DC Database
DC Database

Nuclear Man was a weapon Lex Luthor unleashed on Superman.

Lex Luthor created Nuclear Man from a strand of hair containing Superman's DNA, made into a "genetic stew" which was birthed into a living being when Superman threw the nuclear missile containing the device that had the "stew" into the sun. In Superman's first encounter with the Nuclear Man, he pierced the Kryptonian's skin, causing him to lose his powers and his health. After Superman restored his powers and health with the use of the energy module from his star ship, he stopped Nuclear Man for good by causing a sudden solar eclipse when he moved the moon in front of the sun, then dropped him into the heart of a nuclear reactor where he would become an abundant source of energy.


  • Unique Physiology: Nuclear Man being created from Kryptonian DNA, relies on direct solar radiation of the sun in order to remain active. Unlike Superman who can use his powers at any time of day, Nuclear Man relies on constant expose to the sun, otherwise he will become immobilized unless re-exposed to solar energy
    • Invulnerability: Like Superman, Nuclear Man's body is virtually impenetrable. Though he is a clone of the Kryptonian, it is unknown whether or not he emits a supercharged bio-electric aura, which works in conjunction with a dense molecular structure. Though since he has displayed arctic breath and even heat vision, it is a possibility he can do the same as Superman.
    • Claws: Nuclear Man showed to have excessively and somewhat long silver fingernails that actually pierced Superman's virtually invulnerable skin.
    • Energy Projection: He was capable of generating heat from his body and could project it in the form of powerful destructive blasts.
      • Energized Telekinesis: One of the most strangest of Nuclear Man's powers is his ability to emit a blue beam of energy causing anyone or anything he hits with it to become weightless. It is uncertain however if he can maintain how long the effects of this will last, but what is known is that he can use it on more than one thing or person at a time.
      • Heat Vision: Nuclear Man's energy projection and physiology have shown him to have the ability to emit energy bolts of intense heat at objects. He showed this ability when he burned a dollar bill and when he hit an M72 LAW rocket launcher with it.
    • Flight: Like Superman who is his genetic template, Nuclear Man has the ability to defy gravity much like Superman.
    • Superhuman Strength: Another power that comes from his genetic template, Nuclear Man's physiology is able to lift tons over his head with great ease. He was shown to have actually lifted the Statue of Liberty without any trouble whatsoever.
    • Superhuman Speed: Like Superman, Nuclear Man also possesses the ability to fly at superhuman speed, even though it is never shown that he can run at the same speed, it is logical to assume that he can do so.
    • Arctic Breath: A power that was only demonstrated once, Nuclear Man shows that he indeed has the ability to freeze objects and people. He was shown to have this ability when fighting Superman in space and he froze him in a block of ice.
    • Super-Breath: After showing his ability to freeze objects with his breath, Nuclear Man possibly showed that he had the ability to force things away from his location with just his breath.


  • Vulnerability to Darkness: Being born of the sun, Nuclear Man needs to constantly remain in direct sunlight. Unlike Superman, who can use his powers even out of sunlight, Nuclear Man will become weakened and immobile upon exposure to darkness.

  • Nuclear Man was physically portrayed by Mark Pillow, with his voice provided by Gene Hackman.
  • Despite needing constant exposure to daylight, Nuclear Man has been shown to remain mobile in some spots where he was not in direct sunlight.



Superman Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."