Nam-Ek was born on the distant planet Krypton, and following a non-descript childhood there, entered a career in the healing arts. Realizing, as did all Kryptonian healers, that a good portion of what they did revolved around the capture and use of a native Kryptonian beast called the Rondor, whose horn gave off a unique radiation that healed all injuries and sicknesses in seconds, Nam-Ek felt that the prolonged study of a Rondor's horn would be an invaluable boon to science. However, Krypton had strict laws governing the care of the Rondor, and removal of the horn was considered to be a crime severe enough to warrant the harshest penalties Kryptonian law allowed. In earlier times, this meant the death penalty; in Nam-Ek's time, incarceration in the Phantom Zone.
Nam-Ek ignored these warnings, feeling that the potential benefit outweighed the risks. He captured a Rondor, surgically removed its horn (accidentally killing the beast in the process), and studied it until he had concocted a serum from the horn that would, he anticipated, produce the same effect. He then foolishly tested the serum on himself, drinking it to see what would happen. The result was a mutagenic change within Nam-Ek's entire body. His skin became purple in color and leathery, like the Rondor, and he grew a Rondor-like horn from the middle of his forehead. This horn had the same healing properties as those in the Rondors themselves.
Thanks to his freakish appearance, it was impossible for Nam-Ek to cover up his crime, and he was swiftly captured, convicted, and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone. Because of his presence there, Nam-Ek was able to survive the later destruction of Krypton, as did the other Zone inmates. Nam-Ek found that he was shunned by the other Zone criminals, and his isolation from all types of social contact had a negative effect on his mind.
He was finally freed many years later by the space pirate Amalak. Although Amalak had a deep-seated hatred of all things Kryptonian, he pretended to befriend Nam-Ek, giving him the nickname of the "Antibiotic Man." Amalak then enlisted Nam-Ek's aid in a plot to mentally torment Superman before finally killing him. The plot very nearly succeeded, but ultimately, Superman was able to best both villains. Amalak apparently died of an accidentally-self-inflicted wound, while Nam-Ek was returned to the Phantom Zone.
Nam-Ek later escaped the Zone again when a dimensional disaster, related to the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, tore open the barrier separating the Zone from the material dimension. As Superman struggled to repair the damage, and to contain the Kryptonian criminals who had escaped (all of whom had super-powers, as Superman does, under Earth's yellow sun), he was also beset upon by Bizarro, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and a mysterious being called Aethyr, who claimed to be the Zone in sentient humanoid form. Following a fierce (and sometimes tinged with insanity) battle, Mxyzptlk was able to convince Aethyr that tormenting Kryptonians was fun, and Aethyr re-absorbed the Kryptonian villains--including Nam-Ek--into himself and went off into space to enjoy himself. Neither he, nor any of the Zone villains, has been seen since. Currently, it is presumed that Nam-Ek is still a prisoner within Aethyr.
During the times that Nam-Ek was free of the Zone/Aethyr and operating on Earth, he had all of the same super-human powers possessed by Superman himself, as well as his Rondor-related abilities.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, The average Kryptonian possesses the potential for the following power set:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of their super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. Their biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and their bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Kryptonians can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. Typically, the power is seen as two beams of red light emanating from the eyes. These beams can be made invisible, allowing the power to be undetectable. The maximum temperature of their heat vision is said to be around that of a nuclear detonation. They can also consciously determine the area affected, down to the microscopic level.
- Super-Hearing: Kryptonian hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill, practice, and concentration, they can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency. As such, they can identify a person by their heartbeat, or pick out a single voice in an entire city.
- Enhanced Vision Kryptonian vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Kryptonians can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. They can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, they can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows them to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Kryptonians can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. They can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived - such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans - is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Kryptonians can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Kryptonians are able to manipulate graviton particles, in an unknown and apparently unconscious manner, to defy the forces of gravity. Under one Earth gravity, they are capable of speeds of multi-Mach speeds in Earth's atmosphere. Their control of their flight is very precise and they can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying.
- Invulnerability: The bodies of Kryptonians are nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, their immune systems protects them from toxins and diseases. The most common explanations for this rely on the presences of a super-dense molecular structure, a supercharged bio-electric aura which acts as an invisible force field, or a combination of the two. With the aura, it is presumed to extend a few millimeters from the skin as well as within the body. A byproduct of the aura is that items close to the skin share their invulnerability. Using clothing as an example, loose fitting fabric would tend to shred or burn in adverse conditions, but skin tight outfits would not.
- Superhuman Stamina: Kryptonians have the ability to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. In theory they have unlimited stamina as their enhanced nourishment is produced from the yellow solar energy their cells process, which also provides the majority of the power for their superhuman abilities. However, their base physical structures do need to process food stuffs and they have a psychological need to eat and drink just as Earth humans do. They also require sleep on occasion so that they can dream. They can also hold their breath for an indefinite period of time.
- Superhuman Strength: A Kryptonian develops enhanced physical strength after absorbing a sufficient amount of yellow solar radiation. This radiation interacts with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of their musculature to trigger superhuman levels. While the exact magnitude of their strength is unknown, it is generally accepted that it is sufficient to lift 100,000 tons or more. The specific range is unknown as a their strength, like their other powers, may fluctuate over time. Their strength is also more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables them to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass. At full power, their normal strength levels are well into the multi-megaton range.
- Superhuman Speed: Kryptonians are able to move at incredible speeds by sheer force of will. They can match most other speedsters in super-fast movements, reactions, and processes. They can use this power to disarm opponents without heightened reflexes, catch bullets or shrapnel or cross vast distances in seconds.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Kryptonians are able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from their lungs. They can chill the air as it leaves their lungs to freeze targets in a variation sometimes called "freeze" or "arctic breath". They can also reverse the process and pull large volumes of air or vapor into their lungs.
- Vulnerability to Kryptonite
- Vulnerability to Magic
- This version of Nam-Ek, 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.
- 10 Appearances of Nam-Ek (Earth-One)
- 2 Images featuring Nam-Ek (Earth-One)
- Quotations by or about Nam-Ek (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Nam-Ek (Earth-One)
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