In the early 1940’s, while working at his research lab in, Dickering discovers a gas that is “fifty times lighter than hydrogen.” Injecting it into his bloodstream, he finds that he can “make great leaps” through the air. He continues experimenting on himself until, after many injections, the gas accumulates in his eyes and causes them to throw off two powerful beams. When they cross, whatever he’s looking at will “disintegrate completely.”
Dubbing his power “dissolvo-vision,” he finds that the only problem is that can’t control it except by closing his eyes. Fortunately, Dickering’s vision can’t harm glass, so he makes a pair of goggles which he raises to release his blasts. Inspired by the exploits of other costumed heroes, he becomes the crime-fighting Comet. A hero, albeit an unorthodox one; he is one of the few who kills his adversaries. Though his girlfriend-reporter Thelma Gordon writes him up as a hero, his thirst for blood makes the public uneasy.
Not so the aliens of the planer Altrox who, after studying his adventures on earth, teleport him to their world to help Queen Naija wage war against invading robots. Barely surviving the encounter, the Comet is returned to earth where he is promptly shot dead by friends of gangster Big Boy Malone, whose gang he had previously busted.
Witnessing the tragedy, Queen Naija brings him back to Altrox, reviving and then marrying him. But bad luck continues to hound the Comet. Less than a week later, robot survivors of the Battle of Annexia ambush the newlyweds. By this time, the Altroxian atmosphere has deprived him of his dissolvo-vision, something the Comet is unaware of until he tries to use it against the assassins. The queen is killed.
Creating a super powered costume using Altroxian science, the Comet returns to earth, after spending the equivalent of several earth-decades on Altrox, only to discover that Thelma has married his brother Bob, The Hangman. Recovering, the Comet moves in with The Shield, and resumes his super heroic career.
A 1983 retelling of the Comet’s origin blames his transformation on a lab accident in which Dickering, working with the unstable elements, inhales “the collective residue of a hundred different gases.” Likewise, the colors of the Comet’s Altroxian costume changed slightly without explanation. John Dickering was Hangman's brother and superhero himself.
Rob Connors' parents were working in a laboratory in a remote part of Alaska. Rob went to visit them, only to find the lab destroyed. Seeking to summon assistance, he trued to repair the lab's damaged radio antenna, but it collapsed on him. There was an explosion of light and energy, which somehow granted him superhuman powers. Returning to civilization, Rob became The Comet, a costumed hero.
It was later revealed that Rob's body was being held in stasis by some aliens, and that somehow he switched brains with one of the aliens, so he believed himself to be the actual Rob Connors, and didn't realize he was the alien until next to the last issue of the series...died as a villain in Crucible 6.
DC comics Revival
In this incarnation of the hero, the comet was first introduced in the Inferno back up feature of The Shield. He originally worked for General Latham as a deep cover agent working amidst Arvin Halliday's metahuman operatives. He pulled off the part and even acted as Halliday's bodyguard. He engaged The Inferno in a conflict in Halliday's company's headquarters and eventually become close friends with The Inferno (much to The Inferno's dismay). When Arvin Halliday was exposed as a Durlan agent, The Comet and Inferno showed their true colors and helped their fellow Mighty Crusaders in the attack on the headquarters.
He was sent on a mission to Japan (where he was often confused with another Japanese Hero) to find more Durlan agents and ran into The Fox. Eventually he and the Fox reunited with the other Crusaders and helped defend their headquarters from the amassed forces of both Durlan factions. He participated in the mission to secure the box and thus helped in defeating his former employer: Arvin Halliday. The Comet was last seen with the other Crusaders preparing for any threats in the future.