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The cover of Action Comics #525 (November 1981), Neutron's first appearance, art by Ross Andru.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAction Comics #525 (November 1981)
Created byMarv Wolfman (writer)
Joe Staton (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoNathaniel Tryon
Team affiliationsTNT Trio
Fearsome Five
Secret Society of Super Villains
Nuclear Legion
AbilitiesSuper strength
Nuclear blasts
Radiation absorption

Neutron is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He is usually an adversary of Superman.[1]

Publication history

Neutron first appeared in Action Comics #525 (November 1981) and was created by Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton.[2]

Fictional character biography

Nathaniel Tryon was a petty thug who teamed up with two others as the TNT Trio. While on a caper at a nuclear power plant at which he worked as a security guard, Tryon was caught in the meltdown of a nuclear reactor, turning his body into sentient nuclear energy that could only be contained in a special containment suit. After learning how to control his energy, and learning that the accident was allegedly caused and covered up by the U.S. Government, Tryon killed those responsible for the accident and took up a criminal career as Neutron.

Eventually, he battled Superman, and was defeated and imprisoned. He was later released by the manipulations of Abraxas Industries as part of an apparent work release program, when actually it was part of a propaganda campaign against Superman spearheaded by Vandal Savage. Neutron's part was to engage in seemingly random acts of destruction, when actually he had hired himself out as a deconstruction engineer, a fact which of course did not come out until after Superman had fought and arrested him. Vandal's schemes would later be revealed to the public, and Neutron was apparently arrested and re-imprisoned for his part in them.

He is next seen held at the research facility, S.T.A.R. Labs. He was eventually freed when S.T.A.R. Labs was attacked by mercenaries hired by the Fearsome Five. They took him and Jinx, whom they freed from Tri-State prison, into their ranks. Neutron subsequently left the group.[3]

Neutron eventually 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 obliterated them both. Both later turned up alive, and Neutron was next seen in Slabside Island prison (aka "The Slab"), from which he was freed during the Joker’s "Last Laugh" riots. Recently, Neutron and several other villains were manipulated by Manchester Black into threatening Clark Kent’s loved ones, but as had happened before, the ensuing confrontation with Superman ended with Neutron disappearing in an atomic blast.

In Infinite Crisis, Neutron became a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains.

Neutron, from Superman #654 (September 2006). Art by Carlos Pacheco.
Neutron, from Superman #654 (September 2006). Art by Carlos Pacheco.

"One Year Later"

Main article: One Year Later

After the 2006 crossover miniseries Infinite Crisis, Neutron is working 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, Nuclear, 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 in the pages of Superman #654, during a storyline in which Superman discovered that Intergang was planting mysterious energy spheres, about the size of softballs, in various locations in Metropolis. Although Superman has not yet determined the nature or purpose of the spheres, he discovered that they were connected to his adversary Bruno Mannheim, as well to other mysterious allies of Manheim who have yet to be revealed.

Neutron is one of the villains featured in Salvation Run. He is used by Lex Luthor as a power source for a teleporter. He is seemingly killed when the device self-destructs.

Powers and abilities

Neutron's body is composed of nuclear energy that grants him super strength, durability, nuclear blasts, flight at immense speed, transformation into pure energy, and radiation absorption.

In other media


Audio drama

Neutron appears in the audio drama, "Superman & The Neutron Nightmare".


  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 276–277. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  3. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Fearsome Five". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 120. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
  4. ^ Al Septien, Turi Meyer (writers) & Tom Welling (director) (2009-05-07). "Injustice". Smallville. Season 8. Episode 21. The CW.