Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Who's Who: Atmos

by Siskoid

Real Name: Marak Russen
Super-Power(s): Flight, super-strength, super-invulnerability, nuclear bolts, some form of matter manipulation; secretly, will subversion
Planet of Origin: Xanthu
Legion Seniority: Atmos was the fourth recruit to join the Legion in the mostly-unchronicled era known as the Five-Year Gap.

Legion Log 
Atmos was the champion of the planet Xanthu, created at the behest of the planet's ruling Tribune by geneticists. And so former child actor and amateur athlete Marak Russen, was chosen as the subject for an experiment to recreate the comet radiation that gave Thom Kallor (Star Boy) his temporary Kryptonian-like powers. He became planetary protector, with all the privileges entailed, and then... he disappeared without a trace. He had been mindwiped and imprisoned by Universo as part of a plot to conquer Earth. This is where  he met and fell in love with Dream Girl. After the Legion rescued the taken heroes, he tried to join, but was rejected for his imperious attitude. He began a relationship with Dream Girl and returned with her to Xanthu, sparking a competition with Star Boy for the hearts of both their people and Nura Nal, which it turns out he had enthralled with his powers.

After the Magic Wars, Atmos reapplied and was accepted to the Legion after Earth had been infiltrated by the Dominion. He stayed only a short while before growing uncomfortable with Earthgov's anti-Legion stance, then resigned. But he was captured by the Dominators and eventually used him to test their artificial super-being BION's capabilities. BION killed him, though the Dominators released a fictional story about his death at Khundish hands.

After the Reboot, Atmos had the same basic origin story, but joined his planet's state-funded team of superheroes, the "Uncanny Amazers of Xanthu". As a member of the Amazers, he stood against two invasions of Xanthu, one from the alien Blight, the other from Robotica's C.O.M.P.U.T.O.

After the Threeboot, Atmos does not seem to exist.

After Infinite Crisis, presumably Atmos' history has been restored, though he has yet to reappear (aside from a cameo in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, which could happen anywhere on his time line).

Important Atmos Stories:

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #28
Xanthu's protector, Atmos, mysteriously disappears in this,
his first appearance (note that the Who's Who entry is in error)

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #33
Atmos is one of many heroes abducted by Universo; he meets Dream Girl in the internment camp

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #43-46
Atmos applies for the Legion and starts romancing Dream Girl

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) Annual #4
Atmos completes his seduction of Dream Girl and brings her to Xanthu

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #63
Dream Girl realizes she's been manipulated into loving Atmos

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #21
The post-Gap fate of Atmos is revealed

Legionnaires #0
The Reboot Atmos is one of the heroes of Xanthu considered for Legion membership

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #102
As a member of the Amazers, Atmos defends his world against Robotica's C.O.M.P.U.T.O.

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #123
Atmos falls prey to the Blight

Starman (v2) #50
Atmos is overcome by Shadow Wraiths


  1. His real name and background, like those of a lot of secondary and tertiary Legion characters, was invented for the Who's Who in the Legion series, probably by Mark Waid.

    I still don't know why, given his look and powers, Levitz never tried to tie him in to Captain Atom.

  2. This is a Legion trope in and of itself, especially for Gap Legionnaires. A lot of the information on their memberships was created for the DCHeroes RPG Legion 2995 sourcebook! (Just as the original sourcebooks decided the definitive order of the original Legionnaires' memberships and probably other information.)

  3. I'm confused by his torso. Seen shirtless in those panels from #63, it seems to be normal, but in costume he's got those cutouts. What's up with that? Are the cutouts an illusion, like Firestorm's flaming head?

  4. I don't know. It was always very weird. Perhaps when he activates his power, part of his body turns into invisible energy?

  5. Armpitless Lad never got much respect did he?
    As another hero to show how big the LSH universe is and rival to Star Boy he was ok.
    But then the mind-control thing. Not well handled. I always wondered if the power was meant to be unconcious or maybe shaded as Nura looking for an out. If being made a Legionnaire under any circumstance was distasteful at least.
    After that he was only brought out to be beaten or killed to show how big the bad was. Better him than someone else I guess.

  6. Never liked this guy. Always preferred Star Boy.

  7. So... "manipulating" Dream Girl means he sexually assaulted her, didn't he? If he was using her powers to make him go with her and love her...

  8. As much as I loved the Baxter era...Atmos was definitely a mistake.

  9. Missing armpits and date raping aside , he could have been a great character for legion membership .

    I liked his power set , costume
    ( with arm pits added) and of course Mr. T like Mohawk !

    I pity the fool who passed on making him a legionnaire !

  10. A few years late, but Atmos seems to be just a pure flying energy manipulator, with no telepathic powers to speak of.

    Dream Girl talks about being attracted to him in spite of knowing better, but that could just as easily be Atmos's own natural charisma and the fact that she's at a low point in her life pushing her into a bad decision on the rebound, and making excuses to herself later.

    It's not *impossible* that he used something besides sweet-talking to win her over, as some heroes have a wild array of powers, but the evidence we get is from Dream Girl's subjective point of view.

    On the other hand, mental powers or not, he does appear to be a possessive, arrogant jerk, so she could definitely do better.