- This page is for the original Human Bomb, Roy Lincoln.
- For the current Human Bomb, see the Human Bomb page
Roy Lincoln was the son of a master chemist. In the late 1930s, his father, Professor Lincoln, perfected a super-effective explosive (“fifty times mightier than nitroglycerine”) that he named 27-QRX. When Axis agents tried to retrieve the formula, they killed Professor Lincoln. In order to protect the chemical from falling into the wrong hands, Roy Lincoln swallowed the only sample. Swallowing the sample caused the skin on Lincoln’s hands to become extremely explosive. He destroyed the lab and killed the Axis Agents He created a “Fibro-wax” lined protective suit that allowed him to easily remove his gloves. He fashioned gloves from the material for his everyday life, and a suit of it while fighting evil. Lincoln avenged his father’s murder by killing the rest of the Axis agents involved, and continued to fight crime in the guise of the Human Bomb
The original Human Bomb was created for Quality Comics
by Finnish comic book writer and artist Paul Gustavson
, who wrote and drew the Human Bomb’s premiere story in Police Comics #1
(under the pen name “Paul Carroll”). Gustavson also created the golden age Angel
for Marvel Comics
during the same time period. Published in August 1941, his first appearance in the story “The Human Bomb” highlights his origin his vengeance for his father’s murder. During his run in Police Comics, the Human Bomb would gain a fiancée named Jean Adams, a super-powered sidekick in Hustace Throckmorton
, and a group of followers named the Bombardiers. By Police Comics #14
, Gustavson dropped the “Paul Carroll” pseudonym and published under his own name. While never getting full cover status, the Human Bomb would appear in the first 58 issues of Police Comics, until replaced by Honeybun.
Silver Age and the End of Quality Comics
In 1956, Quality Comics, the original publishers of the Human Bomb, closed shop. In 1957, DC Comics
purchased the right to publish the Quality stable of characters, which included characters like the Blackhawks
, Human Bomb, Plastic Man
, and a host of others. Unlike Plastic Man or the Blackhawks, Human Bomb sat on the shelf until 1973, when writer Len Wein
brought him and five other Quality Comics characters back in the pages of Justice League of America
. Taking a page from greats like Julius Schwartz
and Gardner Fox
, Wein created a world called Earth-X, where the exploits of the Quality Comics characters existed. However, this world differed from Earth-1 and Earth-2 in the fact that the Nazi’s won World War II. Black Condor and the other Quality Comics characters ( Black Condor
, Doll Man
, Phantom Lady
, the Ray
, and Uncle Sam
) made up a new team called the Freedom Fighters
, and needed help from the Justice League
of Earth-1 and the Justice Society
The Freedom Fighters guest appearances in the Justice League of America #107
garnered enough fan response to get them their own series. The Freedom Fighters
ongoing series debuted in April of 1976 as part of the DC Explosion, a marketing initiative that led to the creation of a large number of ongoing series for DC, including Return of the New Gods
. Freedom Fighters lasted 15 issues before being cancelled. Human Bomb and the other Freedom Fighters once again resided in obscurity, outside the occasional guest appearance in DC Comics Presents
and Secret Society of Super-Villains
Bronze Age and a New Origin
As DC Comics entered the Bronze Age, writer Roy Thomas
took ownership of DC’s stable of golden age heroes. Thomas sought to revitalize the golden age heroes, and retroactively created a new wartime super-team called the All-Star Squadron
. Thomas wanted all of the golden age heroes to be part of this group. With All-Star Squadron issue #31
, Thomas brought the Quality characters into Earth-2 continuity. Thomas retconned that Human Bomb and the Freedom Fighters were actually from Earth-2 with the other heroes of the Justice Society of America, and that they migrated from Earth-2 to Earth-X to aid that Earth’s fight against the Nazis.
In the wake of the multiverse-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths
, there was no more Earth-2 or Earth-X. Thomas needed to revamp some of the histories he had just fleshed out. Now, instead of multiple Earths, the exploits of the Human Bomb, the Freedom Fighters and the All-Star Squadron happened on the same Earth, all during World War II.
The Modern Age
Throughout the Modern Age, the Human Bomb would continue to guest star in various series, including JSA
. He would also appear as a supporting character in the series Damage
, written by Tom Joyner
, where he appeared as a friend to Damage
’s mentor Iron Munro
. In this series, however, Roy Lincoln did not wear the garb of the Human Bomb, which would contradict other stories in the DC universe at that time. The first Human Bomb was killed in Infinite Crisis #1
Key Story Arcs
The Human Bomb’s Early Adventures
After Roy Lincoln avenged the death of his father, he continued to fight crime as the Human Bomb
. As Roy Lincoln, he would continue his father’s work developing new chemical compounds. But when crime or the thread o the Axis powers raised their head, Lincoln would don the Fibro-wax costume of the Human Bomb. He defeated a Nazi U-Boat base off the coast of the U.S., which gained him the attention of President Roosevelt
. He gained an officer position in the Navy, and revealed to the Navy command his true identity.
When Lincoln’s friend Hustace Throckmorton
was hurt, the only one nearby with a compatible blood type match was Lincoln. Lincoln’s blood transfusion not only saved Throckmorton, but also passed along the 27-QRX. Throckmorton gained the ability to explode like Lincoln, however only through his feet. Lincoln made Throckmorton Fibra-wax shoes, and revealed his identity to Throckmorton. Throckmorton became the Human Bomb’s sidekick. The Human Bomb gained even more sidekicks when, after visiting the local draft board, he made friends with Montague T. “Coily” McGurk, Swordo the Sword Swallower, and Red Rogers. The Human Bomb gave them all 27-QRX pills, and they too gained the ability to explode. They nicknamed themselves the Bombardiers, and aided the Human Bomb on a couple of adventures.
World War II, the Freedom Fighters, and the All-Star Squadron
When President Roosevelt sent out the call for the heroes of Earth-2 to form the All-Star Squadron
, the Human Bomb heeded the call. The Human Bomb joined the 47 other World War II heroes at the All-Star’s base of operations: the Perisphere. Their first meeting was interrupted, though, by Uncle Sam
. Uncle Sam told the All-Stars of a world (later called Earth-X) where the Nazis were winning World War II. Uncle Sam had formed a group called the Freedom Fighters
(consisting of Hourman
, Invisible Hood
, Miss America
, Neon the Unknown
, and Red Torpedo
) and brought them from Earth-2 to Earth-X to stop the Nazis in that parallel Earth. Unfortunately, they failed, and all but Uncle Sam and Hourman died.
Uncle Sam returned to Earth-2 and recruited a new team of Freedom Fighters: Black Condor
, Doll Man
, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady
, the Ray
, and the Red Bee
. The Spectre
transported them to Earth-X, where they planned on stopping that world’s Baron Blitzkrieg
from orchestrating an attack on U.S. soil. The Freedom Fighters succeeded in stopping most of the German and Japanese troops, but unfortunately Baron Blitzkrieg had an ace up his sleeve: Hourman as a hostage.
The crossings between Earth-2 and Earth-X started to cause a disruption between the two Earths; one that the Spectre held off long enough for Uncle Sam’s team to finish their mission and return to Earth-2. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam’s Freedom Fighters were captured trying to free Hourman. When Baron Blitzkrieg killed Red Bee, Red Bee’s death pushed the Freedom Fighters into breaking free and defeating the Baron’s plans. With the walls between Earth-2 and Earth-X becoming thinner, Baron Blitzkrieg fled to Earth-2. Most of the heroes followed, with Uncle Sam, the Ray, and Black Condor staying behind to help Earth-X, where the Nazis still had the upper hand.
As time went on, the Nazis continued to dominate Earth-X Realizing that Earth-X needed as much help as it could get, Uncle Sam, Black Condor, and the Ray returned to Earth-2. Making use of the weakening of the bonds between worlds created by the Crisis, the three heroes recruited as many heroes as they could to help on Earth-X on a more permanent basis. Plastic Man
and Phantom Lady were the first to agree, and they, alongside the other Quality heroes, left for Earth-X permanently.
Even with the help of the various heroes of Earth-2, the Nazis of Earth-X eventually conquered America. Many Earth-X heroes gave their lives to try to stop them, including the Blackhawks of that Earth. In order to help control the population of the world, the Third Reich developed mind-influencing transmitters and stationed them at the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, and Mount Fijuyama. The remaining Freedom Fighters (Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Uncle Sam) went underground.
The Freedom Fighters and the Heroes of Earth-1
While on patrol, the Freedom Fighters discovered an unusual sight: seven costumed super-heroes fighting the Nazi army. These heroes were members of the Justice League
of Earth-1 ( Batman
, Elongated Man
, Green Arrow
, and Red Tornado
) and the Justice Society
of Earth-2 ( Dr. Fate
, and Sandman
). The Freedom Fighters rescued them and took them back to their underground bunker.
Once regrouped, the heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-2 decided to end Nazi rule on Earth-X forever. They split up into three teams, each one targeting one of the mind-influencing transmitters. The heroes were successful, thanks to the Red Tornado bringing the attack to the Nazi’s orbiting base. Tornado destroyed the android Adolf Hitler
running this Nazi regime, and enabled the Freedom Fighters to gain the upper hand. The heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-2 left for home, confidant that the Freedom Fighters could end Nazi rule.
With the help of the heroes of other Earths, Human Bomb and the Freedom Fighters made Earth-X an Earth of peace. However, with no super-villains, the heroes eventually became bored. With the help of an Earth-X scientist, the Freedom Fighters made the trip from Earth-X to Earth-1 in search of a new home. They came over to our New York City, where they immediately found themselves facing the villainous Silver Ghost
and his gang. The Silver Ghost would turn out to be a recurring enemy of the team, just as New York City D.A. David Pearson
would turn out to be an ally. Pearson arranged for the Freedom Fighters to be based out of a building in the East Armory. While in New York City, the team faced King Samson
, Skragg the Super-Sniper
, the demon Homilus, Cat-Man
, the Renegades, and the alien Warmakers. During this time, Doll Man developed a dampening device that allowed the Human Bomb to be able to suppress his abilities.
The Freedom Fighters realized that the same order of events that had triggered the Nazi party victory on Earth-X was happening on Earth-1: the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The Freedom Fighters and Superman stopped the Earth-1 neo-Nazi party responsible, and shortly after, the Freedom Fighters returned to Earth-X.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths
As Human Bomb and the Freedom Fighters were rebuilding their Earth, they encountered a white anti-matter wave annihilating everything in its path. This wave was the precursor for the Crisis on Infinite Earths
. The Freedom Fighters investigated, only to find themselves controlled by the Psycho-Pirate
and thrown at the rest of the multiverse’s heroes trying to stop the Crisis. The Harbinger
helped free the mind-controlled Freedom Fighters, and saved Earth-X from being eaten away by anti-matter. Human Bomb and the Freedom Fighters joined the other heroes in trying to stop the Crisis.
During the Crisis, Brainiac
organized all of the multiverse’s villains into a single force of chaos. Human Bomb joined the heroes in trying to stop the villains. However, a rousing speech from Uncle Sam united both heroes and villains against the main villain behind the Crisis: the Anti-Monitor
. Human Bomb joined the heroes to fight at the dawn of time. While the heroes were successful, events set in motion could not be stopped, and Earth-X merged with the order surviving earths to form a new single Earth, complete with a new past, present, and future.
In the wake of the Crisis, the DC multiverse was condensed into a universe. Because of that, Human Bomb’s history changed. With a single Earth, there was no longer an Earth-X. This meant that the Freedom Fighters were simply an offshoot team of the All-Star Squadron that fought during the unified Earth’s World War II. Also in this new history, Human Bomb and the Freedom Fighters helped the newly-formed Justice League fend off the second Apellaxian invasion.
Roy Lincoln, Retired
At one point, an aged Roy Lincoln retired from being the Human Bomb and moved to Tampa Bay, Florida. He hosted another retired World War II hero, Iron Munro
, on his houseboat, when Munro thought his lover Sandra Knight
(aka the first Phantom Lady
) was dead. When Baron Blitzkrieg resurfaced, Munro began to hunt him down to avenge Sandra’s death, using Lincoln’s boat as his base of operations. After defeating Baron Blitzkrieg, Lincoln and government agent Sarge Steel
revealed that Sandra had not died. Munro wanted to find her, but Lincoln and the then-current Phantom Lady, Dee Tyler
, convinced him that she did not want to see him.
The Last Days of the Human Bomb
The Human Bomb came out of retirement when Eclipso
, and Obsidian
allied themselves to conquer Earth. Human Bomb joined the resistance effort, and afterwards Uncle Sam recruited Human Bomb for his newest version of the Freedom Fighters. With the Freedom Fighters, Human Bomb fought alongside Uncle Sam, and second generation heroes Phantom Lady, Ray, and Black Condor. When Brother Eye
turned against humanity, Human Bomb and the Freedom Fighters joined the heroes’ last stand in the Sahara Desert.
During the Infinite Crisis
, the Secret Society of Super-Villains
organized for a full-out assault on Metropolis. Uncle Sam organized the Freedom Fighters (himself, Black Condor, Damage, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, and the Ray) and investigated the last known meeting place of the Society. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam led the Freedom Fighters into an ambush. The Society was waiting for the Freedom Fighters, and, after killing Dr. Polaris
, the Human Bomb was beaten to death by Bizarro
, who was immune to his explosions. Human Bomb died, alongside fellow Freedom Fighters Black Condor and Phantom Lady, and their bodies were hung at the top of the Washington Monument by the Society as a warning.
The Human Bomb was buried in Valhalla Cemetery
in Metropolis, alongside his Freedom Fighters teammates. Unfortunately, his corpse was not at rest for long. Roy Lincoln was amongst the first wave of heroes brought back from the dead to become Black Lanterns
during Blackest Night
. Black Lantern Human Bomb and the rest of the deceased legacy JSA heroes attacked the JSA Headquarters
. The headquarters was defended by the JSA, Atom
, and Mera
. It is presumed that Human Bomb’s body was returned to the grave at the end of Blackest Night.
Powers and Abilities
By touching an object with his bare hands, the Human Bomb could make that object explode. The only material able to prevent this explosion is “fibra-wax,” a material developed by Lincoln. By slamming his hands together, Lincoln could also generate explosive bursts and channel them at enemies. In addition, the Human Bomb was invulnerable to must attacks. Projectile weaponry would explode upon impact, with Lincoln immune to those explosions. Any weapon that was immune to his explosions, however, would allow damage through.
As a one-time member of the Navy, Lincoln was trained to be an excellent hand-to-hand combatant. Lincoln’s fibra-wax suit also added much more weight to his punches, allowing them to land with more force than an average punch.
Roy Lincoln had also aged at a slower rate than a normal human. While he did, in fact, age, he remained vital for quite a long time since the second World War. Some theorize that it was the 27-QRX chemical that caused this, while others believed it was his regular proximity to Uncle Sam that allowed him to remain young. The latter may hold more weight, since it wasn’t until after his retirement that Lincoln began to age more normally.
6’ 0” (in prime), 5’ 8” (in retirement)Weight:
182 lbs. (in prime), 195 lbs. (in retirement)Eyes:
Black (in prime), Gray (in retirement)
Weapons and Equipment
The first Human Bomb had a containment suits that was made out of a material called “fibra-wax,” which was developed by Roy Lincoln. The suit allowed not only for his destructive powers not to be unleashed, but also served as a way to maintain his secret identity.
After coming from Earth-1 from Earth-X, Doll Man developed a dampening device capable of allowing the first Human Bomb to remove his gloves with no ill effect. He primarily used this device in his secret identity, and still used his fibra-wax suit when on a mission.
The first Human Bomb was just one of the hundreds of golden age heroes featured in James Robinson
’s four-issue Elseworlds
series Golden Age
. Human Bomb is seen very little in the series; he is one of the heroes seen to have fought during World War II, and he is one of the myriad of heroes that fights Dynaman
in the series’ ending.
In this elseworlds story, a Human Bomb named Addal Dirri was the lieutenant of terrorist leader Khouriga Edjem. The U.S. captured Dirri after his bombing of the Wayne Tower. It is unknown if this Human Bomb had superhuman abilities, or was just a demolitions expert.
In the future of Kingdom Come
, the original Human Bomb, Roy Lincoln, was recruited to join Superman’s Justice League. The Human Bomb, now greatly aged, stood beside the Justice League during the final fight at the Gulag
. It is presumed he did not survive the battle.
In an alternate reality created by the time manipulation of Lightning Lord
, Saturn Queen
, and Cosmic King
, the Human Bomb was recruited by Green Lantern
Uncle Sam to fight against Superman & Batman’s regime. This alternate version of the Freedom Fighters, which included Doll Man, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Wonder Woman
, died in an assault against Superman & Batman’s watchtower.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The first Human Bomb appeared with his Freedom Fighter teammates Black Condor, Doll Man, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Uncle Sam, in an episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold. The episode (episode 21 of season 2, “Cry Freedom Fighters!”) featured Batman, the Freedom Fighters, and fellow Quality Comics superhero Plastic Man fighting against the Weaponers of Qward. Human Bomb had no speaking role.