Tom Thumb (comics)

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Tom Thumb
Tom thumb sqsup001.jpg
Tom Thumb from Supreme Power
Art By Gary Frank
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (712) Avengers #85 (Feb 1971)
(31916) Supreme Power #15
Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema
In-story information
Alter ego Thomas Thompson
Team affiliations Squadron Supreme
Abilities (712)None: Scientific genius
(31916) None: Permanently reduced size
Marvel Comics Alternate Universes
Marvel stories take place primarily in a mainstream continuity called the Marvel Universe. Some stories are set in various parallel, or alternate, realities, called the Marvel Multiverse.

The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Worlds 2005 designates the mainstream continuity as "Earth-616", and assigns other Earth numbers to each specific alternate reality.


In this article the following characters, or teams, and realities are referred to:

Character/Team Universe
Tom Thumb Earth-712
Tom Thumb Earth-31916

Tom Thumb is the name of two fictional characters (both with the real name Thomas Thompson) who are owned by Marvel Comics and appear in the comic books published by that company. Both are loosely based on the DC Comics superhero, the Atom.

Squadron Supreme[edit]

Concept[edit]

While the Squadron is based on the Silver Age Justice League, Tom Thumb is closer to the Golden Age Atom; a very short adventurer with no superpowers. Though he is a surprisingly skilled and agile fighter for his size, his greatest similarity to the Silver Age version is that he is a brilliant scientist.[citation needed]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Thomas Thompson, a dwarf, was a scientist, inventor, adventurer, and member of the superhero team Squadron Supreme. He was born in Melzburg, Danteana, on Earth-712. His main contribution to the team was his scientific genius. He designed the Squadron's headquarters and frequently created advanced devices such as a Behavior Modifying Machine that could be used on criminals to change their ways, and a force field belt that protected its wearer and could even deflect bullets.

Tom Thumb first encountered the Avengers years ago. With the Squadron Supreme and the Avengers, he battled Brain-Child.[1] With the Squadron, he fell under control of the Serpent Cartel. The Squadron battled the Avengers on behalf of the Serpent Cartel, then turned against the Cartel.[2] Alongside the other Squadron members, he became mind-controlled by the Over-Mind. He was used along with the other members as pawns in the Over-Mind's conquest of "Other-Earth," but was freed by the Defenders. With the Squadron and Defenders, he battled and defeated the Over-Mind and Null, the Living Darkness.[3]

Alongside the Squadron Supreme, Tom Thumb assumed control of the government of the United States of "Other-Earth", and publicly revealed his true identity.[4] He was asked by Nuke, another member of the Squadron, to find a cure for his parents' cancer, but failed. After running a test on the radiation emitted by Nuke, Thumb realized he (along with anyone else who had spent extended periods of time in proximity to Nuke) developed terminal cancer. He refused to kill Hyperion in exchange for a cure from the Scarlet Centurion, and Nuke swore vengeance on Thumb.[5] Tom Thumb then completed the Behavior Modification Machine.[6] He was captured by the Institute of Evil, and voted to expel the Golden Archer from the Squadron.[7] Tom Thumb stole the Scarlet Centurion's "panacea potion," but discovered it was ineffective to cure his cancer. Unable to invent a cure, Thumb ultimately died at the team's headquarters in Squadron City and was placed in the Hibernaculum, a form of suspended animation he invented to preserve the bodies of diseased or recently deceased persons until a remedy could be found for whatever disease or injury that could not be treated by present day medicine.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Tom Thumb has an extraordinary genius level of intellect, but no superhuman powers. He is an expert and innovator in a wide range of scientific and technological fields, including computer science, medicine, psychology, force field technology, and spacecraft design. He possessed total recall and great physical dexterity. He is highly skilled at manipulating various weaponry of his own design. He possesses PhDs in mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering.

Tom Thumb has access to a variety of technologies that he has designed. He used a one-man flying vehicle that was equipped with various advanced weaponry, including guns firing concussive energy blasts. His inventions included AIDA (Artificially Intelligent Data Analyzer), a highly advanced computer with a human-like personality and sentience; the Behavior Modification Machine, which could alter the personalities and thinking processes of human powers; the Hibernaculum, a means of storing a human body in suspended animation; and the Transtemporal Somnaprojector, a means of time travel. He also invented and wore a personal force field belt, which projected a protective field of energy about the wearer that could even deflect bullets.

Supreme Power[edit]

In Supreme Power Thomas Thompson is one of a number of convicts who had volunteered to act as test subjects for a military experiment. Tom Thumb first appeared in a flashback in Supreme Power, a reboot of the Squadron Supreme.

Scale of Tom Thumb next to Zarda's foot.
Art by Gary Frank

The flashback showed a number of convicts who had volunteered to act as test subjects for a military experiment. The experiment was designed to graft a retrovirus based on the DNA of Hyperion, an extraterrestrial and superhero of ambiguous origins, to human subjects. One of the subjects was Thomas Thompson, and the retrovirus' effects made Tom shrink to a height of less than an inch (2.54 centimeters), though his size seems to have fluctuated since. To compensate for his diminished stature, Tom has a belligerent, confrontational attitude, daring his larger opponents to try something.

After being recruited to the government's Squadron Supreme superhuman group, Thompson was going to be a member of the covert team and started thinking it would be similar to a James Bond movie. However, Doctor Emil Burbank made a tiny, self-contained suppository capsule with enough air to last the mission, which was inserted into Shape as a backup plan. After the mission in Africa, Tom Thumb is now in counseling to help him deal with the self-contained capsule experience.

Although not a scientist, the Supreme Power version of Tom Thumb is similar to the Silver Age Atom in that he has achieved minuscule size. He has been depicted at a variety of sizes, ranging from insect to action figure scale. However, it is unclear at this time whether Tom is able to return to normal human dimensions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Avengers #85-86
  2. ^ Avengers #148-149
  3. ^ Defenders #112-114
  4. ^ Squadron Supreme #1
  5. ^ Squadron Supreme #2
  6. ^ Squadron Supreme #3
  7. ^ Squadron Supreme #5-6
  8. ^ Squadron Supreme #9-10

External links[edit]