With the world brought back to the dark ages there's too much injustice for six people to handle.
~ Atom.
Now I'm really sore! Will I fix those thugs for forcing me to go into action as the Atom when I'm so tired...
~ Al Pratt.

The Atom (real name Albert "Al" Pratt) is fictional superhero from DC comics and its universe. Originally a bullied weakling, Al became a brilliant scientist and became the first Atom, and later a founding member of the Justice Society of America. He is also the father of Grant Emerson, who later became the superhero "Damage", and the predecessor of Dr. Raymond "Ray" Palmer, who became the modern day Atom.

He was created by Bill O'Connor and ben Flinton, and first appeared in All-American Comics # 19 in October of 1940.

Background

Albert "Al" Pratt was born in the 1920s, and was bullied by his schoolmates for his weak stature, and was referred to as "Atom Al" for being ninety-eight pounds and being very weak. One day, he bought dinner for a vagrant who was actually Joe Morgan, a former boxing champion, who trained him to be muscular for one year. Afterward, Al became a crime fighter, and later gained his superpowers by accident from an enemy, and decided to protect the innocent as "The Atom".

Biography

Early Life

Albert "Al" Pratt was born in 1920 to unknown parents, and became a college student at Calvin College in 1940. His short stature made him the target of harassment and bulling, and was referred to as "Atom Al" by his tormentors. Due to this, he felt unable to impress fellow classmate, Mary James. One day, Al bought dinner for a vagrant out of sympathy, who turned out to be Joe Morgan, a former boxing champion. Morgan promised Pratt that he would make him a muscular man with the right training, and Al became a strong fighter in under one year. Afterward, Al decided to use his new strength and fighting skills to protect the oppressed, becoming The Atom.

Heroic Career

During 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 of the team, and later joined the All-Star Squadron, and became a good friend to Wildcat. Atom was present when he and the Justice Society battled Ian Karkull, and during the fight, Al was bathed in mystical energy that kept him young for decades. In another battle with the All-Star Squadron, Al fought Cyclotron, and energy released in the battle caused him to develop radian immunity by the late 1940s. Al would later get more powers when saving Starman at the Manhattan Project, and was caught in another explosion.

After the incident at the Manhattan Project site, Al started studying nuclear physics, gained his Ph.D, and took the job of nuclear physics professor at Calvin College. In 1951, Al retired along with the rest of the Justice Society when the government urged the team to remove their mask and work them, and later revealed his identity to Mary James. Afterward, Al proposed to her, and the two married in 1952 and lived a happy life. Years later, Al came out of retirement to rejoin the JSA, and aided the Justice League to battle the Crime Champions. On the adventure, Al met Dr. Ray Palmer, the modern-day Atom. Al continued fighting evil, and inspired his godson Albert Rothstein, the grandson of Cyclotron, to use his powers for good as the hero Nuklon.

Atom later joined the JSA and other heroes in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and witnessed Wildcat be severely wounded. This greatly affected Pratt, as he wondered if he was getting too old for the hero game, and later helped the JSA in preventing Ragnarok. Later on, Mary James became pregnant, but Vandal Savage stole the child and killed Mary when learning that the child could inherit Al's atomic powers. Al was utterly devastated, and stayed close to his friends Wildcat, Jay Garrick and Alan Scott after the tragedy. Despite his reluctance to return to the fray, Al joined his teammates in battling Ultra-Humanite.

Death and Legacy

Years later, Al joined the JSA in taking part in Zero Hour, and the group went to the realm known as the Vanishing Point. The group were ambushed by a being known as Extant, and Al hurled himself at the being, and the villain killed him instantly. Waverider rescued the heroes and took them and Al's body back to Earth, where he was buried in the superhero cemetery known as Valhalla. Albert honored his godfather by taking up a costume similar to Al's and adopted the name Atom Smasher, but the responsibility was too much, and he eventually went rogue.

It was later discovered that the hero Damage (Grant Emerson) was Al's lost son, but Grant grew to hate his father due to his absence throughout his life. However, Grant decided to wear his father's mask to cover his disfigured face, and joined the Justice Society to fill his father's place. During the events of "Blackest Night", Al's body was reanimated by Black Hand and became a Black Lantern. He was sent to kill his son Grant, since his death deeply affected him, but was stopped Ray Palmer. After the crisis was over, Al's corpse was returned to Valhalla.

Portrayals

Television

  • Though Al Pratt doesn't appear in Justice League animated series, Tom Turbine (voiced by Ted McGinley) is a combination of the Golden Age Atom, Golden Age Superman, and the Golden Age Hourman.
  • In Smallville, he was portrayed by Glenn Hoffman.

Trivia

  • He is similar to Hank Pym from Marvel Comics:
    • Both are the first iteration.
    • Both are predecessor superheroes.
  • Though Al Pratt doesn't appear in Injustice 2, he is referenced by Jay Garrick when he's up against Ryan Choi.

Navigation

           Justice Society

Main
Atom (Al Pratt) | Black Canary | Doctor Fate | Doctor Mid-Nite | Flash | Green Lantern | Hawkman | Hourman | Mister Terrific | Sandman | Spectre | Starman |

Secondary
Air Wave | Amazing Man | Atom Smasher | Batman | Black Adam | Captain Marvel | Citizen Steel | Cyclone | Damage | Darknight | Hawkgirl | Hippolyta | Huntress | Jakeem Thunder | Johnny Thunder | Judomaster | King Chimera | Liberty Belle | Lightning | Magog | Miss America | Mister America | Obsidian | Power Girl | Red Beetle | Red Tornado | Ri | Robin | Sand | Stargirl | Star-Spangled Kid | S.T.R.I.P.E. | Thunderbolt | Tomcat | Superman | Wonder Woman |

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