A research scientist in the employ of S.T.A.R. Labs, Albert Michaels secretly suffered from a rare condition which would cause him to experience debilitating seizures at an ever-increasing frequency. Desperately seeking a solution at any cost, Michaels got what he had been searching for when he was contacted by the criminal organization SKULL. SKULL scientists offered Michaels an experimental remedy for his condition in the form of a radium-powered implant that would channel his brain's bioelectricity into externalized energy blasts. Unfortunately, this only worsened the frequency and intensity of Michaels's seizures.
Deciding to blame Superman for his degradation because the Man of Steel captured the only SKULL scientists who could have cured him, Michaels became the Atomic Skull, donning a green-and-yellow costume with a visor, and overthrew the leadership of SKULL. On numerous occasions, the Atomic Skull and his operatives conflicted with Superman and other super-powered figures, including The Flash, Man-Bat, Captain Atom, and the Teen Titans' Thunder and Lightning. The Atomic Skull also artificially evolved a panther named Felicia into the form of a human female in order to have a lover and companion for himself.
After being the sole bearer of the Atomic Skull mantle for many years, Albert Michaels was sidelined and entered into a period of long absence upon the appearance of his more notorious successor, Joe Martin, who effectively took Michaels's place in Superman's rogues' gallery. The original Atomic Skull resurfaced more recently, however, as a member of the Society in the weeks leading up to Infinite Crisis. Some time after the Battle of Metropolis and the Society's breakup, the Atomic Skull attempted to manipulate a gang of teenage admirers into detonating a explosive device containing chlorine gas in the downtown of Metropolis in order to prove his relevance, only to be foiled by Huntress of the Birds of Prey. The Atomic Skull has not appeared since.
- Energy Projection: The Atomic Skull harnesses his own bioelectricity using his radium-powered brain implant and converts it into atomic energy projected through his visor. This energy is so potent that its projection can even stagger Superman.
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Stamina
- SKULL Hovercraft
Michaels has no known connection to Joseph Martin, the second Atomic Skull, though his costume seems to be based on that worn by the old movie serial character after whom Martin named himself. While Michaels first appeared as the Atomic Skull in Superman Vol 1 323, he first appeared as himself in Superman Vol 1 303.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 26 Appearances of Albert Michaels (New Earth)
- 4 Images featuring Albert Michaels (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Albert Michaels (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Albert Michaels (New Earth)
- The Atomic Skull at dccomics.com
- Atomic Skull at Wikipedia.org
- Atomic Skull profile at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
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