The Atomic Knight

Created by John Broome & Murphy Anderson

Gardner Grayle, Shining Knight II


Seven Soldiers of Victory, Outsiders

Current: DC Comics Presents #57.
Historical: Strange Adventures #117 (June 1960).
As Shining Knight II: Silver Age Showcase #1 (July 2000)

Outsiders, vol. 1 #26


NOTE: The pre-Crisis history of the Atomic Knights from Strange Adventures #117-160, is no longer in continuity.

It took the better part of a decade for Gardner Grayle to pursue a career as the Atomic Knight. During the so-called "Silver Age" of heroes, Gardner Grayle was recruited as a test subject for a division of S.T.A.R. Labs. They were researching how people would react to an atomic holocaust and outfitted Grayle with a battlesuit designed for post-apocalyptic survival.

As the Shining Knight (II), he very soon fought alongside Adam Strange, Batgirl, Deadman, Metamorpho, Blackhawk and Mento as the unofficial second incarnation of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The Soldiers battled Agamemno's Injustice League on Earth. This first armor was destroyed during their adventure, and the group shared no adventures beyond that. (The Silver Age: Showcase)

At some point, Gardner himself became a scientist for S.T.A.R. Labs and discovered that he possessed metahuman powers of premonition. (DC Comics Presents #57) He eventually sought the expertise of the Outsider's associate, Dr. Jace, to cure him of this "gift." But before he could begin work with Jace, Major Disastor attacked and destroyed the Outsider's headquarters. (Disaster had been a stowaway on Grayle's transport). (Outsiders v.1 #25)

To make matters worse, Dr. Jace chose that time to reveal that she was an operative of the evil Manhunter organization. Jace captured Grayle and the Outsiders and placed them in stasis. While he was captive, Grayle dreamt a vividly about a band of Atomic Knights a time after World War III. Even though he was only in stasis a short time, Gardner remembered every detail of these dreams as if they had been real. Looker broke the trance and Jace was killed. (#27)

In his brief time with them, he bonded with the young heroine, Windfall, but their relationship was overshadowed by the fate of the Outsiders themselves. He accompanied the Outsiders on their last mission (to Abyssia) and afterwards, Geo-Force disbanded the team. Grayle returned to S.T.A.R. Labs. (#28)

When the Outsiders reformed later, they were framed for the murder of the queen of Markovia. Gardner saw the news footage and readied a new suit of armor to aid in their defense. Once he arrived in Markovia, he concluded that the reports were correct and he engaged his former teammates in battle. Before he could learn the truth, the Outsiders slipped away. He continued to track them down and discovered their innocence. In fact, he was the one responsible for broadcasting this fact to the world. The team split in two following this mission; Grayle did not stay with either team. (Outsiders v.2 #2-5, 11)

Instead, he stepped in again during the second team's last adventure, against Eclipso. Shortly thereafter, he and Windfall were present for Geo-Force's wedding. (#28) His current whereabouts and activities are unknown.

Thanks to Tom Tomorrow

+ Powers

As the Atomic Knight, Gardner Grayle wears an advanced battlesuit powered by solar cells that gives him a degree of invulnerability and superhuman strength, protection from radiation and can trap opponents in a stasis field. The suit's attached blaster shot bursts of intense cold or heat. He possessed unspecified precognitive powers.

He also has demonstrated the metahuman abilitiy to see the future. However, it appears that he has little control of (or desire to use) this power.

Appearances + References


  • DC Comics Presents #57
  • The Silver Age: Showcase #1