Neutron (DC Comics)
|First appearance||Action Comics #525 (November 1981)|
|Created by||Marv Wolfman (writer)
Joe Staton (artist)
|Alter ego||Nathaniel Tryon|
|Team affiliations||TNT Trio
Secret Society of Super Villains
|Abilities||- super strength
- nuclear blasts
- radiation absorption
Neutron is a fictional comic book supervillain in the DC Universe, appearing usually as an adversary of Superman. He first appeared in Action Comics #525 (November 1981), and was created by Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton.
Fictional character biography
Nathaniel Tryon was a petty thug who teamed up with two others as the TNT Trio. While on a caper at a nuclear power plant at which he worked as a security guard, Tryon was caught in the meltdown of a nuclear reactor, turning his body into sentient nuclear energy that could only be contained in a special containment suit. After learning how to control his energy, and learning that the accident was allegedly caused and covered up by the U.S. Government, Tryon killed those responsible for the accident and took up a criminal career as Neutron.
Eventually, he battled Superman, and was defeated and imprisoned. He was later released by the manipulations of Abraxas Industries as part of an apparent work release program, when actually it was part of a propaganda campaign against Superman spearheaded by Vandal Savage. Neutron's part was to engage in seemingly random acts of destruction, when actually he had hired himself out as a deconstruction engineer, a fact which of course did not come out until after Superman had fought and arrested him. Vandal's schemes would later be revealed to the public, and Neutron was apparently arrested and re-imprisoned for his part in them.
He is next seen held at the research facility, S.T.A.R. Labs. He and another criminal imprisoned there, Jinx, were eventually freed when S.T.A.R. Labs was attacked by the Fearsome Five, who took the two criminals into their ranks, but Neutron subsequently left the group.
Neutron eventually joined Warp and Plasmus on a mission from Conduit to assassinate Jonathan and Martha Kent, the adoptive parents of Superman. Superman intervened and the clash ended with Plasmus and Neutron colliding in a blast that obliterated them both. However, both later turned up alive, and Neutron was next seen in Slabside Island prison (aka "The Slab"), from which he was freed during the Joker’s "Last Laugh" riots. Recently, Neutron and several other villains were manipulated by Manchester Black into threatening Clark Kent’s loved ones, but as had happened before, the ensuing confrontation with Superman ended with Neutron disappearing in an atomic blast.
"One Year Later"
After the 2006 crossover miniseries Infinite Crisis, Neutron is working as a villain for hire. He and another radiation-powered villain, Radion, were hired by Intergang to kill Clark Kent. After Kent was hit by a commuter train, Neutron and Radion left, thinking him dead, though the accident actually caused Kent to regain his powers as Superman.
Neutron is also a member of the Nuclear Legion alongside Professor Radium, Geiger, Nuclear, Mister Nitro and Reactron. The Nuclear Legion was hired by the Secret Society of Super Villains to invade Blüdhaven and assist the Nuclear Family in recovering the source of a radiation leak. While there, the group fought the new Atomic Knights. Now sporting a new containment suit, Neutron was also seen fighting Superman in the pages of Superman #654, during a storyline in which Superman discovered that Intergang was planting mysterious energy spheres, about the size of softballs, in various locations in Metropolis. Although Superman has not yet determined the nature or purpose of the spheres, he discovered that they were connected to his adversary Bruno Mannheim, as well to other mysterious allies of Manheim who have yet to be revealed.
Powers and abilities
Neutron's body is composed of nuclear energy that grants him super strength, durability, nuclear blasts, flight at immense speed, transformation into pure energy, and radiation absorption.
In other media
- In Justice League Unlimited, Neutron appears as a member of the Secret Society. He later joins Grodd in his attempt to take back his position as leader within the Society and is killed off-screen following the destruction of the Secret Society's headquarters.
- On Smallville, in the season 8 episode "Injustice", Nathaniel Tryon (aka Neutron) appeared with Parasite, Livewire, and Plastique, who formed into a team of meteor freak rogues who searched for Doomsday. He is killed after letting Doomsday get away the first time.
- Neutron makes his appearance in the Young Justice: Invasion episode "Bloodlines" voiced by James Arnold Taylor. He is dropped in Central City and runs rampant as a test by the Reach. His suit continuously releases waves of energy as well as blasters equipped on the wrists. Flash eventually challenges Neutron, but is almost killed until the intervention of Impulse. The two speedsters and Kid Flash devise a plan to defeat Neutron, but all this does is destroy his containment suit and force the mysterious aliens behind him to abandon the test. Flash attempts to grab Neutron and leave him in an abandoned area before he is hit by a radiation wave, but Impulse trips him by accident after he himself falls over a rock, saving Flash from an unpredicted burst of energy. After the burst Impulse throws a blue orb on him that reverts Neutron back to normal, apparently unaware of his actions. It is revealed at the end of the episode that he helped Bart Allen travel to the past to fix their apocalyptic future. It is also implied that Flash should have died when they fought, suggesting Bart tripped on purpose to save Flash. As soon as Bart goes back in time Neutron is instantly in new clothes (at the time he was wearing a Belle Reve collar and jumpsuit), but is horrified to realize that everything around him is still in ruins. In "Cornered", Neutron is seen attending Black Canary's therapy session alongside the other victims of the Reach's experiments at a S.T.A.R. Labs building in Taos, New Mexico. In "Runaways," Neutron tries to prevent Virgil Hawkins, Tye Longshadow, Asami "Sam" Koizumi, and Eduardo Dorado Jr from escaping S.T.A.R. Labs. During Blue Beetle's fight with Red Volcano, the five teenagers help Neutron and the S.T.A.R. Labs personnel get out of the collapsing S.T.A.R. Labs building.
- Neutron was the main antagonist in the 40 min audio drama called "Superman & The Neutron Nightmare."