Doctor Nemo was the man who machinated the Big Bang.
Doctor Nathan Flack was a renowned quantum physicist who theorized the existence of a type of matter called dequantified plasma or "Quantum Juice," which would revolutionize the world. He called this plasma dequantified because it randomized Planck's constant (the value that is constant for matter at the atomic level), thereby warping the laws of physics. Despite his reputation in the scientific community, Doctor Flack could not secure funding to prove his theory. He finally got a break after receiving a substantial investment from a mysterious man named Dharma. Unknown to Flack at the time, his benefactor was the leader of the Shadow Cabinet, a superhero team that secretly defends humanity from various threats. Through his own precognitive powers, Dharma learned that Flack's work would result in a new breed of metahumans capable of saving the world from an impending apocalyptic disaster.
Eventually, Flack's efforts resulted in a viable sample of Quantum Juice. Whether by accident or not, the container of Quantum Juice ruptured and exposed Flack to its contents. Initially, Flack thought the substance had no effect, but he soon realized that those around him did not notice his presence. After some research, Flack learned that he now existed just outside his universe in a four-dimensional realm he dubbed Netherspace. Thus, unless he concentrated, Flack could not be detected by any means. Quickly realizing the incredible potential of his ability, he decided to use Quantum Juice to similarly "bless" the rest of mankind with such powers. Flack submitted his scientific findings to Dharma while concealing his powers and his long-term plans for humanity. The two men ended their partnership soon afterward.
Doctor Flack then began testing the extent of his power to not be detected. With every test, he became more egotistical and unscrupulous. For example, Flack once boldly walked into the White House's Oval Office and spat in the President's face. He soon followed that disgraceful behavior by picking a man on the street at random and then savagely beating him to death. Because Flack was unseen, bystanders did not realize that had just witnessed a murder committed in broad daylight. Believing he was now above human concepts of right and wrong, Flack chose a new identity for himself: Doctor Nemo.
Next, Nemo conducted experiments in his secret laboratory to better understand the mutagenic properties of Quantum Juice. Following these successful experiments, Nemo decided to test his Quantum Juice under real life conditions and began scouting the best location for such an experiment. He found it in the American city of Dakota City.
Thanks to his powers, Doctor Nemo easily infiltrated Dakota's halls of power and learned that local officials were concerned about the Big Bang, an impending gang war on Paris Island, the city's poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhood. However, Dakota's mayor, Thomasina Jefferson, saw the Bang as an excellent opportunity to shed her "soft on crime Democrat" image. She ordered the largest police task force in Dakota history to arrest all gangmembers at the Bang. These police officers would be armed grenades filled with an experimental tear gas developed by Alva Technologies. This gas had a radioactive marker that would render anyone exposed to it mildly radioactive; hence, police could later track down any gang members who did not succumb to the gas and fled the scene.
Doctor Nemo deemed the Big Bang as the perfect field test for his Quantum Juice, and located the Alva Technologies facility where the special tear gas grenades was stored. The unseen scientist entered the facility and then introduced a sample of the plasma into each grenade. With his mission complete, Doctor Nemo waited for his experiment to commence.
As Nemo hoped, the night of the Big Bang was utter anarchy, and the Dakota police officers soon released the radioactive tear gas to subdue the gang members present. The Quantum Juice in the gas quickly overcame the surprised police, gangbangers, and innocent bystanders, 90 percent of whom immediately died. The survivors, later dubbed "Bang Babies" by the media, became genetic freaks endowed with amazing powers and sometimes bizarre appearances. Impressed with the results, Doctor Nemo plotted how to replicate the Big Bang experiment on a global scale.
Months later, Nemo was sighted at a Las Vegas casino that had a secret vault containing a stockpile of the Quantum Juice tear gas grenades. This stockpile belonged to SYSTEM, a malevolent international conspiracy that covertly rules the world. A SYSTEM cell in Dakota City had witnessed the Bang Babies spawned by the Bang and quickly collected dozens of grenades to learn what caused these mutations. It is unclear whether Nemo's presence at the casino was coincidence or if he was plotting to steal the Q Juice stockpile to his own ends. If it were the latter, Nemo may have been biding his time since even his cloaking abilities could not overcome the secret vault's defenses, which included a squad of armored SYSTEMatics.
Whatever the case, Nemo learned of the existence of the Quantum Juice stockpile when several costumed metahumans teleported into the casino in order to steal it. They overcame the SYSTEMatics and broke into the vault, only to be thwarted by a second group of metahumans who got to the stockpile first. After the first group retreated, the second group of metahumans seemed vanish into some nearby shadows as they took the Quantum Juice with them. Curious, the unseen Nemo followed these metahumans into the shadow and found himself teleported into a secret headquarters known as the Shadowspire. There, Nemo discovered the metahumans were the Shadow Cabinet, who were led by Dharma much to his surprise. Nemo then quickly deduced why his former colleague had supported his Quantum Juice research.
Eavesdropping on the Cabinet's strategy meeting, Nemo learned the Cabinet was engaged in a "Shadow War" with the Star Chamber, the first group of metahumans he observed. The Chamber were once members of the Shadow Cabinet, but they now sought to use Quantum Juice to rule the world. This was why the Chamber tried to steal SYSTEM's stockpile of the plasma. Since that attempt failed, the Chamber now plotted to acquire certain radioactive materials and process them into new Quantum Juice using the superconducting supercollider in Luoyang, China. These materials were only available in three fusion reactors on Earth: Benterai Research Center (Tokyo, Japan), the Einstein Institute (Tel Aviv, Israel), and L'institut Des Recherches Atomiques (Paris, France). Dharma split the Cabinet into three teams, each one assigned to protect a fusion reactor. If the Cabinet failed, the Star Chamber would be one step closer to their dream of global domination.
Doctor Nemo realized the Star Chamber's plan was the perfect means to achieve his goal of transforming all mankind into Bang Babies. He now waited to see if the Chamber would succeed in their efforts. Nemo's hopes came to pass when the Chamber stole the radioactive materials from the Einstein Institute despite the Shadow Cabinet's valiant defense. Thus, with an unseen Nemo in tow, the Cabinet teleported to the Luoyang supercollider for their final showdown with the Star Chamber.
The battle between the Cabinet and Star Chamber was fierce, but ultimately a ruse. Three members of the Chamber members used the distraction of the battle to take over the collider's control room and then process the radioactive material into Quantum Juice. The trio loaded the Q Juice into an already prepared missile, which they launched. The missile's roar startled both the Cabinet and the rest of the Chamber, who ended their battle.
The Star Chamber's leader Headmaster revealed that in minutes the Q Juice-bearing missile would reach geosynchronous orbit. The missile was rigged to be detonated by the remote in Headmaster's hand, thus releasing its payload into Earth's atmosphere and killing countless millions. This was the Chamber's trump card in case any superhero tried to thwart their conquest of the world.
Doctor Nemo saw his chance to finally implement his own plans and snatched the remote from a surprised Headmaster. Finally revealing himself, Nemo recounted his origins to those assembled and announced that he would use the Q Juice missile to mutate all of mankind. Cabinet member Static, a survivor of the Big Bang, implored Nemo not to unleash a similar tragedy on a global scale. Nemo was not swayed by this appeal and justified his actions by revealing Dharma's role in the creation of Quantum Juice. Nemo then detonated the missile to the horror of the Cabinet and the Star Chamber.
Fortunately, the Cabinet's ally Hardware had secretly flown off to intercept the Star Chamber's missile while Headmaster was explaining its purpose. Hardware boarded the missile and then escaped with its Quantum Juice payload just seconds before it exploded. Thus, the world was saved from the genocidal plans of Doctor Nemo, who disappeared and fled the scene. The Star Chamber promptly surrendered to local authorities, and the Cabinet destroyed all samples of Quantum Juice in their possession.
Shadow War Aftermath
Eventually, an unnoticed Doctor Nemo took up residence in an upscale Paris hotel where he began devising a new scheme to mutate humanity. About two months after the Shadow War, Dharma finally caught a precognitive vision of Nemo, who presumably became visible just long enough to be detected. Dharma passed on Nemo's location to Cabinet ally Icon, who had been searching for Nemo since the Shadow War. Icon then enlisted Bang Babies Static, Payback, and Wise Son of the Blood Syndicate to arrest Nemo.
Icon and his allies caught Nemo by surprise as he was relaxing in his hotel room. The scientist instinctively cloaked himself to try to escape the heroes. However, thanks to information provided by Dharma, Icon was prepared for this tactic and bathed Nemo's hotel room with a field of positrons. The positrons interacted with the natural quantum wells surrounding the Bang Babies in Icon's vicinity, causing all of them including the once unseen Nemo to glow. Desperate to escape, Nemo tried again to vanish despite the positron field, but this overexertion proved fatal. The rogue scientist collapsed to the floor as a lifeless, fleshless skeleton.
Powers and Abilities
- Imperceptibility: Doctor Nemo ordinarily existed just outside the Earth dimension in an adjacent four-dimensional realm called Netherspace. As a result, people in our universe did not notice him though he could still normally perceive and affect them. For this reason, some called Nemo's power "invisibility," but it was in fact a far superior ability. Unlike being invisible, Nemo could not be detected by other senses like hearing or smell; even beings with superhumanly acute senses like Icon could not detect his presence. Similarly, psionic abilities like Dharma's psychometry were incapable of detecting Nemo. He also could not be tracked by any technological means. By concentrating, Nemo could fully shift into the Earth dimension so he could be perceived normally by others.
- Quantum Mechanics: Doctor Nemo is a renowned quantum physicist responsible for several breakthroughs in his field, most notably Quantum Juice. He is unsurpassed in his understanding of Q-Juice's mutagenic effects on human DNA.
- Positron Field Detection: Like all Bang Babies, Doctor Nemo's body was surrounded by an energy field called a quantum well, a side effect of Quantum Juice exposure. Normally, this field was invisible and imperceptible to human beings. However, if exposed to positrons, the quantum well will interact with those subatomic particles and thus cause the Bang Baby to glow as he gives off mild gamma particles. Hence, positron fields like those generated by Icon were the most effective means to expose Nemo's presence when he was "invisible."
- Doctor Nemo was first mentioned in Xombi #0 before he appeared canonically.
- Doctor Nemo referred to himself as the "first Bang Baby" because he is the first person in the Dakotaverse to gain powers from exposure to Quantum Juice.
- 2 Appearances of Nathan Flack (Dakotaverse)
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