Real Name: Kevin Leonardo

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Terrorist; Former employee of Stane International's Nuclear Production Plant

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Firepower, Iron Man (James Rhodes), Stane International

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Southern California, USA

First Appearance: Iron Man I#287 (December, 1992);

Powers/Abilities: Atom Smasher can generate and project ionizing radiation for a variety of effects, including flight, heat, force, etc. He is apparently immune to the effect of radiation himself. He may possess superhuman strength and durability, and his body armor presumably offers some form of protection from injury.

History: (Iron Man I#288 (fb))- The man who would become the third Atom Smasher was a former employee of Stane International's Nuclear Production Plant in Southern California. He ignored complaints of increased cancer rates from citizens' groups, until he discovered the plant had been letting toxic, radioactive industrial by-products accumulate since the forties. Most of the canisters were old and leaking into the groundwater. He complained to his superiors, who promised that they would clean up the mess. However, he was then shot and his body dumped into a toxic waste canister and thrown into the sea. He was soon reborn, burning with the power of radiation and a desire for vengeance.

(Iron Man I#287)- Atom Smasher was first seen at his former place of employment, which he easily took over, and then made a public statement that he would destroy the plant, presumably causing a meltdown, or a nuclear explosion. His hope was that his actions would be a wake-up call to cause better investigation and control, or better yet, cessation of the use of nuclear power.

At that point, Tony Stark had appeared to have died, and was actually being held in cryogenic suspension. His longtime friend and ally, Jim Rhodes, had again taken over the mantle of Iron Man for him (wearing what would later be known as the War Machine armor), as well as acting as CEO of Stark Enterprises. In addition, Stark Enterprises had bought out Stane International, making Stark appear responsible for the plant.

(Iron Man I#288)- Rhodes, as Iron Man, confronted Atom Smasher, but was quickly defeated and buried under a collapsed roof. Agents of the US government, having held contracts with Stane, sent in their armored agent, Firepower to stop Atom Smasher. Iron Man revived in time to aid Firepower against Atom Smasher. However, after learning Atom Smasher's history, Rhodes found himself sympathetic to his cause. Rhodes offered to shut down all of Stark's nuclear industry holdings and publish a press release exposing the abuses on that site and others, in exchange for Atom Smasher agreeing not to destroy the plant. Rhodes used an electromagnetic pulse to save Atom Smasher from Firepower, but at the expense of immobilizing himself as well. Impressed with Iron Man's show of trust, Atom Smasher left in peace to give him a chance.

Iron Man's armor rebooted first, and he threw the helpless Firepower back to his superiors. Rhodes subsequently fulfilled his promise, which left him quite unpopular with Stark's board of directors.

Comments: Created by Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood.

Kaminski mentioned plans to bring Atom-Smasher back in the Iron Man/Force Works Collector's Preview, but the story never materialized.

Since Stane International used to be Stark International, I presume that the plant was also a former holding of Tony Stark. Alternatively, Stane or his successors could have purchased the production plant after it bought out Stark.

I understand that nuclear power plants don't cause nuclear explosions. However, I'm sure Atom Smasher could have used the materials present to cause a chain reaction, etc. Whatever, I'm no physicist.

His real name was revealed in Firepower's profile in All-New Iron Manual (2008).

Clarifications: Atom Smasher III has no connection to:
The first two Atom Smashers, who were brothers (Ronald & Michael), seen in Black Goliath#1-3 and Marvel two-In-One#85.

Iron Man I#287-288 (Decembner, 1992 - January, 1993) - Len Kaminski (writer), Kevin Hopgood (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inks), Nelson Yomtov (editor)

Last updated: 01/09/12

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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