Judgment'#4
- 'The End of the World as We Know It'
DC First: Green Lantern/Green Lantern (2002)
Doctor Fate (2003)
Final Crisis (2008)
#23 Hourman (1999)
- 'Black Reign, Part 2'#24
- 'Black Reign, Part 4'#25
- 'Black Reign, Conclusion'
#18 Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006 (2006)
- 'High Society'#19
- 'The Thief of Time'
#40 JLA: Act of God (2000)
- 'World War Three, Part Five'#58
- 'Dying Breath'
#1 JLA: The Ultimate Guide to The Justice League of America (2002)
- 'Book I: Power Lost'
JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (2002)
#1 JSA All-Stars (2010)
- 'Justice Be Done'#2
- 'The Wheel of Life'#3
- 'Old Souls'#4
- 'Justice, Like Lightning...'#7
- 'Darkness Falls'#8
- 'Black Planet'#10
- 'Wild Hunt'#11
- 'The Blood-Dimmed Tide'#13
- 'The Hunt for Extant: Pt. 1 - Time's Assassin'#14
- 'The Hunt for Extant: Pt. 2 - Chaos Theory'#15
- 'The Hunt for Extant: Pt. 3 - Crime and Punishment'#21
- 'Guardian Angels'#23
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Part 1 - Ascension'#24
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Pt. 2 - Icarus Fell'#25
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Pt. 3 - Seven Devils'#26
- 'Who Do You Trust?'#27
- 'Let the Games Begin, Part 2: Fair Play'#31
- 'Making Waves'#32
- 'Stealing Thunder, Prologue'#34
- 'Stealing Thunder, Part 2: Troublestruck'#35
- 'Stealing Thunder, Part 3: Lightning Storm'#37
- 'Stealing Thunder, Part 5: Crossing Over'#40
- '...Do No Harm'#45
- 'Princes of Darkness, Prologue: Peacemakers'#46
- 'Princes of Darkness, Part 1: Into the Valley'#51
- 'Princes of Darkness, Coda: Justice Eternity'#56
- 'Black Reign'#57
- 'Black Reign'#58
- 'Black Reign'#65
- 'Out of Time, Part 1'#66
- 'Out of Time, Part 2'#68
- 'JSA/JSA, Chapter 1: Making History'#69
- 'JSA/JSA, Chapter 2: Guardian Angels'#70
- 'JSA/JSA, Chapter 3: High Societies'#71
- 'JSA/JSA, Chapter 4: Past Mistakes'#72
- 'Black Vengeance, Part 1'#74
- 'Black Vengeance, Part 2'#75
- 'Black Vengeance, Conclusion'#76
- 'In Search Of...'#77
- 'Mixed Signals'
#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12 JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom (2009)
- 'Yon Twelve-Winded Sky, Part 1 of 2'#13
- 'Yon Twelve-Winded Sky, Part 2 of 2'#14
- 'The Puzzlemen, Part One of Three'#15
- 'Penseroso: The Puzzlemen, Part Two'#16
- 'Grandioso, The Puzzlemen: Part Three'#17
- 'A Better World, Part 1 of 2'#18
- 'A Better World, Part 2 of 2'
JSA Secret Files (1999)
JSA vs. Kobra (2009)
#1 JSA: Our Worlds at War (2001)
- 'Engines of Faith, Part One: Bad Religion'#3
- 'Engines of Faith, Part Three: Misdirection'#5
- 'Engines of Faith, Part Five: Beating The Grass'#6
- 'Engines of Faith, Part Six: Shedding Skin'
#1 Justice League of America (2006)
- 'Part Eighteen: The All-Stars'
Justice League Unlimited (2004)
#16 Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal (2010)
- 'Smashing Through The Snow'
#2 Justice Society of America (2007)
- 'Staring into the Abyss'
#1 Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years (2015)
- 'The Next Age, Chapter 1'#23
- 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Part One: The Power of Shazam'#24
- 'Black Adam & Isis Part Two: Family Ties'#25
- 'Black Adam & Isis Part Three: Family Feuds'#26
- 'Black Adam Ruined My Birthday!'#27
- 'Ghost in the Darkness'#28
- 'Phantom Menace'#42
- 'The Dark Things, Part 4'#43
- 'Emerald City: A Dark Things Epilogue'#53
- 'The Secret History Of Monument Point Chapter Three: Strange Adventures'#54
- 'The Secret History of Monument Point Chapter Four: Crisis'
Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2000 (2000)
#1 Sins of Youth Secret Files (2000)
- 'Guide to the DC Universe 2000'
Sins of Youth: JLA Jr. (2000)
#1 Sins of Youth: Starwoman & The JSA Jr. (2000)
- 'You Gotta Be Kidding!'
#73 Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. (1999)
- 'Grand Guignol: Eulogy'#75
- 'Sons and their Fathers'
#8 Superboy (1994)
- 'Crisis in Blue Valley'
#74 Supergirl (1996)
- 'Game, Set & Match!'
#65 The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
- 'Louder than Words'
HC The Flash (1987)
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated And Expanded'HC
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia'
The Titans (1999)
#39 Trinity (2008)
- 'Picking Up the Pieces'
Wonder Woman (1987)
#174 Young Justice: Sins of Youth (2000)
- 'The Witch & the Warrior, Part 1'#175
- 'The Witch & the Warrior, Part 2: Girl Frenzy'
- 'Justice For All'#2
- 'The Stunning Conclusion'
Justice Society of America (DC)
Suicide Squad (DC)(05 - Post Infinite Crisis)
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