DC Database

Thomas "Tommy" Thompkins was a founding member and the leader of the original Newsboy Legion.

He and the rest of the newsies became the legal wards of Officer Jim Harper, the first Guardian. While they had figured out he was the Guardian shortly thereafter and often encountered him in the persona on their adventures through Metropolis Jim always refuted their allegations, thinking they'd be in more danger if they knew his identity concretely.[1] At one point the Newsboy Legion and Guardian teamed up with another WWII era team, the Boy Commandos and Rip Carter, to take on Nazi operatives trying to infiltrate the city.[2]

As an adult Tommy became a licensed medical doctor and began studying genetics, eventually being recruited by Project Cadmus, then the DNA Project, alongside the rest of the former Newsboy Legion. At the project he Anthony Rodriguez and Walter Johnson helped develop a new cloning technique in which the clone had the transplanted memories of the original.[3][4] When Jim Harper was fatally wounded by a couple of thugs Dr. Thompkins and the other old newsies used this new technique to clone him and create Golden Guardian (Jim Harper II), unwilling to let their father figure leave them entirely.[3] When the process is completed fully the resulting clone has no illusions about the origin of the implanted memories and is fully aware that they're not the original, even if they are prone to maintaining the emotional connections of the original for themselves.[3][4]

While under the mind control of the Apokoliptian Sleez Dr. Thompkins used his process to create a clone back-up body for himself as part of Project Alpha. When the DNAlien Dubbilex realized what the Alpha clones were intended for he interrupted the process and helped them escape the facility, all of them at the approximated physical age the original newsies had been at when they first met Jim Harper. This early awakening caused the Alpha clones some confusion with their memories and the memories of the originals from adulthood were sparsely and poorly implanted. Once Dr. Thompkins had his mind back under his own power he was horrified by the original intent of the project and took on Tommy II as a son.[4]

When the US Government decided to bring Project Cadmus under more thorough control Dr. Thompkins was among the personnel forced to leave. He took his "son" with him but was unable to convince the government to allow the boys' "pet" Angry Charlie to leave the facility with them. His departure upset Kon-El (Superboy) as Kon had only recently been convinced to return to the project and now had nowhere to turn to for alternate lodging. With those he trusted being forced away and the project moving towards treating clones and DNAliens like government property rather than individuals the timing made it seem like he'd been tricked into coming to a place where he wouldn't be treated as a person. Golden Guardian elected to remain with the project when given the choice rather than go with Thompkins and the others as Superboy would otherwise be left alone with no support.[5][6]

Dr. Thompkins was killed by Codename Assassin alongside the other original newsies and their friend and co-worker Dr. Walter Johnson.[7]


  • 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.