Friday

OMU: Golden Age -- Part Two

The comic books from the so-called “Golden Age” published by Marvel’s earlier incarnations, Timely and Atlas, give us a rough idea of what was going on in the Original Marvel Universe during the decades surrounding World War II. In addition to the major heroes, most of whom were members of the Invaders, there was a sizeable cohort of superheroes, costumed adventurers, and masked detectives whose exploits surely inspired many of the heroes who would follow their example in the superhero resurgence of the 1960s. Indeed, many of this earlier generation would survive to see that day, some enjoying a peaceful retirement and some eventually meeting a tragic fate. A few even found a way to return to a life of adventure, despite being thirty years past their prime. These were the survivors, who for one reason or another, managed not to get killed in the course of their adventures—quite an accomplishment considering they faced not only vicious mobsters, diabolical scientists, and powerful super-villains, but also the full fury of the Nazis and their Axis partners. Although neither as famous nor as successful as the members of the Invaders, these heroes nevertheless made their mark and lived to tell about it.

The following is a guide to the surviving heroes of the OMU’s “Golden Age,” based on the chronological analysis of the later stories, excluding non-canonical stories published after the early 1990s. See Part One for further explanation of my rationale.


Survivors of the OMU Golden Age


The Blonde Phantom

First Appearance: All Select Comics #1 (Fall 1946)
Years Active: 1946–1949

A year after the end of World War II, Louise Grant, secretary to private detective Mark Mason, decided she could do more to fight crime, and created the persona of the Blonde Phantom, dressing in a long, low-cut red evening gown and a domino mask, using her enormous sex-appeal to give her a psychological advantage over criminals, whom she would dispatch with her martial-arts fighting skills. After three years, Grant retired from such adventuring, married Mark Mason, and settled down to a domestic life. Twenty-five years later, she became involved in heroic circles once again when, now a widow, she became the secretary to Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk.


The Blue Diamond

First Appearance: Daring Mystery Comics #7 (April 1941)
Years Active: 1941–1947

Professor Elton Morrow discovered a strange diamond-like gem during an expedition to the Antarctic in early 1941. During the long trip by boat back to the United States, he studied the gem and the eerie blue light that emanated from it. Unfortunately, while in the North Atlantic Ocean, the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank. Morrow grabbed the box containing the gem and tried to use it as a flotation device. However, the Nazis saw him and opened fire with a machine gun. The gem exploded, embedding thousands of tiny fragments into Morrow’s body. Morrow was rescued and returned to the U.S., where he discovered his body had become diamond-hard, granting him invulnerability and enhanced strength. He decided to use his newfound powers to fight against crime and fascism, devised a colorful costume, and named himself the Blue Diamond.

In 1942, the Blue Diamond joined the Liberty Legion and served with distinction, helping defend the home front until the war was over. A few years after the war, he retired from costumed crimefighting and eventually moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Although he grew old, his powers never faded, but when there was a resurgence of costumed heroes in the 1960s, he decided to let the younger generation have their day. Eventually, he encountered the alien Shangra the Star-Dancer and, after a brief battle alongside Ben Grimm, the Thing, Morrow agreed to join the beautiful Star-Dancer in outer space as her mate. She used her powers to transmute his body into a more diamond-like form to withstand the rigors of space travel. His subsequent fate is unknown.


Bucky (III)

First Appearance: Young Men #24 (December 1953)
Years Active: 1955–1956

In 1955, Jack Monroe was a high school student, and he developed a close friendship with one of his teachers, a man named Steve Rogers, since they were both huge fans of the World War II era hero Captain America. Rogers revealed that he had discovered the original Super-Soldier serum and had intended to become the new Captain America. Monroe offered to act as his sidekick and assume the identity of Bucky. When a man claiming to be the Red Skull attacked the United Nations, Rogers injected Monroe and himself with the serum, and the two immediately developed enhanced strength, stamina, and agility. They continued to fight crime for several months, until the unstable serum caused them to become mentally unbalanced. After tarnishing the reputations of the legendary heroes, they were arrested by the FBI, exposed as frauds, and placed in suspended animation until the government could figure out what to do with them.

They were revived about a decade later and twice came into conflict with the original Captain America, who had himself recently been revived from suspended animation. After his partner committed suicide, Monroe suffered a mental breakdown and was taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., where the chemical cause of his insanity was diagnosed and treated. Eventually, he recovered and was released. Then, with the help of the original Cap, he assumed the superhero identity of the Nomad and finally became the champion of justice he had always wanted to be.


Captain America (IV)

First Appearance: Young Men #24 (December 1953)
Years Active: 1955–1956

The man who would rename himself “Steve Rogers” was a big fan of Captain America throughout World War II. When he eventually learned that the original Captain America had been killed shortly before the end of the war, he set about learning all he could about his idol. In a storehouse of military records in Germany, the young man discovered the formula for the original super-soldier serum used to create Captain America in 1941. With war raging in Korea, the man contacted the U.S. government and made a deal to use the formula, which he would not turn over, to become the new Captain America. In the early stages of the project, the man was granted access to the government’s classified files on the original Cap, which led him to have his name legally changed to “Steve Rogers,” even undergoing plastic surgery to make himself look more like the real Steve Rogers. Unfortunately, the Korean War came to an end and the government cancelled the project.

The new Steve Rogers got a job as a high school teacher, and befriended one of his students, another huge Captain America fan named Jack Monroe. Then, in 1955, a man claiming to be the Red Skull captured the United Nations building and held all the delegates hostage. Inspired by the crisis, Rogers injected both himself and young Jack Monroe with the serum he had created from the formula, and they went into action as Captain America and Bucky. The public, who were none the wiser, were thrilled, but unfortunately, the serum was unstable, and since the pair had not been exposed to the “vita-rays” of the original super-soldier experiment, they were quickly driven insane. After several months of tarnishing the reputations of the legendary heroes, they were arrested by the FBI, exposed as frauds, and placed into suspended animation until a way could be found to deal with them.

The pair was revived about a decade later and came into conflict with the original Captain America, who had not died after all. Later they were brainwashed by the villainous Dr. Faustus, and the man who wanted to be Captain America instead became the Grand Director of a racist hate group called the National Force. After another battle with the original Captain America, the Grand Director committed suicide.


The Crimson Commando

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #215 (March 1987)
Years Active: 1943–present

Frank Bohannon was a mutant whose power kept his body at the peak of human physical perfection and granted him nearly-superhuman senses. During World War II, Bohannon was inspired by the numerous other costumed heroes of the day and created the identity of the Crimson Commando. In 1943, he was teamed up with three other superheroes, Stonewall, Super Sabre, and the Yankee Clipper, to perform missions considered too “dirty” for the Invaders. In 1944, the Yankee Clipper was killed, but the three men soldiered on until the war was over.

Following the end of the war, the three teammates returned to Massachusetts and began fighting crime, mainly in Boston and throughout the New England area, though their brutal tactics garnered them a spotty reputation in the press. During the Korean War in the early 1950s, the three costumed vigilantes again offered their services to the U.S. government as “commie-smashers.” However, the government rejected their offer and persuaded them to abandoned their costumed identities and retire from crimefighting.

Left without clear purpose, the trio retreated to a vast remote estate, where they continued to train and plan for their eventual comeback. When a new generation of costumed superheroes appeared in the 1960s, Bohannon and his friends sneered at them as weak and ineffectual. Their long years of isolation and bitterness warped their attitudes, and eventually they began kidnapping criminals, bringing them to their estate, and hunting them down as a training exercise, believing humans to be “the Most Dangerous Game.” After crossing swords with members of the X-Men, Bohannon and his partners finally returned to the spotlight, joining the government-sponsored super-powered taskforce called Freedom Force.


The Destroyer

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #6 (October 1941)
Years Active: 1942–1945

Roger Aubrey was an Englishman, a friend to Brian Falsworth, and in 1939 the pair traveled to Germany to show their support for a peaceful relationship between Nazi Germany and the United Kingdom. However, as soon as war was declared between the two countries, Aubrey and Falsworth were arrested as enemy aliens and sent to separate prison camps. Aubrey was selected for scientific experimentation and was handed over to the unscrupulous Nazi scientist Colonel Dietrich. As a result of Dietrich’s experiments, Aubrey was shrunk down to nearly a foot in height, and then brainwashed. In 1942, he was made a member of a group of costumed agents called the Crusaders, which consisted of others who were similarly empowered by Nazi science and conditioned to believe they were fighting for the Allied cause. Aubrey was called the Dyna-Mite and served alongside William Nasland, the Spirit of ‘76. The Crusaders were thus sent to attack the Allied superhero group the Invaders, but in the course of the battle, the Nazi deception was uncovered and the Crusaders disbanded.

Aubrey later assisted the Invaders on a mission to Berlin, where Colonel Dietrich was captured. Back in England, Dietrich was able to reverse the shrinking process. During the mission, Aubrey had learned that his friend Brian Falsworth had also received superhuman abilities while a prisoner of the Nazis, but had escaped and attacked the German Army as the costumed commando known as the Mighty Destroyer. However, Falsworth had determined to give up that identity to assume his father’s role as the Union Jack. Therefore, wanting a chance at revenge against the Germans, Aubrey took Falsworth’s old costume and named himself the Destroyer. He was airlifted behind enemy lines and spent the rest of the war waging a one-man campaign of terror against the Axis powers. After the end of the war, he returned to England and retired his costumed identity.


Dominic Fortune

First Appearance: Marvel Preview #2 (1975)
Years Active: 1933–1948

David Fortunov was a private detective who, in the 1930s, became a dashing celebrity adventurer-for-hire under the alias Dominic Fortune. He often worked alongside his girlfriend, an entrepreneur and adventuress who called herself Sabbath Raven, until she disappeared in 1940. With America’s entry into World War II, Fortunov volunteered for military service. After the war ended, he decided not to resume his career as Dominic Fortune and instead settled down and started a family. He was finally reunited with Sabbath Raven nearly thirty years later.


Golden Girl

First Appearance: Invaders #26 (March 1978)
Years Active: 1942–1945

Gwenny Lou Sabuki was among the Japanese-American population sent to relocation camps at the outbreak of World War II, along with her father, the noted surgeon Dr. Sam Sabuki. In 1942, the Sabukis were kidnapped by the super-powered spy Agent Axis, along with the junior members of the Invaders, Bucky and Toro, and an African-American boy named David Mitchell. In the course of the ensuing battle, both Sabuki and Mitchell were exposed to an unknown form of energy that granted them each a superhuman ability.

Finding herself able to emit a blinding golden light from her body, Sabuki adopted the name “Golden Girl” and donned a costume designed to celebrate her Japanese heritage. She agreed to join Bucky, Toro, and David Mitchell, who assumed the identity of the Human Top, in a group called the Kid Commandos. The group was primarily involved in morale-boosting activities on the homefront, for the government tried to keep these teenaged heroes out of dangerous combat whenever possible.

Early in 1945, the group was disbanded and Gwenny Lou Sabuki decided to focus on her education. A few years later, another costumed heroine briefly used the name “Golden Girl,” but there was no connection between the two.


Golden Girl (II)

First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)
Years Active: 1949–1950

Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross was a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, recruited by the War Department to assist Captain America and Bucky with many of their earliest cases, serving as a liaison between the heroes and military and domestic authorities. She continued to work with them occasionally after America entered World War II and the pair of heroes joined the Invaders. In the summer of 1943, she enlisted in the newly-formed Women’s Army Corps. Later, when the original Captain America and Bucky had to be replaced, Ross established a working relationship with the substitute heroes. After the war, she continued to work with the third Captain America following the death of the second one.

In 1949, the second Bucky was crippled by a gunshot wound while fighting gangsters, and Captain America recruited Ross to be his new partner. Revealing himself as Jeffrey Mace, he provided her with a golden costume and a brief period of intensive training. She adopted the name “Golden Girl” and joined him in his adventures. After a while, she realized she was not cut out for playing superheroine and abandoned her costumed identity. However, she and Mace had initiated a sexual relationship by that time, and within a year he retired from crimefighting as well. Soon after, they were married and moved to Boston, where he worked as a newspaper reporter and she became a housewife.


The Human Top

First Appearance: Invaders #26 (March 1978)
Years Active: 1942–1945

In 1942, teenaged David Mitchell was working as a delivery boy when he stumbled on a plot by the super-powered spy Agent Axis to kidnap a hospitalized Toro. He was taken prisoner, along with Toro, his Invaders teammate Bucky, and a Japanese-American girl named Gwenny Lou Sabuki. In the course of the ensuing battle, both Mitchell and Sabuki were exposed to an unknown form of energy that granted them each a superhuman ability.

Mitchell found he could suddenly spin his body at an incredible rate of speed. He decided to put on a striped costume and assume the name “the Human Top.” He then joined Bucky, Toro, and Sabuki, who called herself “the Golden Girl,” in a group called the Kid Commandos. The group was primarily involved in morale-boosting activities on the homefront, for the government tried to keep these teenaged heroes out of dangerous combat whenever possible.

Early in 1945, the group was disbanded and David Mitchell decided to retire from adventuring to go to college.


Jack Frost

First Appearance: USA Comics #1 (August 1941)
Years Active: 1941–1945

A strange being dubbed an “ice elemental” was discovered in the Arctic and brought to the United States in the summer of 1941. The being, given the name “Jack Frost” by the scientists studying him, escaped from the research facility and soon became an outlaw and killer vigilante, dispensing his own brand of “cold justice.” Despite his often-deadly methods, Jack Frost was inducted into the Liberty Legion in 1942 and served to protect the homefront for the duration of the war. After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Jack Frost returned to the Arctic wastes, disgusted by humanity. He was never seen again.


Marvel Boy

First Appearance: Marvel Boy #1 (December 1950)
Years Active: 1950–1951

Robert Grayson was a human boy who was raised in a colony of Eternals living on the planet Uranus, having been brought there in a spaceship built and piloted by his father, Professor Horace M. Grabsheid, a.k.a. Matthew Grayson, a German Jew who had anglicized his name when he immigrated to the United States to flee fascism in Europe after his wife and daughter were killed. Among the Uranian Eternals, young Bob Grayson developed nearly superhuman intelligence and was given a pair of energy-manipulating wristbands. In late 1950, the lad returned to Earth to use his powers for the betterment of humanity. He did so for about a year and was known as Marvel Boy.

However, Grayson soon received an urgent message that his father had succumbed to an illness that the Eternals could neither diagnose nor treat. He tried to arrange a loan to purchase the needed medical supplies, but was refused by the bank. Thus, there was a significant delay as he acquired what he needed. When he finally returned to Uranus, Grayson found the Uranian colony had been completely destroyed. Overwhelmed with grief, he salvaged a pair of devastatingly powerful Quantum Bands, put them on his wrists, and set a course back to Earth to wreak his vengeance on the bank manager. A billion miles out, though, Grayson was thrown into suspended animation in a freak mishap, and did not arrive for fifteen years. Now totally insane, he went on a rampage and was opposed by the Fantastic Four. In the course of the battle, Grayson overloaded his Quantum Bands and was vaporized. The indestructible bands were taken by Reed Richards for study and soon turned over to S.H.I.E.L.D. for safekeeping. They were eventually assigned to an agent named Wendell Vaughn, who would become the superhero known as Quasar.


Red Raven

First Appearance: Red Raven Comics #1 (August 1940)
Years Active: 1940–1944, 1964

In the mid-1920s, an airplane making a transatlantic trip crashed into a strange island floating in the sky, concealed by an ever-present cloud formation. The island was home to a race of mysterious beings known as the Bird-People. The only survivor aboard the plane was a young red-haired child, who was adopted by the Bird-People’s king and raised to be a skilled warrior and a wise emissary to the world of the surface-dwellers. On his twentieth birthday, in 1940, the man, renamed Red Raven, was given a pair of artificial wings and a scarlet and gold costume and sent back to the world of humans to take to them the philosophy of the Bird-People.

Red Raven’s attempts to fight crime and injustice soon had him being hailed as a “superhero” by a fascinated public. In 1942, Red Raven joined the Liberty Legion, and remained a member in good standing until late in 1944, when he grew so embittered against the human race that he decided to return to the island of the Bird-People. However, he found they now had a new king, who was planning a major assault on the human race, intending to conquer them while they were weakened by the carnage of World War II. When his arguments against the mad plan fell on deaf ears, Red Raven took desperate measures to save his people from being wiped out. He released a gas which placed them all in suspended animation. He then placed each of the Bird-People into a life-sustaining capsule and sank the island beneath the Atlantic Ocean. He placed himself into suspended animation as well, after setting a device to raise the island and revive him in twenty years.

The island rose to the surface in 1964 and Red Raven awoke. However, the island was discovered by Warren Worthington III, the member of the X-Men called the Angel, who was escaping from the nearby island headquarters of the mutant terrorist Magneto. After battling the Angel, Red Raven decided to return to suspended animation and sink the island again for another period of time. However, a few months later, an undersea earthquake dislodged his capsule and sent it floating to the surface, where he was discovered by the Sub-Mariner. Unfortunately, the years in suspended animation had adversely affected Red Raven’s mind, and he became unhinged, intent on reviving the Bird-People to destroy humanity and take over the earth. Unfortunately, he discovered that the cryonic device had malfunctioned and all the Bird-People were dead. Consumed by rage, grief, and guilt, Red Raven went berserk, destroying the island in a catastrophic explosion. He was killed instantly.


Stonewall

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #215 (March 1987)
Years Active: 1943–1975

Louis Hamilton was a mutant whose power could turn him into an immovable object, as well as granting him a measure of super-strength. During World War II, Hamilton was inspired by the numerous other costumed heroes of the day and created the identity of Stonewall. In 1943, he was teamed up with three other superheroes, the Crimson Commando, Super Sabre, and the Yankee Clipper, to perform missions considered too “dirty” for the Invaders. In 1944, the Yankee Clipper was killed, but the three men soldiered on until the war was over.

Following the end of the war, the three teammates returned to Massachusetts and began fighting crime, mainly in Boston and throughout the New England area, though their brutal tactics garnered them a spotty reputation in the press. During the Korean War in the early 1950s, the three costumed vigilantes again offered their services to the U.S. government as “commie-smashers.” However, the government rejected their offer and persuaded them to abandon their costumed identities and retire from crimefighting.

Left without clear purpose, the trio retreated to a vast remote estate, where they continued to train and plan for their eventual comeback. Hamilton also studied to become a lawyer. When a new generation of costumed superheroes appeared in the 1960s, Hamilton and his friends sneered at them as weak and ineffectual. Their long years of isolation and bitterness warped their attitudes, and eventually they began kidnapping criminals, bringing them to their estate, and hunting them down as a training exercise, believing humans to be “the Most Dangerous Game.” After crossing swords with members of the X-Men, Hamilton and his partners finally returned to the spotlight, joining the government-sponsored super-powered taskforce called Freedom Force. However, in 1975, Hamilton was electrocuted by the villain Donald Pierce while defending Muir Island from an attack by the mutant-killing Reavers.


Sun Girl

First Appearance: Sun Girl #1 (August 1948)
Years Active: 1948–1949

The mysterious adventuress known only as Sun Girl burst on the scene in the summer of 1948 and became a worldwide sensation. Her astonishing beauty, unsurpassed martial-arts skill, unparalleled acrobatic ability, and unconquerable will made her the toast of a fascinated public and the bane of a frustrated underworld. In addition to her natural abilities, she employed a number of technological devices as well, provided by admirers in the scientific community. Chief among these was a “sunbeam ray” that produced a blinding light.

Sun Girl teamed up once with Captain America (Jeffrey Mace) and also briefly partnered with the original Human Torch. Suddenly, during the spring of 1949, Sun Girl vanished without a trace, as mysteriously as she had appeared nine months before, and was never heard from again.

In subsequent years, many legends grew up around Sun Girl, propagated mainly by men who remained obsessed with “the Mysterious Beauty.” Some claimed she was really a secretary and former WAC named Mary Mitchell. Some claimed that she had been fighting crime as early as the late 1920s or early 1930s. Some claimed that she was the Human Torch’s lover or an extraterrestrial or a goddess. However, the truth about Sun Girl was never discovered.


Super Sabre

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #215 (March 1987)
Years Active: 1943–present

Martin Fletcher was a mutant who possessed super-speed. During World War II, he was inspired by the numerous other costumed heroes of the day and created the identity of Super Sabre. In 1943, he was teamed up with three other superheroes, the Crimson Commando, Stonewall, and the Yankee Clipper, to perform missions considered too “dirty” for the Invaders. In 1944, the Yankee Clipper was killed, but the three men soldiered on until the war was over.

Following the end of the war, the three teammates returned to Massachusetts and began fighting crime, mainly in Boston and throughout the New England area, though their brutal tactics garnered them a spotty reputation in the press. During the Korean War in the early 1950s, the three costumed vigilantes again offered their services to the U.S. government as “commie-smashers.” However, the government rejected their offer and persuaded them to abandon their costumed identities and retire from crimefighting.

Left without clear purpose, the trio retreated to a vast remote estate, where they continued to train and plan for their eventual comeback. When a new generation of costumed superheroes appeared in the 1960s, Fletcher and his friends sneered at them as weak and ineffectual. Their long years of isolation and bitterness warped their attitudes, and eventually they began kidnapping criminals, bringing them to their estate, and hunting them down as a training exercise, believing humans to be “the Most Dangerous Game.” After crossing swords with members of the X-Men, Fletcher and his partners finally returned to the spotlight, joining the government-sponsored super-powered taskforce called Freedom Force.


The Thin Man

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #4 (July 1940)
Years Active: 1940–1945

In the spring of 1940, scientist Bruce Dickson was on an expedition to climb Mt. Kalpurthia in the Himalayas. During the climb, a blizzard descended on the mountain and Dickson was separated from his party, becoming hopelessly lost. While searching desperately for shelter, he found a strangely glowing cave and entered it. The interior of the cave was unaccountably warm, drawing Dickson to investigate. He discovered a tunnel leading deeper into the mountain, the other end of which opened into a fantastic hidden land—a gleaming futuristic metropolis. Overcome with shock and exhaustion, Dickson passed out.

Upon awakening, Dickson learned that he had entered the otherdimensional realm of Kalahia, and that his body had been transformed by the alien science of the Kalahian Council of Elders so that he could make himself paper-thin, as they could. Over the next several weeks, as he tried to adjust to this new society, Dickson befriended Olalla, the beautiful young daughter of the Kalahian leader. When he convinced the Council of Elders to allow him to return home so that he could use Kalahian science to help humanity, Olalla begged her father to let her accompany him. The Chief Elder relented, and soon Olalla and Dickson built a futuristic fighter jet to carry them back to America.

On their first mission, Dickson and Olalla took on a gang of racketeers lead by the infamous Clip Walton. With his amazing physical abilities and advanced alien technology, Dickson made short work of Walton’s gang and turned the defeated crime boss over to the police. Calling himself “the Thin Man,” Dickson continued to fight crime with Olalla’s help until America entered World War II in early 1942. Then, the Kalahian Council of Elders insisted that Olalla return to the safety of their mountain retreat until the war was over. Now very much in love, Olalla and Dickson parted tearfully. A few months later, Dickson joined the Liberty Legion and was a member in good standing until the end of the war.

Following the defeat of Japan in the summer of 1945, the Liberty Legion disbanded, and Dickson returned to Kalahia, only to find it had been utterly destroyed, and that Olalla and the others had been killed. Grief-stricken, Dickson soon discovered that an old enemy of the Invaders, known as Agent Axis, had learned of the existence of Kalahia and tried to conquer it after Nazi Germany lost the war earlier that year. Unable to subjugate the Kalahians, Agent Axis killed them all and destroyed the city, then fled to parts unknown. Abandoning his identity as the heroic Thin Man, Dickson spent the next thirty years trying to track down Agent Axis and get revenge. With the help of Captain America, Dickson finally located Agent Axis, now living in the United States under the auspices of the CIA. When confronted by the two heroes, the elderly Agent Axis laughed at them, saying he had long ago been pardoned of all war crimes in exchange for his cooperation with the U.S. government. Outraged, Dickson wrapped his sheet-thin body around Agent Axis’ face, smothering him to death. Bound by his moral code, Captain America turned Bruce Dickson over to the police to be charged with murder.


Ulysses Bloodstone

First Appearance: Marvel Presents #1 (October 1975)
Years Active: circa 8250 BC–1968 AD

The man who would one day call himself Ulysses Bloodstone was born into a small tribe of Scandinavian nomads some ten thousand years ago. While hunting for food one day, he discovered an unearthly crystal, which contained an alien lifeform known as the “Hellfire Helix.” Bloodstone made a deal with the alien and was granted superhuman strength, but when the alien killed the rest of his tribe, Bloodstone decided to destroy the crystal. The alien gem exploded under his attack and a piece of it lodged permanently in his sternum. Along with his superhuman strength, Bloodstone also received amazing regenerative powers from the gem embedded in his chest. Eventually, he discovered it had also made him immortal.

Thus, Bloodstone witnessed the rise of civilization and lived through all of human history, occupying himself with various pursuits, often seeking out thrills and danger to spice up the monotony of his unending existence. In the late 1960s, Ulysses Bloodstone met his destiny when he finally was separated from the Bloodgem, destroyed the Hellfire Helix, and died, his body rapidly decomposing into a desiccated skeleton.


The Vision

First Appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (November 1940)
Years Active: 1940–1943

Aarkus, a law-enforcement officer from another dimension, first appeared on Earth in late 1940, when a scientist named Dr. Enoch Mason experimented with a device that could breach the barrier between dimensions. Aarkus found that he could transport himself through clouds of smoke to materialize anywhere in the world, and this ability, coupled with his unearthly appearance, led to him being dubbed “the Vision.” He continued to come to Earth to fight the terrible, incessant crime he found here—much worse than anything in his home dimension, which Dr. Mason called the “Smoke World.” As World War II raged on, Aarkus grew more and more disgusted with the human race. Finally, on Halloween 1943, after a particularly gruesome case, he could stomach no more, and left the Earth, never to return.


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