As someone who lived growing up in the shadow of his father's accomplishments in physics and engineering, Ralph Matheson wished he could pass up the pressure he had placed on him for following in the footsteps of those successes. Despite his good grades and potential career opportunities waiting in the wings, Ralph had other goals and dreams... none of which included becoming a superhero.
During an unveiling of Harmon Industries-produced technology that harnessed quantum energies, a seventeen year old Ralph-- invited to the affair by his father, who was a project lead-- was handed a working prototype of one of the display inventions instead of a defunct model. Unawares of this, Ralph accidentally activated the device and was strongly exposed to the peculiar force it contained. As a result, Ralph's body inexplicably gained the ability to generate its own quantum field.
While Harmon was able to prevent any PR disaster related to the incident, the project collectively lost funding in favor of less-riskier ventures and-- despite a hefty financial pay out made in due of his son's sudden empowerment-- Dr. Matheson resigned from the company in fear that Ralph could be used as a potential guinea pig under his watch. Ralph's father went to great lengths to encourage him to harness the gifts that were (rather unintentionally) given to him, for something greater than either of them could accomplish.
Some years later, as Atomac, Ralph has grown into the role of one of Millennium City's most steadfast heroes: teaching criminals that size does not matter when it comes to who brings them to justice.
Without taking his superpowers into consideration, Ralph has an average build for someone his age that undergoes a regular physical regimen. However, as his abilities are utilized on a continual basis (whether consciously or not), his physical profile at rest can vary a great deal at any given time: to hear him say it, he's "forgotten how tall and how heavy [he's] supposed to be".
Powers and Abilities
Quantumized Energy Generation: Atomac's physiological state constantly produces a form of energy. While mostly used to achieve other effects pertaining to the manipulation of his own body, he is also able to project excess reserves of this energy as a concussive blast of force.
Size and Mass Manipulation: The ability Atomac is best known for is the control he freely exerts over his size and mass. He is able to achieve heights between two inches and seventy feet tall, and can weigh in as light as a feather or heavier than a large industrial vehicle.
Super Strength and Durability: Atomac can achieve feats of superhuman power and endurance through the manipulation of his own mass and density, which he can retain at any size.
Enhanced Movement: Atomac has shown capability of leaping great distances as well as unassisted flight. It's hard to tell what mode of travel he prefers.
Equipment and Other Paraphernalia
Atomac's original costume comprised of a tight fitting microweave bodysuit, designed with a stylized red, blue and white pattern that's now become iconic to the hero's look. Some of his original accessories-- including his gloves, boots and ear caps-- have been replaced with sturdier metallic ones.
An overall new addition to Atomac's equipment is his utility harness and belt, which includes waist storage holsters for high-tech capsulettes.
Personality and Attitude
Ralph is usually a pleasant, friendly individual. He tends to be more modest and reserved when being "himself". As Atomac, he tends to put on a more confident personality that isn't above being a show-off-- but also has moments where he feels the need to prove himself to those more experienced than him, and takes things seriously to a fault.
Captain Adamant - The "Unbreakable Man" oversaw Atomac's recruitment into the Protectors, from their initial meeting at the Barlowe Building to a hastily organized team-up to conduct a rescue operation. By request of Sparrowhawk, Carter retains an on-off supervisory position over Ralph's conditioning.
Thundrax - Atomac has many chances to be around this respected veteran Canadian hero due to their previous ties to the Sentinels. In addition to being a source of advice and encouragement, Ralph has counted Craig as a sparring partner on several occasions.
Atomac is also acquainted thus far with Blue Cyclone, Bombshell, Centurion, Cosmic Glory, Jinn, Peacemaker, Razira, Sherwood, Sparrowhawk, Tracer and Wildeye.
Darwindestructible and Scarlet Shield: Former teammates in the Silver Age Sentinels, they have maintained their friendship.
Red Spider - Initially meeting shortly before a short-lived disappearance, they have since shared the truth behind their identities and continue to hang out from time to time when they are not busy with their group activities.
Watchman - Met by circumstance when both aimed to protect Mayor Biselle from a kidnapping, that led to an encounter with one of the Watchman's rogues gallery.
The Silver Age Sentinels is his former team. Despite not actively working together, Atomac still counts the group's members-- many of whom he worked alongside as a Young Sentinel-- as acquaintances.
He can be seen in Carl's Gym as either his heroic or civilian identity.
Seems to know quite a few visitors from alien worlds, for some reason or another.
Ralph temporarily had a set of clothes belonging to Thundrax, obtained after witnessing a civilian Craig disappear into thin air as a lingering side effect of his attempt to control an unnatural storm.
Atomac's current greatest achievement is said to be assisting the hero Astron in quelling a minor skirmish with cannibalistic aliens in Westside. Atomac had to grow beyond his then-known limit in order to overpower the leader of the invaders, but the strain caused his powers to go into shock-- resulting in him being stuck at a height of two feet for a week's duration.
In contrast, Ralph believes his greatest failure to be the culmination of his efforts in unravelling the mystery of a prototype Defendroid in the possession of the Silver Age Sentinels. Compounding his feelings on the matter is a revelation that the subject of his investigation, a partitioned "consciousness" within Defendroid Alpha, was not real to begin with.
A quantum technology memory core once held by Atomac, for the purpose of relocating a digitized ego, is now in possession of the Protectors of the World.