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After Thor's interference with a Chinese military action into India, the Chinese government called upon all of its scientists to find a way to retaliate against Thor. Chen Lu had been experimenting with a way of harnessing nuclear radioactivity to induce superhuman powers. He volunteered to become China's human weapon against Thor, concealing his aspirations of world conquest.
He spent month immunizing himself against the effect of radiation. He then mutated his body by exposing himself to massive doses of radiation. He impressed his superiors with his new powers and started calling himself Radioactive Man. He traveled to New York City to challenge Thor. Thor defeated him and Radioactive Man was reported to have been destroyed.
Radioactive Man was not destroyed, so he went into hiding until Baron Zemo found him and enlisted him in his criminal organization known as the Masters of Evil. The Masters of Evil were defeated by the Avengers, and Radioactive Man ended up in a cell that was designed to restrain a being with powers like his.
Eventually, Radioactive Man broke out of prison and fled to Communist controlled Vietnam, where he worked with Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo to form the Titanic Three. They had enough of being evil and worked to punish criminals instead.
However, the Titanic Three broke up and Radioactive Man was contacted by a criminal scientist named Elihas Starr, or "Egghead". Radioactive Man joined the third incarnation of the Masters of Evil. The new incarnation of the evil organization was defeated by Dr. Henry Pym, and Radioactive man was deported by the U.S. government.
Powers and Abilities
Radioactive Man was born as a base level normal human. Slowly building up an immunity to specific types of radiation by virtue of self induced experiments, exposing himself to a massive dosage unlocked and granted him superhuman abilities. Radioactive Man's skin would dramatically alter and he would glow unnaturally with a green incandescence. Radioactive Man's primary power is to absorb multiple types of radiation, even ordinarily dangerously high levels of radiation. He can use this ability to manipulate radiation, even from within sentient beings, potentially being able to deprive power from other radiation powered beings. Radioactive Man typically possesses upwards of 2 tons, with the potential to lift more contingent on his level of his radioactivity energies. More frequently used Radioactive Man is able to generate, radiate and project solid radiation as powerful potent energy blasts. The variety of which can depend on Lu's discretion, from concussive blasts, heat blasts, blinding blasts, projective blasts, force fields and hard radiation, which can sicken, disorientate, confuse and nauseate foes. Radioactive Man can manipulate radiation across the microwave spectrum. Radioactive Man's high levels of radiation coursing through his body grants him superhuman levels of durability and also allows for significantly faster healing.
Radioactive Man's control over his abilities allows him to interact with other humans without threatening their health despite his toxic appearance, however on occasion for various reasons he has been known to wear a containment suit. Radioactive Man is incredibly intelligent, particularly in the fields of radiation and nuclear physics also holding a Ph. D. in nuclear physics. Radioactive Man can lower the radiation in his body to the extent he can appear normal but only for a short period.
In other media
The Marvel Super Heroes: Doctor Chen Lu appears as Radioactive Man in the 1966 animated television series The Marvel Super Heroes, which features a rotating cast of various Avenger characters. Radioactive Man is voiced by Gillie Fenwick.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Doctor Chen Lu appears as Radioactive Man in the 2010 animated television series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Radioactive Man appears in the episodes "Hulk Vs the World," "Casket of Ancient Winters," and "Assault on 42." In his first appearance he is shown as an inmate of the Cube. Later on he makes a daring attempt attacking Arc reactor at Stark Tower, where he is defeated by Iron Man, Black Panther and Thor. In his last appearance he is imprisoned in the Negative Zone Prison known as 42. During an inspection by a few of the Avengers including Captain America, Ms Marvel and Thor, the powerful insectoid Annihilus attacks with his army of Negative Zone insects. Significantly outnumbered the Avengers call on the inmates of the prison to fight alongside them for the sake of the Earth and their lives. Radioactive Man is one of the prisoners who fights alongside his one time enemies.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance: Radioactive Man appears in the 2006 video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. He is voiced by James Sie. The character is a member of the Masters of Evil, and that group along with Doctor Doom launch an attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, UNN Alpha. Radioactive Man is a boss character and features special dialogue with both Thor and Captain America. He was voiced by James Sie.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2: Radioactive Man appears in the 2009 sequel to the first Ultimate Alliance which features on PSP, PS2, and Wii video game platforms. The game is loosely based around the Marvel event Civil War. After a Superhuman Registration Act is proposed and enforced after several high profile incidents involving superheroes, many villains are injected with nanomachines, designed to keep them in line and potentially usable as subservient agents. Radioactive Man is among the supervillains and superheroes that are taken over by nanites and united under the banner of the Fold led by a nanite infected Nick Fury. He was voiced by Don Luce.
Radioactive Man appeared as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
He is not to be confused with Radioactive Man of Simpsons fame.