Pre-Crisis Thomas N. Thomas often called “Tom” or “” for short, taught chemistry and physical education at a high school in the early 1940s. Thomas would often work with his prize pupil, Daniel Dunbar, on advanced chemical experiments. It was during one these experiments that their lives were forever changed. Thomas’ hand accidently made contact with ’s and both teacher and student suddenly felt a rush of strength come over them.
Thomas deduced that somehow both of them had absorbed the radioactive chemicals with which they were working with. Thomas was handling a positive solution and worked with a negative solution. By the simple act of touching both had been charged with atomic energy and briefly possessed superhuman powers.
Thomas and Dunbar decided against revealing their discovery for fear it would be misused. Instead they used their new powers to fight crime as the costume heroes T.N.T. and Dan the Dyna-Mite. Thomas fashioned to identical metal rings, one for each of them, which enable the two to focus the control of their powers. It wasn’t long after that TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite joined the ranks of the wartime All-Star Squadron.
It was said that TNT and Dan the Dyna-mite began to lose control of their powers, uncontrollable emitting deadly radiation. Now when they pressed rings together a devastating explosion occurred. Seeing no other choices TNT went to the bottle city of for help, while Dan the Dyna-Mite went to live in a special chamber in Atlantis.
In April 1942, TNT and Dyna-Mite accepted a mission by the All-Star Squadron concerning Nazi saboteurs. They arrived at the scene in to discover Nazi saboteurs attempting to blow up a dam. When the saboteurs fled in a car, the pair gives chase in their own automobile. The saboteurs had fired upon the two heroes with one of the bullets hitting the tire of T.N.T.’s auto. The auto crashed and burst into flames. The young hero Iron Munro, who happened to be nearby, pulled TNT and Dyna-Mite from the wreckage. TNT was dead, and his spirit was carried off by the Valkyrie called Gudra (a member of Axis Amerika). Munro took Dyna-Mite to a hospital, where he soon recovered from his injuries.
Dyna-Mite carried on for his former teacher/mentor and even accepted the Medal of Honor posthumously awarded to TNT by President Roosevelt.
Skills and Abilities
Both TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite were very good hand-to-hand combatants.
Charged with atomic energy, TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite possessed increased strength, speed and resistance to injury for brief periods of time. They could also release burst of energy from their hands. Their punches also emitted electrical voltage that stunned their opponents. Like his sidekick, TNT possessed a ring which controlled his powers, releasing them only when the two rings came into contact.
Note – It is unknown if the chemical experiment that Thomas and Dunbar were working on that gave them their powers could in fact be similar to the chemical 27-QRX designed by Roy Lincoln (the Human Bomb) and his father.