Albert Gaines was a severely depressed young man living alone in an underground fallout shelter because his body emitted high levels of radiation he could not control. General Alexander offered him a suit that could control his radiation output in return for fighting Hyperion, whom General Alexander blamed for his condition.
In a fight with Hyperion, the combination of Hyperion's eye-beams, Nuke's radiation blast, and Arcanna's quantum alterations created a brief and unexplainable skip in reality that sent Gaines, Arcanna Jones, Dr. Emil Burbank, and Raleigh Lund two years into the future. An off-hand remark noted that Doctor Spectrum would kill Nuke at some point.
Gaines later joined the government's superhero team, Squadron Supreme and took the codename, Nuke.
Time Runs Out
Powers and Abilities
- Radiation Production: Nuke constantly emits deadly radiation.
- Energy Projection: Nuke can focus his radiation into beams, and can also generate pressure and shockwaves that duplicate an atomic explosion.
- Enhanced Senses: It has also been suggested that Nuke has the power to sense residual radiation in his environment, but this has not yet been demonstrated.
- Flight: Nuke has also been shown to fly.
Nuke has demonstrated the ability to lift objects in excess of 1000 pounds. The upper limit to his strength is not known.
Although Nuke can increase the amount of radiation he emits, he does not have the ability to shut it off completely. Nuke's body glows with a green light and contaminates everything and everyone around him. Only the integrity of his specially-designed suit allows Nuke to journey outside his protected cell.
Whenever Nuke interacts with other living beings he must wear his radiation containment suit. This suit has openings in the palms and visor so that he can project beams of radiation at his opponents. It is not clear whether the suit can also function as armor, but it can be presumed to be extremely resilient to withstand the incredible forces Nuke unleashes.
- During a session in which all the Squadron members were asked to fill out information about themselves, Nuke's parents were revealed deceased.
- Like all members of the Squadron Supreme, Nuke is a pastiche of a DC Universe hero. In his case, though initially based on Firestorm, he appears to have more in common with Captain Atom, another hero who is trapped within a containment suit.