Dr. Jonathan "Jon" Osterman is a physicist who was transformed into a blue-skinned powerful being after he was disintegrated in an Intrinsic Field Subtractor in 1959. He had returned to the chamber to retrieve his girlfriend's watch (which he had repaired), and was accidentally locked inside when the Subtractor started automatically. Jon was blown into atoms, with nothing left of his body. Within a few months, his disembodied consciousness managed to reconstruct a physical body for itself. Following his reanimation, he is immediately pressed into service by the United States government, which gives him the name Doctor Manhattan, after the Manhattan Project.