Many eons ago, in a time when mankind was rising out of barbarism, there lived a mysterious people who came from the fabled Crystal Mountain. One fateful day, an evil slaver and his men attack the village of these quiet people, burning their homes and capturing the inhabitants as slaves. Hidden by his parents in a nearby cave, the child named Atlas watches the terrible scourge. Atlas sees that his mother is among the captured, but his father resists against overwhelming odds, exhibiting strength many times that of an ordinary man. Eventually he is overpowered and is struck down. The grief-stricken Atlas runs to his father's aid, only to be snatched up by the cruel slaver. With a single blow, the child fells the brutish man. Swift as he is strong, young Atlas races to a marsh for safety.
A traveler named Chagra, who had been hiding in the marsh, grabs Atlas, covers his mouth, and tells him to keep quiet. Soon, the slavers give up the search and depart. The child, still in Chagra's grip, grabs Chagra and tosses him into the marsh. Atlas rushes back to the village, only to find his father among the dead. An annoyed and perplexed Chagra watches as Atlas digs through the ruins of his home, only to emerge with a large, glowing crystal. Chagra realizes that the villagers had come from the Crystal Mountain, kneels, and offers his apologies to Atlas. Chagra states that it is said that the leader of Atlas' people bears a piece of that mountain, and must pass it on when he dies. Atlas proclaims that he is the new leader. Chagra tells Atlas that where Atlas leads, he will follow. The grief-stricken boy is indifferent to Chagra's offer, telling Chagra the choice is his -- only vengeance is on his mind.
Chagra follows Atlas for years, until the boy becomes a man. The two share times of great hardship and danger. Many are witness to Atlas' exhibitions of strength and courage, and the legend of "Atlas" spreads. Heroic deeds become his mark. Victory follows victory. Atlas wins many trophies and gifts, such as the golden Helmet of Champions.
One night, Chagra confesses his true motivations to Atlas. He explains that he has waited for years, until Atlas was ready to bargain. He will lead Atlas to his goal, the evil slaver who killed his father and captured his people, if Atlas will in turn lead Chagra to the Crystal Mountain. Atlas understands, and a bargain is struck. Their next stop would be the Lizard Kingdom of Hyssa. Having lived in the accursed kingdom himself, Chagra leads Atlas past the illusions of the fire wizards, through the dismal gloom of a giant cavern filled with great lizards, and into Hyssa, a city of great wealth and power.
Chagra brings Atlas to the marketplace, where Atlas shows off his strength by crushing two large blocks of stone under his mighty arms. When the crowd proclaims that it must be a trick, Chagra asks if anyone dares challenge Atlas. Kargin, the strongest one present, known throughout Hyssa, takes the challenge. With a single blow, Atlas vanquishes Kargin. At first the crowd is amazed, but they quickly turn on the duo when they suspect treachery.
The angry crowd causes delay to an approaching noble of the king, and the slaves who carry him upon their shoulders. The noble's two warriors attack Atlas, but are easily defeated. When the king's noble tells the two strangers that they'll answer to him, Atlas scatters the noble's slaves, toppling the cart upon which he sat. Atlas grabs the noble, who screams for their deaths. The king's archers arrive and take aim. Atlas holds the noble out as a shield.
The DC Universe
After his first and last comic appearance he reappeared as a villain in Superman 677. His heart grew dark and villainous. Years into his reign, Atlas was pulled through time by Project 7734's Time Pool technology, at the behest of General Sam Lane, who wanted Atlas to work for him against alien threats like Superman. Atlas was distrustful at first, but ultimately agreed. He fought Superman to a standstill, and is Project 7734's go-to asset whenever Lane wants someone "roughed up"
Superman and Atlas fought each other over several issues and Atlas appeared to have the upper hand. Superman stated that he hadn't been tested like this since Doomsday. Later Krypto came to Superman's aide and helped to fight off Atlas. Superman was finally able to defeat Atlas after he figured out that his powers were derived from magic. Atlas has since reappeared in the pages of Superman during the events of New Krypton but has yet to reveal himself.
After his defeat against Superman, Atlas works alongside General Lane, in order to destroy Superman and Kryptonians from New Krypton. Then Atlas goes after John Henry Irons (aka Steel). After a discussion, Atlas clashes against Steel and defeats him quickly. (Superman #690)
Later, Atlas appears to fight the Justice League (Justice League issue 41). Atlas gives enough problems, but the Justice League defeats the Demi-God. Atlas does not remember what happens. This later happened with Power Girl, Felix Faust, and others.
Atlas has superhuman abilities of mystical origin. Atlas has vast super-human physical strength, stamina and durability all of which are sufficient enough to allow him to fight against Superman on equal terms.
- Height: 6' 6"
- Weight: 280 lbs.
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Bald (originally brown)
Kingdom Come: Atlas also appears briefly in the mini-series Kingdom Come as a member of the Justice League in support of Superman. Atlas appears at the end of the 3rd issue, close to Wonder Woman and her troops in the final conflict.
All Star Superman:
Unlike some of his other appearances, here Atlas is portrayed as a liar and crook as is his companion and fellow strong-man Samson. Apparently Atlas and Samson had at some point stolen the Jewels of Atom-hotep from the nigh-omnipotent monster Ultra-Sphinx. In order to get rid of Ultra-Sphinx, the duo travelled to the present day tried to get the help of Superman who was at that time accompanied by Lois Lane (then empowered with the same super-powers as Superman for 24 hours) while preparing to battle an invasion of monsters coming from the center of the Earth to destroy Metropolis. Superman was ready to intervene when Atlas and Samson jump into action to resolve the situation. Atlas and Samson are both amazed and quite smitten with Lois Lane (it is extremely rare, a beautiful woman with Super Powers and intelligent in any era of time) and offer the Jewels of Atom-hotep as a birthday gift (tricking Superman) in an attempt to compete with Superman for the attention of Lois. Amid the confusion, the Ultra-Sphinx monster appeared. He first claimed the Jewels of Atom-hotep and then took Lois captive. The Ultra-Sphinx explains he will only release Lois if Superman, Atlas and/or Samson are able to answer a question correctly. Superman was very angry with Atlas and Samson for their deception and especially for putting Lois in danger but he answered the question for Lois' sake. After answering the question correctly and saving the day, Superman took on both Atlas and Samson, simultaneously, in an arm wrestling match. Superman won easily and though Samson loses first, it is Atlas whom is sent to the hospital with both arms broken.