A small band of street beatniks came upon a spore left by Zenelle, an alien searching for a suitable mate. Contact with the spore caused them to mutate, with warts developing all over their bodies. Blaming local vigilante Madman, they took their anger out on him again and again, calling themselves 'The Mutant Street Beatniks'. Mr. Gum discovered that this was just the first stage of mutation caused by the spore, with the next being discovery of powers and abilities; by directing his new powers, the ugliness of the first stage cleared away, and his body became elastic and malleable. Having regained his usual appearance, he encouraged the rest of the group to assert their abilities, and 'The Atomics' were born.