Fusor the Atomic Man
Revolutionary inventor transformed into an atomic super-man
Philo Farnsworth is best known in Ourverse for being the inventor of the television, but in his final days, he was working on an invention of such awesome impact that the effect it had on modern society would dwarf his better known invention. Had he not been plagued by political and economic problems, he would have been the father of fusion power!
in 1961, Farnsworth began developing a concept for an electrostatic-inertial fusion reactor, which he called the “Fusor”. He initially approached his employers at ITT, but was refused funding for the project. Instead, he began working on the project in his own time, building a working model in his home lab with the help of sympathetic associates and local students. We all know what happens in the comic-book world to scientific geniuses who build atomic reactors in their basements: They get mutated into atomic super-men (or acciedentally turn someone else into one, but you just know that someone is going to come out of this forty feet tall and glowing green)
In the Metaverse, Farnsworth completed his Fusor project without corporate or government assistance, and was therefore never plagued by bureaucratic oversight, political infighting, or sudden budget cuts. Leaving ITT, he worked obsessively on the project until, in 1965, he had a breakthrough in creating a sustained high energy fusion reaction which promised the dawn of a new age of clean energy technology. Before his new technology could be unveiled to the world, however, saboteurs (whether from a rival corporation, communist spies, or subversive agents within the US government has never been clearly established) ambushed Farnsworth in his lab, stole his technical notes, and attempted to destroy the working proof-of-concept model which Farnsworth had built. Desperate to prevent a thermonuclear reaction which would potentially devestate the small town where he lived and worked, Farnsworth manually shut down the reactor and was bathed in metagenic radiation, transforming him into a juggernaut of awesome power.
After his initial transformation, Fusor was driven by a mindless hunger, and was forced to consume nuclear feuls in order to mantain the awesome energies produced by his body. His rampage across northern Indiana led him to the Chicago Institute for High Energy Studies, the main research headquarters of the organization known as CHESS, where a powerful new atomic engine was being developed by Dr Lamont Petreaus as part of Project: Sagitarius (See the entries for Dr Proteus and Project Sagitarius for more details). Fusor was eventually defeated by the agents of CHESS with the assistance of Dr Petreaus, and the chain-reaction of nuclear synthesis was halted, returning Farnsworth to his former human state.
After his return to normal, Farnsworth was recruited by CHESS for Project Sagitarius. After the completion of the project, he was given the go-ahead to develop a full-scale fusion power plant at Northpointe, Utah (see the entry for Fusion City for more details). During the construction of the reactor, Farnsworth suffered a relapse due to exposure to atomic radiation, and once again transformed into Fusor. This time, his rampage was stopped by Aurifex and the Protectors.
After battling Aurifex, Farnsworth learned how to control the nuclear reactions produced by his body, and became able to transform at will. After completion of the Northpointe Fusion Reactor in 1971, Farnsworth briefly served as a mamber of the Fantastics and was also a founding member of the Utah Saints, along with fellow Mormon super-hero Aurifex. Farnsworth discovered that he was dying, his aged body unable to survive the awesome energies which it now contain. In 1974, Fusor built a transluminal starship and left Earth for parts unknown, hypothesizing that the same metagenic energies which transformed the Fantastics on their trip to Alpha Centauri might also be used to stabilize his condition. He has not returned to Earth since that time, and is presumed to be dead.