DC Database

Mary James was the wife of Atom (Al Pratt) and the mother of Damage.

During the early 1940s, Mary James was a student at Calvin College. She became enamored with Calvin's hometown hero the Atom. Although she was also friends with the Atom's civilian guise as student Al Pratt, it was years before Mary would learn the truth about his dual identity. Eventually, Al revealed his dual identity to Mary James. The two fell in love and were eventually married. Al and Mary were the godparents of Albert Rothstein. Later, Mary was kidnapped by the villain Vandal Savage while pregnant. Her unborn child was altered in the womb and when Mary gave birth to the child (who would become Grant Emerson), it was taken away and Mary murdered. Al Pratt had no knowledge of his son's existence. Both Mary's son and godson have become masked superheroes like her husband; Damage and Atom Smasher.

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
  • Conflicting accounts of Mary's fate exist: according to the most recent, Mary's death occurred as related above. An earlier account, though, stated that she died while Al Pratt was trapped in limbo with the Justice Society, which would have been much later and inconsistent with the account related to Grant Emerson. This seems to have been caused by writers' confusion over the JSA's time scale.