A number of convicts who had volunteered to act as test subjects for a military experiment. The experiment was designed to graft a retrovirus based on the DNA of Hyperion, an extraterrestrial and superhero of ambiguous origins, to human subjects. One of the subjects was Thomas Thompson, and the retrovirus' effects made Tom shrink to a height of less than an inch (2.54 centimeters), though his size seems to have fluctuated since. To compensate for his diminished stature, Tom has a belligerent, confrontational attitude, daring his larger opponents to try something.

After being recruited to the government's Squadron Supreme superhuman group, Thompson was going to be a member of the covert team and started thinking it would be similar to a James Bond movie. However, Doctor Emil Burbank made a tiny, self-contained suppository capsule with enough air to last the mission, which was inserted into Shape as a backup plan. After the mission in Africa, Tom Thumb is now in counseling to help him deal with the self-contained capsule experience.

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