|Powers||Radiation generation and absorption|
|First Appearance||Deadly Ransom|
|Voices||Dean Stockwell (seasons 1-3)|
Maurice LaMarche (seasons 4-5)
Duke Nukem is one of the Eco-Villains, a radioactive mutant who thrives on radiation and toxic waste materials. Duke Nukem represents the misuse of nuclear power. He's the only villain, aside from Zarm and Captain Pollution, to have powers of his own, in which he generates radiation to fire off radioactive blasts from his hands. He's also dangerously radioactive, enough to be considered a walking disaster area, which is why his sidekick, Leadsuit, always wears a radiation-blocking suit of lead whenever around him to protect himself from the radiation.
It is not known, nor is it revealed, at any point in the Captain Planet cartoon series, exactly how Nukem was first mutated, but ever since then, he plots to turn the Earth into a giant, radioactive zone for him to thrive in as well as turn everyone else in the world into mutants like him. Both Doctor Blight and Kwame refer to him as "Dr. Duke Nukem." What his doctorate is in is unknown; presumably nuclear physics or a similar area.
Duke Nukem is voiced by Dean Stockwell and later Maurice LaMarche.
Duke Nukem is a radioactive mutant. He has hard, yellow, scaly skin. He only has three fingers on each hand and two toes on each foot. Nukem is usually found wearing an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt and a pair of board shorts, as well as a pair of flip-flops. He has a short, red mohawk.
Duke's glowing green eyes provide him with x-ray vision. His voice is deep and rather hoarse.
- Radiation Absorption, Radiation Blasts: As a result of being a radioactive mutant, Duke Nukem is able to generate, manipulate and control radiation. He is so dangerous that several of the other Eco-villains have worn lead suits while working with him, although this is not strictly necessary as he appears capable of reducing the radioactive energy he naturally gives off to safe levels. Regardless, his control of radiation and especially his ability to fire blasts of it from his hands make him a formidable opponent to the Planeteers and even Captain Planet himself. Since Captain Planet's vulnerability to pollution includes radiation, Nukem has a unique advantage that forces Planet to engage him with great care.
- Toxic Immunity
- X-Ray Vision
- Electrical Absorption and Electrical Manipulation (formerly): In the episode The Energy Vampire, Dr. Blight performed an experiment on Duke Nukem that allowed him to absorb and control electricity instead of radiation. When Nukem absorbed electricity, his body would grow in size in relation to how much he had absorbed. At one point, he was large enough to hold Captain Planet in one hand while draining his energy. Nukem could also fire beams of energy that he had absorbed, but he would start to shrink back to his normal size. He also shrank if he was exposed to water, as this drained the electricity he absorbed.
- Size Alteration (formerly)
- Recharge: In order to keep his powers at peak, Duke must absorb radiation constantly.
- When the series changed its production from DIC Enterprises to Hannah Barbera, Duke's personality changed as well. Formerly he was a brilliant, although twisted scientist; later episodes (from Hanna Barbera) describes him as more bruttish and less smart; it can indicates that his mental conditions are worsening after the experiment or accident that mutated him.
Leadsuit: Leadsuit's name defines his appearance - he wears a full-bodied lead suit in order to withstand the radiation released by Duke Nukem’s body. Leadsuit is timid, rarely arguing with Nukem (and always losing if he objects to anything). Leadsuit is afraid of the dark and usually gives in at the slightest trouble.
- "What's keeping Skumm!? Fifty thousand nuclear bombs in the world and all I ask for is one!" (If It's Doomsday This Must Be Belfast)
- The video game character Duke Nukem almost had his name changed to Duke Nukum because it was identical to the Captain Planet villain. However, they kept the original name because it was not copyrighted.
- Nukem's skin design is similar to Marvel Comic's character The Thing.