The Golden Age was full of magic rings, mystical lightning bolts, and wizards in the sewers. The Silver Age was brimming with radiation. Even so, there are a few fictional heroes who staunchly refuse to glow in the dark. Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Radiation-Proof Supers!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and a knockdown, drag-out battle between Doctor Manhattan and Solar, Man of the Atom, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN RADIATION-PROOF SUPERS!
10) THE DOCTOR
In his first interaction with Martha Jones, the Tenth Doctor was hit with a massive dose of x-rays, which he then absorbed and expelled into his shoe. He proudly mentioned that he “used to play with roentgen bricks” in the nursery, proving that Time Lords were able to withstand and even control radiation to a superhuman degree.
Naturally, it was a massive dose of radiation that “killed” Ten, regenerating him into his gangly eleventh body, for which I think we have to blame Anton Chekhov. You’d have thought he’d remember his second regeneration back on Metebelis III.
9) RED HULK
After being resurrected by The Leader, Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross watched his daughter Betty die and spiraled into a blind rage, allying with evil super-scientists to become an even more powerful Hulk. Thanks to the different blend of radiations, Red Hulk could withstand and absorb massive amounts of gamma, cosmic, or nearly any other type of radiation, which Ross would then transform into increased physical power. The only downside is that when he absorbs enough radiation, he finds himself unable to shift back to his human form.
Thanks to a serum created by his mad scientist father, Brittany (surname unrevealed) has yet to find a limit to his invulnerability. In almost 100 years of adventuring, Brit has been punched, shot, stabbed, impaled, and exposed to massive amounts of radiation, toxins, and lots of mean ol’ nasty stuff, with nary a scratch on his metaphorical fender. During his time with the Guardians of the Globe, he augmented his durability with jet boots and gloves that provide enhanced strength, widening his superhuman portfolio to match the power levels of his new colleagues.
7) THE MOTHER OF CHAMPIONS
A member of the Chinese super-team, The Great Ten, in the DC Universe, Wu Mei-Xin is a physicist by trade. After years of experimentation in the hopes of discovering the Higgs boson, Wu was exposed to the God particle, which left her with the power to conceive and give birth to superhuman soldiers at superhuman speeds, as well as rendering her completely immune to all known forms of radiation. On the one hand, Mother of Champions’ power is extremely useful to the operations of The Great Ten/Twenty, but on the other hand? Having a Chinese hero whose power is “has lotsa babies” smacks of unexamined biases and/or racism.
6) IRON MAN (MODEL TWENTY-SIX)
Created in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Banner, Tony Stark’s Model 26 armor is specifically designed to not only shield its wearer but to ABSORB ambient radiation for additional power. This makes it perfect for decontamination and rescue purposes, but a flaw in the suit caused Stark to be exposed to RG-27, a special compound for neutralizing gamma radiation. This led to one of the only Hulk/Iron Man battles where the Golden Avenger, rather than the Green Goliath, was the out-of-control menace.
The Model 26 has seldom been used since, but that’s not really a surprise, given its narrow and specific purpose.
A member of the royal family of planet Tamaran, Prince Ryand’r was born with the ability to absorb and channel solar radiation, allowing them to fly, and powering their superhuman strength. Thanks to the experiments of the evil Psions, he can also emit blasts of thermal energy, nuclear blasts, and even detonate into a thermonuclear blast equal to an atomic weapon. Darkfire served with the Omega Men, freedom fighters in the Vega system, to overthrow the tyranny of The Citadel, while one sister came to Earth and the other went full-on evil.
A member of the Eco-Warriors division of G.I. Joe, Corporal Daniel W. Price specializes in the aftermath of illegal chemical warfare. Cobra’s use of “toxic sludge weapons” brought him to the forefront of Joe team operations, cleaning up the messes that the bad guys leave behind.
His clean-suit is sealed against radiation, toxic waste, and all manner of goo, which his action figure represented with hyper-color paint that changed color when exposed to water.
One of the first recruits to Avengers Academy, Ken Mack was experimented on by Norman Osborn, turning his entire body to iridium alloy with nearly no nerve endings. Ken was less-than-thrilled when it was discovered that Norman chose him due to his likelihood to turn evil, but chose a more gentle path. He also entered into a relationship with fellow Academy student Hazmat, whose body constantly emitted radiation and toxic substances, to which he was completely immune.
Sadly, Mettle was murdered by Arcade, with Ken sacrificing himself to save Hazmat’s life.
Thanks to the DNA of natives of the planet Prypiatos, Ben Tennyson can emit pure radiation of an unknown type, forcing him to don a containment suit that looks weirdly like Pablo the Penguin’s stove, Smokey Joe. NRG’s suit is nigh-indestructible, while the creature within is completely immune to (and will easily absorb) any sort of radiation. He’s also very strong and able to fire blasts of radiation hot enough to liquefy stone and even steel.
Thanks to the genetic accelerator of the High Evolutionary, Jessica Drew is not only immune to radiation, but her body will quickly generate immunity to drugs, poisons, and toxic substances of nearly any stripe. This eventually boomeranged on Spider-Woman, leading to her powers slowly poisoning her, sending her on a quest to save herself (and by extension, her son Gerry, who inherited her powers.)
Things got a little complicated after that.
Once again, this week’s topic, Ten Radiation-Proof Supers, is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest a topic of your own! There’s always more Ten Things madness on my Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, especially when you consider the sheer number of supers who are literally a walking atomic reactor. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!