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Chronos (DC)(01 - David Clinton)
Real Name: David Clinton
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Considered by some to be the arch-nemesis of the Atom (Ray Palmer), Chronos started his career as petty thief David Clinton who attributed his consistent incarceration to his timing, or lack there of. To improve his timing he studied the rhythm of time pieces and by practice he learned to synchronize each of his actions with the beat of the prison clock. By the end of his sentence he had developed an extraordinary sense of timing which he resolved to use to further his criminal career. He then adopted the colorful costume and alter ego of Chronos, the Time Thief. Clinton had acquired an unhealthy fascination with time and he developed a series of gimmick weapons and deathtraps based on time pieces (clocks with blades as hands, flying sun dials).

Chronos made his debut in Ivy Town, but was defeated by the Atom. He next tried to steal a collection of historic Hungarian clocks, but was again defeated. The Atom has since thwarted all of Chronos plans. Each appearance or new crime prompted an evolution in Chronos's weaponry. His study of time led to more intricate and revolutionary inventions -- lenses that prevent people from seeing certain events (e.g. his getaway vehicle or another specific object), circuitry embedded in his costume that could control the local flow of time (freezing people in time or altering his own perception of time), and ultimately a fully functional time machine (before it and the designs were destroyed). One story suggested that Chronos may have been receiving help from a future version of himself, but it is unknown at what relative time frame that Chronos came from.

Chronos eventually stopped stealing for his own gain and began stealing to finance his time research. The Atom had always thwarted Chronos, but he had decided to turn his back on humanity and had retreated to a peaceful seclusion with a group a six-inch tall aliens in the Amazonian jungle. Chronos had more success without the Atom, but he brought himself to the attention of the Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) when he tried to blackmail one of the employees of Kord Inc. He also fought the Beetle during Darkseid's anti-hero riots. During one struggle against the Beetle, Chronos was hurled 100 million years into the past where he encountered a time-lost Captain Atom.

Upon his return to the present Chronos was able to use his technology to manipulate the money markets to amass a fortune, but old habits die hard, and Chronos's illegal endeavors were discovered and he was returned to prison. He was freed by the Calendar Man to work with the Time Foes, but was captured by the Team Titans. Out of desperation and humiliation, Chronos took a drastic chance -- he accepted an offer from the demon Neron and exchanged his soul for the metahuman ability to travel through time. However bargains with Neron are never fair and Chronos found that each journey through the timestream accelerated his ageing. A man who should have been a healthy adult became an aged senior citizen.

All the experiments and Neron's "gift" had taken a toll on Clinton's body and be began to loose touch with any sense of the "now." He had trouble staying localized in time and appeared to fade away into nothingness. His disappearance was enough for him to be declared dead and speculation has suggested that he may have slipped into "The Void" of time. A funeral of sorts was held and his research was passed on to the second Chronos (Walker Gabriel).

This entry uses material derived in whole or in part from


First Appearance: The Atom (1962) #3

Favorite Characters:
Chronos (DC)(01 - David Clinton) is a favorite character of 3 users

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Action Comics (1938)
Atom Special (1993)
Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns (2010)
Blue Beetle (1986)
Booster Gold (2007)
Cancelled Comic Cavalcade (1978)
Chronos (1998)
Convergence (2015)
Countdown (2007)
Countdown to Infinite Crisis (2005)
Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985)
Crisis on Multiple Earths (2002)
DC 100-Page Super Spectacular (1971)
DC Comics Presents: The Atom (2004)
DC Comics Presents: The Atom (2011)
DC One Million Omnibus (2013)
DC Special (1975)
DC Super Stars (1976)
DC Universe Special: Justice League of America (2008)
DC Universe: Origins (2009)
DCU: Legacies (2010)
Detective Comics (1937)
Final Crisis Companion (2009)
Final Crisis: Secret Files (2009)
Identity Crisis (2004)
Infinite Crisis (2005)
Infinite Crisis Countdown (2006)
Invasion (1988)
JLA (1997)
JLA-Z (2003)
JLA: Liberty and Justice (2003)
Justice League Adventures (2002)
Justice League of America (1960)
Justice League Sourcebook (1990)
Justice League: Cry for Justice (2009)
Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years (2015)
Legends (1986)
Legends of the DC Universe (1998)
Legion of Super-Heroes (1989)
Legionnaires (1993)
Power of the Atom (1988)
Red Tornado (1985)
Rogues Gallery (1996)
Secret Origins (1986)
Showcase '94 (1994)
Silver Age (2000)
Silver Age 80-Page Giant (2000)
Silver Age Secret Files (2000)
Silver Age: Challengers of the Unknown (2000)
Silver Age: Doom Patrol (2000)
Silver Age: Green Lantern (2000)
Silver Age: Justice League of America (2000)
Silver Age: Showcase (2000)
Steve Ditko Omnibus (2011)
Suicide Squad (1987)
Superman (1939)
Team Titans (1992)
The All New Atom (2006)
The Atom (1962)
The Atom and Hawkman (1968)
The Atom Archives (2001)
The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
The DC Universe by John Byrne (2017)
The Flash (1987)
The Super Friends (1976)
The World's Greatest Super-Heroes (2005)
Underworld Unleashed (1995)
Who's Who in the DC Universe (1990)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985)
Who's Who: Update '87 (1987)
Wonder Woman (1942)
World's Finest Comics (1941)

Group Affiliation(s):
Crime Champions
Injustice Gang (DC)
Injustice League (DC)(01 - Silver Age)
Secret Society of Super-Villains (01-Original)
Secret Society of Super-Villains (03-Current)
Suicide Squad (DC)(03 - Post Legends)

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