Nathan "Rad" Spencer is the protagonist and hero of the Bionic Commando series of action platform games. In the classic Bionic Commando game for the NES, his job is to search for the missing Super Joe.
Nathan Spencer was originally a member of the Federal States of America's armed forces, but his military career was cut short when he lost his left arm to a grenade. While on rehabilitation leave, he accepted a position as the first test subject for bionics technology by T.A.S.C., the FSA military's intelligence division. He was given the codename: Research And Development #1, or RAD #1, and the name stuck; many continued to call him "Rad" Spencer for years.
Under the supervision of TASC agent and supervisor of bionics technology Joseph Gibson, Nathan was the first human subject to be fitted with and control a bionic limb. Though the technology was still in the prototype phase, the fascistic Imperial Army attacked, and TASC's first operative, Super Joe, was captured. Nathan was activated early and sent into the field, given the field rank of Captain, and sent to rescue Joe and stop the Imperials. He succeeded with flying colors and his statue, along with Super Joe's, now decorates the Avenue of Heroes in Ascension City, along with other heroes of the conflict. Super Joe was promoted to Director of TASC, and he and Spencer oversaw the training of the TASC Special Ops...new "bionic commandos", just like Spencer. This unit would come to be legendary as the deadliest fighting unit in the world.
However, bionics technology proved divisive, and the populace grew weary of being normal humans in a world of super-powered bionics. Demonstrations and riots followed, coming to a head when a group of rogue bionics was accused of aiding a rebellion against the FSA. The investigation found Nathan Spencer the sole perpetrator of all crimes, and he was convicted and sentenced to death by a military tribunal. He was actually innocent of all charges, but despite proclaiming this, his appeal was denied. He was stripped of his bionic arm and placed in the TASC Military Disciplinary Facility in Fort Leavenworth to await execution.
The anti-bionics sentiment came to a head, and a new executive order known as the Bionic Purge was passed almost overnight, outlawing bionics technology. Merely being a bionic became against the law, and bionics were forced to hand in their implants or face prosecution. As a convicted criminal on death row, Nathan could do nothing to oppose the move and became despondant. On the day he is scheduled to be executed, however, an experimental WMD known as the Witherer is detonated in Ascension City, annihilating it and its citizens, and Nathan is given a chance at a pardon in exchange for tracking down and apprehending the perpetrators, known only as BioReign.
Bionic Arm: Most of Nathan's abilities stem from his unique Bionic Arm.
- Swinging and Launching: Nathan's Bionic Arm can be utilized in many ways, enabling Nathan to leap from it at great speeds, or climb up tall buildings. With proper effort, he can reach speeds of up to 300 mph.
- Superhuman Strength: Nathan's Bionic Arm grants him a limited super-strength. He can lift about 5 tons judging on the strike-force of the Bionic Arm and how far and hard he can throw large objects like rocks.
- Superhuman Durability: Nathan's Bionic Arm is made of some kind of metal giving it immense durability.
Specialized Training: Nathan has went through specialized training in the military, and Bionics, he is capable of engaging and disabling multiple Bionics, and Bio-Mechs, and tons of eco terrorists.
- Expert Marksman: Nathan is an amazing marksman, capable of shooting dozens of eco terrorists before any shoot or even see him.
- Expert Stealth Operator: Nathan can sneak around dozens of eco terrorists taking them out one by one silently.
Nathan Spencer appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update, sporting the design seen in the 2009 Bionic Commando game.