Thomas Thompson was born a dwarf, on Earth-712. Although he lacked strength physically, he was incredibly intelligent, possibly one of the smartest people on Earth in this universe. At an unknown age, presumably in his 20's or 30's, he started to fight crime, using devices and inventions which he had invented himself. He fought at least one supervillain, named Iron Moth (who has never been seen physically). At some point, Tom was invited to join the Squadron Supreme
, to which he happily accepted.
Tom Thumb was created by Roy Thomas
and John Buscema
, and first appeared in Avengers
#85, alongside the majority of the Squadron Supreme, on the parallel Earth-712. Tom Thumb was intentionally homaging a DC character, in this case the Atom
. In his case, he is something of a merge between both the Golden and Silver Age versions of the character: like the Golden Age version, he has no powers and is merely a short crime-fighter, but as with the Silver age version, he is a skilled scientist.
As the Squadron Supreme originally appeared as villains most of the time, or at the very least brainwashed, Tom didn't show too much of an individual personality, other than being somewhat aggressive and perhaps showing a bit more intelligence than other members of the Squadron Supreme.
In the Bronze Age, the Squadron Supreme were granted their own twelve issue limited series, where for the first time they were shown as heroes for a decent period. Here, it was revealed that Tom was actually quite kind and friendly to his team mates, and the world, but was also somewhat introverted, preferring to spend time alone working on new devices or with his sentient computer AIDA (Artificially Intelligent Data Analyzer). He also showed some signs of great guilt and a desire to please, such as when he spent weeks effortlessly looking for a cure to cancer for Nuke
's parents, and felt terrible for failing, despite that he had tried everything that he could have.
Major Story Arcs
Joining the Squadron
After joining the Squadron, Tom presumably spent most of his time with them, as he didn't seem to have any friends or family outside of the team. Although he seemed to be the team's most intelligent member and scientific mind, he also had plenty of devices to help out in fights physically- notably a small flying vehicle equipped with various types of weaponry. Tom was present during the team's first meeting with the Avengers
, in which the Avengers ( Scarlet Witch
, and Quicksilver
) were accidentally transported to Earth-712 after a fight with Arkon
, and attacked the Squadron Supreme, mistaking them for the Squadron Sinister
of their own world. Tom was able to put up a decent fight against the Avengers, notably Goliath (an alternate identity being used by Hawkeye at the time), until defeated by Vision.
Tom fought the Avengers when they once more travelled to Earth-712, alongside the rest of the Squadron Supreme, as they were being controlled by the Serpent Crown
. After the control was shaken, the Squadron turned against the Serpent Cartel. At some point here, Tom helped design and build the Squadron's orbiting satellite headquarters, in addition to the computer AIDA, a sentient computer. The third time that the Squadron interacted with heroes from Earth-616, it wasn't the Avengers that they faced, but the Defenders
. This time, the Squadron were being controlled by Overmind
and Null the Living Darkness
, who devastated the Earth with the Squadron under their control. Once the Defenders had helped the Squadron free themselves from the control, however, this left the Squadron with a problem: their planet was more or less in a post-apocalyptic state.
The Utopia Principle
With the Earth being in such a devastated state, Princess Power
suggested that the Squadron attempt to make it into a Utopia, as the island paradise she grew up on had been. After some discussion, all of the Squadron agreed, with the exception of Nighthawk
, who left the team as a result, and Amphibian
, who reluctantly agreed to go along with the idea due to the majority vote. As the team's resident genius, Tom was behind many of the operations of the team, and designed many of the devices which the team used, such as the force field belts which protected them from bullets. He also helped Golden Archer
and Doctor Spectrum
distribute food amongst the civilians at least once.
Still in the early months of the Utopia plan, Tom was asked by his team-mate Nuke
to find a cure for cancer after Nuke found out that his parents were dying of cancer accidentally spread to them as a result of his powers. After making a containment suit for Nuke, so that he wouldn't accidentally contaminate anyone else, Tom spent weeks trying everything he could, before confessing to Nuke that he simply couldn't do it. Upon Nuke flying into a rage, Tom travelled to the Scarlet Centurion
's time in an attempt to find their cure for cancer. Unfortunately for him,
the Centurion would only agree to give the cure if Tom poisoned Hyperion
and weakened him enough for the Centurion to defeat him. Seeing the price as too high, Tom refused. Once he told Nuke once again that he had failed to find a cure, Nuke quit the Squadron in anger. Unknown to Nuke, however, Tom had found something out during his research into cancer: he himself had it, and only had a number of months to live.
After this, Tom divided his time between searching for a cure to cancer, even though he suspected that it was pointless, and working on more inventions for the Squadron. He purposely didn't tell anyone other than AIDA, his sentient computer, that he had cancer, as he didn't want anyone worrying about him. Tom soon came to invent one of his most controversial inventions for the Utopia Principle: the Behaviour Modifier, or B-Modder. This device allowed a user to modify another person's brain, so that a criminal could have their criminal nature removed, and brought into society as an ordinary person. However, it had one major downside - once a person had been B-Modded, the process was irreversible. Around this time Tom also invented a gun which subdued its targets by stimulating the pleasure centres of the brain.
After Lady Lark
suddenly started acting more romantically towards Golden Archer, Tom suspected that Golden Archer had B-Modded her, and so built in a failsafe so that no member of the Squadron could be B-Modded themselves. This proved fortuitous when the Squadron's enemies, the Institute of Evil
, found out about the B-Modder, and tried B-Modding the Squadron. The Squadron were able to defeat the Institute by pretending to be B-Modded, and then attacking them unexpectedly. Afterwards, the Squadron B-Modded the Institute themselves, and recruited them into their ranks. Tom began working closely with Ape X
, who was on a similar level of intelligence to him, and unknown to him, had a crush on him, bizarrely enough.
Shortly afterwards, Blue Eagle
accused Golden Archer of B-Modding Lady Lark, which the Archer admitted to, as he was sick of her overbearing attention and felt guilty for doing so. This was the final straw for Amphibian, who had already had reservations about the Utopia Principle. Amphibian destroyed the B-Modders when no one was around, before leaving the Squadron for good.
Later on, Tom was working with Ape X and AIDA when he started coughing violently as a result of his cancer. When Ape X questioned it, he admitted that he had cancer, but didn't want her making a fuss. After finding out all of the different types of research and cures which Tom had attempted, Ape X suggested that Tom steal the Scarlet Centurion's cure for cancer, use it, and then return it. Tom reluctantly decided that he could justify this, and so travelled to the future with Lamprey as backup, but not telling him of their mission (as Lamprey's B-Modding prevented him from committing a crime, and stealing the cure would have technically been a crime). However, after their adventure into the future seemed to be successful, Tom found out that the cure for cancer was nothing more than
some antibiotics and vitamins. Devastated, he correctly guessed that in the future, the people of that time had greater immune systems than those of people today. Tom decided to live out the rest of his life as best he could, before succumbing to his cancer and dying one week later. Prior to his death, he had created a device called a Hibernaculum, which was intended to cryogenically freeze someone, so that if they had any diseases they could be placed into one until a cure had been found in the future. Tom was placed into the very first Hibernaculum after death.
Although he was dead, Ape X and AIDA were briefly seen working on a robotic version of Tom- whether intended as a replacement for him or for his brain to be uploaded into it is unknown. Whatever the case, it was never completed.
Powers and Abilities
Tom had no super powers, although he was naturally very gifted and intelligent. He was mainly skilled in the areas of computer science, medicine, psychology, force field technology, and spacecraft design. He possessed PhDs in mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering. The only weapon he was ever seen to use was his one-man flying vehicle, and a force field belt for personal protection. He presumably had designed and used weapons other than this which were simply never seen.
In the Supreme Power
universe (Earth-31916), Tom is not a gifted scientist, but a prisoner who has been shrunken down as a result of a retrovirus reverse engineered from Hyperion's DNA. He is very confrontational and aggressive. He is recruited to the government's Squadron Supreme team, and used for covert operations. Whether he has any sort of super strength to compensate for his tiny size is unknown.
An imperfect clone of Tom was made in Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
on Earth-616. Unfortunately, due to some experimentations in exotic energy, it was turned into a zombie. This zombie version was killed by Guardsman Team Alpha shortly after they entered the facility.