In 1959, in an accident that was certainly unplanned and just as certainly unrepeatable, a young American man was completely disintegrated, at least in a physical sense. Despite the absence of a body, a form of electromagnetic pattern resembling consciousness survived, and was able, in time, to rebuild an approximation of the body it had lost.
Jon Osterman was born in 1929, the son of a watchmaker. He was pushed into the field of atomic physics by his father after the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima at the close of WWII. Osterman started in Princeton in 1948 and finished his PhD in 1958. By May of 1959, he was involved in research at the Gila Flats. During this time he became romantically involved with colleague, Janey Slater. In August of 1959 he went to retrieve a watch he had fixed for her when he accidentally became trapped in an intrinsic field separator. All he could do was watch the countdown until his atoms were smashed, but eventually, and methodically, he reconstructed himself. At first it was thought that the base was haunted as on November 10th a disembodied circulatory system was seen walking through the kitchen, then four days later a partially muscled skeleton screamed at the edge of the perimeter fence for thirty seconds and then vanished. Finally on November 22nd a nude blue skinned man reconstituted itself right in front of Slater, she recognized him immediately.
By February of 1960 he was dubbed Dr. Manhattan by higher ups in Washington for the ominous associations it will raise in America’s enemies. Unveiled to the world in March of the same year he quickly shows himself capable of disassembling a rifle with his mind or melting tank armor with blasts from his hands.
Within two years the US is benefiting from his ability to produce any element as needed as he agrees to regularly produce lithium for mass-production of polyacetylene batteries for the production of electric automobiles, which become the norm, by 1963.
By May of 1966, he attends what was to be the first meeting of the Crimebusters, but the meeting ends in arguing. However, he does meet and begin an elicit affair with Laurie Juspeczyk - Silk Spectre II - which quickly and bitterly ends his relationship with Janey Slater.
In January of 1971, President Nixon personally asked Osterman to intervene in Vietnam. In March of the same year, he meets Edward Blake, also known as the Comedian, in Saigon. By June, North Vietnam surrenders, and many of the Vietnamese want to surrender personally to Osterman himself out of terror and religious awe. On V.V.N. Day he watches stoically as Blake murders the Vietnamese mother of his unborn child.
On August 3rd 1977, the emergency bill proposed by Senator Keene is passed, making vigilantism illegal as it was before they altered laws to accommodate strategically useful talents - such as Osterman, who is exempt from the bill and the Comedian. Others, such as Laurie, not so lucky. Rorschach alone remains active illegally.
In 1981, Osterman is asked to move into new quarters at Rockefeller Military Research Center in New York. Laurie moves with him at his request, as she is quickly becoming his sole link with humanity.
Battle vs. Spawn (Al Simmons) (by Lasmoore)