The Atom (DC Comics)

Publication information

Publisher: DC Comics
First appearance: All-American Comics #19 (Oct 1940)
Appearance of Death: Zero Hour #3 (September, 1994)
Original Publisher: All-American Publications
Created by: Ben Flinton, Bill O'Conner

In-story information

Alter ego:
 Albert "Al" Pratt 
Phonetic: ðə ǽtəm
Notable aliases: Al Pratt, Atom, Albert Pratt, Little Superman; the Mighty Mite
Relatives: Mary Pratt (wife, deceased), Grant Albert Emerson (Damage, son), Albert Rothstein (aka Nuklon/Atom-Smasher, god/foster son)
Affiliations: Alan Scott, Atom, Black Canary, Charles McNider, Danette Reilly, Kent Nelson, Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, Guardian, Commander Steel, Hawkman, The Huntress, Jason Garrick, Jonathan Law, Johnny Quick, Johnny Thunder, Superman (Earth-Two), Manhunter, Kid Eternity, Liberty Belle, Ma Hunkel, Donald Richards, Matthew Tyler, Paul Michael Lincoln, Plastic Man, Power Girl (Earth-Two), Rex Tyler, Charles "Chuck" Grayson, Sandman, Shining Knight, Spectre, Skyman, Superman, Theodore Knight, Terrence Sloane, Wesley Dodds, Wildcat, Wonder Woman

Team affiliations:
 Justice Society of America, All-Star Squadron, Black Lantern Corps
Enemies: Anti-Monitor, Black Barax, Deathbolt, Dragon King, The Fiddler, Fledermaus, Grösshorn Eule, Hawk, Icicle, Kamikaze, Kung (Earth-Two), The Loreli, Sea Wolf, Sportsmaster, Sumo, Thinker, Ubermensch, Ubermensch II, Usil the Sun Archer

Abilities: Superhuman strength and endurance, Enhanced speed and durability, Radioactive "atomic-punch", Invulnerability to forms of radiation

Base Of Operations: Calvin City, (formerly) Calvin College.


Alignment: Good
Identity Secret: Secret
Citizenship: American
Marital Status: Widowed
Occupation: Adventurer, Retired Professor of Nuclear Physics
Education: College Graduate with Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics


Gender: Male
Height: 154.94 cm
Weight: 68.03 kg; (Formely) 43.54 kg
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Red
Unusual Features:


Origin: Al Pratt was a 96-pound weakling who one day bought dinner for a vagrant who turned out to be former boxing champ Joe Morgan. Morgan trained Pratt for a year and became a bare-handed crime fighter, later gaining superpowers by accident from an enemy.

Universe: New Earth 
Place of Death: Vanishing Point


The Mighty Mite

Al Pratt was born in 1920. Pratt was a sophomore at Calvin College in 1940 and suffered indignity due to his short stature. This led to him being ever the target of harassment and bullying, and referred to as "Atom Al" by his tormentors, leading to him being unable to impress Mary James, the girl of his dreams. One day, feeling sympathetic he bought dinner for a vagrant who turned out to be Joe Morgan, a former boxing champ. Morgan promised Pratt he could be made into a muscular man with the right training. In under one year Pratt became a massively strong fighter, and he decided to use his new ability to protect the oppressed as the “mystery man” Atom.

World War II

At the start of World War II, President Roosevelt organized the "mystery men" to band together and create the Justice Society of America. Al was a founding member and later the All-Star Squadron where he struck up a strong friendship with fellow member Wildcat. He was present when the JSA battled Ian Karkull, in which Atom was bathed in mystical energy that kept him young for decades in the course of his battle with Karkull.

The Human Atomic Bomb

In another battle alongside the All-Star Squadron, Al Pratt fought the reluctant villain known as Cyclotron. Energy released in that battle caused Al Pratt to develop radiation immunity by the late-1940s. But when Al and Starman went to the Manhattan Project site to stop a rising foe, Atom, without thinking, ran out to the fallout area to save Starman and was caught in another explosion. He was unaffected by this, however their foe was defeated. Surviving the blast completely unharmed, it was discovered that the further radiation gave him more superpowers.

Career, Marriage, Life

Al was always very intelligent but ignorant towards nuclear physics; but after the incident with Starman at the Manhattan Project site, he then started studying nuclear physics and gained his PhD to become a brilliant scientist. Later he took up a job of a nuclear physics professor at Alma Mater Calvin Collage. In the early 50s, Atom retired along with the rest of the JSA after being urged by the American government to remove their masks and work for them. Al then revealed himself as The Atom to his sweetheart Mary James and her parents and then proposed to her. They married and had a happy life together.
Years later, Atom came out of retirement to rejoin the JSA. He and the rest of the JSA teamed up with the Justice League of America for the first time to battle a group known as the Crime Champions. During this adventure, Atom met Ray Palmer, the modern-day Atom. Al continued battling evil alongside the JSA and his best friend Wildcat. Atom's bravery inspired his godson Albert Rothstein, the grandson of Cyclotron (who looked up to Al as a father figure), to use his powers for good as the superhero known as Nuklon. joined the JSA and other heroes in the Crisis on Infinite Earths event. During the epic battle, Wildcat was severely wounded and seeing his friend crippled greatly effected Atom, who wondered if he was getting too old for the hero game. Later the JSA where drawn into Limbo to do battle with the forces of evil for eternity to prevent Ragnarok. After only a few years, Atom and the rest of the JSA returned to Earth and Al was reunited with his beloved Mary.


Al and his wife became pregnant and were expecting a son, but a great enemy of Al and the JSA deduced that the child would inherit the Atom's powers of a human atomic bomb and be a tool in his plot to dominate the world. When Mrs. Pratt gave birth, Savage stole the child and killed Mary Pratt. When Al discovered the news of her death, he was utterly devastated. After this tragedy he stayed close to his friends Wildcat, Jay Garrick and Alan Scott. Despite his reluctance to get back into crime fighting, Atom joined his teammates in battling a scheme concocted by their old foe, Ultra-Humanite. He stayed with the JSA when the group reassembled.


Years later, Atom joined his fellow JSA members in taking part in the event known as Zero Hour. Most of the JSA went to the realm known as Vanishing Point where they were ambushed by the being known as Extant. Extant taunted his foes with boasts about how he could control time, and as usual, the hot headed Atom hurled himself at Extant. The time-controlling villain fired an energy blast and killed Atom instantly. He then proceeded to decimate the ranks of the JSA. Waverider rescued the heroes and took them and Al Pratt's body back to Earth. Al Pratt was buried in the superhero cemetery known as Valhalla.

To honor his god/foster father Albert Rothstein took up a costume similar to Al’s and adopted the name Atom Smasher to honor Atom's legacy. But the responsibility was too much for Albert and he eventually went rogue. It was discovered that the hero Damage was Al’s lost son but sadly Al was dead by the time this was discovered and Grant grew to hate his father due to his absence throughout his life. Lately Grant has been his wearing his fathers mask to cover his recently disfigured face and has joined the JSA filling his father's place. Night

Albert's body was later reanimated by Black Hand as a member of the Black Lantern. Like all Black Lanterns, he was sent out to kill the person who his death most affected, his son Grant, though he was stopped by Ray Palmer. After the crisis was over, Pratt’s corpse was returned to Valhalla.


In the afterlife, Al befriended David Knight. David brought his brother, the next Starman, Jack Knight to a banquet in limbo attended by Atom and several other deceased mystery men. and Abilities


  • Superhuman Strength: Through being exposed to nuclear energies, Al Pratt possesses superhuman strength.
  • Atomic-Punch: The Atom focuses his radioactive energy into his fists making his punches destructive.
  • Superhuman Stamina
  • Enhanced Speed
  • Enhanced Durability
  • Radiation Immunity: Invulnerability to various forms of radiation
  • Energy Absorption: The Atom can absorb atomic/nuclear energy
  • Decelerated Aging: He also gained incredible youth and vitality after the battle with Ian Karkull.


  • Genius Intellect: Atom was a genius in physics and nuclear physics.
  • Expert Boxer and Street Fighter level

After his training, Albert Pratt was abnormally strong for his size. After he gained his powers, Pratt's strength was raised to superhuman levels.





  • Dimensional Vibrator Belt: Albert's own invention that allowed him to travel between parallel Earths.


  • Atomobile