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Action Comics #525. Art by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano.


An extremely powerful nuclear-charged super-villain clad in a yellow radiation suit who was once known as Nathaniel "Nat" Tryon, a common criminal henchman.

Powers: As a result of the process that transformed him, Neutron is a being of pure nuclear energy capable of releasing extraordinarily powerful and destructive atomic pulses. Neutron is able to hit with a nuclear-charged punch that even Superman can feel, and he is able to release tremendous nuclear shockwaves simply by clapping his hands together. He is at his most destructive when he releases all of his energy at once through his suit's visor, a discharge capable of devastating entire city blocks. However, such energy releases leave him temporarily depleated and he must give himself time to replensh his energy stores.

Biography: Along with his fellow crooks Ted Grand and Tim Moore, Nat Tryon was once part of a team of hoods called the TNT Trio under the employ of Lex Luthor. While performing a job for the criminal mastermind that involved sabotaging a nuclear power plant, Tryon becomes trapped by falling lead shielding, which nearly crushes him to death. The reactor's meltdown is halted by Superman, who also apprehends Grand and Moore. The two hoods insist that they operated alone, and as Superman's X-ray vision cannot penetrate lead, the Man of Steel inadvertantly misses the imperiled Tryon. Managing to free himself, Tryon makes his way to one of Luthor's many hidden lairs, where the arch-villain discovers that Tryon had contracted radiation poisoning. Luthor places his ex-accomplice under a special ray device that he claims will cure Tryon of his radiation sickness. In reality, Luthor's plan is to transform the crook into a super-powered pawn for his future use. As fate has it, Superman captures Luthor within a week, leaving the comatose Tryon under the device's rays for a year until he is revived by vibrations from the Man of Tomorrow's fight with a villain called the Mole. Tryon finds that he had been transformed into a living mass of nuclear energy, a walking atomic bomb capable of releasing enough power to present a serious threat to even Superman himself. Seeing his altered state as a means of exacting revenge on the three men he holds responsible for his plight ... Grand, Moore and Superman ... Tryon dons a special radiaion suit to contain his energy form and renames himself Neutron, the Living Bomb (Act No. 525/1, Nov 1981: "Neutron Nightmare!"). Neutron actually succeeds in killing Grand, but Superman intervenes in time to prevent the atomic villain from murdering Moore. As part of his attempt on Superman's life, Neutron alters the structure of the Daily Planet globe atop the Galaxy Communications Building so that it reacts adversely with solar radiation and could eventually explode like a nuclear weapon, annihilating all of Metropolis in the process. Neutron and Superman clash in a fierce battle, but the Caped Kryptonian manages to defeat his atomic foe and save the city, after which Neutron is sent to a special prison designed to contain his vast power (Act No. 526/1, Dec 1981: "The Man Who Murdered Metropolis!").

Two years later, a highly talented lawyer manages to convince a parole board to release Neutron as part of a plot devised by Vandal Savage to discredit Superman. The plan involves Neutron appearing in Metropolis and destroying a chosen building in order to draw the Metropolis Marvel into battle. Although Neutron actually strikes first in the fight that follows, the combat is staged in such a way that Superman is blamed. Although Superman manages to regain his good name, Neutron also clears himself of wrongdoing by proving that he was actually demolishing the building in question at the request of Savage, the edifice's rightful owner, making the demolition perfectly legal (Act No. 543, May 1983: "Within These Hands -- Power!"). Still, Neutron's radioactivity is deemed a clear danger to the population of Metropolis and, as a result, the criminal is placed in suspended animation within a special life-support coffin at S.T.A.R. Labs.

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