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The Good Captain

    Nathaniel Adam 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/justice_league_generation_lost_vol_1_18_textless.jpg
  • Adaptation Deviation: In the original Charlton comics, Captain Atom was a technician named Allen Adam who gained his powers in an accident involving an experimental rocket. In the DCU, Captain Atom is a United States Air Force officer who was framed for a crime he didn't commit and participated in Project Atom to earn a pardon.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The Charlton version of Captain Atom had the civilian name Allen Adam. It was changed to Nathaniel Adam when the character was integrated into the DC Universe.
  • Always Someone Better: Depending on the Writer. Captain Atom sometimes plays this role (most recently in Captain Atom: Armageddon to The Authority, and, indeed, the entire WildStorm Universe), but at other times he falls prey to The Worf Effect.
  • Arch-Enemy: Either Major Force or General Eiling.
  • Atomic Superpower: Captain Atom's powers tied into the Quantum Field, allowing him to control tremendous amounts of energy.
  • Becoming the Mask: Pretty much the point of his first DC ongoing. He was a government agent pretending to be a superhero, but became a hero for real.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Before he gained superpowers, Nate a special operations officer who had served multiple tours of duty in Vietnam. When he temporarily lost his powers, he was still a match for Batman in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Captain Superhero: A special forces officer and superhero in one.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Being in charge during the Justice League International period was extremely stressful for him, so much so that he was ecstatic when Catherine was promoted and made his boss. He even claimed that his ulcer spontaneously went into remission the moment he heard the news; he may or may not have been exaggerating.
  • Chest Insignia: Again, variants on an atomic diagram.
  • Chrome Champion: Of both the 'flying brick' and 'cosmic' varieties.
  • The Comically Serious: His no humor attitude when met with more wackier attitudes.
  • Dating Catwoman: Unusually, he actually married (reformed) terrorist Bette Sans Souci, a.k.a. Plastique.
  • Depending on the Artist: His color scheme goes back and forth between whitish-blue, grayish blue, light blue, silvery-gray, silver-blue, etc.
  • Depending on the Writer: Nate is either a reasonable man or an authoritarian bully who is blindly loyal to the military.
  • Energy Absorption: Able to absorb most any form of energy, redirecting it into the quantum field. Absorbing too much at once throws him through time.
  • Energy Being: His form now that he lacks almost all flesh and bone.
  • Fan of the Past: Nathaniel explains his occasional lapses into the slang of The '60s by claiming he loves that decade. In reality, even though he went through a weeks-long program to try and train him out of it, the lingo still sticks.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Nathaniel handled the initial culture shock of finding himself in the present day reasonably well; it was finding out what had happened to his wife and kids that really got to him.
  • Fish out of Water: This seems to be Cap's thing, whether getting thrown through time or into Alternate Universes.
  • Flight: Via redirection of gravitational force.
  • Flying Brick: His powerset mixed with quantum power, back when he was first reintroduced post-Crisis. Nowadays he's a little squishier.
  • The Good Captain: Played with. Although he kept the moniker "Captain Atom," he was actually promoted to major in the USAF after the Invasion storyline. Also unusual in that he is one of the few superhero captains to actually have received that rank in the military. And he's sometimes a little more morally ambiguous than most "Captain" characters.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: When transported into the WildStorm universe, Captain Atom's suit was changed to gold and he greatly averted The Worf Effect.
  • Henshin Hero: In several continuities, Nate has the ability to transform into Captain Atom and back.
  • Hero's First Rescue: The critical moment when Cap decided truly to be a Super Hero for real.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Played with. In-universe, his daughter dreams about him as this, and genuinely sees him this way. The Captain Atom Project, meanwhile, plays him to the public as this, planting stories in the press describing him as the "Silver Savior." Of course, he eventually becomes the mask.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Whenever things actually get serious, Cap, who often seems kind of bumbling, will all of sudden act in a way that reminds everyone that he was a Badass Normal on par with Batman before he became a Reality Warper Flying Brick. One very satisfying example came when the League was fighting a giant robot alongside the Global Guardians, and the fight was a stalemate until they brought the fight into the sewers, away from all the civilians. At that point, Bushmaster, one of the Guardians, said that now they could really unload on the robot, to which Cap replied, "No, now you get behind me." He then vaporized the robot with one blast.
  • Life Energy: This is, to all intents and purposes, the source of Nathaniel's power; he's plugged into the quantum field, the life energy of the universe, allowing him to manipulate all forms of energy. (This is why Nathaniel ended up fighting Nekron—because he's integrated with the quantum field, Nekron could use him to drag the quantum field into his realm, and every living creature in the universe with it.)
  • Light Is Good: Nate is a good if flawed man and his costumes are either silver, white or gold.
  • Military Rank Names: As Captain Atom.
  • Military Superhero: Captain Nathaniel Adam of the United States Air Force. Interestingly, he did not start this way: he was a full-time soldier who received his powers as the result of an experiment, and was ordered by the military into infiltrating the superhero community to spy on them a keep them in check. However, as can be expected, Captain Atom eventually did grow to appreciate his role as a superhero, but not without serious conflict between both aspects of him.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: During the first arc in Superman/Batman, Nathaniel is willing to work for Lex Luthor because Luthor is President of the United States. To be fair, he was depressed and lost due to his failed 2nd marriage and mostly went back to work for the government because he was trying to start over.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The metal of his exo-shell is impervious to almost anything. On top of that, he can manipulate energy to create forcefields.
  • Only Sane Man: In the Justice League International he filled this role once the League split and he went to Europe.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • When under Mind Control, Nathaniel's able to destroy entire armies singlehandedly. He can also destroy whole universes. Then there's Kingdom Come, where a breach in his containment suit renders the Midwestern US into a radioactive wasteland which eventually triggers a civil war.
    • In Captain Atom: Armageddon, he's a ticking time bomb set to destroy the entire universe.
    • In DCeased, he's taken over by the Anti-Life equation, which blows him up and destroys half of the seaboard, nearly killing Superman and Wonder Woman in the process. Really, it's easier to count how many times he doesn't blow up in modern continuity.
  • Physical God: It is not clear that there are any real limits to Cap's powers. He can create and manipulate matter and energy. He even managed to take on and defeat Nekron in the astral realm. In one story arc, he created and then destroyed his own universe in the quantum field.
  • Radiation Immune Mutant: Or in his case, Radiation Immune Energy Being.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In the Justice League International. Early, Power Girl was injured fighting the Grey Man. Catherine, who at that point was still Cap's secretary, decided to go over his head and order a very dangerous surgery performed, as that was the only way to save Power Girl's life; Cap had been unable to bring himself to give the order because he was afraid it would kill her. She assumed that Cap would be furious and was prepared to tender her resignation. Instead, he just told her that she had made the right call and thanked her for doing it.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Played with, since after he becomes Captain Atom, the government gives Capt. Nathaniel Adam the new secret identity of Capt. Cameron Scott. Still, his original surname is a homophone for "Atom."
  • Super Power Lottery: Cap is at least on the same level as Superman and Martian Manhunter. In addition to Flight, Super Strength, and Nigh-Invulnerability, he can project any kind of energy (including light on the same wavelength as that of a red sun... or radiation identical to that of kryptonite), he's close to immune to energy-based attacks, and he can become intangible at will.
  • Super Strength: Boosted by the quantum field. As Captain Atom his strength was such that he was able to go toe to toe with beings such as Superman, Majestic, etc. and hold his own.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: In the Intercontinuity Crossover Captain Atom: Armageddon, he refuses to kill Hitler.
  • Two First Names: In Nathaniel's case, it's actually Three First Names, as his full name is Nathaniel Christopher Adam; also his alias, Cameron Scott, bringing the total to Five First Names.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Power Girl in Justice League Europe.
  • Was Once a Man: In "Generation Lost", Nate's inner monologue reveals he's becoming increasingly less human, having lost the ability to turn back to flesh and blood, and what disconcerts him most is his increasing detachment from the world around him.
  • The Worf Effect:
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ask Jewelee and pre-reformation Plastique.
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Allies

    Nightshade 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nightshade.png

Nightshade is the superhero name used by Eve Eden, initially a supporting character in Captain Atom from Charlton Comics. The rights to the character were bought by DC Comics along with other characters in Charlton's Action Hero lineup when the company folded in 1983. She was subsequently integrated into The DCU following Crisis on Infinite Earths. She and her alternate universe equivalents have been on many teams. Her code-name has also been used by a handful of briefly appearing male villains; the Justice Society of America villain who went by Nightshade and later changed his name to Ramulus predates her by about twenty-four years.

Eve Eden is the daughter of a senator and an extra-dimensional queen who inherited the ability to manipulate shadows and slip through the shadows to other realms from her mother. Her mother was the deposed queen of the Land of the Nightshades who had been forced from her lands in a coup which resulted in the deaths of the rest of the royal family. Eve has worked with many teams and organizations as she strives to use her powers for good, having moved to Washington DC to become a legitimate hero and offer her services as a government agent. Among the many groups she's been part of are the Central Bureau of Intelligence, Task Force X, Living Assault Weapons (L.A.W.), InterC.E.P.T., and Shadowpact.

An Elseworlds version of Eve was the title character of JLA: Destiny, where she changed her name from Nightshade to Destiny after seemingly developing new powers in the wake of her husband's disappearance. Nightshade was also the loose inspiration for the non-powered character Silk Spectre II in Watchmen.


Notable Appearances (Eve Eden):

Comic Books

Animated Films


Notable Appearances (Other Nightshades):

Live Action TV


Eve Eden provides examples of:

  • '50s Hair: While Eve first appeared a couple of decades after the fifties she invoked nostalgia for the era in her superhero look with bumper bangs like those made famous by Bettie Page, which she wore as feathered bangs in her civilian attire.
  • Alliterative Name: Eve Eden.
  • Arch-Enemy: Incubus, who killed her mother and kidnapped and possessed her brother.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She dedicates years of her life to rescuing her brother and killing his kidnappers, and keeps coming back for him even after her powers are damaged in the fight and start hurting her to use. She also allies herself with Waller, whose callousness infuriates her, in order to have a chance to use Task Force X to save him, and when that fails and she finds his captors have killed him those responsible end up dead in short order.
  • Brainwashed: By Gorilla Grodd for a bit, who used her to try and capture Superman, and then again by Eclipso.
  • Casting a Shadow: She can magnify and shape shadows into solid or semi-solid forms.
  • Composite Character: At least two of her alternate reality versions are blended with other characters. Her villainous counterpart who goes by the Shade is a composite with the Flash villain, though much more joyous in her villainy and less close to neutral, even wearing his top hat and tailcoat costume. There's another version of her whose costume and demeanor takes quite a lot from Batman.
  • Cool Shades: Her hot pink/purple sunglasses she traded her domino mask in for in the late '80s.
  • Crisis of Faith: Given she was raised Catholic and knows for a fact her powers are at least partly demonic in origin, she's occasionally seen talking to Father Craemer about his stance on her existence.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: In Shadowpact, Ragman accidentally gets a peak under her skirt twice.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Wields shadow powers and yet is one of the most unambiguously heroic characters on the Squad.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Her eyes end up badly damaged by the Congregation's light powers after she'd been fighting in a pocket dimension for months. She required Madame Xanadu's help to restore her sight.
  • Depending on the Writer;
    • Her mother's name is subject to change on the rare occasions she comes up.
    • Whether her power connected to the Shadowland that is commonly related to shadow manipulators in the DCU or if the Land of Nightshades is something entirely separate. Generally they're treated as separate or the issue isn't addressed.
    • Her personality can vary from Perky Goth to genuinely moody.
  • Domino Mask: Unless she's using oversized shades she disguises her identity with a domino mask. She used to use rather large ones that included lenses to hide her eyes, but her New 52 domino mask is little more than a thin line drawn around her eyes and hides literally nothing.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Her skin is variably a very light gray or white, which paired with her black hair and shady powers can have an eerie effect, though that's not her natural hair or skin color, her skin became bleached when she absorbed Succubus.
  • Emotionless Girl: After the Succubus was exorcised from her by Jarred Stevens, Eve lost the ability to feel emotions, to the point that when Question and Blue Beetle walked into her room without knocking she couldn't even bring herself to be angry at them.
  • Eldritch Location: The Nightshades realm is quite odd, with its eclipsed sun and many large mushrooms being just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Evil Counterpart: The version of her that goes by Shade and kills one of her heroic alternates when multiple Eves are grabbed by the Monarch and forced to fight one another so he can choose one for his army.
  • Extradimensional Shortcut: She "teleports" by slipping through shadow into her mother's realm and then stepping out elsewhere.
  • The Evil Prince: Not Eve, but her brother Larry takes the revelation of his bloodline and subsequent kidnapping and being raised by the demoness who deposed his family in the first place poorly, though he's also been possessed by her and ends up dead so he's left as a helpless victim just as Eve suspected.
  • Fallen Princess: Though she wasn't aware of it until her mother brought her and her brother to the Land of Nightshades and explained their family history.
  • Fighting from the Inside: She is able to fight off the Succubus' attempt to possess her, destroying them in the process.
  • Fingerless Gloves: For decades her black fingerless gloves and mid-calf boots were the only constants to her costume as she started switching it up more regularly.
  • Flight: One of her powers is the ability to fly.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: After decades of cute black outfits of pants or shorts paired with a matching loose short sleeved dress or t-shirt with metallic trimmings or a fully covering Spy Catsuit for a bit in the nineties, her New 52 outfit is both generic and apparently made out of bodypaint trying and failing to emulate a strapless corset top. Her previous outfits were drawn fitting like they'd been molded to her breasts on occasion as well.
  • Fungus Humongous: The Nightshade Dimension has little recognizable in the way of flora, architectural styles or weather but it does have a lot of giant mushrooms.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Her father is a U.S. senator while the mother came from the Land of the Nightshades.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Her secret identity was initially a wild party girl, which has the added benefit of irritating her father whom she does not get along with.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: She's fond of posing with a grin on her face and her hands on her hips.
  • Horny Devils: Incubus and Succubus were behind the coup that ousted the royal family, murdered her mother Queen Reah/Magda and kidnapped her brother. Then they tried possessing Eve and Larry to make the two of them conceive a new vessel for their lord, which Eve strongly objected too and which worked out poorly for the demons.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Gender flipped. Her father is human while her mother is from the Land of Nightshades.
  • Intangibility: When she transforms herself into living shadow she can walk through walls.
  • Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery: Her mask has black lenses when the mask itself is a light color, and white lenses when she's using a dark grey mask.
  • Last of Her Kind: After her brother's death.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Her shadow powers vs. the Congregation's light powers.
  • Living Shadow: Eve can form controlled shadow creatures such as her ravens by pulling things from the Land of the Nightshades, and says she's been trying to program more judgement into them but talks to them like living things. She can also turn herself into a living shadow, which allows her controllable intangibility. She can still hit an opponent while walking through a wall.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Her black hair was originally a disguise for her natural blonde, but after she absorbed Succubus her hair became a living shadow like she can transform the rest of herself into.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Eve's father wasn't informed of his wife's origin.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Judomaster->Tiger/Avatar->Nightshade
  • The Mole: In her first job with Task Force X she infiltrated a terrorist cell, and was horrified and furious when Waller's response time made her accessory to a massacre.
  • My Greatest Failure: Her brother's kidnapping, her repeated failed attempts to save him, and his eventual death during her final attempt.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Her shadow homunculi, the ravens Hugin and Munin.
  • Panty Shot: Was regularly subjected to them in her short pleated dress.
  • Possession Burnout: Larry is killed via possession.
  • Pillars of Moral Character: With the Squad, which is understandable since they're mostly criminals, but she is also disgusted by Amanda Waller's callousness and eventually turns on her to get King Fariday to help her rescue a member of Task Force X who has been stranded in a hostile foreign country by Waller.
  • Princess Protagonist: Why else make your superhero protagonist banished royalty?
  • Psychic Powers: Her JLA: Destiny counterpart seems to have developed psychic powers after her husband's disappearance and suspected death but these powers were actually J'onn trying to contact her and help his team.
  • Raised Catholic: Not actually raised Catholic after her integration into the DCU, instead she now converted to Catholicism after her mother's death, brother's kidnapping and father distancing himself from her. While looking for help after she damaged her abilities trying to save her brother she spoke to a Catholic priest who helped her come to terms with her depression and center herself, helping her regain use of them. Sometimes her faith makes her uncomfortable with the nature of her mother's family, as they have a demonic heritage. She is still a practicing Catholic despite her part demonic lineage.
  • Rapunzel Hair: In the late '80s her hair became incredibly long, then in the early 2000s she went with Boyish Short Hair instead.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Her mother revealed to her and her brother that they had royal lineage after she'd been misled to think the treat on their lives from those who usurped the royal family had passed.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Eve, Eden... bring anything to mind, maybe a little book titled Genesis?
  • Retcon: Once integrated into the DCU, many of her adventures alongside Captain Atom during their Charlton Comics interactions were retconned.
  • Ruling Family Massacre: Her mother escaped from one to earth, where she met and married Eve's father.
  • Secret Identity: Not as secret as most since she offered her services as a government agent almost immediately, but she does wear a mask, use a code-name, and disguise her hair and skin tone for a reason.
  • Secret Legacy: Eve lived her early life in the dark about the source of her powers and her mother's lineage.
  • Sensual Spandex: In the New 52 the lowcut top of her tight outfit has no straps and the upper back is out.
  • She's Got Legs: In any of her dresses, even once she switched out the pleated mini-dress for a looser ensemble over shorts she was still showing off her long shapely legs.
  • Shadow Walker: She can essentially teleport through shadows and her connection to the Land of the Nightshades.
  • Socialite: She played this up in her civilian persona when she moved to D.C.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The reason some of her appearances are kept to cameos. For example she shows up in Robin to help deal with the powerful Johnny Warlock but then leaves to imprison him, grabbing Blue Devil from wherever he had been unsuspectingly eating lunch and telling him to help Robin and Ragman track down Darla. The high number of just escaped super-villains in the immediate area only becomes known after she's left.
  • Superhero: Eve is a superpowered woman who wears a mask and uses a code name while doing heroics.
  • Super Strength: But only when she's immersed herself in shadow from her mother's realm.
  • Teleportation: She can teleport herself and others by passing them through the Land of Nightshades.
  • Thinking Up Portals: She can teleport using existing shadows or cast disks of darkness to step through/throw others through.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The Nightshade Dimension's "sun" is eclipsed.
  • Transplant: Started off as a Captain Atom supporting character in the comic was owned by Charlton. Since her integration into the DCU she's been bounced across a number of superhero teams, most notable the Suicide Squad and Shadowpact.

Ramulus provides examples of:

  • Flanderization: From a scientist with electromechanical creations to someone with actual powers over plants.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Firmly evil. Bald with a scraggly long goatee.
  • Green Thumb: He can control plants, though originally he controled advanced "electromechanical" creations he'd made he was later just given the ability to manipulate plants instead.
  • Legion of Doom: He's a member of the Monster Society of Evil, which somehow sounds like a group that gets together for benign meetings and chit-chats.

Rogues Gallery

    Cambodian 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cambodian.png
AKA: Rako
An enemy of Captain Atom, he was a former member of Khmer Rouge and one of the parties responsible for framing Adam.

    Doctor Spectro 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/doctor_spectro_002.jpg

AKA: Thomas Emery

A light-powered super-villain and enemy to Captain Atom. In his original portrayal he was a scientist who developed prisms that could alter human emotions, turning to crime when he was thrown into his own machine. In Post-Crisis continuity he was a fake super-villain used by Wade Eiling to cover up Project Atom, although he later turned to crime anyway.


  • Becoming the Mask: At first he was just an ordinary scientist who posed as a villain from Captain Atom's fictional backstory in order to get an interview with the press. Soon, however, he becomes a real supervillain.
  • Joke Character: What he has become over time.

    Fiery-Icer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fiery_icer.png

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    The General 

General Wade Eiling

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wade_eiling_001.jpg
Eiling as "The General" 

Debut: Captain Atom #1 (1987)

A gruff, ruthless military tactician and former Colonel to high ranking U.S. Air Force General who sabotaged the career and personal life of Nathaniel Adam and blackmailed him into participating in the atomic experiment that turned Adam into Captain Atom, causing Adam to disappear for 18 years after he was presumed deceased. Also responsible for spearheading similar future projects that would create more enemies on Captain Atom’s roster, such as Major Force and The Ghost. After Adam’s return, Eiling manipulated Captain Atom into serving the military as a government-issue superhero in exchange for a pardon by the current President, while acting as an undercover intelligence agent with a fabricated backstory under his command.

After being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, Eiling sent a military team to salvage the indestructible body of the second Shaggy Man from the Pacific Ocean where he has its body shaved and orchestrated a military assault on the JLA in in Phoenix, Arizona. The Justice League were attacked by American military forces and a new superhero team called the Ultramarine Corps created by Eiling’s men to distract the League while Eiling transferred his brain patterns into the indestructible body of the Shaggy Man. He was later seen as part of the Injustice League when Luthor managed to free him from his imprisonment by the League, before eventually being picked up and used in the Suicide Squad under command of Amanda Waller.

The New 52 continued with this characterization of Eiling, except giving by giving him a Race Lift as an African American man, but still making him even more dead set on using Captain Atom as a nuclear weapon for the sake of America supremacy.

According to Word of God, Eiling has also had one other effect on popular culture (especially on This Very Wiki) beyond himself: he was the prototype for creator Greg Weisman's later character David Xanatos (Weismann details this in an online question forum here).


  • Abusive Parents: Eiling's father taught him to view the world in terms of losing and winning instead of good and evil and sought to make him a strong man who could withstand pain and inflict it on others when necessary. It's heavily implied that he physically abused him in order to teach him that lesson.
  • Arch-Enemy: He's a fairly strong contender, alongside Major Force.
  • Bad Boss: A terrible one to his men. He once let a whole regiment of his men die in an assassination attempt on a cartel member as part of a plan to make his inside man in the cartel, the same cartel member, look better without any prior warning.
  • Batman Gambit: Pretty much everything Eiling does in Executive Action arc of the Justice League of America was part of some massive scheme to discredit the Justice League, gain access to the Shaggy Man’s body, and transfer his mind into it to not be killed by his inoperable brain tumor and gain a superpowerful immortal body.
  • Breakout Villain: Eiling has a become a much more prominent and popular character as a villain, going from an obstructing minor military archnemesis to Captain Atom to a full-on Big Bad of two highly-publicized storylines, being imported as a villain for both Justice League and The Flash (2014).
  • Cigar Chomper: Was frequently shown to smoke Cuban cigars during his years before his time as “The General”.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Thrives on conflict and war, even attempting to kick start a nuclear war in Iraq and blame it on Sadaam Hussein.
  • Control Freak: He’s highly controlling of his troops and of his own family. He even had his daughter’s house bugged to keep an eye on her. The comic implies that it's his upbringing made him that way. See Abusive Parents, Freudian Excuse and Gone Horribly Right.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Wade Eiling led the experiment that transformed Nathaniel Adam into Captain Atom and also led the conspiracy that manipulated Nate into volunteering for the experiment. This really screwed Eiling when Nate turned on him.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: A badass general turned shaggy monster.
  • Evil Is Petty: Before Nathan was teleported into the future during the experiment, he asked Eiling to give Nathan’s wife and kids a letter in case he died, which Eiling gave his word he’d do. During the experiment, Eiling simply tore up the letter and went on to marry Nathan’s wife in his stead.
  • Evil Old Folks: He’s middle-aged and as morally bankrupt as military madmen come.
  • Evil Virtues: Ambition, Determination and Love for his adopted kids and his own father.
  • Four-Star Badass: Was a literal Four Star General before his stint as the Shaggy Man and as dangerously badass as they come.
  • Freudian Excuse: Eiling’s own abusive relationship with his soldier father convinced him that strength, authority, and the ability to take pain are the only merits in life.
    Wade Eiling (placing his hand in the blaze of a fireplace without flinching): Control, Papa. And Pain. A superlative leader must be able to manage them both. Whether it is his own pain that he must lean to control.
    Harris Eiling: Stop it Wade.
    Wade Eiling (retracting his hand from the fire,): Or the pain he finds it necessary to inflict on others.
    Harris Eiling: Stop it!
    Wade Eiling: What's the matter, Papa? It's just another one of the many lessons you taught me.
  • General Ripper: Fanatical about proving his military superiority to the point he tried to issue a field test of his super team in against the Justice League in Phoenix, Arizona despite it being fill of civilians. Even declaring a military coup against the US President.
  • Genius Bruiser: In his Shaggy Man body, he’s strong and fast enough to beat down the League’s heaviest hitters like Superman and Orion, and maintains his military skills and strategic planning.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Believing that honor was a sign of weakness and cowardice, Eiling's father sought to raise his son into adopting a "win at all cost" mentality. This causes Eiling to grow up to be a fearless yet ruthless military leader who manipulates people like chess pieces and a control freak that has trouble relating to others and understanding the mere concept of having a moral code. Eiling's father is aware of that fact and deeply regrets the role he played in shaping him into the man he is. When he tries to reach out to him Eiling doesn't listen and shrugs it off as his father going senile
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In his first appearance as The General, Batman managed to hold him off by tricking the primitive Shaggy Man brain that housed Eiling’s man, explain the very body that gives him his power also makes him brutally savage and downright cripples his thinking.
  • Insane Admiral: Became this full-on in his "General" days.
  • Jerkass: One of the most notorious that worked for the US Government.
  • The Juggernaut: When his mind was transferred into the body of the Shaggy Man, he was shown to be virtually unstoppable due to the immortal body’s nearly invulnerable frame and incredible healing factor. Eiling became so dangerous that the League could not directly defeat him and had to have him shipped off to some section of space where he couldn’t do harm both times they faced him.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Shown training with firearms in his spare time while he still had his human body.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He's fond of calling the shots from behind the scenes and using superheroes and assassins characters to be his face.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He started off as one when he manipulated Captain Atom into being his personal superhero flunky, before that fell through. After that he eventually manipulated his way into getting the Shaggy Man’s body by creating a government-made superhero team known as the Ultramarines to distract the League. He also manipulated events to discredit the Suicide Squad in stark opposition to Amanda Waller, and controlled the events that led to the creation of Rick Flag Jr. by brainwashing a random soldier with a trigger phrase to reactivate him any time Eiling pleases.
  • Military Rank Names: As the General.
  • Nerves of Steel: Nearly nothing unsettles the man, even being face to face with an angry Captain Atom. Note this was all before he had the body of Shaggy Man. See the dialogue for Freudian Excuse above and Villainous Valor below.
  • Old Soldier: An old immoral military man with the strength to match.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being an utter bastard responsible for getting Nate turned into Captain Atom in the first place by framing him for treason and taking his family for his own by marrying Nate's wife after his death, Wade Eiling proved to be a genuinely good and loyal father to Nate's children and husband to Nathan's wife for eleven years until her death via sickness. Eiling admitted he genuinely loved Nathan's wife and kids, and though he would never have what Nate had with his wife, Eiling had something special with her and loved her as a good man despite her mourning for Nate for three years before the marriage. When Nate temporarily died and traveled to the afterlife, his deceased wife admitted to loving Eiling in return during their marriage despite what Nate saw him as or what he would be. Nate was genuinely thankful for this.
  • The Rival: He was this to Amanda Waller in his days as a general, as part of an interagency rivalry to undermine each other's operations while both being manipulative chessmasters working for the US Government.
  • Smug Snake: Despite his occasional moments of Magnificent Bastardry, the climax of Suicide Squad reveals him as just a very high-functioning Smug Snake.
  • Smug Super: Loved to brag to his enemies how they couldn't actually kill him due to his healing factor.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He went from a high-ranking old soldier to an unstoppable hulking juggernaut that can take down the Justice League’s heaviest hitters.
  • Villainous Valor: What sets Eiling apart from the majority of other scheming villains it's that unlike them he is fully prepared to face danger and death head-on and never shows fear when doing so.
    • In an early issue he is confronted by Bolt, a supervillain who wants him dead. With no soldiers to protect him, Eiling sets up a trap, fully prepared to defend himself and doesn't show any sign that he is afraid of the super-powered criminal.
    • Also, all the times that Captain Atom, a man with quantum powers who can annihilate cities, is threatening him? Eiling doesn't even flinch.
  • We Have Reserves: He thinks nothing of having his men sent to their deaths to serve his own agendas, even declaring that dying for him is tantamount to serving America.

    Ghost 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alec_rois_new_earth_001.png
AKA: Alec Rois

A super-villain with teleportation powers. Originally a brilliant physicist who designed experimental weapons, he suffered a mental collapse and turned to crime. Captain Atom and Nightshade were sent to stop him because the government was afraid that he would try stealing top secrets next. Post-Crisis, he returned as a cult leader of a hidden civilization called Sunuria.


  • All of the Other Reindeer: Ghost was shunned by everyone, simply because he was born in poverty.
  • The Dragon: Post-Crisis, to Wade Eiling
  • Evil Counterpart: To Nathaniel. Both men died and returned with quantum-powers, but whereas Captain Atom returned as a living being, Rois came back as, well, a ghost. Their powers cancel each other out, and Cap is a hero while the Faceless One is a villain. Both are manipulated by Wade Eiling, despite being excellent strategists and intriguers themselves.
  • Friendless Background: He didn't have any friends in his life.
  • Intangible Man: With his device called the Stealthray, he got pass through any thick and impenetrable object, and he used it get himself a fortune and continue his scientific studies.
  • Religion of Evil: The Sunurian woman believed the Ghost to be the reincarnation of their evil god called the Faceless One, so they captured him and brought the Ghost to their hidden kingdom to rule it.

    Ironfire 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ironfire.jpg
AKA: Martin Allard

Martin Allard was an air force officer and aide to General Elling. He was kidnapped by the Ghost and beaten, tortured, brainwashed and subjected to a variant Quantum experiment, granting him powers similar to Captain Atom's.


  • Chrome Champion: Could summon an armor around his body made of X-ionized metal.
  • Eye Beams: Can fire energy beams from his eyes.
  • Flight: When in his unarmored / fiery state, Ironfire can fly under his own power.
  • Handblast: Can fire energy blasts from his hands.
  • Super Strength: Has exchanged blows with superhumans as strong as Major Force
  • Super Toughness: Ironfire's armor is durable enough to take great amounts of physical damage.

    Kylstar 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5234559_kylstar.jpg

Kylstar is an alien from an unknown world that captured the galaxy's strongest warriors as weapons to liberate his homeworld.


  • Galactic Conqueror: After to persuade the captured warriors to his cause, Kylstar decides to conquer the universe first as a warm-up.

    Major Force 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/160px-Major_Force_Green_Lantern_-178_3566.jpg
AKA: Clifford Zmeck
Homeworld: Earth

Major Force is a nuclear-powered supervillain and evil counterpart to Captain Atom. In the U.S. Air Force he was given a life sentence for rape and murder, but agreed to dangerous genetic experimentation in exchange for a pardon. This was granted by Wade Eiling, who created him as part of Project Atom. Later on he became well-known as an enemy to Green Lantern when he murdered Kyle Rayner's girlfriend Alex DeWitt and stuffed her into a refrigerator.


  • Always Someone Better: His underlying hatred of Captain Atom is focused around how he hates how well-liked and preferred that Atom is compared him despite being both charged as traitors to their country and given the powers of the same nature. Even when they were working together to stop an alien invasion, Atom was offered praise and awards from the President himself for his service, while Force was ignored and written off as a thuggish stooge. It's this hatred that eventually solidified his descent into further villainy.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • He is a contender for the spot alongside General Eiling to Captain Atom.
    • He's also this to Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. He was responsible for Kyle's first major tragedy as a superhero, and served as the final villain of the 1990s Green Lantern run for Kyle before Green Lantern: Rebirth revived Hal Jordan to be the main Green Lantern again. The enmity is one-sided, though; whereas Kyle hates him with a passion, Major Force only ever really saw him as a job (his employers tasked him with taking Kyle's Green Lantern Ring), albeit one he really enjoyed.
  • Ax-Crazy: Just as one example, he once wrenched the arm of a failed subordinate out of its socket and beat the poor sap to death with it.
  • Back from the Dead: He has done this several times due to the fact that he cannot truly die, being an Energy Being and all.
  • The Brute: His personality, Dumb Muscle usage of his powers and general role in a story is this.
  • Casting a Shadow: His use of dark matter, it rivals Captain Atoms usage of quantum.
  • Dark Is Evil: His outfit may look bad, but he is far far worse.
  • Energy Being: Like Captain Atom he is this, but with a different connection to quantum.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Captain Atom. Both were soldiers court-martialed and convicted of crimes by the US military and force to participate in the atomic experiment that turned them into quantum-powered metahumans after both were shunted through time into the future. However, while Atom was actually innocent of his crimes and is actually a noble US soldier who went on to become a superhero, Force was actually guilty of his crimes and is a brutal Sociopathic Soldier who went on to become an infamous supervillain.
  • Flying Brick: His moveset mixed with quantum ability, to its credit it helps him fight foes like Superman.
  • Flat Character: He's always been weak in both the personality and motivation department, but it became particularly noticable in the 2000s, where every political story involved him (Battle for Bludhaven and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies being notable examples of this), to the point where most readers grew to dislike the character due to his repetitive role in the stories.
  • Man of Kryptonite: The Second Landing shows that his dark quantum energy can suck the solar energy out of Superman's cells.
  • Military Rank Names: Former military who uses his army rank in his name.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: As an Energy Being he is notoriously hard to kill. Even decapitating him or leaving him stranded in space is not enough.
  • Off with His Head!: The last issue of Kyle Rayner's solo series before Green Lantern Rebirth saw him cut off Major Force's head and having a construct of a baseball player bat it into space. Also proved as an And I Must Scream moment, as Major Force was still very much alive and conscious the entire time.
  • Pure Energy: His energy is blasting.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: While he is still used in Captain Atom stories, Major Force has also grown to be associated with the Green Lanterns, as he killed Alex DeWitt (Kyle Rayner's girlfriend) and Arisia (a dear friend of Guy Gardner), as well as the attempted murder of Gardner's mother (he killed her neighbour instead by accident).
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: The Trope Codifier, as per Gail Simone, when he killed Kyle's girlfriend Alexandra DeWitt.
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    Plastique 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/plastique.jpg
AKA: Bette Sans Souci

Plastique is an explosive super-villain and radical terrorist leader of a Quebecian separatist movement for independence from Canada, originally seen as an enemy to Firestorm. Beginning her career as a terrorist, she eventually reformed and became a mercenary. The President pardoned her for helping the government, and she became married to Captain Atom. Following their divorce, she returned to a life of crime. She has been a member of the Bomb Squad, Extreme Justice, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and the Suicide Squad.


  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Originally one of these, even tried to blow of the Canadian Parliament Building and the Statue of Liberty with explosives along wide a few suicide bombers under her command.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Her first appearance had Firestorm defeat Plastique by vaporizing her clothes (in front of TV cameras!), both because it amuses him and because it's a convenient way to separate her from the bombs on her suit.
  • Driven to Suicide: She became suicidal after her divorce from Captain Atom to the point she joined the Suicide Squad strictly so she could act out her violent impulses and get herself killed.
  • Evil Redhead
  • Fad Super: Plastique was created when Quebecois separatist terrorists were in the news. They were a short-lived phenomenon, and in later appearances she was explained as a die-hard anachronism before reforming. In the New 52, her background is as a more generic terrorist.
  • Gratuitous French
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: She became a member of the Suicide Squad for the duration of a single mission. She attempted to betray the team during their second field operation in Qurac (under the command of Amanda Waller), but was anticipated and caught by fellow operative Nemesis, and subsequently brainwashed to suppress all memories of her membership in the Squad. This backfired when she was recruited a second time and her memories were returned.
  • Mad Bomber: One of the few times a mad bomber is female. Unlike most examples, she was fairly inept and had for a brief time reformed, but in the New 52 she's back to bomb-throwing.
  • Marrying Catwoman: Captain Atom married her after she reformed after having first been an adversary in his series.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Plastique first appeared as a Firestorm villain.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Via genetic modification commissioned by her organization, Plastique gained the power to project explosive force from her body.

    Punch and Jewelee 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/18_punch_and_jewelee.jpeg
AKA: Clyde Phillips, (Jewelee's name is unknown)

A pair of criminal lovers whose silly exterior belies their ruthless natures. They originally battled Captain Atom and Nightshade and later joined the Suicide Squad.


    Thirteen 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thirteen_4.jpg

Thirteen was a government agent from the future.


    Ultramax 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_fall_and_rise_of_captain_atom_vol_1_6_textless.jpg
AKA: Max Thrane

Max Thrane is a former Death Row inmate preserved in time right before execution in 2012 by Captain Atom and unleashed in 2017.


Alternative Title(s): Ghost DC Comics, Nightshade

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