Nathaniel Adam volunteers to participate in an experiment conducted by a research facility called the Continuum. At this facility, Dr. Megala's research is focused on the quantum field and on "dimensional transfer through M Theory". Adam is asked to pilot the dimensional-transfer vessel but is seemingly atomized during the experiment. Soon afterwards, he reappears, now an energy-based life form. According to Dr. Megala, Captain Atom's abilities are largely nuclear in nature and involve tapping into the strong nuclear force, the energy that binds protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Adam's physical atoms are constantly splitting apart, giving him incredible power. His body maintains integrity by instantly re-merging these atoms, but extreme use of his powers can interfere with this process and cause Captain Atom's form to become unstable. This leads to a fear that at some point Captain Atom's brain might lose its molecular stability and he won't be able to fix it before it impairs his consciousness or causes him to suffer some form of brain death.[3]

Nathaniel Adam has only been Captain Atom for a few months and is still exploring his abilities, constantly learning new facets to them such as his ability to perceive wireless transmissions from cell phones and computers.[4] He frequently returns to the Continuum so that Dr. Megala and the staff can help him further understand his abilities and occasionally so they can stabilize his body when he seems to be having problems. The world at large looks on Captain Atom with suspicion due to uncertainty about his agenda and the nature of his abilities. Some fear that he is leaking radiation and potentially poisoning those he comes into contact with. Several have remarked that the Justice League may have rejected Captain Atom for membership due to suspicion of how dangerous he is.[5] Despite this, Nathaniel chooses to try and use his powers to help others on Earth, clandestinely if need be.




  • Power Instability (formerly): Due to being an unstable energy-based life form, Captain Atom had poor control over his powers. This also meant he couldn't touch anything without destroying it, including people. Due to his time-jump to the 1990's and back, and his subsequent transformation, Atom regained his human form. He now has complete control over his abilities as well as the ability to touch.