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Chen Lu (Earth-616)

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HelpRadioactive Man
Chen Lu (Earth-616)
Information-silkReal Name Chen Lu
Information-silkCurrent AliasRadioactive Man
Information-silkAliasesR Man
Information-silkAffiliationPeople's Defense Force; formerly Lethal Legion, Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil, Titanic Three
Information-silkBase Of OperationsBeijing, China; formerly Vietnam
Information-silkIdentityKnown to Authorities Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusSingle
Information-silkOccupationNuclear physicist
Information-silkEducationPhD in Nuclear Physics
Information-silkHeight6' 6"
Information-silkWeight290 lbs (132 kg)
Information-silkUnusual FeaturesNo visible pupils, Constantly gives off radiation; Iridescent green skin which he can cause to appear normal by lowering his radiation level for short periods.
Information-silkOriginDr. Chen Lu harnessed the power of controlled radiation and turned it upon himself becoming The Radioactive Man.
Information-silkPlace of BirthLanzhou, People's Republic of China
Information-silkCreatorsStan Lee, Robert Bernstein, Jack Kirby
First Appearance

Quote1 Passport! Papers! Bah! Use your guns on me! They cannot stop me! Nothing can! Quote2
-- Radioactive Man src

Early Life

Dr. Chen Lu was a respected nuclear physicist for the People's Republic of China. After the thunder god Thor thwarted a Chinese military incursion into India, the Chinese government called upon its scientists and military strategists for a way to retaliate against Thor. Chen Lu had already been experimenting for several years with a way of harnessing nuclear radioactivity to induce superhuman powers in human beings. Chen Lu, concealing his own aspirations of world conquest, volunteered to become China's human weapon against Thor.[1]


Radioactive Man's first appareance


Having already spent months immunizing himself against the harmful effects of radiation, Chen Lu exposed himself to massive doses of specific-particle radiation, thereby mutating his body. After impressing his superiors with a demonstration of the new superhuman powers he had gained, Chen Lu, calling himself the Radioactive Man. [2]There are two different accounts as to what happened next. In the original account, the Radioactive Man is smuggled into New York City where he battles Thor. Thor used a massive vortex to send the Radioactive Man back to China before he could reach critical mass and explode. [1] The second account states that the Radioactive Man attacked Thor along the India/China border. During the battle the Radioactive Man forced Thor to recall how he was banished to Earth, causing a brief reversion back to Donald Blake. However Blake regained his hammer and defeated the Radioactive Man. In the aftermath of the battle the American government -- through Tony Stark -- thanked Thor for his assistance, but their ability to make a connection between Donald Blake and himself did not sit well with the thunder god. [3]

Masters of Evil I

In fact however, the Radioactive Man went into hiding until Baron Heinrich Zemo located him and enlisted him in his criminal organization, the original Masters of Evil. By this time, the Radioactive Man was no longer serving China's Communist leaders. The Avengers defeated the Masters of Evil.[4][5][6]

Masters of Evil II

Years later the Radioactive Man joined a new Masters of Evil organized by the Crimson Cowl who was revealed to be the robot Ultron. This second Masters of Evil was also defeated by the Avengers, and the Radioactive Man was imprisoned in a cell designed especially to restrain a being with his powers.[7][8][9]

Titanic Three

After breaking out of prison, the Radioactive Man fled to Communist controlled Vietnam, where he briefly teamed up with the Titanium Man and the third Crimson Dynamo as the Titanic Three, champions of Eastern Communism. These three former Communist agents had decided to serve their former masters no longer and wanted no longer to be considered criminals. In Communist controlled Vietnam, the Titanic Three instead acted to punish criminals.[10]However, the Titanic Three later broke up under circumstances that have yet to be revealed. [11][12] [13][14]

Masters of Evil III

Eventually, the Radioactive Man was contacted by criminal scientist Elihas Starr, otherwise known as "Egghead", and agreed to join yet another incarnation of the Masters of Evil.[15][16] But after Dr. Henry Pym defeated the group single handedly, the Radioactive Man was deported by the United States government.[17]


He later entered the service of the Mandarin, who sent him up against James Rhodes, the second Iron Man. [18][19][20]


Radioactive Man captured Spider-Man for his experiments, but he is rescued by Iron Man.[21]

The Vault

Radioactive Man is one of the many villains imprisoned in the Vault.[22]

Death's Head

He also clashed with the She-Hulk and Death's Head[23].

Radioactive Man crashed Peter Parker's first party.[24]

Radioactive Man along with many other villains battled the newly formed Thunderbolts.[25]


Radioactive Man was one of the many villains at the Bar With No Name.[27]

Radioactive Man was involved in the battle between the Marvel and the DC Universe. [28][29]


Chen Lu joined the Thunderbolts after defeating Fathom Five.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50]

Civil War

During the Civil War helped Hank Pym and Reed Richards build a holding prison for dissenting super powered individuals. He and his team also battled the Anti-Registration Underground.[51][52] The team encountered the Elders of the Universe member the Grandmaster; the Chen absorbed an excessive amount of radiation and is forced to wear a radiation suit at all times.[53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67] The radiation eventually subsided, Norman Osborn convinced him to keep wearing the suit distract the US public from Chinese origins and stop any lingering fears about his radioactivity. [68][69][70][71] [72][73] [74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87][88][89][90][91]


Chen and the team battled Spider-Man and Anti-Venom. But during the fight, Chen had a portion of his radiation drained by Anti-Venom.[92][93][94][95][96]

Moon Knight

Chen continued with the group however, going after the super-hero Moon Knight,[97][98] Chen started to develop a strong bond with Songbird (Melissa Gold). [99]

Secret Invasion

During the Secret Invasion of the Skrulls, Osborn and Moonstone (Karla Sofen) began a plan to neutralize the Thunderbolts who would oppose him in his planned to exploit the invasion for his own personal agenda, in order to gain more power. [100][101] Osborn arranged for Chen to be deported back to China, destroying his relationship with Songbird.[102]

... [103][104][105]

People's Defense Force

He joined China's People's Defense Force a group of superhumans created to protect his home country.[106] Radioactive Man demonstrated that at close proximity he can safely absorb the radiation of Inhumans; Xerogen Crystals and also, presumably, safely absorb Terrigen Mist.[107][108] However, the People's Defense Force is largely defeated by an invading entity known as The Unspoken, a deposed former king of the Inhumans. The Unspoken is defeated in China by the Mighty Avengers.[109][110]

War of the Iron Men

When Iron Man has a dispute with Doctor Doom, China and Russia send their champions, Radioactive Man, Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo to stop them both.[111][112][113][114][115]

Lethal Legion

Radioactive Man joined the Lethal Legion.[116][117][118]


  • Radiation Absorption & Manipulation: Exposure to high levels of radiation has mutated Chen Lu's body. As a result, Lu's primary superhuman power is the ability to absorb and manipulate high levels of radiation for a number of purposes and effects. In the case of other beings that have received powers based from exposure to radiation, Lu can manipulate the radiant energies of those individuals usually for the purposes of temporarily shutting down their powers. Lu can also purposely lower the levels of radiation within himself. Although he can only do so for short periods of time, he can cause his skin to look normal.[120][121][122][123][124][125][126][127]
    • Energy Blasts: Lu can expel radiation from himself in a number of ways such as firing blasts of solid radiation in the form of powerful concussive blasts or emitting radiation in the form of intense heat that, at maximum temperature, is said to be hot enough to incinerate a city block. Lu can also purposely generate radioactive energy for the purposes of generating extremely bright light, bright enough to cause at least temporary blindness.[120][121][122][123][124][125][126]
    • Hard Radiation: Lu can also emit high levels of "hard" radiation from his body toward others. This has the effect of causing extreme disorientation and nausea in other people and, if he chooses to do so, Lu can emit high enough levels of hard radiation to facilitate radiation poisoning.[120][121][122][123][124][125][126]
    • Force Fields: Lu can manipulate the radioactive energy of his body to generate solid force fields around his body. While in these fields, Lu is very well protected from most forms of attacks. The force fields are powerful enough to withstand multiple hits from Thor's enchanted hammer Mjolnir.[120][121][122][123][124][125][126]
    • Superhuman Strength: Lu can channel the radioactive energies in his body for the purpose of temporarily increasing his strength to superhuman levels. At his peak, Lu can increase his strength sufficiently to lift at least 2 tons.[120][121][122][123][124][125][126][127]



  • Lu emits nuclear radiation at all times and can only remain in the presence of other individuals for short periods of time if he's wearing his null-radiation body harness. Also, absorbing large quantities of radiation can affect his emotional state.[128][121][122][123][124][125][126][127]

  • Doctor Lu kept a count of the people he killed over the course of his life due to his powers, both intentionally and unintentionally.[36]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Journey into Mystery #93
  2. Journey into Mystery #93 & Thor: First Thunder #4. Journey into Mystery #93 states that Radioactive Man was created in response to Thor's clash with Chinese forces, while Thor: First Thunder #4 states that Radioactive Man's creation happened prior to the battle. Also, elements of the story in Journey into Mystery #93 are subject to the Sliding Timescale. Namely, the conflict along the border between India and China is told in a narrative in which the Cold War was still on going. This should be considered a topical reference relative to the date of publication. Thor: First Thunder #4 modernizes this plot element by stating that the border was in dispute. Another topical reference in Journey #93 is the depiction of Chairman Mao as the ruler of China in the story. This is another topical reference in relation to the year of publication.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Thor: First Thunder #4
  4. Avengers #6
  5. Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #2
  6. Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #3
  7. Avengers #54
  8. Avengers #55
  9. Avengers #83
  10. Avengers #130
  11. Iron Man #73
  12. Iron Man #74
  13. Giant-Size Avengers #4
  14. Iron Man #135
  15. Avengers #228
  16. Avengers #229
  17. Avengers #230
  18. Iron Man #179
  19. Iron Man #180
  20. Iron Man #181
  21. Iron Man #234
  22. Avengers: Death Trap, The Vault #1
  23. Sensational She-Hulk #24
  24. Untold Tales of Spider-Man #16
  25. Thunderbolts Annual #1997
  26. Iron Man Vol 3 #38
  27. Spider-Man's Tangled Web #13
  28. JLA/Avengers #3
  29. JLA/Avengers #4
  30. New Thunderbolts #3
  31. New Thunderbolts #4
  32. New Thunderbolts #5
  33. New Thunderbolts #6
  34. New Thunderbolts #7
  35. New Thunderbolts #8
  36. 36.0 36.1 New Thunderbolts #9
  37. New Thunderbolts #10
  38. New Thunderbolts #12
  39. New Thunderbolts #13
  40. New Thunderbolts #14
  41. New Thunderbolts #15
  42. New Thunderbolts #16
  43. New Thunderbolts #17
  44. New Thunderbolts #18
  45. Thunderbolts #100
  46. Thunderbolts #101
  47. Thunderbolts #102
  48. Thunderbolts #103
  49. Amazing Spider-Man #533
  50. Thunderbolts #104
  51. Civil War #3
  52. Civil War #4
  53. Thunderbolts #105
  54. Thunderbolts #106
  55. Civil War: Choosing Sides #1
  56. Thunderbolts #107
  57. Iron Man Vol 4 #14
  58. Thunderbolts #108
  59. Civil War #5
  60. Civil War #6
  61. Civil War: Front Line #9
  62. Thunderbolts #109
  63. Thunderbolts #110
  64. Civil War: Front Line #10
  65. Civil War #7
  66. Civil War: The Initiative #1
  67. Mighty Avengers #1
  68. Thunderbolts #111
  69. Thunderbolts #112
  70. Thunderbolts #113
  71. Thunderbolts #114
  72. Nova Vol 4 #2
  73. Thunderbolts #115
  74. Nova Vol 4 #3
  75. Thunderbolts Desperate Measures #1
  76. Thunderbolts #116
  77. Penance Relentless #1
  78. Thunderbolts #117
  79. Penance Relentless #3
  80. Captain Marvel Vol 6 #1
  81. Thunderbolts Breaking Point #1
  82. Thunderbolts #118
  83. Damage Control Vol 4 #1
  84. Damage Control Vol 4 #2
  85. Thunderbolts International Incident #1
  86. Thunderbolts #119
  87. Avengers / Invaders #1
  88. Thunderbolts Reason in Madness #1
  89. Thunderbolts #120
  90. Thunderbolts #121
  91. Thunderbolts #122
  92. Amazing Spider-Man #568
  93. Amazing Spider-Man #569
  94. Amazing Spider-Man #571
  95. Amazing Spider-Man #572
  96. Amazing Spider-Man #573
  97. Moon Knight Vol 3 #22
  98. Moon Knight Vol 3 #24
  99. Moon Knight Vol 3 #25
  100. Thunderbolts #124
  101. Thunderbolts #125
  102. Thunderbolts #126
  103. Fusion #1
  104. Fusion #2
  105. Fusion #3
  106. Mighty Avengers #27
  107. Mighty Avengers #28
  108. Mighty Avengers #29
  109. Mighty Avengers #30
  110. Mighty Avengers #31
  111. Iron Man: Legacy #1
  112. Iron Man: Legacy #2
  113. Iron Man: Legacy #3
  114. Iron Man: Legacy #4
  115. Iron Man: Legacy #5
  116. Avengers: X-Sanction #1
  117. Avengers: X-Sanction #2
  118. Avengers: X-Sanction #4
  119. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 9
  120. 120.0 120.1 120.2 120.3 120.4 120.5 Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #1
  121. 121.0 121.1 121.2 121.3 121.4 121.5 121.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9
  122. 122.0 122.1 122.2 122.3 122.4 122.5 122.6 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9
  123. 123.0 123.1 123.2 123.3 123.4 123.5 123.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #23
  124. 124.0 124.1 124.2 124.3 124.4 124.5 124.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #10
  125. 125.0 125.1 125.2 125.3 125.4 125.5 125.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #8
  126. 126.0 126.1 126.2 126.3 126.4 126.5 126.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9
  127. 127.0 127.1 127.2 127.3 Thor: The Legend #1
  128. [[Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide Vol 1 1 |Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #1 ]]
  129. Journey into Mystery Annual #1
  130. Spider-Man Comics Weekly #11
  131. Avengers Annual #4
  132. Marvel Super Action Vol 2 #14
  133. Venom: Deathtrap: The Vault #1
  134. Marvel Triple Action #47
  135. Marvel Saga #9
  136. Avengers #11
  137. Captain America #189
  138. Thor #293
  139. Avengers #280
  140. Avengers #326
  141. Marvels #2
  142. Iron Man: The Iron Age #2
  143. Avengers: Forever #1
  144. Captain America Vol 4 #17
  145. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #3
  146. Captain America: Man Out of Time #4
  147. Thunderbolts #163.1
  148. Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1
  149. Avengers Classic #6

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