Nathaniel Tryon was originally a member of a gang of saboteurs known as the TNT Trio. While on a mission for their employer Lex Luthor, Tryon was trapped under lead debris at a nuclear power plant as a meltdown occurred. Abandoned by his two comrades and unspotted by Superman, whose X-ray vision was incapable of penetrating lead, Tryon was mutated by the leaking radiation. Using every iota of his strength to save himself and make his way back to Luthor's headquarters, Tryon was subsequently given week-long radiation treatments by Luthor in order to transform him into a super-powered pawn against Superman. However, this scheme never came to be, and Tryon gradually found himself reduced to an energy being contained within a suit of Luthor's construction. As the villain Neutron, Tryon blamed Superman for his mutation and battled him several times. Eventually, Neutron decided to take his fury out on all of Metropolis by transforming the Daily Planet globe into a city-destroying bomb. Fortunately, Superman stopped the bomb threat in time by throwing the globe into the atmosphere and captured Neutron, who was incarcerated in S.T.A.R. Labs for scientific exploration of his unusual condition. After some time, Neutron was released from custody and employed as a deconstruction engineer by the Abraxas Corporation, whose CEO Vandal Savage intended to use him in his plan to ruin Superman's reputation. Knowing that Neutron's wholly legal deconstruction activities superficially appeared to be wanton property damage, Savage tricked Superman into attacking Neutron in order to sully the Man of Steel's good name. In the end, Superman exposed Savage as a criminal, and Neutron was presumably arrested and incarcerated once again for his part in Savage's plot. Before long, Neutron was freed alongside fellow S.T.A.R. Labs detainee Jinx by the Fearsome Five, who made him their newest member. In that capacity, Neutron ran afoul of the Teen Titans a few times, although he ultimately quit the Fearsome Five.
When next seen, Neutron joined Warp and Plasmus on a mission from Conduit to assassinate Jonathan and Martha Kent, the adoptive parents of Superman. Superman intervened and the clash ended with Plasmus and Neutron colliding in a blast that seemingly obliterated them both. However, both later turned up alive, and Neutron was next seen in Slabside Penitentiary, from which he was freed during the Joker's "Last Laugh" riots. Months later, Neutron and several other villains were telepathically revealed Superman's secret identity by Manchester Black, who sought to use them to strike at Superman's loved ones. Neutron and the Master Jailer teamed up to take over the White House with the intention of terrorizing then-Vice President Pete Ross and his wife Lana Lang. Despite initial defeat, Neutron returned later during this event to menace Superman, who disposed of him by using him to nuke an island where he was fighting Master Jailer, Bizarro, Mongul, and Silver Banshee.
One Year Later
After World War III, Neutron began work as a villain-for-hire. He and another radiation-powered villain, Radion, were hired by Intergang to kill Clark Kent. After Kent was hit by a commuter train, Neutron and Radion left, thinking him dead, though the accident actually caused Kent to regain his powers as Superman.
Neutron is also a member of the Nuclear Legion alongside Professor Radium, Geiger, Mister Nitro, and Reactron. The Nuclear Legion was hired by the Secret Society of Super Villains to invade Blüdhaven and assist the Nuclear Family in recovering the source of a radiation leak. While there, the group fought the new Atomic Knights. Now sporting a new containment suit, Neutron was also seen fighting Superman when the hero discovered that Intergang was planting mysterious energy spheres, about the size of softballs, in various locations in Metropolis.
Neutron was one of the villains picked up by Operation: Salvation Run and exiled to Hell Planet. There, he was used by Lex Luthor as a power source for a teleporter and was seemingly killed when the device self-destructed.
- Atomic Physiology: Nathaniel Tryon had been transformed by a nuclear meltdown into a living radiation entity. With the assistance of a specially designed suit, Neutron can retain his physical form and ability to interact with the outside world, although he has also demonstrated the ability to jettison the radioactive emissions that compose him and exist as a pure energy being outside his suit.
- Energy Projection: Neutron, as an atomic energy being, had the ability to launch blasts of high-frequency radiation from his hands and his visor that carried enough sheer force to knock Superman through a wall if he was not sufficiently prepared.
- Superhuman Strength: Neutron possessed enough raw strength to harm Superman with his blows.
- Radiation Production
- Energy Absorption: Neutron had the power to absorb radiation.
- Superhuman Durability
- Energy Form: Neutron could exist outside of his suit for brief periods of time as a being of pure nuclear radiation. However, he was forced to inhabit his suit to maintain his stability over prolonged periods.
- Power Instability: If Neutron's suit was breached or broken, then his energy form would dissipate in an explosion, rendering him inactive and formless until another corporeal vessel could be located. Also, when Neutron released himself from his suit in the form of an atomic energy being, he quickly drained himself of his stamina and would be forced to return to his suit before long to maintain his continued stability.
- 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.
- In the Ending Battle story arc, Neutron and Superman encountered each other as if they never had a previous encounter before, yet the DC Comics Encyclopedia and its updated version make reference to Neutron's Pre-Crisis history, or at least part of it, as part of the then-modern canon. In addition, even only regarding events shown in Post-Crisis continuity, Superman and Neutron had a previous encounter in Adventures of Superman #523. Also, Neutron recounted a slightly altered version of his origin story in Ending Battle, which made no reference to Lex Luthor or the TNT Trio and stated that Neutron blamed the U.S. government for the accident which created him and killed those he deemed responsible. However, the original Pre-Crisis origin for Neutron was confirmed as official canon Post-Crisis and Post-Infinite Crisis by the DC Comics Encyclopedia and its updated version.
- 27 Appearances of Nathaniel Tryon (New Earth)
- 4 Images featuring Nathaniel Tryon (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Nathaniel Tryon (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Nathaniel Tryon (New Earth)
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