Personal DataAlbert Julian Rothstein. Son of Phillip and Terri Kurtzenberg Rothstein. Grandson of Terry Curtis.
Occupation: Student, professional adventurer
In 1942, when Terri Kurtzenberg was a newborn infant, she was inadvertently subjected to radiation exposure from her father, physicist Terry Curtis (Kurtzenberg). Desperate, her father was black-mailed into being a lackey for the Ultra-Humanite as Cyclotron. The thorium radiation from Curtis' body affected his daughter directly and through her genes, as his had likely been altered by the effects of radiation on his own body. Ultimately, Curtis, as Cyclotron, died in combat with the Ultra-Humanite. The infant Terri was left in the care of relatives and her welfare was tended to by Golden Age heroes Firebrand II and the Atom (All-Star Squadron #21-25, Annual #2).
As an adult, Terri Kurteznberg
Rothstein likely passed on her genetic alterations to son Albert, who began
to undergo significant physiologic changes at puberty. By 18, Albert had
reached a staggering 7'6" tall and become a UCLA basketball star. Eager
to find his place in the world, Albert joined with other JSA offspring
to form costumed identities, in his case, Nuklon. Together, the 6 teen-agers
barged into a Justice Society meeting and demanded admission as second
generation members of the hallowed group. Their demands were rebuffed by
the elder heroes and the would-be JSAers were sent home (Infinity Inc.
Shortly thereafter, several senior members of the Justice Society, including the Atom, were captured by the Ultra-Humanite and drowned in the water of Koehaha. The water of Koehaha are narcotic, dulling the conscience and sending the JSAers on a rampage. The Atom immediately set out to further upgrade him powers (also affected by Terry Curtis' radiation) by attacking nuclear energy facilities. Splitting up, the junior heroes, now calling themselves Infinity Inc., pursued their parents and mentors. Nuklon caught up with the Atom as he was tearing apart a nuclear reactor. Turning his rage on Albert, the Atom brutally battered the younger hero and left him to die among the exposed thorium rods in the reactor core (Infinity Inc. #8).
However, like the Atom and his mother, Nuklon was not negatively affected by thorium radiation. Instead, it affected the young hero's physiology, giving him the ability to change in size and density. Reuniting, the second generation heroes tracked the JSA to the Ultra-Humanite's lair in Colorado and then to Limbo. Battling the JSA to a standstill, the tide was eventually turned by the appearance of the Brain Wave, father of Henry King Jr. who gave his own life to defeat the Ultra-Humanite (Infinity Inc. #10).
Over the next several years, Nuklon remained a stalwart member of Infinity Inc. (Infinity Inc. #11-52). When the group disbanded following the death of it's leader Skyman, Nuklon remained as loose ends. He spent some time with a minor group known as the Conglomerate (Justice League Quarterly #12) and later joined the Justice League of America (Justice League America #0-113). That version of the Justice League was easily defeated by the invading White Martians and disbanded (JLA #1-4).
Now moving into a more mature phase of his heroic career, Nuklon decided to re-invent himself as a new hero. Choosing the code name Atom-Smasher has a tribute to his godfather and his grandfather, Rothstein was contacted by Wildcat to help solve the murder of Wesley Dodds, the Golden Age Sandman (JSA Secret Files and Origins #1). With the successful resolution of this case, the JSA reformed and Albert Rothstein finally got a long-held wish, membership in the legendary Justice Society of America (JSA #1-4).
In more recent months, Al Rothstein has been under a series of strains on his integrity. Most significantly, the international super-terrorist Kobra crashed an airliner on which Terry Rothstein, Al's mother, was flying (JSA #11). This incident was immediately followed by an encounter with Extant, the villain responsible for the deaths of several original JSAers and Al's mentor, Al Pratt. As the JSA battled Extant across the timeline, temporal anomalies were created. Within one of these, the Atom-Smasher took the oppurtunity to save his mother and place Extant in the doomed airliner (JSA #13-15). While the result of saved his mother, the long-term consequences of distorting the timestream remain unknown. After this incident, Atom-Smasher took a brief break from the JSA but returned with a few weeks to active duty. His involvement with the airline crash is under investigation by the DEO.
Post Golden Age Appearances
All-Star Squadron #25-26, Annual #1
Infinity Inc. #1-12
Justice League America #0,110-113
Justice League Quarterly #11-12
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