The young Albert first memories was of a pick up game. Not a single person wanted him for a pick up game of basketball. Albert protests about not being wanted. It was revealed that his father was dead. The mockery of his father sent Albert into a rage and he got into a fight. As Albert runs home he speaks with his mother. Albert tries to get into his room but he is stopped by Uncle Al (Atom).Infinity Inc #22 "Personnel - Vital Stats" page gives October 12th as Al Rothstein's birthday. (No year provided)
Al takes him up stairs and we learn more about Albert's father who was a pilot in Vietnam before being shot down. Following this conversation Al reveals to Albert that he is in fact The Atom! The last surprise for the young man is that he shall be spending time with Al at the JSA mansion.
When he reaches the mansion, he is introduced to Lyta, Hector Hall, and Rick Tyler. They are all children of the JSA. They are however more taken with the fact that Albert's mother works for NASA. The JSA members that were silent in the back leave. The kids speak about what they are to do. Hector comments that Lyta would kill them all if she tried to fly. Lyta gets angry and throws both Rick and Hector around. Albert is glad that it wasn't him as he gets air sick. Al shows Albert the private gym and though Albert can't weight lift Al helps him but it won't be help he needs for long. Al keeps on Albert and throughout the summer he becomes stronger and stronger. He grows eight inches over the months. Dr. Mid-Nite speaks about a hunch and the true story of Nuklon is shown.
Al is Albert's godfather. He served and was friends with his dad, who is dead. He was however a foe to his mother's father. His grandpa turns out to be Cyclotron. Al was a regular strength until he was bombarded with thorium. He is confused why Terri, the mother of Albert, doesn't have powers but why he does. As the conversation returns to Albert, they discuss keeping tabs on him. With that thought in mind they more onto basketball the game that Albert was passed on for playing.
School starts again and Albert has the courage to face the kids who started the fight with him. The bullies think that Albert is standing on a milk cart and speak about knocking him off it. Albert accepts the challenge but the bully upon finding that Albert is as tall turns and runs from the fight. Albert goes on to play for the High School basketball team. The same year he has his bar mitzvah. He gets a surprise to see his JSA friends Rick, Hector,and Lyta are present. He gets a present of basketball signed by professional but doesn't seem very pleased.
Later him and the JSA kids are at an Aerospace museum. The tour was arranged by Albert's mother. Rick Tyler sneaks away and gets trapped on the G-Force training equipment. The level is stuck. It takes both Albert and Lyta to pull the level back and stop the machine. They than go to Lyta's home. She takes Albert to ride on Kangaroos. Albert loses control and Al scolds him for perhaps keeping himself off the basketball court next season.
At the same trip Albert admits to loving figuring out how thing works. Admiral Trevor was willing to help the young lad. Trevor also takes Albert on his first flight. The year advances and Albert has a job as a mechanic and works for Mr. Loomis. His mother comes in and informs him that the USC has accepted him on a scholarship. Albert is sure that it is uncle Al's doing. He seems to blow off the good news and gets back to his work.
In college, Albert is visiting Dr. Midnite. It is clear he is upset but afraid to tell Al Pratt that he wants to quit the team. In practice Albert seems bored that is until he sees Lyta present on the court. Albert loves the seeing her and spends time with her. He takes her sight seeing, to the movies, and to the arcade. It turns out that same day Albert had a Basketball dinner and he forgot all about it. Showing up he and Al has words and he finally tells him of his dislike for basketball. Al supports and him and says whatever you put your heart into you'll succeed.
Atom Smasher appeared in Infinity Inc #1 when he was trying to join the JSA. Turned down and with the help of other JSA members he became a semi leader of Infinity Inc. During this time his alias was Nuklon. The Infinity Inc series ended after about 50 issues but he wouldn't be lost in time, as Nuklon, Jade, Obsidian, Dr.Fate, and Fury and the JSA moved into a streamlined timeline after the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
When as Nuklon in his first attempt to join the JSA he only knew he had the power of super strength like his god father the Atom. During the Infinitors first adventure (while facing down the JSA affected by the stream of ruthlessness) Al is seemingly killed when the "ruthless" Atom throws a cyclotron at him. It is revealed afterward that his molecular structure reduced it density and allowed the cyclotron to pass through him. It is after this point that he learns he can also increase his size (from his already formidable 7'6") and increase and decrease his molecular density. With the size increases his strength also increases. His molecular density abilities effectively allow him to become impervious or pass through solid objects.
During the early 90's Nuklon appeared in the run of Justice League America. Nuklon was displayed in two sense. A very religious Jewish man as he turned down dating Fire. The most notable role was when his best friend Obsidian (Todd Rice) told him that he was gay and that he loved him. Albert didn't know what to do until the girl he was courting Ice Maiden turned out to be a bisexual; Albert would soon accept Obsidian for himself.
When the JLA went back to it's origins in 95 Nuklon disappeared until the 96 restart of the Justice Society of America. Nuklon replaced his name with Atom Smasher and put on the costume we are most familiar with in modern times. The JSA slowly began to push fellow hero Stargirl to him as potential love interest.
When Captain Marvel's longtime adversary Black Adam reformed and joined the JSA, he and Rothstein developed a kinship; indeed, Black Adam once commented that he thought of Atom Smasher as the brother he never had. Encouraged by Adam, Atom Smasher grew frustrated with the JSA's moral boundaries, especially when Kobra blackmailed authorities into granting his release. Albert and Adam promptly quit the JSA after Kobra's escape.
Shortly thereafter, the unlikely duo settled each other's personal scores. Adam killed Kobra; Rothstein killed the dictatorial president of Kahndaq, Adam's home country. Atom Smasher helped lead a team of rogue metahumans (including former Infinity Inc. teammates Brain Wave and Northwind) that invaded the country and overthrew its oppressive regime. Atom Smasher initially fought against his JSA teammates in Kahndaq before deciding instead to help forge an uneasy truce—Black Adam and his compatriots could remain in power so long as they never left the country. Atom Smasher remained in the Middle Eastern nation for a time, although he eventually began to question Adam's motives. Rothstein perished while fighting against the Spectre, but was revived by Black Adam's lightning, and carried back to JSA headquarters.
He was later put on trial for his actions in Kahndaq and pleaded guilty to all charges. Whilst in jail, he was approached by the founder of the Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller(also White Queen of Checkmate). Waller recruited Albert as part of a new group of covert operatives using the name, the Suicide Squad. Aware of Al's history with Black Adam, she sent the squad to San Francisco to sanction him. There, the Squad fought not only Black Adam, but Black Marvel Family members, Isis, Osiris and Sobek as well. Despite his prodigious strength, Albert lost the fight against his old colleague. When Black Adam went on a rampage following the death of the Black Marvel Family, Albert rejoined the JSA in tracking down Black Adam to Oolong Island after being pardoned by Waller, he threatened to expose the Suicide Squad. After finding Black Adam, Albert tried to reason with his old comrade while refusing to condemn him in any way, not even believing him guilty of the genocide in Bialya. However, he was dismayed that Adam admitted his actions and returned to his path of vengeance, dubbed World War III.
Following the conflict, Albert continued to worked with the JSA in search for a powerless Black Adam, who was intent upon resurrecting his dead wife Isis. Unknown to the JSA, Albert personally confronts Black Adam and brings him Isis' remains, and unsuccessfully tries to persuade his friend to go into hiding.
Returning to The Justice Society
Albert formally returned to the JSA, asking the team for a second chance at honoring the memory of Al Pratt despite some of their skeptical members. Regardless, Albert joined the JSA in tracking the recently repowered Black Adam, who and along with a resurrected Isis stole Captain Marvel's powers and and his throne at the Rock of Eternity, and eventually encountering him in a diner. The two notably did not fight, showing that their relationship is a bit more amicable. Ultimately, Albert proved his valor as a worthy member of the JSA in which he convinced Black Adam to giving up his powers to reviving the wizard Shazam and ending the threat of the Black Marvel Family.
Powers and Abilities
Due to the atomic energy his grand father had absorbed Al Rothstien developed in puberty the power of
- super strength - In his debut and before the power up Al could tear the sides of armored ships, and go toe to toe with Solomon Grundy, Commander Steel and Robotman.
- Durability -he could withstand the impact of jeeps as they speed toward him (crushing the jeep on impact)
During a Battle with his "uncle" Al Pratt (the original Atom) while under the influence of the stream of ruthfulness Al Absorbed even more nuclear energy which resulted in a few additional powers
- Increase his size (which further increases his strength) - Al can grow to a couple of 100 feet tall.
- Alter Molecular density He also has the ability to increase and decrease his molecular density. He can phase through things and increase his density to increase his durability.
- Alter his mass - He can reduce or increase his mass to make his blows hit with even more force
Albert is also a skilled pilot and was the pilot for Infinity Inc and has piloted the JSA ships before. Albert works as a Mechanic and has leadership capabilities.
Justice League Unlimited
Atom Smasher makes several appearances in the Justice League cartoon television series as a member of the expanded Justice League.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Atom smasher makes cameo appearance in Injustice: gods among us. He is shown battling Giganta outside the Hall of Justice.
The Flash (2015)
Al Rothstein is to make an appearance in the second season of The Flash. He is a meta human from Earth 2 sent by Zoom to Kill Barry Allen. He is portrayed by ex-WWE star Adam Copeland, a.k.a "Edge".
Black Adam (2022)
Atom Smasher will appear in the upcoming Black Adam movie. Noah Centineo will portray the character. Albert will be a member of the JSA alongside Hawkman, Doctor Fate and Cyclone.