“I can direct atomic power at will!”
Dell Comics Collector's Issue of Nukla #1 was created by famed Charlton Comics writer Joe Gill along with esteemed artist Sal Trapani (with uncredited assistance from Dick Giordano.) On a side note, Trapani was also Giordano’s brother-in-law.
Nukla is really Matthew Gibbs, a handsome blond CIA spy and pilot. While flying his U-2 spy plane over Communist China, he is fired on by the Chinese Red Army. Unable to evade the missiles, he and his aircraft are vaporised in the resulting nuclear explosion. For some unexplained reason, he is able to maintain his human consciousness in this atomized state and reform himself through sheer force of will with incredible nuclear powers.
|Original cover to Nukla #1 by Sal Trapani!|
Nukla has nuclear-based powers, somewhat similar to those of Charlton Comics' Captain Atom. He can will himself into an invisible immaterial state and in said phantom form fire destructive bolts of pure "radiation-free" atomic energy from his hands and fly at the speed of light as well as quickly heal himself of any injuries received in his mortal flesh and blood form. Nukla must be careful, though, not to deplete his energy and take time to recharge his "nuclear batteries" or he will not be able to transform, and extreme cold makes it impossible for him to dematerialize. He is also able to dematerialize and rematerialize his U-2 when needed, flying it both to conserve his vast powers for when they are needed and also simply because he still enjoys being a pilot.
Nukla #1 Read The Exciting Origin Of Nukla! The First Action-Packed Adventure Of The Greatest Super Hero On Earth! How Did He Come To Be...And How Will His Powers Help Him Against The Evilest Man In The World?
Inside front cover, information about the U-2 plane.
"The Origin of Nukla"
CIA agent Matthew Gibbs is transformed into Nukla when he is obliterated by an atomic blast while on mission over China.
Similarly to the later origin of DC Comics' Dr. Manhattan in The Watchmen, Matthew Gibbs reconstitutes himself by manipulating atoms, using his consciousness after he is physically obliterated.
"The Power of Nukla"
Matthew Gibbs reports to his CIA chief, Jim Clarke, and is given a first assignment for his new persona as Nukla.
"Nukla Meets the Evil Prince"
Nukla (Matthew Gibbs) assumes the name of Laszlo Von Haarte to visit Luis De Mal and learn his plans, but is poisoned and imprisoned before he can inform anyone.
"Doomsday...Minus 2 Minutes"
As Nukla, Matthew Gibbs destroys all the instruments of De Mal's plot to detonate a nuclear bomb in a small country's harbor, including De Mal.
Note: Nukla uses his atomic powers to change fissionable material into silica.
Written by Joe (Doomsday+1) Gill with Sal (Get Smart) Trapani, artist in the series assisted by Dick (Batman) Giordano. .
I hope you've enjoyed seeing these original pages from the Nukla #1 story "Doomsday...Minus 2 Minutes". Sal Trapani has always been a favorite artist of mine. Dick Giordano's contributions are wonderful to see as well. I love coming across these gems, especially when they're from the Silver Age.
|Another page, from Comics Reader #28!|
|Sal Trapani illustration from Comic Reader #42!|