Under orders from the sadistic Lieutenant Cracket, a company of Foreign Legionnaires in were ordered to cross a desert to check on the restless Mbangi tribe. One by one, the legionnaires perished of thirst and exhaustion until only Tom Corbet remained. He stumbled upon an oasis with a pond covered with phosphorescent vapors; he cupped his hands and drank the liquid. Corbet marveled at how refreshed he felt afterwards and moments later his legionnaire uniform has been replaced by a superhero costume. Corbet discovered he has super abilities when he is attacked by a tiger and killed it with bolts of "neonic power", which shot out from his hands.
As he flew through the air on a spiral of light, he stumbled upon hidden hangars where Morgan Crookes, a wealthy white man, had been using his great wealth to organize the native people of Africa, South America and into a force with which to conquer the world. Calling himself Neon the Unknown, Corbet recruited the help of the Legionaries and together they destroyed Crookes' warplanes and hidden hangars.
Corbet was later recruited by Uncle Sam to be a member of the
to prevent a Japanese attack on on December 7, 1940. The team included Miss , Hourman, Invisible Hood, Magno and Red Torpedo. Corbet fought valiantly, but all except Uncle Sam seemed to have been killed.
Recently Neon the Unknown is revealed to be alive and has been living at the magical oasis where he received his powers. [Magno is the only member of the Freedom Fighters to have actually died in the defense of .] Neon was visited by the golden-age Ray and told Uncle Sam needs his help. Neon, completely detached from humanity, refuses, but allows Terrill to drink from the waters of his oasis. Terrill’s light powers are added to Neon’s energy and he becomes the new Neon the Unknown, known simply as "Neon".
New 52: Human Bomb Mini series
In the Human Bomb mini-series, a new Neon make a debut and brief appearance. Referred as working in the Underverse, he came to teleport a group of hostages who were being transformed into human bombs by alien technology.
Skills and Abilities
Corbet is a great hand-to-hand combatant. By drinking the water with phosphorescent vapors Corbet is endowed with “neonic power”. He is able to fly by riding on a spiral of light and can fire neonic energy from his hands.
The Human Bomb Mini series Neon can teleport himself and other through space and is able to read subatomic structures.