Following a life in which he studied hard and became a fairly well-respected scientist, Keller began creating weapons for the federal government. One day, he was captured by spies and taken behind the Iron Curtain, where he languished in prison. For reasons that are as yet unclear, Keller blamed Superman for his predicament, and developed a strong hatred of the hero.
At some point, Keller discovered a crashed rocket ship in the prison yard and learned that it had originally come from the now-dead planet Krypton. (Exactly when in the period before Krypton's destruction the rocket was launched remains a mystery.) Still intact within the rocket were several vials of Kryptonian explosives, and Keller, by now desperate to escape from his jailers, impulsively drank them, assuming that he was committing suicide by doing so. Instead, the chemicals reacted with his body chemistry to give him amazing super-powers, and Keller used these to escape. He then put together a costume for himself and, calling himself the Annihilator, went on a destructive rampage. He also issued a stern warning to Superman and the world: that if anyone tried to stop him, the entire planet would be destroyed. Superman quickly learned that Keller had the power to back up this threat.
Meanwhile, Keller was by this time feeling less furious with the world and wanted to leave a legacy of sorts behind. Towards this end, he went to the trouble of adopting a son…a juvenile delinquent known as Pocketbook Pete. (The youth's last name has been withheld from the public at the request of his surviving biological family.) Keller's affection for the boy appears to have been genuine, and the two became inseparable.
As this was going on, Superman had concocted a chemical formula that would regress the person who drank it into infancy, both physical and mental. He planned to trick Keller into drinking it somehow so that this would end the threat Keller posed. However, to his surprise, Keller's powers were waning…the Kryptonian chemicals only worked for a limited time. As a result, Keller was swiftly apprehended by Superman once the powers wore off.
This was not the end, however. The newly christened Peter Keller had found the secret cache of Kryptonian chemicals and drank the remainder of them himself, and had thus become just as powerful as Keller had been. Dubbing himself Annihilator Jr. he went on his own rampage.
Seeing the swath of destruction caused by the boy, Keller at last felt the pangs of remorse, and agreed to help Superman trick the teen into taking the baby serum. The ruse worked, and Peter Keller was transformed into a baby; his Annihilator powers wore off a short time later.
With the threat posed by the two Annihilators gone, Superman agreed to give Keller a second chance at a new life, and allowed him to go free. Keller took his newly infant son with him, vowing to raise him to be a law-abiding citizen. Keller has spent the years since then in seclusion, his current whereabouts and activities unknown.
Superhuman strength bursting with destructive energy
- This version of Carl Keller (Earth-One), including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- 2 Appearances of Carl Keller (Earth-One)
- 1 Images featuring Carl Keller (Earth-One)
- Quotations by or about Carl Keller (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Carl Keller (Earth-One)
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