Public Domain Super Heroes
Atomic Thunderbolt

Real Name

William 'Willy the Wharf Rat' Burns

First Appearance

Atomic Thunderbolt #1 (February 1946)

Original Publisher

Regor Company

Created by



After WWII, Professor Josiah Rhonne was looking for a way to end the threat of nuclear annihilation. He came up with the idea to transform people by changing their atomic structure to make them immune to radioactivity and durable enough to survive a nuclear explosion. He needed a human test subject, and he found one when he stumbled across William "Willy the Wharf Rat" Burns - a former merchant marine who has suffering from a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ever since his ship was hit by a Nazi torpedo. Feeling that he was too damaged to be any good at anything, Willy agreed to participate in Professor Rhonne's experiment. However, while conducting the experiment, Professor Pronne accidently triggered a nuclear reaction. The explosion destroyed his castle and everything in it, but Willy survived. In an ironic twist, the experiment worked - but because Professor Phonne perished, there was no way to duplicate it.

Nonethless, Willy decided to try to carry on the professor's dream and "save mankind from itself" as the Atomic Thunderbolt.

In his first and only recorded mission, the Atomic Thunderbolt saved alchemists Rigor and Mortis after their attempt to clean up their shop resulted in a house fire. Seeing the Atomic Thunderbolt inspired the brothers to try to replicate his abilities. After several tries, they tested the results on their sentient raven. The powers worked, but Rigor and Mortis lived to regret it when the raven took to the skies as they tried to hang on for their dear lives. When the raven dropped them, the Atomic Thunderbolt rescued them again. However, the experience taught them nothing as the last panel of the strip showed that the brothers were still trying to fine-tune the formula.

Powers and Abilities[]

In addition to resistance to radiation and nuclear explosions, the Atomic Thunderbolt was able to fly, generate explosions with his fists and create "air waves."

Public Domain Appearances[]

  • Atomic Thunderbolt #1

See Also[]