<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">The Lethal Luthors:
A Deceptive Brilliance

 by Dennis E. Power



In 1903 Sally Finn Luthor became pregnant, hugely pregnant. Paul Finglemore made certain he was home for this birth and used his medical knowledge to effect a trouble-free birth. Sally Finn gave forth one of the rarest births in history, identical quadruplets. However this incident was never brought to public attention at the insistence of Mr. Paul Luthor, the boys' father, who claimed that it would be dangerous for the boys, for his wife, and for himself should the public be aware of their existence. He told the boys that he and they were true royalty, Princes of the House of Lutha, which had been usurped by the Rubinroths[1]. Their lives would be immediately forfeit should the Usurper discover their existence.

Interestingly enough, rumor of their existence did leak out and some very imaginative writers later attributed the incident to the family of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger[2].

The four boys were born on September 28, 1903, and were named Lawrence, Alexander, David and William. All were gifted with shocking bright red hair, a gift from both sides of the family. However, being identical quads they all also carried a genetic flaw; they all would suffer from total scalp baldness. This genetic trait ran in the family; their half-brothers would also possess this trait but not every male child had it.

All of the brothers were possessed of a remarkable intellect, which their father encouraged. What extra cash the family could acquire was used to buy books on a wide variety of subjects. He also taught them well the arts of disguise, escape, subterfuge, opportunism, situational ethics, and adaptable morality. It seems that while Paul Finglemore was able to repress his nature successfully enough to carry off the continual charade of being the staid Dr. Wainwright, with the Luthor family he was able to truer to his self. If one wonders why Sally Finn would go along with this, it should be remembered that her grandfather was a bit of a hell raiser before he became respectable. Also her great grandfather was a liar, thief, drunkard, and a gambler.

Lawrence Luthor 1903-1999

Daniel Dunn

The Ultra-Humanite

Dolores Winters



Lawrence was born first by a full five minutes, a fact he used to lord over his brothers all of his childhood. He was always a strange boy, who believed his father's story that royal blood flowed in their veins and so looked upon himself as superior to all the peasants that they lived among. He also regarded himself as superior to his brothers, for as first born he was heir to the throne and they were nothing.

Influenced by the works of Darwin, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Spencer, and Gobineau he vowed to make himself into the superior man, the epitome of human evolution. To this end he studied all he could about biology, chemistry, alchemy, and other arcane sciences. By the time he was fourteen he believed he knew all that there was to learn in these subjects.

He believed that extraterrestrial matter had incited life on earth and that evolution had been accelerated by constant infusions of extraterrestrial matter. In the course of his studies he learned about a meteorite that had landed near Smallville. The main mass of the meteorite had evidently been vaporized on impact since it was never found; however, strange colored crystals were found near the impact crater. The leading geologist at Kansas State University had declared this nothing more than strangely colored impact glass[3].

Lawrence hitched a ride to Smallville and went to the meteor’s crater; he collected several of the crystals and returned to his own town.

There were emerald, crimson, sapphire, ivory, and golden-colored crystals in his sample bag. Upon his return home, Lawrence and his brother Alexander tested the crystals and ascertained their extra-terrestrial origins. Lawrence decided to use the golden crystals as the basis for his elixir vitae, which would bestow immortality on him and accelerate his body to the peak of human evolution. Gold was after all the metal used by the alchemists to signify perfection.[4]

Lawrence ground up a gold crystal, added other ingredients, and let it distill. When it was ready, he went off into the woods by himself to drink it. His family never saw him again.

The elixir probably would have had little effect outside of a belly ache had not his brother Lex as a prank ground up and sprinkled a bit of each of the other crystals into the elixir.[5]

After drinking the elixir the thirteen-year-old boy suffered the tortures of the damned for two days. When the agony finally passed he felt limp as a dishrag. Dragging himself to a pond, which he had the foresight to be near, he drank heavily of the water. In his reflection he noticed that he was completely bald. This was to be expected he reasoned, as humans evolved they would naturally lose all ties to their animal past, so hair would become obsolete.

Then he noticed that he still had eyebrows, and eyelashes, and facial hair. He also now possessed wrinkles.

He had aged. Rather than accelerating his body to the ultimate evolutionary stage of humanity, the elixir had instead accelerated his body's maturation process, giving the thirteen-year-old boy the body of a thirty-three-year-old man. His failure humbled him, made him feel lessened. He returned home to explain to his family what had happened. His father was on a business trip, and his mother, shaken and stunned by the disappearance of her son, disbelieved his story—she thought him a madman and believed that he had something to do with her son's disappearance. Lawrence Luthor realized that he could not prove that he had suddenly aged over twenty years and might very well be charged with Lawrence Luthor's murder, despite, the lack of a corpse.

He fled the state. He sought his fortune, but despite his enthusiasm and great intelligence found himself relegated to manual labor jobs. In 1917 Lawrence took a job in the Lamb glue factory in Indianapolis, Indiana, first as a laborer but as he came up with more efficient means of production he was promoted to junior executive. As an executive he was invited to the social galas of the small town. At one of these galas he met a young lady named Alice Adams. Alice was sobbing her heart out when Lawrence met her outside a dance. Her beau, Arthur Russell had, at the urging of his parents, become engaged to Mildred Palmer.[6] Alice became drunk, and filled with self-loathing insisted that Lawrence "take her." Lawrence did as she requested. Shortly after this Lawrence discovered that Mr. Lamb had taken out patents on his designs. Mr. Lamb refused to even discuss a share of profits from the patent designs; as an employee Lawrence did not have a claim to the designs.

Angry, Lawrence quit and decided to leave town. He asked Alice to go with him, but Arthur Russell had broken off his engagement with Mildred Palmer and had asked Alice to marry him. She agreed.

 Lawrence was filled with bitterness and hatred. He torched the glue factory and left town.

All would not end happily for Alice Adams, however. A few months into her engagement she realized that she was pregnant and not by her fiancée. She pushed for an early wedding but Arthur's parents insisted on an engagement of at least six months, hoping that circumstances would drive the two young people apart. They were correct in this. When Alice could no longer hide her condition she confessed to having had a fling with Lawrence. This was enough for Arthur to break their engagement. Alice left town and gave birth to twins in a sanitarium in Terre Haute. Having lost everything, she slipped into madness. The twins were sent to separate orphanages. The boy was adopted by a family named Fisk, the girl remained unadopted.[7]

To avoid detection he rode the rails as a hobo. A fellow train hopper tried to rob, or had worse plans for, Lawrence Luthor. Lawrence killed him in self-defense and stole the man's wallet. He thus acquired the identity papers of a man named William Dunn.

In Philadelphia Lawrence Luthor used the name William Dunn and worked as a custodian at a bank/stock exchange soaking up knowledge of the stock market. He also met a young female teller with whom he soon became romantically involved. He married her before the year was out. Using extra cash he soon began to build a portfolio of moderate means. As Bill Dunn was building his modest fortune, his wife bore a son, Joseph.[8] In 1920 Bill Dunn was riding the bubble of the stock market when the bubble burst. The Depression of 1920 wiped out Bill Dunn; he had borrowed heavily and his small family was left destitute. Rather than blaming himself, Dunn blamed Wall Street and the bankers and industrialists.

Unable to cope with the situation that he had brought upon his family Dunn (Lawrence Luthor) abandoned his family on the pretext of looking for work. He went to New York City. Unable to find work for months, Bill Dunn was forced to get food from a breadline.

According to my fellow researcher Kai Jansson in The Reign of Supermen

During the depression of 1920-21, a balding, homeless man in his 30s or early 40s named William (Bill) Dunn stood in a bread line along with so many other homeless and out-of-work men (a common sight during each of America's depressions, especially those which occurred before any kind of "social safety net" was enacted), when a scientist named Professor Ernest Smalley approached him with the offer of a job.

Lawrence Luthor recognized Professor Ernest Smalley as the geologist at Kansas University who had claimed that the odd crystals found at the Smallville meteorite crater were merely impact glass. Luthor wondered what Smalley was up to and immediately accepted the offer of employment.  According to Jansson:

Smalley had been observing each of the vagrants in the food line for quite a while, in search of the proper man to be a "guinea pig" in his often-dangerous experiments, and Dunn had appeared to be the most desperate out of the entire group.

It may also have been that Smalley unconsciously recognized Lawrence Luthor without realizing it. Lawrence had aged decades overnight, so he in no way resembled the adolescent boy who had pestered Smalley with questions about the Smallville meteorite. Yet this unconscious recognition was enough to give Dunn the job. Jansson claims that “Professor Smalley treated Dunn with an unknown chemical element he had discovered in a fallen meteor from outer space.”

This unknown chemical was more than likely more of the kryptonite from the Smallville impact crater. Smalley had also added some other ingredients to soften the radiation from the mineral. His theory paralleled Lawrence Luthor's earlier theory that periodic meteorite impacts aided in the evolution of species. His theory differed in that he believed that the resulting mutations became creatures which became the dominant species, a ravening predator that hunted so well that it destroyed its own food supply and caused massive eco-sytem failure, leading to the mass extinctions of many species. He did not think that this would be the case with humanity, however, since mankind was the peak of evolution according to the prevalent evolutionary theories of the day.  He believed that his concoction would allow humanity to achieve their evolutionary perfection and so end all social problems.  But according to Jansson,

The experiment had an unforeseen effect, however, as the now-raving derelict escaped and the chemical began to transform him into an evil, powerful being who called himself "The Superman" (due to his physical and mental -- although not moral -- superiority over all other human beings)

In a sense Dunn (Lawrence Luthor) proved Smalley's theory of the ultimate predator because this is what Dunn had been transformed into. Jansson claims that “this chemical substance also had the adverse effect of causing him to lose all of his hair.” I differ with my fellow researcher on this point; my research leads me to believe Dunn already had lost his hair, as noted above. But we agree that:

Dunn's awesome mental powers grew relatively rapidly, beginning as they did with telepathy, and they expanded into mind-control to the point where he could control the thoughts of anyone he wished. Dunn first used his newfound abilities to cast his powerful mind into space, where he "saw" with his mind a battle between bizarre creatures on the planet Mars.

This vision may have been an ability to see into different planes of reality, so it may have been Barsoom that Dunn was looking at. This may be the origin of Dunn's descendent Cole Sear's ability to see into a plane of existence inhabited by the forms of those dead who have not "gone on." Jansson continues:

William Dunn began to gain great wealth and power for himself, first with theft through the use of his mental powers and then through gambling and the manipulation of the stock market. Professor Smalley by this time realized that he had created a complete monster and attempted to use the chemical treatment on himself, but he was apparently killed by the Superman before Smalley could become his rival.

It was at this time that Dunn recalled well the devastation of the recent war in Europe and reasoned that the chaos of war and all that it entailed would be instrumental in helping him to gain control of the planet as its ruler. Dunn thus used his mental powers to disrupt a post-World War I peace conference, but just before he could accomplish any lasting damage, the effects of his chemical treatment wore off. The story's conclusion showed Bill Dunn walking away, once again a forgotten man.

William (Bill) Dunn was originally from Philadelphia, where he left a wife and young son named Joseph in pursuit of work in 1920 which he could not find at home during this economic depression. After the more-or-less accurate events depicted in "The Reign of the Superman," William Dunn returned to his home in Philadelphia, where he impregnated his wife with twins—a son and daughter—this time, before he finally left the family forever.[9]

Somewhere along the way he told the story of his time as "The Superman" to a young newspaper vendor in a bar in Cleveland, who dismissed it as pure science fiction and later passed it on to Jerry Siegel, an acquaintance of his who he knew enjoyed those type of stories, the kind found in such periodicals as Hugo Gernsback's Amazing Stories and Wonder Stories.

Unfortunately for William Dunn, the chemical treatments with the unknown element which had once turned him into a mental and physical superman began to wrack his body almost immediately after his great mental powers had worn off. Within a few short years Dunn became crippled and wheelchair-bound even as his mental prowess, intellect, and reasoning powers returned to him, albeit with none of his former telepathic abilities. By the mid-1920s Dunn had once again become one of the world's foremost (albeit secretive) geniuses, but the chemicals which had turned him into an ugly, bald, misshapen cripple and enhanced his brainpower to genius level also drove his existing tendencies to new levels.

I differ with my fellow researcher on this point. I believe that Bill Dunn (Lawrence Luthor) already possessed genius-level intelligence; the thyophite endowed him the psionic power that only lasted a brief time. His brain drew strength and energy from his body, taxing it. Why the brain shriveled the body was not known until a few years later. Lawrence Luthor's brain became an almost self-supporting organism. As such it was able to be taken from its host body and transplanted into various bodies without suffering rejection or exist without a body for a time despite oxygen deprivation. Lawrence Luthor, however, did not know this. He hated all of humanity for this lost youth and lost vigor and yet at the same time believed himself to be the ultimate form of human evolution.  Returning to Jansson:

As William Dunn began to build his criminal spiderweb, he would from now on be known only by the name "The Ultra-Humanite." Dunn later revealed his origin by way of a confession, "I am known as 'The Ultra-Humanite.' Why? Because a scientific experiment resulted in my possessing the most agile and learned brain on Earth! Unfortunately for mankind, I prefer to use this great intellect for crime. My goal? Domination of the world!"

The Ultra-Humanite, known also as Ultra, soon became aware of a new and very different Superman in 1933, a powerful figure of justice who began to disrupt several of his criminal schemes in the Cleveland area. Although at first only his agents personally encountered this Superman, the greatest threat to his plans, he soon confronted this hero in person; the two became arch-enemies. This Superman was the same extra-terrestrial hero whose fictionalized accounts of his adventures by Siegel and Shuster first appeared in Action Comics in 1938.

Lawrence Luthor abandoned the Dunn identity and embarked on a life of crime, calling himself the Ultra-Humanite. At first, as my colleague stated, he worked behind the scenes. He was not as yet totally confined to a wheelchair in the early Thirties but was beginning to suffer from pains in his knees and legs that made sitting in a wheelchair more desirable that walking. The wheelchair was at this early part of his criminal career a devise to make his enemies underestimate him. Using a cache of money from his gambling ventures, he started a criminal gang, one of the member of which was his brother Alexander Luthor, whom he broken out of the Illinois State Penitentiary.[10] Alexander Luthor had become a grifter like his father before him.  He had taken to calling himself Alexi and used an indeterminate foreign accent to give the impression that he was a foreign national. Unlike his brothers, Alexi claimed that he had not started to lose his hair, possessing a full head of read hair. He claimed that he had devised a chemical treatment that prevented hair loss. However, Lawrence was certain Alexi merely wore a very good wig created from his own hair.

Alexi was, like his father before him, a master of disguise and had carried out various con jobs and grifts before getting caught. He had jumped at the chance to escape from jail, even if it meant working for a crippled old man. Alexi was shocked to discover that the crippled old man was his brother Lawrence. He became Lawrence’s leading lieutenant—with an equal share in the profits—by threatening to expose him, counting on his brother’s unwillingness to kill his own flesh and blood.

Lawrence Luthor the Ultra-Humanite and Alexi Luthor set up their headquarters in Cleveland. New York would have been their first choice, but lately the city had become plagued by a costumed vigilante whom people called The Shadow, and there was Doc Savage to consider. Shortly after their move to Cleveland, a costumed vigilante began to fight crime in Cleveland. Unlike The Shadow or Doc Savage, this one, dubbed Superman, seemed to possess superhuman strength. Lawrence and Alexi Luthor made certain to steer their main operations clear of Superman's attention but also to test his abilities through a series of proxy fights.

Unfortunately Superman stumbled onto on of their most lucrative grafts, a taxi cab protection racket. Their front man for this operation was ganglord Jackie Reynolds. Reynolds had organized unscrupulous cab drivers into a union, the Cab Protective League. Reynolds' union, financed by the Ultra-Humanite, intimidated other cab drivers through violence and threats of violence against passengers. Superman began investigating the activities of Jackie Reynolds because a cab carrying Clark Kent was harassed by the CPL.[11]

Investigating the Cab Protective League Superman discovered that it was run by a racketeer named Reynolds. Superman smashed Reynolds taxi cabs in order to make Reynolds confess. Although the comic book has Reynolds tried and convicted and escaping while being transported to prison, it is more likely he escaped while being transported to an arraignment since very little time has actually passed. Reynold’s escape from police custody was gained when he smoked a gas-filled cigarette that rendered the police insensate. The police were then thrown from the car. Clark Kent was suspicious because the poison gas trick seemed too ingenious for Reynolds to have figured out for himself. As Superman, Kent investigated the area where the police car had disappeared. He found a cabin in the woods. Breaking into the cabin he discovered Reynolds. An elderly man in a wheelchair revealed himself as the power broker behind Reynolds and many other racketeers. The elderly man called himself the Ultra-Humanite. When Superman tried to capture the criminal mastermind, he was shocked into unconsciousness by a high voltage electrical current which the Ultra-Humanite had wired into the floor directly in front of his wheelchair. The current would have killed five hundred men but merely knocked Superman unconscious. Superman was taken into the Ultra-Humanite’s laboratory and placed on a buzzsaw to be cut in half. When the buzzsaw hit Superman's dense tissue, the blade jumped out of its track and spun across the room, flying over to bisect Reynolds. Rolling out of the cabin, Lawrence Luthor called for reinforcements and torched the cabin, believing that fire would kill Superman. Why he believed this after Superman had survived a great jolt of electricity and breaking a buzzsaw blade is unknown. Perhaps it was wishful thinking.

Lawrence Luthor escaped in an airplane. When Superman escaped the burning cabin he jumped up after the plane and smashed its propellers. After the plane crash however there was no sign of the crippled old man. (Action Comics #13).

From then on Superman was on the lookout for any sign of the Ultra-Humanite. Once again found Superman found the Ultra-Humanite’s hidden hand behind a graft ring among the corrupt police of Cleveland and crooked politicians.[12] Superman had been investigating graft centered around the small Cleveland Subway system with crooked and ultimately false plans for an expansion of the Detroit-Superior Bridge subway. The Ultra-Humanite was making money by acting as middleman between the police and gangster groups, often skimming money between the transactions. He used his operatives' contacts with the politicians and members of the money men of the city to also run an extortion ring. However the persistent Superman also broke up these two operations.[13]

Tired of Superman’s interference and blaming the city that had embraced the muscle headed hero, the Ultra-Humanite decided to punish both Superman and the citizens of Cleveland. Lawrence Luthor decided to unleash a virulent plague upon the city. The cure for the disease would be withheld until payment was made. Lawrence and Alexi had a serious disagreement about unleashing the plague; Alexi wanted to use it as a last resort if a ransom was not paid, and Lawrence planned to release it regardless of payment. After arguing for several hours, Alexi came around the Lawrence's way of thinking. The Purple Plague hit the city hard and fast. The city paid the ransom, but Superman tracked the payment and was able to penetrate the Ultra-Humanite's base of operations. The Ultra-Humanite fired an electric gun of his own devising at the hero.  Unfortunately for the villain, the gun exploded, supposedly killing the Ultra-Humanite. Satisfied that justice had been done, Superman left the criminal's corpse for the authorities (Action Comics #19).[14]

Because their operations were constantly being thwarted by Superman, the Luthor brothers began to think that perhaps New York was not such a bad place to be after all. Rumor had it that the Shadow and Doc Savage were gone more often than they were in the city. If the Luthor brothers kept a low profile the psychotic killer named the Spider would not bother with them.

Lawrence Luthor used forged credentials to establish himself as Dr. Buelow T Madren, an eminent psychologist.[15] In a short time he gained access to patients among the upper social strata of New York City. He also did work for the city and for charity at Bellevue. Alexi took the identity of Edward Quaylan, a chemist. Lawrence Luthor and Alexi Luthor used information gained from Lawrence Luthor's new identity to gain advantages in business ventures and stock trading, and to arrange for various burglaries to be committed.

Early in March of 1935, Dr. Madren received a most unusual patient, a man named John Scroggins who suffered from intermittently impaired thought process, was in a highly suggestible state, and lacked any emotional response to most emotional stress tests.

Under hypnosis Dr. Madred learned that John Scroggins was a revolutionary chemist who using a combination of heat, pressure, and a chemical mixture of his own devising was able to create synthetic diamonds.[16] A side effect of the chemical process used in the creation of these synthetic diamonds was that the chemical mixture was absorbed through the skin or respiration and affected the brain chemistry producing the symptoms Scroggins suffered. Scroggins worked by himself on a small farm and duck pond on Long Island, so Madren was the only other person who knew about the diamonds or the effects of the chemical process on those exposed to it.  Lawrence and Alexi Luthor created an antidote for the chemical and cured Scroggins. Dr. Madren bought property near Scroggins and obtained some of the mind-altering chemical. Alexi was in charge of a group of chemists mixing the batches of chemicals.

The Luthor brothers started a few operations. They created synthetic diamonds and intended to use the chemicals and the synthetic diamonds to devalue and control the world diamond market. Also by treating cigars, pipe tobacco, and food with the chemicals, they would be able to influence various key people using information gathered from Dr. Madren's patients. From one of his patients—Simon Stevens, the president of World Waterways Shipping Company—Dr. Madren acquired the property of the Domyn Islands. The Domyn Islands were a small chain islands in the South Pacific with rich nitrate deposits. The nitrate mines would be a worthy asset to have in the coming European war. Plus, Doc Savage sent "graduates" from his Crime College there, so the Ultra-Humanite looked upon the islands as a means of gaining experienced criminals associates.

However, Dr. Madren had not counted upon Simon Stevens handing one of the cigars laced with the brain-altering chemicals to his shoe shiner or that Doc Savage was one of the shoe shiner's customers and noticed his odd change of behavior. Nor did Dr. Madren realize the Doc Savage sat on the board of World Waterways and had also noticed the odd behavior of Simon Stevens, which alone was enough to prompt an investigation by the bronze man.

Although Dr. Madren succeeded in dosing almost all of Doc Savage's men, his cousin Pat, and even Doc Savage himself with the mind-controlling chemical, ultimately Savage prevailed. Alexi, in his Quaylan guise, deliberately allowed himself to be captured by Savage, hoping to learn Doc's plans.  Unfortunately for the criminal brothers, Doc Savage injected Alexi with a truth serum almost immediately. Alexi injected himself with a chemical to bring about paralysis so that it would appear that he was dead. He then signaled for a henchman to fire through the window. Alexi wore a red wig with a device inside it that exploded cow brains and blood to make it appear as though he had been shot in the head. Of course, this effect would not stand up to a close inspection, but Alexi hoped that Doc and the others would try to capture the shooter.  During which time his cohorts would remove Luthor’s body.

Doc and his associates did go after the shooter, but a constable arrived before Alexi's associates could retrieve his body. The constable saw what he believed was a man with his brains shot out and went after Doc Savage. Alexi's cohorts then removed him.

Once Doc Savage entered the picture Lawrence Luthor truly believed he could outsmart and extirpate Doc Savage. He proved to be wrong. Doc Savage not only exposed Dr. Madren as the brains behind the operation but managed to destroy Madren's chemical and diamond making factory, which was on a converted whaler. The ship blew up and Dr. Madren was believed to have gone up with it. However, both the Luthor brothers were past masters at faking their own deaths. The exposure to the cold sea water, though, did not do Lawrence Luthor's weakened body any good. He began to suffer from chronic arthritis and loss of bone density, causing him to spend more and more time in a wheelchair, making the wheelchair less a prop and more of a necessity.[17]

When the Ultra-Humanite decided to work behind the scenes more, he moved his base of operations to Philadelphia, which was clear of costumed vigilantes. However rather than put all of their eggs in one basket, Lawrence and Alexi had operations going in several cities, eventually coming into contact with their brother William, who worked with them to expand their operations world wide.

One of their international ventures was marred by the presence of Superman.

In 1936 Alexi and Lawrence Luthor backed a deal that was a change for them in that it was semi-legitimate. Former movie producer and showman Carl Denham was surreptitiously gathering resources for a trip back to Kong Island. He had previously made the statement that the island had sunk and all of the animals upon it had been destroyed. He had a plan to take a converted oil tanker back to Skull Island and get two pairs of each of the prehistoric animals. He then planned to open up his own zoo. The Luthor brothers thought that this would be a good legitimate venture, one that could be very lucrative; the animals would also be of interesting scientific value. If nothing else they could be used to terrorize populations into submission.

The Luthors accompanied Denham on his excursion. Denham deliberately traveled on a confusing course to the island. It was perhaps ironic that the Luthor used anesthetic gas formulated by Doc Savage to subdue the prehistoric beasts of the island. Alexi and Lawrence were shown the ruins of the ancient city. Denham's expedition even traveled to a mountain on which the natives said another temple existed. Denham brought back some odd jewelry.  Upon seeing the jewels Lawrence insisted upon being taken up the mountain. The prehistoric beasts, however, were becoming exceedingly agitated and the supply of mercy bullets was running low.  He saw only the barest glimpse of the ancient city and saw that it had once been enclosed by a crystal dome.

The voyage back to America was uneventful until they were near the pacific coast of the United States.  Two events occurred that led to the trip ending in disaster.

As the zoo ship approached the San Francisco Bay, the caged behemoth animals became restless. Several broke out their cages and the crew was hard pressed to round them up. One of the animals that escaped was a pterodactyl. This escape was keenly ill-timed, as will be shown.

About a week prior to the ship’s return to US waters, an entrepreneurial diver discovered that currents that previously had prevented him from exploring certain regions of the San Francisco Bay were now available to him.[18] What he found shocked him.

He immediately went to the newspapers and told them of an ancient city with weird architecture on the bottom of the Bay. To deepen the mystery, the diver disappeared after talking to a man with wide set eyes.

The Daily Star sent Clark Kent and Lois Lane west to uncover the truth of this report and also to write pieces on the massive emigration of farmers to the California area in the wake of the Dust Bowl.  Clark Kent and Lois Lane hired a plane to fly them over the spot where the sunken city was located. Their plane was attacked by the pterodactyl, which had escaped from Denham’s floating menagerie.

The plane with Clark Kent and Lois Lane was severely damaged by the pterodactyl. Lane fell overboard, and Kent grabbed her. The pterodactyl grabbed him and flew over the ship. Dropping them on the deck, the pterodactyl flew towards the coast searching for other prey. It was shot down by a zealous Army-Air Corps pilot. Most of the crew of the converted oil tanker was below deck trying to contain the escaping animals.

Clark Kent was attacked by a giant rat, shredding his clothes and leaving him with only his Superman costume. Fortunately Lois remained unconscious. Superman tried to stop the rat without killing it. Their fight carried him to the rear of the tanker. By the time he had rendered the rat unconscious, Lois had disappeared.

Carl Denham had bought a few of the natives of Skull Island from the chieftain. He planned to use them as exhibits and also to help with the animals. They were a combination of Negrito and Polynesian peoples, much like the inhabitants of Madagascar. Yet they also had a strong strain of something else, some traits shared by the inhabitants of Innsmouth Massachusetts, which the pilot had been told to be on the look out for.[19] These natives happened to be on deck when the plane passed overhead. The pilot of this plane sent back a report and was shortly joined by two other planes.

Lois Lane had been taken below deck and was being held in the cabin of Lawrence Luthor. Many of the crew had been killed by the animals. Desperate, he asked Superman to help him, using the only method that came to mind, threatening to kill Lois Lane. Superman agreed, although he believed that the Ultra-Humanite planned to use these prehistoric creatures for some nefarious scheme.

The Ultra-Humanite, Lois Lane, and a few of the crew members went below decks with Superman. It is fortunate that they did so. While Superman was fighting a tyrannosaurus rex, the United States Army Air Corps made a preemptive strike against what it believed to be a ship of Deep Ones. They dropped lethal gas on the decks of the ship, instantly killing everything on deck. As the lethal gas began to seep down into the ship, Superman realized that Lois could not survive going through the gas and that most of the animals would perish. There was one chance for freedom. Superman ruptured the side of the tanker, which was even with the water line. He grabbed Lois and swam for shore. Many of the animals and crew also swam for shore. Shortly after Superman had breached the hull, the ship exploded as the Army Air corps made another bombing run over the ship.[20]

Carl Denham survived and sold his special jewels to various museums.

Alexi and Lawrence Luthor survived because they had brought with them a small submersible in case the ship run into trouble.

Most of the animals perished, although some may have survived and made their way into the wilds of America and Mexico. It is known that one of the young Kong apes did survive.[21]

The Ultra-Humanite returned to working behind the scenes as a criminal middleman.  He spent time researching methods to either rejuvenate his body back to its youth or to transfer his consciousness into a younger body. It was during these researches that he came into contact with the being known who would be known Brainiac.

The general public knows of Brainiac from his appearances in the comic book and cartoon adventures based on Superman's life. He is depicted as a bald-headed, green-skinned android who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lex Luthor but with a web work of wires on the top of his scalp. Purportedly he came to earth in a time/space ship. This portrayal is actually not too far from the truth.

However he did not originate on Colu, or on Krypton as has been more recently suggested.

The being who would be come known as Brainiac's origins actually lie outside the known universe.

This being was originally what is referred to as a Black Beller, although he never looked like the Black Bellers described in the World of Tiers series by Philip José Farmer. “The Black Bellers were to have been used, partly, as receptacles for memory. The Lords, knowing that even the complex human brain could not hold thousands of years of knowledge, had experimented with the transfer of memory. This could, theoretically, be transferred back to the human brain when needed or otherwise displayed exteriorly.” (Farmer, A Private Cosmos, Berkley, 1968)

However the main purpose of the Bellers was to provide the Thoan Lords with true immortality. The Thoan Lords were human beings who had discovered from ancient technology found in their universe how to create universes of their own, including solar systems and all the planets, and created all flora and fauna tailored to suit their whims. Once this technology had become widespread, the Thoans each commanded universes of their own, becoming gods to the artificially created human beings and animals they populated their creations with. Although the Thoans developed methods to extend their lives for thousands of years and could bio-engineer their bodies to be resistant to injury, they remained all too mortal and could be killed by accident or misadventure. The Thoan scientists created the Bellers during their quest for a true immortality.


“A Beller is bell-shaped, black, of indestructible material. Even if one were attached to a hydrogen bomb, the Beller would survive the fission. Or a Beller could be shot into the heart of a star, and it would go unscathed for a billion years.” (Farmer, A Private Cosmos)


The Bellers were originally constructed to be purely automatic devices that extruded two thin but rigid needles that bored through the skull and into the brain. Through the needles the contents of the human brain would be electronically duplicated. The duplication resulted in stripping the original brain and leaving it blank.


"The Beller was constructed so that the mental contents of the Lord could be stored for a very long time indeed if an emergency demanded this.


"The Bellers were to provide a means whereby the mental contents of a Lord could be transferred to the brain of a host. Thus, the Lord could live on in a new body while the old one died of its wounds.


"The experiment took over fifty years, I believe, before the Bellers were one hundred percent safe and perfectly operational. Most of the research was done on human slaves, who often died or became idiots.


“Lords who became subjects reported an almost unendurable feeling of detachment from reality, agony of separation, while their brains were housed in the Bellers. You see, the brains did have some perception of the world outside if the needle-antennae were extruded. But this perception was very limited. To overcome the isolation and panic, the perceptive powers of the antennae were improved. Sound, odor, and a limited sense of vision were made available through the antennae.”  (Farmer, A Private Cosmos, Berkley, 1968)


A failsafe was also written into the Beller process so that an ambitious slave could not assume the identity of a Lord. The failsafe was that the contents of the brain to which the transfer was to be made could either be withdrawn into a black beller device or the original contents could be overwritten by the new information, in essence destroying the original personality that had inhabited the body.

“The scientists accidentally discovered that an unused bell had the potentialities for developing into an entity. That is, an unused bell was a baby Beller. And if it were talked to, played with, taught to speak, to identify, to develop its embryonic personality—well, it became, not a thing, a mechanical device, but a person. A rather alien, peculiar person, but still a person."

"The scientists became fascinated. They made a separate project out of raising Bellers. They found that a Beller could become as complex and as intelligent as an adult Lord. Meanwhile, the original project was abandoned, although undeveloped Bellers were to be used as receptacles for storing excess memories of Lords."

There were ten thousand fully adult Bellers in the project and a number of baby Bellers. Somehow, a Beller managed to get its needle-antennae into the skull of a Lord. It uncoiled and dematricised the Lord's brain and then transferred itself into the host's brain. Thereafter, one by one, the other Lords in the project were taken over."

"Many of the Bellers in the hosts' bodies managed to get out of the home universe and into the private universes. By the time that the truth was discovered, it was impossible to know who had or had not been taken over, there had been so many transfers. Almost ten thousand Lords had been, as it was termed, 'belled.’" (Farmer, A Private Cosmos, Berkley, 1968)

The War of the Black Bellers lasted two hundred years.

By then, most of the scientists and technicians of the Thoans or Lords had been killed. Over half the Thoan laymen population was also dead. The home universe was ravaged. This was the beginning of the end of science and progress and the beginning of the solipsism of the Lords. The survivors had much power and the devices and machines of the Lords in their control, but the understanding of the principles behind the power and the machines was lost.

"Of the ten thousand Bellers, all but fifty were accounted for. The 9,950 were placed inside a universe specially created for them. This was triple-walled so that nobody could ever get in or out." (Farmer, A Private Cosmos, Berkley, 1968)

The Beller who would become known as Brainiac was a prototype model created by the Black Bellers during the final days of the Black Beller War. The prototype was created in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off what the Bellers believed was the coming extinction of the Black Bellers. Although Farmer does not mention this, The Black Bellers entities, that is the artificial intelligences originally formed in the mechanical Black Beller device were routinely exterminated when captured, either while stuck in a host body or if they had taken refuge in the indestructible Beller body they were forcibly extracted into the body of a slave and this slave body was killed. The unfortunate slave’s consciousness was over written by the Beller persona. There were also situations in which the Bellers were too far away from their Bells for their consciousness to be transferred when their host bodies were killed, so they died a true death. The new Beller device was designed specifically to prevent this death from occurring.

Made of an indestructible metal akin to adamantium, the prototype device resembled a skein of wires, having limited mobility, somewhat like a mechanical spider. It was designed to preserve the consciousness of a Black Beller and thereby extend its life. The improved Beller device would attach itself to a prospective host, lull it using subsonics, extract the consciousness of the host body on contact, and input the personality of a Black Beller. The original personality of the body was deleted however information such as the host's memories and language were retained for quick assimilation. The wire skein had remain to on the skull and connected to the brain for the Black Beller to control the body and to experience the physical sensations of the body. Due to a flaw in the skein’s construction the Beller was forced to remain attached to this host body until the host body died; only once the host body had died and brain death had begun would the wire skein’s automatic extraction process remove it from the host’s brain.

When it appeared as though the Black Bellers would lose the war, the improved Beller’s creators placed this proto-type Beller in a small vehicle that could travel through the pocket universes. The vehicle first landed in a pocket universe whose Lord had long abandoned the universe or in a universe which had been created by the Preservers or the Ancients. The humans on this world were identical to Earth humans as was generally the rule in the universes created by the either the Thoans or Preservers. It was in this universe that the device first initiated. Yet over the course of the following millennia The Black Beller's inborn amorality and desire to rule would result in it fleeing from pocket universe to pocket universe as it made itself unwelcome.

The Beller had possessed the body of a powerful politician in a pocket universe similar to Earth circa 1911. In its thirst for world conquest it had, through the charisma of its human host, caused that world to become engulfed in a conflagration that nearly destroyed that world’s entire human population. In the aftermath of the war when the Beller was a hunted fugitive it was discovered that the politician had been possessed by a demon, the Beller device. The remaining governments had banded together and voted to destroy the demon by sending it through the cutting hole, an artifact of great age whose origins had been lost in time. This was actually one of the Thoan’s trap gates. It was a one way gate exiting on Earth, however the gate’s power cut off just as a person entered the gate, causing the person to be partially in both universes when the power shut off, bisecting the body and so killing the person who had attempted to use the gate. The Thoan’s had a nasty sense of humor.[22] The Beller was forced into the gate and was decapitated when the gate power shut off.

The spidery form of the Black Beller left the decapitated head of its host body and attached to the head of a man who sat in drunken stupor outside a motor vehicle. This person was Clifford Devoe.  According to David Stepp:

Clifford Devoe had been an ambitious young lawyer who had been district attorney in Keystone City [Philadelphia]. During prohibition in Keystone City, mobster Hunk Norvock had established himself as an untouchable figure in Keystone's underworld. Brought to trial for murder in 1933, Norvock represented a prime opportunity for Devoe to establish a name for himself at a national level. Believing himself to finally have an unbeatable case against the crimelord, Devoe was stunned when the daughter of a powerful political figure took the stand in Norvock's defense. Unable to risk offending the jury with a barrage of questions at the doe-eyed heiress, Devoe withdrew his complaint and Norvock was freed.

Norvock's acquittal left Devoe publicly humiliated. His judgment was called into question, despite the truth of his case: Norvock's alibi had been the victim of extortion.

Devoe turned to the solace of the bottle.[23]

It was at this point that the improved Beller device attached itself to Devoe and displaced the consciousness of the shattered legal eagle.  Stepp continues:

and one night, in a drunken stupor, [Devoe] paid a visit to Norvock. After sobering up, the attorney confided in Norvock that he had given up a life of fighting crime. By the crimelord's own example, crime did pay.   Devoe offered to be Norvock's "thinker," a planner of crime and a library of alibis and legal defense if Norvock should ever need one. Norvock provided Devoe a cottage on the outskirts of Keystone and a stipend to meet his needs. Devoe moved his legal library home with him and studied the law for loopholes and precedent.”

According to most accounts Devoe remained in isolation for a decade. He performed small tasks for Norvock and other criminals but was never personally visited by Novock.

Although not generally known, Norvock was one of the Ultra-Humanite's minions and he told his master about the former district attorney now serving him. Intrigued by Devoe's sudden reversal, the Ultra-Humanite met with him. Eventually Devoe revealed the cause of his change—the improved Beller device, believing that Luthor's scientific genius could aid him. Devoe had quickly learned to cover the skein of wires on his skull by using a hat or a flesh-colored skull cap. Devoe used his Black Beller knowledge of advanced scientific theory and helped the Ultra-Humanite translate this advanced knowledge into 1930's technology. This is the true story of Devoe's decade of isolation.

They first worked on a method to restore the Ultra-Humanite's body. Despite Devoe's advanced biological knowledge, most cures simply did not work on the Ultra-Humanite's body. Their researches also led them to correspond with various scientists around the world, including one Dr. Peter Drury. [24]

One of the methods they tried involved electricity and the electromagnetic spectrum.

In 1937 Alexi and Lawrence Luthor became aware of a man named Dan McCormick, The Electric Man, through their correspondence with Peter Drury

McCormick’s story, as told in Man Made Monster (1941) is that he survived a crash of an bus that had struck an electrical pole. Everyone else was electrocuted but Dan McCormick, who bolted from the wreckage unscathed and somehow acquired an immunity to electricity. He found work as an electrical man at a carnival. Two scientists, Dr. John Lawrence and Dr. Paul Rigas, investigated McCormick's amazing abilities. They convinced him to participate in a series of experiments for the betterment of mankind. They subjected him to increasingly higher doses of electricity until he could not be harmed by any amount of electrical charge whatsoever. Dr. Rigas wanted to create an army of electrically charged men who would allow him to rule the world. He was opposed by this by Dr. Lawrence. Dr. Rigas controlled McCormick and caused him to kill Dr. Lawrence. He then drained McCormick of electrical energy and informed the authorities of the murder. McCormick was tried and convicted for the crime and sentenced to the electric chair. McCormick survived three attempts to electrocute him. He broke out of prison and returned to the laboratory of Dr. Rigas and killed him before he could turn a young girl into a zombie. Donning a rubber suit to keep in the life-giving electricity, McCormick abducted the girl. A manhunt ensued. He was killed when he became entangled in a barbed wire fence, which tore his rubber suit and shorted him out.

In the film Dr. Lawrence was portrayed as a good man with only good intentions. His assistant Rigas, portrayed as evil, had McCormick kill Dr. Lawrence. These portrayals were cinematic additions to the true story to provide dramatic tension and to appease the Production Code. In fact, neither Dr. Lawrence nor Dr. Rigas was a good man. They wished to learn how McCormick’s electrical field regenerated tissue. They had also learned that the electricity applied near his temples resulted in memory loss and confusion. They developed some manner of device that either used radio waves or microwaves to control McCormick using his enhanced electrical field as a conductor. The remote control device took hold of McCormick's nervous system, allowing the doctors to cause him excruciating pain, seize control of his autonomous functions, and induce him to do almost any task. They envisioned creating an army of electrically powered zombies. Yet experiments with other less willing volunteers were usually fatal to the subject.

Their control over McCormick slipped once, and he attacked one of their laboratory assistants who had subjected him to abuse. McCormick killed the man with an electrical discharge and set their laboratory on fire. This assistant’s death was portrayed in the film Dr. Lawrence’s murder and the film, possibly due to reasons of budget or else the inability to get the rights to tell the entire story, does not include the following events but goes directly to McCormick being tried and convicted for this death and sent to the electric chair. As seen below quite a bit happened between these two events.

With some difficulty the Luthor brothers regained control of Dan McCormick.

The following events were presented in a very altered form in Action Comics 47 (April 1942): "Powerstone"

Needing money for a new laboratory, the Luthor brothers sent McCormick to the home of Brett Calhoun, one of the richest men in the city. McCormick threatened the man's life, and convinced him to announce that he would pay three million dollars to the man who could prove that he was the richest man in the city. The contestants had to present at least $100,000 in cash to enter the contest.

Upon leaving the home of Brett Calhoun, McCormick was ordered to stop a limousine. The engine seized up at a blast of electricity, which also stunned the driver and his two passengers. McCormick stole the money and jewelry of the passengers. Next he was ordered to break into a bank and use his electrical power to gain entry into the vault. Although the comic book depicts him as gaining great strength along with his electrical power, McCormick actually opened the vault using his electricity and over rode the time lock.

Clark Kent heard about the bank robbery on the radio and as Superman went to capture the bank robber. McCormick knocked back Superman with an electrical blast, however this was not a big enough jolt to harm Superman so he shrugged off its effects and punched McCormick, knocking him against a tree. The police arrived and began shooting at Superman, who at this time was still considered a vigilante. In the confusion McCormick recovered and ran away.

Fearing for his life, Brett Calhoun announced the contest for the richest man in the city in the papers. Lois Lane sneaked into the private gathering for an exclusive scoop.

Emerging from his hiding place, McCormick shocked the gathered assembly into unconsciousness. He collected each of the $100,000 entrance fees. As he was doing this, he spotted Lois Lane hiding in the corner of the room.

Superman crashed through the ceiling to capture McCormick, but the Electric Man held Lois hostage. He told Superman he needed money to be rid of the curse of electrical current. He told Superman that he would free Lois if the Man of Steel would retrieve a bauble from a museum, a gem taken from the Krowak Mountain in Skull Valley.[25]

The Ultra-Humanite had decided that this might be a good way to get his hands on that gem, which was otherwise heavily guarded.

Superman returned with the gem, and as per his instructions from Lawrence Luthor McCormick tried to flee with the stone. Superman and McCormick battled inside the house. As they fought McCormick grew weaker as his electrical charge wore down. Once he was powerless Superman captured him. He told McCormick that the gem was a fake.[26]

McCormick was tried and sentenced for the death of Dr. Lawrence. He was supposedly put to death in the electric chair but in fact survived.[27]

The Ultra-Humanite and Alexi Luthor's electrical experiments with McCormick had some measure of success and were an intriguing avenue for research. They learned that science and technology would be the theme of the New York World's Fair of 1939 and an International Scientific Symposium would be held on the fairgrounds before it was opened to the public. One of the scientists presenting was Professor Martin Uppercue, who planned to demonstrate his combination of electrical regeneration of cell tissue coupled with hormonal therapy to rebuild muscle tissue, which he called “The Man of Tomorrow” treatment. Another scientist presenting was Doc Savage, who would demonstrate a new brain surgery technique.

Intrigued by this the Ultra-Humanite and Alexi Luthor believed that this International Scientific Symposium offered them the opportunity to accomplish several things at once, possibly find a cure for the Ultra-Humanite's degenerative condition, humiliate and destroy Doc Savage, and hold the city of New York city for ransom. They were aided in the later by the fact that Professor Uppercue's process needed a great deal of electricity.[28]

They gained access to the World's Fair as it was under construction by getting some of their henchmen hired on as workers. Posing as one of the architects, Alexi Luthor was able to gain control of working crews and alter building plans to meet the specifications of the Ultra-Humanite and the Thinker's plans. Meanwhile the Thinker and Ultra-Humanite contacted Dr. Uppercue and worked with him to build a device to help him get the needed amount of electricity. They did inform him that their atomic accumulator would turn the Perisphere into a giant generator and allow the accumulator to drain New York City of power.

Dr. Uppercue worked with Alexi Luthor who took the guise of a Russian surgeon named Alexis Mandroff, a name possibly designed to tweak Doc Savage with its similarity to Dr. Madren. Alexi dyed his red hair straw-blonde as part of his disguise. Using two kidnapped and sedated men as test subjects, they tried Dr. Uppercue's experiment. The end result was to make the two victims into large hulking brutes without intellect, hardly “men of tomorrow.” Horrified by the experiment, Dr. Uppercue took a key piece of the accumulator so that it could not be used by anyone else. Unknown to anyone else he intended to claim the accumulator as his own invention and use it to not only win scientific acclaim but also secure his fortune.

The Ultra-Humanite sent a couple of henchmen led by a scar-faced man named Lonesome to retrieve the item that Uppercue had taken.

Alexi Luthor as Alexis Mandroff had arranged to assist Doc Savage in the delicate brain operation being held before an audience of prominent surgeons from all over the world. At a crucial point in the operation a signal from Alexi would cause the power to the operating room to be cut off. Doc Savage would then be unable to save his patient and his reputation as a superlative surgeon would be extinguished. This was part of the Luthor brothers’ plan to humiliate Doc Savage before destroying him. Alexi sent the signal and the power to the room was cut off, plunging the room into darkness. Yet Doc Savage once again rose to the challenge. He sterilized a flashlight that he had among his equipment and finished the delicate brain operation despite the limited illumination.

Professor Uppercue was captured by the Luthors’ men but refused to divulge the location of the crucial part of the accumulator he had taken, an aluminum cylinder. Without this piece, the Ultra-Humanite could not turn the Perisphere into a giant generator and death trap or drain New York City dry of power.

Alexi and his henchmen captured several of Doc's men. The Luthors wished to subject Long Tom Roberts to the Man of Tomorrow process, followed by Monk and Ham to see if it would work with genius-level intelligence, however they were still missing the crucial part. Alexi menaced Doc and Uppercue at gunpoint, wearing surgical garb and mask to hide his looks. Since Uppercue had not responded to torture, the masked man wished for Doc Savage to hypnotize Uppercue into revealing location of the crucial part. Doc Savage made a show of hypnotizing Professor Uppercue but he was actually hypnotizing the masked man. Professor Uppercue’s shout of triumph at beholding the hypnotized villain was enough to snap Alexi out of his trance. Doc Savage gassed the masked man with one of his special bulbs of anesthetic gas as he tried to make his escape. The arrival of some of the masked man’s henchmen distracted Doc Savage and Long Tom, long enough for masked man to have escaped through a secret door in the room.

Doc Savage and Long Tom spent a few hours attempting capture the masked man and ascertain his plans. Alexi disguised himself as the World's Fair publicity agent Adam Ash and spent time with Doc and his men to try and discover where the aluminum cylinder was hidden.

Alexi finally learned that the real Adam Ash had been hiding the cylinder and retrieved it. Still disguised as Adam Ash, he confided in Doc Savage about having the accumulator and told Doc Savage that the masked man was going to carry out the experiment without the accumulator, which could end disastrously for New York. He convinced Doc Savage to accompany him to the Perisphere where the experiment would take place and possibly stop the masked man from carrying out his plan.

Once Doc, his companions and the false Adam Ash were at the Perisphere a group of gun wielding hoodlums took Doc and his men hostage. Alexi had wanted Doc Savage taken into custody so that he could not stop the great experiment.

The false Adam Ash exited and disguised as Dr. Mandroff, Alexi joined the captives. One of the hulking brutes that had been created as a result of Uppercues’ experiments that combined electrical regeneration of cell tissue coupled with hormonal therapy to rebuild muscle tissue demonstrated that his intellect was not entirely gone when he revealed where the real Adam Ash had been tied up and hidden. He also showed where the accumulator had been held. Realizing that his role of the mastermind behind the gang of thugs would be exposed, Alexi grabbed the accumulator and fled the room, heading for the Perisphere.

Doc Savage used Mandroff’s (Alexi’s) escape to rally his men and overcome their captors.

Alexi hooked up the accumulator and the Perisphere began to spark and shake as it drew in all of New York City's electrical power. Doc immediately made everyone leave the area near the Perisphere and seek shelter. A blast of powerful electrical current supposedly engulfed Alexis Mandroff and he was burnt to dust.

The aluminum cylinder needed for the accumulator to work properly was actually a specially built insulator containing a monatomic film. Dr. Uppercue had created several false ones so that he alone could have the key to the accumulator. Alexi had inserted one of the false ones into the accumulator; and when no insulation was there to hold that terrific Perisphere charge within the accumulator, the great voltage kicked back and drew the bolt of lightning from the Trylon and at the same time shorted out the Perisphere generator.

The actual cylinder with the monatomic film had been destroyed in a fight between Monk Mayfair and some of Lonesome's men.

Professor Uppercue had previously been frantic to get the accumulator back when Mandroff was fleeing with it. Yet now Professor Uppercue acted as though the device could never be utilized again because the insulator had been destroyed. If the machine had actually been of his creation and his design as replacing the insulator would have been a small task.

"It is just as well," Uppercue said. "I’m afraid the accumulator’s possibilities were too great and also too dangerous. With its unlimited, stored power, it would have always been a treasure sought by men like Mandroff” (Robeson, World’s Fair Goblin Pg. 118)

If Uppercue went public with the accumulator and it went into production, then the danger of thievery would have been reduced because there would have been more than one, but the danger of thievery would still have been there because of the awesome power of the accumulator (just as the danger of the theft of plutonium is great in the real world because of its explosive power).  If a power company paid him not to put it into production, then people like Mandroff would still be after it.  This statement could be proof that Uppercue did not invent the accumulator, it’s his way of hiding the fact that he couldn’t develop any more because the accumulator was the invention of the Luthor brothers and not Uppercue.

Alexis Mandroff (Alexi Luthor) was of course not disintegrated by the electrical burst. He realized from the way that the Perisphere was acting and the odd way that the accumulator was acting that something was very wrong and fled. The person burned to ash was one of the henchmen who had stayed at Mandroff's request and a bribe of several hundred dollars to operate the accumulator.

Having failed to accomplish any of his goals in this scheme, the Ultra-Humanite vowed to try once again. He began to listen with more interest to The Thinker's long-term solution to the Ultra-Humanite's incapacitated body. This was to make him another body, a perfect body created from the ruins of his old body. A perfect body to be the permanent host of the perfect brain. The body would be grown from cells of the Ultra-Humanite body and aged to maturity. The catch was that forced-growth clones always had flaws in them, so the best method was to allow the body to mature naturally. This would take twenty years. When it was mature enough the body would also be augmented with cybernetic enhancements to replace or improve organs, to enhance the durability of the flesh and the bones, and to make the body as immortal as possible without it becoming too mechanical. They harvested cells and began growing the embryo.

They also hatched a plan to get the money that would allow them to make the bio-mechanical improvements to the growing clone body.

Using their inside access to the New York World's Fair, they planned to hold the city for hostage once again. This time they made certain Doc Savage was abroad and the Shadow and Spider were occupied. This was in the days after the Fair opened.[29]

Metropolis was the sponsor to the World's Fair, part of it at least. Gotham also had a section. The Ultra-Humanite contacted the Mayor of Metropolis and threatened to destroy the World's Fair unless he was paid a million dollars.[30]

The city refused, so the Ultra-Humanite, having replaced the World's Fair’s giant model of a robot with an actual working robot, sent it on a remote controlled rampage of destruction. A woman and her companion fell directly in the path of the robot and the Ultra-Humanite was going to crush them with the metal foot of the robot. Alexi once again protested the killing of innocents and was slapped down. This distraction, however, allowed the two people to escape. Then, the Ultra-Humanite lost control of the robot. The cameras inside the robot showed the distorted figure of Superman smashing the robot into scrap metal.

Superman’s appearance in New York was a shock to the Ultra-Humanite. From his viewpoint it appeared that somehow Superman had tracked the Ultra-Humanite to Metropolis.[31]

Alexi was planning on leaving as soon as he got his cut from the big Metropolis job. His brother had become less humane about the crimes they were committing, even to point of killing innocents. Lex had protested this but had been physically chastised for daring to speak against the Ultra-Humanite. He planned a fitting retirement for his brother and hoped to rid the world of another menace at the same time.

Despite Superman's interference, the Ultra-Humanite and his partners, Alexi Luthor and The Thinker, went ahead with their plan to extort ten million dollars from the city of New York by holding the Fair hostage. Superman, however, was soon joined by another costumed vigilante, the Batman. This was a different Batman than Alexi had encountered in Chicago.

However, reports concerning the events that followed are conflicting so we will be using the version derived from the Omega Files.[32]

Knowing that payment would not be forthcoming and learning that his brother intended to destroy the Fair even if he got the ransom, Alexi had left clues behind that would lead Superman and Batman back to the Ultra-Humanite. However, Lois Lane stumbled onto the scene and was captured by Ultra's men, who wanted to kill her outright. To save her life, Lex took her back to the Ultra-Humanite and prepared her for interrogation, stalling for time until Superman or Batman showed up. Alexi planned to make good his escape, neutralize the Ultra-Humanite's and Devoe's threats, and do so with out any fatalities.

When Superman and Batman appeared on the scene, Alexi freed Lois Lane and pushed her towards them. He and the Ultra-Humanite rode a superfast lift into the interior of the World's Fair Trylon, or so it appeared. Actually at the last second they ducked into another superfast lift that dove down to the city sewers beneath the Fair where the Ultra-Humanite had his secret lair. The Ultra-Humanite had rigged the Trylon into a rocket that would explode shortly after takeoff, although some accounts tell of Superman throwing the Sphere at the rocket, causing it to explode; if he in fact did so it was a fortuitous coincidence.[33]

Once they were in the Ultra-Humanite's lab, Alexi locked his brother’s wheelchair into place. He handcuffed The Thinker and the Ultra-Humanite to each other and left them for Superman and Batman to find. He then made his escape.

However the Ultra-Humanite had rigged the Perisphere to explode, hoping to eliminate both the Superman and Batman in the blast. [34]

The Ultra-Humanite and The Thinker were slower than expected in escaping from the explosion, and the Ultra-Humanite's already weakened body was damaged. Realizing that this body would not last until the clone was mature, they had to find a substitute to house his brain. The body would naturally have to be as close as possible to his original body, such as that of an identical twin brother. Considering Alexi's betrayal of him enough to sign his death warrant, the Ultra-Humanite tried to find Alexi before it was too late.

Alexi stayed hidden.

No exact match could be found in the time necessary. Agents of the Ultra-Humanite were sent to find a person between the ages of twenty and thirty with the Ultra-Humanite’s blood type. The first person that they found was Dolores Winters, an up-and-coming screen actress. The Thinker performed the necessary operation; the Ultra-Humanite had made certain that The Thinker would be killed by having his head sealed in cement and then decapitated, thus imprisoning the neural net in cement, if he botched the operation. Ordinarily a brain would have died using the surgical techniques and equipment that The Thinker used, it was only because of the Ultra-Humanite's mutant brain that he survived the operation and thrived in his new body.

Once in the new body, the Ultra-Humanite set about to recoup his financial losses. Dolores Winters had been invited to a celebrity gala aboard a cruise ship. After the ship had sailed, a group of criminals took the celebrities hostage, demanding five million dollars ransom. They took them off the ship to a hidden location on a small Caribbean island. The hostages were hidden in a cavern, the entrance of which was under water. The ransom was raised from among the studios and friends of the hostages. Superman followed the criminal gang after they picked up the ransom. He tracked the kidnappers to the air-filled grotto. Superman watched from the shadows as "Dolores Winters" counted the money. When the villain declared she would execute the celebrities despite having received the ransom, Superman stopped the henchman, who were about to fire on the celebrities. As Superman disabled his henchmen and then rescued the hostages, the Ultra-Humanite made her escape once again. (Action Comics #20 January 1940.)

Soon after, the Ultra-Humanite read of the discovery of an atomic weapon created by physicist Terry Curtis. Using the comely form of the young actress, the villain seduced and kidnapped the scientist. After extended torture, Curtis agreed to help the Ultra-Humanite build an atomic arsenal of her own. When an airship destroyed a Metropolis building, Superman followed it to the criminal lair inside a volcano. In exchange for Curtis’s release, the Ultra-Humanite sent Supermen to steal some crown jewels, expecting him to be destroyed by the guards. When Superman returns unharmed, the Ultra-Humanite unleashed a series of death traps, each of which failed to destroy Superman. Confronted again with his ultimate foe, the Ultra-Humanite dove through an opening in the side of her lair to her apparent doom in the volcano's crater (Action Comics #21).[35]

The true events differ a fair bit from the published version.  The Ultra-Humanite heard about one of the atomic theories proposed by a young physicist in Chicago, named Rodney Prescott.[36] The Ultra-Humanite believed that the atomic theory could have practical application and be used as a weapon. As Dolores Winters, the Ultra-Humanite met Prescott and pretended an interest in his work. She seduced the lonely scientist, who had recently been divorced from Leigh Rae Kent. Dolores Winters tried to get Rodney Prescott to create an atomic weapon. When he refused, she had him subjected to a lengthy period of torture. He eventually agreed to help her.

The theory that Prescott had come up with had a rather insidious practical application. It could turn a person into a living bomb.[37] The testing period involved several subjects, all of whom had been kidnapped. One of these unwilling test subjects was a career criminal named Jake Simmons, the other was a former Olympic athlete named Will Everett. They survived the experiment but were considered failures since they did not turn into living bombs but gained odd abilities from the radiation treatment.[38]

The comic-book version of the airship destroying a building in Metropolis is correct, after a fashion. The Ultra-Humanite's airship hovered over a building in New York and dropped a man onto the roof. The man was one of the living bombs, ready to explode. He hurried down into the building seeking help, but exploded. Superman jumped up and grabbed on to the airship, holding on as it flew back to its headquarters. Although the comic book version locates the Ultra-Humanite's lair in a volcano, most of the active volcanoes in the continental United States are at the opposite end of the country from Metropolis in rather remote areas. This location was probably dramatic flair added by Jerry Siegel. The airship probably went to a hideout in the Catskills. The living bomb in Metropolis served two purposes—to test the weapon and to draw Superman to the Ultra-Humanite. The Ultra-Humanite revealed that she had captured Rodney Prescott and gave Superman a task to complete, threatening death for Prescott if Superman refused or failed.

Although Superman probably would have agreed to the task to save anyone, this particular captive had a special association with him.[39] It is unknown if the Ultra-Humanite knew of this connection or if it was one of the wild, albeit strangely common, Wold Newton Universe coincidences. Superman had to steal the Crown Jewels of Lutha, which were on display in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. When Superman returned with the treasure, the Ultra-Humanite let Prescott go as promised. The Ultra-Humanite then made Superman come after her through a maze of death traps. By this time she had made good her escape.

The Ultra-Humanite laid low for two years. It was not known what she was doing until recently. The body of Dolores Winters became pregnant after her seduction of Rodney Prescott. Ordinarily the Ultra-Humanite would have aborted, but she wanted to experience childbirth. She also had plans to use the child against Prescott. According to the account in All Star Squadron 22, the Ultra-Humanite drilled deep into the earth from his headquarters in the extinct volcano using a mole machine similar to Abner Perry's device, and there discovered a race of underground dwellers who worshipped her as a queen since they no longer had females; the truth is a bit more complex.

As stated earlier there was no extinct volcano lair. Although it is not mentioned in All Star Squadron, The Ultra-Humanite deliberately looked for the underground civilization of Murania, believing that as a remnant of lost Lemuria it held the secret behind the power crystals of ancient lore. In 1933, radio star/singing cowboy Gene Autry had saved the earth from the depredations of Murania and their death ray. Gene had saved the Queen but had been ordered to leave Murania.[40] Gene and his companions had returned to the surface and sealed off all the known tunnels leading to Murania. The Murians had suffered from their creation of the death ray, its production created some sort of toxic that made them infertile and produced a high cancer rate among women.

A faction in Murania did hail the Ultra-Humanite, who was pregnant at the time, as their new queen; the fertility rate in Murania had dropped to nearly zero, so a pregnant woman was regarded with respect bordering on awe. Their current Queen, Tika, had thus far failed to produce an heir. Queen Tika retained her throne, but a few loyal men joined the Ultra-Humanite upon her return to the surface.

Suspecting that there was some connection between Prescott and Superman, the Ultra-Humanite did some research and discovered that Prescott was recently divorced. His wife was named Laurel Kent, probably a relative of that pesky reporter who was a friend of Superman. In 1942 the Ultra-Humanite once again kidnapped Rodney Prescott and also Prescott's son Joseph. Using young Joseph as a hostage, the Ultra-Humanite forced Prescott to work for her. She even threatened to kill the infant daughter Rodney Prescott had fathered upon her. She had Prescott steal a recently found artifact, which some believed to be the authentic hammer of Thor. He also had Jake Simmons and Will Everett steal two other ancient artifacts.  Everett was to steal the Helmet of Nabu and Simmons the Powerstone, recently used by Alexi Luthor against Superman. Originally the Powerstone had been found on the lost mountain of Krowak in Skull Valley.[41]

Rodney Prescott succeeded in getting his object, the so called Hammer of Thor at the cost of accidentally killing a New York City police officer. This Hammer of Thor was made of blue metal and ended in a round mace rather than the sledgehammer or war hammer look of Mjollner. Jake Simmons was also able, along with a few Muranians to break into Superman's new Fortress of Solitude in the Catskills and retrieve the Powerstone. Will Everett failed in his mission to retrieve the Helmet of Nabu.

Even lacking the Helmet of Nabu the Ultra-Humanite was quite powerful with the Hammer of Thor and the Powerstone. The storyline in All-Star Squadron portrayed the Ultra-Humanite as intending to steal the body of Robotman. This was fictional but also a hint by the writers that the Ultra-Humanite planned to one day plant his brain in an artificial body and that they knew about the Ultra-Humanite’s connection to the being that would become known as Brainiac.

The comic-book version has the Ultra-Humanite embedding the powerstone into her forehead, which does not seem to actually have been the case. Although she did place in on her forehead so that it would be close to her pineal gland, she wore a headband with the powerstone attached to it.

Also in the comics version, the Ultra-Humanite was able to contact her future self and learn of the events to come. With the aid of her future self, she was also able to bring the brainwashed descendants of the ALSTR squadron into 1942 and use their abilities to her advantage. She also managed to bring a villain name Vulcan, who had pyrokinetic powers, from the future to the past. However this version of events was almost entirely fabricated and was designed to promote DC Comics up-coming new title Infinity Inc., which starred the descendants of the mysterymen of the forties. The participation of Infinity Inc. and the time traveling depicted in this adventure were fictional, as was the presence of Vulcan.

With her newfound power and his powerful henchmen—Will Everett, Jake Simmons, and the Muranians—the Ultra-Humanite decided to extort the United States federal government. She threatened to destroy the Brooklyn Naval Yard and defense plants in Detroit and Los Angeles.

Because these threats were federal in nature, the government activated the ALSTR Squad to end the threat of the Ultra-Humanite.

The henchmen sent to destroy the Brooklyn Navy Yard included Jake Simmons, who was depicted in the comic book version as remaining with the Ultra-Humanite as a guard. The comic version had Batman, Robin, Phantom Lady, The Guardian, and Commander Steel sent to guard the Navy Yard. This does appear to be an accurate line up, with the exception that every depiction of Commander Steel in this adventure should be shown as the Guardian. By showing the Guardian and Commander Steel at the same place and time the comic book writers may have been confused by conflicting sources.[42]

Alan Scott the Green Lantern and Will Everett took on the henchmen at the Detroit munitions plant. Everett had been playing along with the Ultra-Humanite for the sake of his family but did so reluctantly and intentionally failed to complete his missions. He had even attempted to inform the federal government of the plans of the Ultra-Humanite by leaving notes, but these were either disregarded or never reached the authorities. When the Ultra-Humanite had endangered Everett's family because of his failure to get the Helmet of Nabu, Everett decided he nothing to lose by overtly helping the federal government agents of the ALSTR Squad.[43]

In the comics, the defense plant in Los Angeles was depicted as being saved by Batman, Robin, the Green Lantern, the Atom, and Amazing Man, aided by the future son of the Brain Wave. The henchmen were helped by future members of the Injustice Society of America and Vulcan. However even the Green Lantern's ring was not powerful enough to transport all of these people from New York to California in under three hours. Since the story in All Star Squadron #26 is a lead-in to All Star Squadron Annual #2, the comic book version was filled with heroes and villains totally unrelated to the true version of events. The henchman at the defense plant in Los Angeles were actually stopped by the members of Justice Inc. Richard Benson and his companions were in Los Angeles in an unrecorded case for the federal government.[44]

While the Ultra-Humanite was organizing and orchestrating his assault on America, his lair in Chicago was tracked down by Superman (Hugo Danner) and also by Rodney Prescott's ex-wife, Leigh Kent.[45]

Superman was rendered unconscious by the combination of the Hammer of Thor and the Powerstone, and then placed in restraints designed to hold him.

Leigh Kent had deliberately not displayed her superpowers until she believed that she could escape her bonds and free Superman. She broke her bonds while the Ultra-Humanite was distracted by the constant failures of her subordinates to carry out their missions of sabotage. She freed Superman, and they fought through the Ultra-Humanite's henchmen to confront the supervillain directly. The Ultra-Humanite used the power in the Powerstone and the Hammer of Thor in unison, throwing the hammer at Superman and knocking him through the wall. The Ultra-Humanite began blasting energy bolts at Leigh Kent, who was able to dodge them or deflect them with “heat vision” blasts—actually pyrokinesis.[46] However one blast hit Leigh and stunned her. The Ultra-Humanite gloated how he would use Rodney Prescott to destroy Superman, Leigh Kent, Joe Prescott, and the baby. The Ultra-Humanite had turned Rodney Prescott into one of the living bombs he had used in 1940.

Prescott used the distraction of Kent and Superman fighting against the Ultra-Humanite to overpower the remaining guards and knock out the Ultra-Humanite. Carrying the Ultra-Humanite, Prescott fled to the roof of the building, thinking that this would protect the others from the blast. Some of Ultra-Humanite’s more devoted thugs gave chase and begin firing at Prescott despite the danger to their boss. The great pain of the bullets hitting him prematurely started the atomic chain reaction.

Superman and Leigh Kent arrived on the roof. Prescott jumped off of the roof, still holding the Ultra-Humanite, hoping to explode harmlessly in mid-air. As he plummeted to his death he winked out of existence. It was believed that he had imploded rather than exploded.[47]

The child of the Ultra-Humanite and Rodney Prescott was placed in an orphanage, and through intermediaries Superman contacted the Ultra-Humanite's brother David, who then adopted the child.[48]

Despite appearances the Ultra-Humanite was not dead. She ended up in Germany working for the Nazis. Her effectiveness was limited, however, without Clifford Devoe's scientific knowledge to help her create advanced weaponry and by being forbidden to explore certain areas of science deemed "Jewish science".  The Nazi's suspicion of intelligent women led to their thinking she would do better for the Reich by becoming one of the mothers involved in the Lebensborn. The Nazi's doubts about the Ultra-Humanite were confirmed when the project she was given to carry out failed. This involved the transplantation of brains from body to another, the idea was to put loyal Nazi brains into the bodies of captured Allied spies. Each operation was a failure. This confirmed the Ultra-Humanite's belief that there was something intrinsically different about his brain.[49]

Little is known about the Ultra-Humanite actions during the War years and for a few years afterwards.

The Black Beller, using the Clifford Devoe identity, returned to Philadelphia with the intention of taking over the rackets there. In the Ultra-Humanite's absence Hunk Norvock had become the most powerful mobster in Philadelphia. Yet he was being troubled by the Flash:

When two of his lieutenants were arrested, they signed lengthy confessions implicating Norvock in a number of illegal activities. Needing an out, Norvock recruited Devoe to resolve the problem. Impersonating a policeman, the "thinker" slipped into police headquarters, recovered the signed confession and murdered the traitorous underlings.

Initially grateful, Norvock quickly turned paranoid. Fearing further betrayal, Norvock resolved to kill Devoe. The wily "thinker", however, tricked the elder gangster into shooting a reflection of Devoe in a steel mirror, ricocheting the bullets back. When the gangster was felled by his own bullets, the police were left to conclude a suicide had occurred. Deprived of their leader, Keystone's organized crime families rapidly fell into disarray. A delegation of senior underbosses approached Devoe, soliciting his succession to Norvock.  Devoe agreed and adopted the nom du crime, The Thinker.[50]

Devoe enjoyed mixed success as a criminal; he was often caught and jailed but usually escaped. In 1949 he acquired the invention of Dr. Hartford Jackson, a 1940's cyberneticist. The Thinking Cap amplified brain function, stimulating unused areas of the brain. Connected to Devoe's neural net, this device became a weapon of great power. Yet when he faced The Spider in 1950, even this Thinking Cap was not enough and Devoe fled for his life.[51]  He spent the next few years working on the augmented and cybernetic clone of the Ultra-Humanite.

In 1950 the Ultra-Humanite returned to the United States with a plan to replace her aging female body. Her chosen victim was billionaire Bruce Wayne, whose body she could use to loot the Wayne fortune.

The Ultra-Humanite captured Bruce Wayne while Wayne was on his way to visit his good friends Clark and Lois Kent. Superman and Lois Kent 

tracked down Bruce Wayne's kidnappers. When Superman tried to rescue Wayne, he was frozen in place by a freezer ray. Lois climbed in the 

apartment through the window and distracted the villains long enough to switch off the freezer ray. 

Superman then destroyed the machine and captured the Ultra-Humanite. [52]

The Ultra-Humanite went to jail for the first time in her long career.

Dolores Winters, however, died while in prison. The body was stolen from some henchmen of the Ultra-Humanite aided by The Thinker. Despite the death of its host body, the Ultra-Hmanite's brain was able to survive. However the experience of being imprisoned inside a dead body did leave a lasting impact on the Ultra-Humanite‘s psyche, and he became even less humane than he had been before. Since the permanent cyborg body for the Ultra-Humanite was not ready yet, they had to find another body, but the Ultra-Humanite had other plans. He wanted his brain placed in a machine designed to kill Superman. The Superman killing machine was based on the form of a solider ant.

In 1955 Superman defeated this new form of the Ultra-Humanite with the aid of "Lana Lang" the Insect Queen.[53]


The only part of this body of the Ultra-Humanite that was saved was the head, which continued to live in defiance of known science.  It should come as no surprise that this head was stolen.


Because the Ultra-Humanite knew that the time was nearing for him to be placed into his permanent, immortal cybernetic body, he desired to live for a time for as a normal man before becoming the immortal cybernetic world conqueror he planned. Yet he did not totally abandon his life of crime or his vendetta against Superman. He chose to be implanted into the body of John Corben, one of the leading reporters for the Daily Planet. He believed that as an Daily Planet insider he could get close to Kent and discover secrets about Superman.


Once inside John Corben's body the Ultra-Humanite had feelings that he had not experienced for a long time. He was a young man once more and so felt comfortable in his body. He began to sow his wild oats, drinking, gambling and consorting with women. This activity took more money than he made on his reporter’s salary. He used the connections of John Corben to the underworld to hook up with some criminals and began taking part in heists, burglaries, muggings, and even killing for hire. When the Ultra-Humanite and two of his cronies fled from a robbery/murder, the driver of the car took a wrong turn to avoid being caught by Superman and the car crashed against a tree. Corben's body was crushed and left in a paraplegic state.


The Ultra-Humanite contacted the Thinker and told him that he was through with switching bodies, especially those with fragile flesh, and wanted to go ahead and be transplanted into the permanent body, even if it was not ready. The Thinker said that said while the Ultra-Humanite's brain would survive, the uncompleted cyborg body would not. The Thinker had designed a prototype that the Ultra-Humanite could use as a means to getting used to his new inhuman body.


The body was a metallic robotic body that was articulated like a human body and covered with a flesh-like plastic. It looked like Corben's body. The Thinker then told the Ultra-Humanite that this was his final body. The robot body was powered by uranium pellets, which would only last a few days per pellet.  When these ran out, the Ultra-Humanite's new body would be a coffin for his brain. The Thinker revealed that he had always planned to use the cyborg body for his own when it was ready.


Although the Ultra-Humanite maintained his identity of John Corben the reporter, he did furious research on radioactive substances. He accidentally learned from Jimmy Olsen that the element of kryptonite was often more radioactive than ordinary uranium. Despite the comic book stories that stated that earth humans were not affected by it, the hard radiation did often kill those who tried to use kryptonite against Superman.


The Ultra-Humanite discovered that some kryptonite was being studied by Columbia University. He stole their supply of kryptonite and used it to power his body. He also thought of a way to get rid of Superman once and for all. He created more of a disturbance at Columbia University certain to alert Superman. Once Superman arrived, he opened his chest plate and kryptonite radiation was released into the area. Superman was weakened and sickened by the kryptonite radiation, but like many foes before him the Ultra-Humanite soon discovered that a sick Superman does not necessarily make a vulnerable one since Superman retained his thick tissue density. Most of the kryptonite radiation was contained inside the cyborg body and what escaped was not enough to kill Superman. The Ultra-Humanite saw another display case of kryptonite marked “Silver Kryptonite.“ He grabbed this, but it seemed to have no effect on Superman. He exchanged the silver kryptonite with the one in powering his body, intending to place it next to the prone Superman. He had only taken a few steps when his body seized up. The silver kryptonite was an ordinary rock painted silver used as a blind in tests.[54]


The nonfunctioning robot body of Corben was destroyed and his family requested that his head be cremated.


The head was not destroyed, however, but rather stolen by the Thinker's henchmen. The Thinker hooked the brain up to an apparatus that allowed the Ultra-Humanite's brain to see and hear.


He showed the Ultra-Humanite the body for which he had waited so long, and that would now be forever denied him. Since the Ultra-Humanite had never seen his own body in its prime, he used Alexi's as a reference point; but since they were identical he knew that this is what he would have looked like. The Ultra-Humanite saw a body that looked like his brother Alexi at the age of twenty-five. The body was well formed, handsome, and completely bald. There was one major difference from how Alexi had looked at twenty-five the body had green skin.


The Thinker said he would explain the green skin in a moment. The body had reinforced steel skeleton, muscles reinforced with polyfiber, artificial and thus more efficient organs, and a brain with computer enhancements. Making silicon chips with 1940s technology had been one of the Thinker’s major challenges. The body also had some built-in weapon systems. The green skin came about because the skin was part of its power supply, using photosynthesis to convert sunlight. The skin could be covered up and disguised if necessary since there were redundant internal power supplies as well. However the Thinker believed that the green skin would be most effective for his plans.


The Thinker took out a gun and shot himself in the heart.[55]


When the Thinker's body had died the neural net on his bald head rose like a spider and walked over to the bald green head of the Ultra-Humanite's cybernetically enhanced clone. The neural net settled onto the body of the clone and after a few moments the green man sat up and began to move the body. The Ultra-Humanite watched silently over the next few days as the Thinker became accustomed to the new body.


The Thinker told the Ultra-Humanite that the new body needed a new name, so in honor of Univac he would name himself Brainiac. He also told the Ultra-Humanite that in honor of their long association he had decided to give the Ultra-Humanite a body that was much more powerful than a puny human body and one that had a long life span as well.


Brainiac shut off all sensory input into the Ultra-Humanite's brain. The Ultra-Humanite became aware of staring at iron bars. He tried to speak but only emitted grunts or hoots. He saw a sign written in Spanish that translated as “Devil Ape from the Valley of Gwangi.“[56] Examining his hand he saw a paw resembling a gorilla's, covered with white fur. A look into an artificial pond confirmed his suspicion. He was a large white ape, much like a gorilla only about twice as big. He knew of the Valley of Gwangi and had once daydreamed of capturing a tyrannosaurus Rex, transplanting his brain inside, and wreaking havoc on Metropolis.[57] He, however, recognized the ape body as being one of a juvenile Kong ape of Skull Island. They were white furred until adolescence.[58]


The Ultra-Humanite spent several years in the small rural zoo. The bars were stronger than his ape strength, and so he bided his time. With time on his hands and not being to communicate, he became introspective and used the time to explore his mind and its unique abilities. He was able to gradually alter the body of the ape by mental means, although it took years. He altered the body's nerve pathways so that they would connect with his brain in ways more like a human nervous system than an ape‘s, and he also altered the larynx so that he could talk.


News of the events of the world did filter in even to the small town in central Mexico where the Ultra-Humanite was imprisoned.


In 1970 the caged Great White Ape was spotted by some naturalists, who believed that he was a member of the legendary mega-anthropoid species, the Orangutan Gargantua. These naturalists were horrified that he had been removed from his natural environment and went about rectifying this injustice. The Ultra-Humanite was shot with several tranquilizer darts, and he woke up in an African rain forest in the mountains of Uganda. After spending close to a year evading poachers and rival apes, he discovered a group of Great Apes who spoke English and carried weapons. They had been raised by a group called the Council. The Council was based in a secret location in Africa. Most scholars believe that the Council was one of the splinter groups of the Nine that carried on the Nine's goals and agendas. The Ultra-Humanite set up a tentative meeting using the talking apes as intermediaries. The Ultra-Humanite discovered a group whose goals coincided with many of his own: improving the human race through eugenics and genetic modification, personal immortality, and world domination.


The Ultra-Humanite became a quasi-member of the Nine, not eligible for full membership because of his ape body. The Ultra-Humanite was not eager to replace this body until he was forced to do so. It was not that he was enamored of it but rather because he was not certain if Brainiac had planted any hidden booby traps in the ape body should another brain transplant be attempted. The Ultra-Humanite did resent the Council's refusal to let him join because of his body.


To prove his worth he had to come up with a plan that would help the Council achieve its long-term goals. His plan was to create a mercenary army. The mercenary army was to be composed of costumed villains with the goal of wiping out heroic costumed vigilantes. The costumed vigilantes were targeted for termination because the Books of Tharn had neglected to mention their existence. This normally would not have been a problem since the Books of Tharn did not mention many things. However the popularity of these costumed vigilantes overshadowed the popularity of the Undying God, a condition that was intolerable to this splinter group. The costumed villains were to be eliminated once their usefulness was at an end.[59]


In most cases the costumed vigilantes were able to defeat the costumed villains who tried to assassinate them.[60]


The failure of this plan barred the Ultra-Humanite entrance into the Council. Furthermore it was decided that he knew too much, and so he was sentenced to die.


The Ultra-Humanite had used his earlier access to the Council's records as a means of getting information on the costumed vigilantes, such as their locations, possible true identities, and various other data. He had learned to his surprise that the Council had been keeping tabs on his family, due to their descent from that Wold Newton Family, the Claytons. He learned about his half-brother Henry King and also learned about his own children and grand children. 


Armed with this information, the Ultra-Humanite contacted his half-brother Henry King and also his grandson Daniel Clampett. He contacted them first through written correspondence and later through telephone. After receiving from the Ultra-Humanite a device that would make him millions, the Clampett Super-Clamp, Daniel Clamp arranged for Lawrence Luthor to be picked up from his hiding place in South Africa and flown to the United States in a special plane. Lawrence Luthor claimed to have a rare contagious skin disease. He worked as a consultant for Clampco and was given a laboratory and a direct phone line to communicate with Daniel Clampett almost immediately.


Once he was in the United States Lawrence Luthor invited Dr. Henry King to his laboratory. He revealed his true form to Dr. King but told him that he had used mental means to travel from body to body. He was stuck in this body unless he could regain his formidable mental powers. He believed that with Dr. King's aid and training he could relearn his psionic abilities. The Ultra-Humanite promised that once he had relearned these abilities he would teach Dr. King the ability to move into another, younger body.


The Ultra-Humanite was able to stimulate the areas of his brain corresponding to areas in Dr. King's brain and achieve some psionic power.


The Ultra-Humanite used this power to subtly influence his grandson, steering Clampco into genetic research and often into unsavory or illegal businesses and business practices. In many ways the Ultra-Humanite's influence unleashed the amoral characteristics of Daniel Clampett.


In 1979 there arose a situation in which he saw an opportunity to ruin the reputations and possibly end the lives of some of his costumed enemies, the ever hated Superman for one. [61]


In rural Georgia, Luke Duke helped his friends dig a new well. A dowser had told them that there was water on the land. They had to dig deeper than they originally wished to and were about to give up when they struck water. Once the well was built, Luke was allowed to have the first drink. The others followed. Luke felt compelled to return to the well and drink from it every day, and eventually began taking a jug with him. His personality changed and he became amoral as did all of the others who drank from the well. In addition to becoming amoral, they became paranoid and suspicious, refusing to tell anyone else about the well water.[62]


One of the other well drinkers was Brad Travers. As a maintenance technician at the Clampco satellite installation, his job was to monitor the computer and make certain the satellite remained functioning. He had been a stockbroker in Atlanta until a few bad decisions had made him unemployed. Angry at the Atlanta business community, he used the Clampco satellite for mischief, uploading a computer virus that he broadcast to brokerages and financial institutions causing ATMs to spit out money, department stores to print erroneously high bills, stock brokerages to have false readings, and traffic lights to function erratically.


Notified of the situation in Atlanta Daniel Clampett sent his computer security expert out to fix the problem. Gus Gorman had become Clampco's computer security when he used a computer program to extract thousands of dollars from the corporation in a loophole of the paycheck program. Gorman faced prison or working for Clampco as a security expert. Gorman trailed Brad to a local tavern bought him several drinks. Once Brad was drunk, Gus convinced him to show him where he worked. Inside the satellite control room, Gus Gorman knocked Brad out and restrained him. Gorman located the snafus caused by Brad, and Clampett instructed him to use the links created by Brad to give a false report on the coffee commodities market so Clampett could corner the market on Colombian coffee. If the irregularity is discovered it will be blamed on Brad. [63]


Brad was ranting and raving about needing his water. Gradually Gorman heard the story of how after drinking the well water Brad and his friends had felt free of moral restraints. Clampett was extremely interested in this and had Gorman use various satellites to locate and analyze the water from the well. He discovered that the well tapped into part of an underground river that seemed to originate in Colorado.[64] The water of the river had a lot of free oxygen, was filled with habis indica, and contained an unknown ingredient.


Clampett was interested in seeing how suggestible those who drink the well water were and to what extent their amorality would extend. He sent a security team out to assist Gorman in commandeering the farm where the well was located and also to help restrain Brad and his cohorts and to keep them from further drinking the well water.


Clampco had an acid factory in Conyers County that was supposed to operate at a loss.  However the EPA was planning on visiting soon and Clampett knew that the fines would outweigh more than the acceptable loss—plus he did not like the idea of paying fines. When the Luke, Brad, and the other three men were begging for a drink of well water, Gorman promised they would have some if they set the acid factory on fire. Clampett wanted to torch the building and take the insurance rather than pay the fines to the EPA.


The three men torched the building and got away, but Superman happened to be in the area and used his powers to put out the blaze. Clampett was furious about this because the arson investigation would reveal the environmental hazards as well. Something would have to be done about Superman.


Since the three men had torched the factory for a drink of the well water, Clampett wanted one more test. One person, Jefferson Davis “Boss” Hogg had successfully blocked Clampett's attempt to build a fertilizer factory in Conyers County, because he wanted to be 75% owner of the Clampco fertilizer factory. To break Hogg and to get revenge for the past slight, Gorman had the three well water addicted men rob Boss Hogg's bank. Once again Superman was there to stop the robbery and he took the three men into custody.


Clampett knew that Superman would either be told about the well or figure it out. He was about to write the operation off when the Ultra-Humanite, who had been monitoring this situation since it reminded him of a similar one back in 1944, told Clampett this was a golden opportunity to get rid of the interfering Superman and possibly a few other costumed vigilantes. Influenced by his grandfather, Daniel Clampett agreed. Dr. King may have aided in this influence.


Clampett told Gus Gorman to get rid of the security detail and then lure Superman to the well. Gus tried to escape by jumping down the well and into the waters below. Superman followed him. The waters did not affect Gus much because he was pretty much amoral anyway. However Superman was affected and was going to kill Gus for breaking the law.[65]


Talking fast and following Daniel Clampett's instructions, Gus told Superman that if he lured his fellow crime fighters there, they could take over the world. Superman was convinced by this argument, which could mean that the well water had impaired his judgment or else it made him more susceptible to psionic suggestion. Two of Superman's friends answered the call to action. These were the current Batman and the retired but semi-active Wonder Woman. After drinking the well water, they too became amoral. Gorman tried to focus their attention on a single goal, but each had a separate agenda, and they split up. While the waters had the effect of loosening inhibitions and deadening the moral sense, the quick shift to evil acts is a bit puzzling. It is believed that Dr. Henry King and the Ultra-Humanite used their psionic powers to influence the impaired judgment of the three costumed vigilantes, guiding them more towards violent anti-social acts.


Superman went on a rampage in downtown Atlanta, telling the people of this great metropolis that they would be first to undergo the privilege of being ruled by a superior being. Karen Starr was in town for a computer conference and dressed up in her Power-Woman outfit. She and Superman duked it out before she finally overpowered him.[66]


Wonder Woman broke into several museums searching for an artifact called the Rod of Horus, which was said to confer immortality. Although she was affected by the well water, she did not want the artifact for herself, because due to having ingested life extending chemicals on Paradise Island[67] she did not age as fast as regular human beings. She wanted the artifact for Steve Trevor so he would not precede her in death. So in a way, although she appeared to be doing something for someone else, she was doing it for herself. Wonder Woman was confronted and stopped by her daughter, Lyta. Steve Trevor was severely wounded in the battle between mother and daughter.


Batman decided to once and for all rid Gotham of its supervillians and made plans to kill each and every one, starting with the Joker, who had caused his family so much pain. He was stopped by the Huntress (Helena Wayne) and the retired Robin (Dick Grayson).[68]


Once Superman came to his senses, Power-Woman[69] and he used their heat vision to destroy the underground river and dig the farm a new well. Gus Gorman and Power-Woman used their computer skills to erase all records of the existence of the river from the memory banks of the Clampco computers.


One result of this incident was the falling out of the Ultra-Humanite and the Brain Wave (Dr. Henry King). In an unguarded moment the Ultra-Humanite had relaxed his mental barriers and Dr. King learned that the Ultra-Humanite had moved from body to body via surgery and not by psionic means. This meant that Dr. King was stuck in his aged, sickly body.[70]


The Brain Wave attacked the Ultra-Humanite with a mental bolt that left him paralyzed. Knowing that he was mortal and that his time was running out caused the Brain Wave to become more bold in his actions against the female costumed vigilantes he hated.


The Ultra-Humanite overcame the paralysis, but doing so caused great stress on his heart and other bodily functions, and despite his best efforts his giant ape body began to die.


He quickly contacted some crooked surgeons, and using information that would have led to their arrest and possible executions, he forced them to transplant his brain into a human host. He had of course taken the obvious precaution of guaranteeing the release of the information if the operation proved fatal.


His brain was transplanted into the body of a homeless man.[71] He took the name Dr. Catheter.


As Dr. Catheter, the Ultra-Humanite used his inside contacts at Clampco to open a small research laboratory/fertility clinic in the Clamp Tower. Daniel Clampett knew that Dr. Catheter was conducting genetic research, but he probably did not know that Dr. Catheter had secretly co-opted more space than he was allotted by altering the building plans and personally supervising working crews. In this way he had built a hidden lair inside the Clamp Towers as he had done at the New York World's Fair. The genetic laboratory facilities were quite extensive.


A unique life form accidentally fell into his hands. His scientists conducted tests on the unstable genetic material taken from the creature to horrific effect. The creature, referred to as  ”gremlin,” was able to self-fertilize when it came in contact with water and spawned more of its kind. Exposed to the various chemicals in the laboratory, the small seemingly mammalian creatures mutated into several different forms, all of which exhibited an unchecked predatory impulse. They broke out of the laboratory and moved through Clamp Tower killing wantonly.

Many people were killed in the incident and much of the building was destroyed. The insurance company refused to pay for the damages because of the illegal activities that had transpired in the building. The building was condemned because of structural instability and it was brought down by a wrecking crew.[72]

Clampcorp was sued from all sides, and Daniel Clampett was pilloried in the press. He changed his name to Lionel Luthor and reformed his company under the name Luthorcorp, this was both a legal strategy and a means of rebuilding his life from the ashes. He also had a quixotic notion to bring respect to the Luthor name through its use by a well known and respected businessman.


The body of Dr. Catheter was found among the debris of the laboratory. It appeared as though the mutant creatures had broken open his head eaten his brains. However this was not quit what happened and this was not the end of the Ultra-Humanite.


The "gremlins" had caused Dr. Catheter's body such serious damage that he was in danger of dying. He quickly sedated one of his lab assistants and hooked them both up to a machine that the Ultra-Humanite had designed. This was an automated brain transferal machine which surgically opened both brain cavities, removed the unwanted brain and placed the Ultra-Humanite’s brain into a new body and stitched up the incisions. By this time the Ultra-Humanite did not need to under go hours long operations to transfer his brain. It could be a rather quick exchange, the Ultra-Humanite's brain would automatically make the correct neurological connections as an automatic response.


In an hour or so after the brain transfer surgery he could walk out of a building wearing a hat to hide the surgical scars with no one the wiser.


In his new body, the Ultra-Humanite used funds and material he had previously diverted from Clampco to start his own genetics research firm. He contacted the NuGenesis Fertility Clinics and convinced them to share research and material with Ultra-Gen his new company.[73] As a by-product of their research to create the perfect human body Ultra-Gen discovered many substances that could be used as enhancers for athletic performance in strength, speed, stamina, etc. They also branched out into the lucrative vitamin and health-food business. Using large pay contracts they paid celebrities to endorse their products. Often if a celebrity refused they used strong arm tactics or extortion. Ultra-Gen soon had a vertically integrated business structure, owning everything from vitamin bottling companies to hazardous waste management facilities.


Ultra-Gen began to become the target of an unlikely assortment of protesters, from right-to-life groups that disliked Ultra-Gen's fertility programs to environmentalists who disliked Ultra-Gen waste disposal centers. Ultra-Gen reacted to these protests by dispersing the crowds with security guards using riot-police techniques. Four old men were caught up in one of these riots between Ultra-Gen's security officers and the protesters.


These four old men were Al Pratt, Ted Grant, Jay Garrick and Johnny Thunder. They had arranged to meet at a sort of reunion with their old friend Johnny Chambers

Johnny had arranged to meet them at Truman Memorial hospital in Kansas City, but the violence from the riot from in front of the Ultra-Genesis Fertility Clinic down the street had spilled onto the hospital grounds. Forced to defend themselves the four old men showed a vitality that belied their age. Johnny Thunder was shot by one of the Security Guards and his friends had to hurry him into the emergency room.


Johnny had wanted to met them at the hospital because two more of their friends from the days of the ALSTR Squad were patients at the hospital. Wesley Dodds[74] was recovering from a stroke that had struck him while he was visiting Rex Tyler.[75]


After Johnny Thunder had been treated for his wound, Johnny Chambers sat down with Al Pratt, Ted Grant and Jay Garrick.


Johnny Chambers looked as young as he had when they were members of the ALSTR Squad. He had become a rather wealthy man through his self help corporation Quickstart. Quickstart promoted self actualization through infomercials, seminars and metabolic enhancement products.[76]


Johnny told the others how Ultra-Gen had tried to strong arm him into endorsing their products, even to go so far as to make public the test-tube nature of his daughter. Johnny's chemists had determined that although the substances in the Ultra-Gen's vitamins were legal, they were not safe. He refused to endorse them and was sued.


A friend of Johnny's had recently died at the hospital's emergency room. The friend was a musician who had been briefly famous in the forties but had fallen on hard times and become an addict. He had cleaned up his act but wanted to reclaim his lost years. He volunteered for an Ultra-Gen drug study, the goal of which was to restore lost youth. He was operated on like a lab animal. The local police would not listen to Johnny nor would the Feds, believing he was just getting even with Ultra-Gen for the lawsuit.


The Ultra-Gen security forces had been stepping up their suppressive efforts. Johnny was certain something was being planned at the Ultra-Gen facility there. 


Johnny did some checking on Ultra-Gen and traced the origins of the company to Ultra-Gen's first facility on land originally purchased by Clampco. Dr. Catheter, who had headed Clampco's genetic research, had purchased this property for Clampco. The doctor had been found with his brain missing. Most people believed that it had occurred during the Clamp Tower incident. A toxic substance had accidentally been released from the genetics lab that caused madness and delusion. Johnny Chambers was certain that Dr. Catheter corpse was missing its brain because it had previously hosted the Ultra-Humanite, who was now in charge of Ultra-Gen in another body.


Johnny had a plan to pay a visit to the main Ultra-Gen facility and gather evidence that would lead to the corporation being shut down. He wanted his four old friends to review the evidence and speak to the district attorney to get warrants to search Ultra-Gen.


They agreed to the plan. Pratt and Grant, however, became bored with the legal angle and decided to make a call on Ultra-Gen themselves in their old costumes. It was a flawed plan but no worse than some of the ones that they had used in the forties. At night Pratt and Grant—the Atom and Wildcat—swung over the electric fence and onto the grounds of the Ultra-Gen corporation.


The Ultra-Humanite saw his old enemies on camera and sent a huge security force out to stop them. He accompanied them, planning on personally causing the vigilantes bodily harm, after they had been softened up.


Ted Grant and Al Pratt were overcome by sheer numbers. They came to consciousness hanging upside down in a laboratory. The Ultra-Humanite confronted the tiring old men in a perfect body that bore a starting resemblance to a bronze skinned adventurer of the thirties and forties.


The Ultra-Humanite told them that he was going to dissect them alive to discover their remarkable vitality.


First he had to straighten out a shipping problem in Switzerland.


After the Ultra-Humanite left, Pratt and Grant escaped from their bonds and tried to find their way out of the facility. An alarm sounded and security forces filled the halls. ThesSecurity force, however, rushed past them. Pratt and Grant followed them towards the outside. Inside Ultra-Gen's perimeter were Jay Garrick and Hour-Man, who were fighting against a horde of security guards.


When the doors opened to allow the security forces out, Johnny Quick rushed inside.


When the security forces ran out with their truncheons to greet the two old men in the costumes, Rex Tyler popped one of his Miraclo pills. Jay Garrick disappeared and a fast-moving force began knocking down the security personnel.


The Ultra-Humanite confronted Pratt and Grant, who were winded from their escape. Despite his superior body, the Ultra-Humanite's fighting skills were no match for a former heavy-weight champion of the world. Ted Grant broke the Ultra-Humanite's nose and one of his cheek bones.


Enraged, the Ultra-Humanite blew a whistle. A huge rumble sounded, followed by the ground shaking. Out of the Ultra-Gen facility came an adolescent Kong, near his full growth but still having its white juvenile hair. 


The whistle was knocked from the Ultra-Humanite's mouth by an invisible hand, and the Kong creature was restrained by invisible chains.


Johnny Chambers had run inside the Ultra-Gen facility during all the commotion and gathered files of evidence. His period of speed ended and he had to flee from the facility at normal speed.


Although it appeared as though Jay Garrick had once again used the Accelerator to move through the crowd at high speed, this was not the case. The invisible force was Johnny Thunder's "genie." Johnny Thunder had insisted upon coming with the others, but he had been told to wait in the car. When the fighting started, Thunder’s genie transported Garrick out of danger, and he directed the genie from the outskirts of the confrontation.[77]


The files contained enough evidence to convince the attornies general of many states that Ultra-Gen had broken several laws. The Ultra-Humanite was sent to jail, vowing revenge.


Pratt, Grant, and the others had heard such threats many times before.


The Ultra-Humanite's body was found dead in the prison hospital. His brain was missing. It was determined that he somehow bribed or extorted the prison doctor into performing a brain transplant into a patient who was about to be transferred to minimum security prison. The prisoner then escaped.


In 1994 Al Pratt and Rex Tyler were killed by a hired assassin known only as Extant. The form of death was insidious. Pratt and Tyler were struck by darts tipped a genetic virus containing a tweaked version of progeria syndrome.[78] In a few months Both Pratt and Tyler had aged decades and died of extreme old age. Johnny Thunder had also been shot with a dart but his aging had stabilized at a certain point after which there was no sign of the progeria syndrome. He was, however, put in a nursing home due to some senile dementia.[79]


Ted Grant had once suffered a back injury that had made him a paraplegic. Through great effort and no small amount of fortune he had regained the use of his legs. In 1994, A marksman shot Ted Grant in the spine crippling him once again.


Exactly one year later, Johnny Chambers was killed by a man from the Middle East who called himself Savitar. Savitar claimed that he had come to rob Chambers of his ability to use the accelerator without harm by absorbing his speed force. To get to the speed force inside Johnny Quick, he used a sword to behead him. Witnesses claim there was a vast energy discharge from Johnny Chambers.[80]


The Ultra-Humanite laid low during this time. After several years Johnny Thunder did not appear to be getting worse. The Ultra-Humanite wondered if the story of the genie was true. He thought that if he could control this thunderbolt genie, then he could finally rule the world.


The Ultra-Humanite had Johnny Thunder kidnapped from the nursing home where he was a resident. The Ultra-Humanite had his brain transferred into Johnny Thunder's body. He soon discovered that there was no genie; all of the "magic" had come from Johnny Thunder's brain. This included the arresting of the progeria syndrome; without Thunder's psionic powers holding it in check it rapidly began to affect the Ultra-Humanite's brain.


The Ultra-Humanite suffered a heart attack in the aged body of Johnny Thunder. While he was in the hospital the progeria syndrome affected his mind and he slipped into a form of senile dementia. After recovering from his heart attack he sat staring blankly at nothing in particular. When prompted he described the world that he saw. A world that he now controlled with his magic genie, a world where he made the costumed vigilantes work for him to dominate the populace. Lawrence Luthor had finally achieved his long sought goal of world domination through the power of his awesome brain. Fortunately for the world at large, the world rule of Lawrence Luthor, the Ultra-Humanite existed only in the vast universe inside his own mind.[81]


[1] The account of the Rubinroth's own dynastic struggles are depicted in Edgar Rice Burroughs The Mad King.

[2] Whether or not the birth of the Dillinger children is true or not, I make no claims. Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson reported the incident in the Illuminatus trilogy

[3] Despite all the evidence to the contrary, scientists at the time—even despite the recent Sarmak invasion—tended to dismiss any notion of extra-terrestrial origins or materials outside the realm of their experience. In this case, though, the researcher in question was disputing the idea publicly because he was working on the odd meteorite crystals for experiments of his own, as will be shown.

[4] The substance that Lawrence Luthor was experimenting with was undoubtedly kryptonite. Or to be more accurate the element that has come to be called kryptonite—a fusion of debris from the exploded planet KrypT'n, which had traveled with Kal-L's ship's warp bubble, and of material found in the asteroid belt, specifically Thyophite.  Thyophite was originally the planetary matter of the planet Thyoph, the long-lost tenth planet of our solar system. It was an artificial substance imbued in the soil of Thyoph to accelerate the humans placed there to the peak of physical perfection. They had achieved this only to lose their world. Thyophite was affected by cosmic radiation such that the debris in the asteroid belt has unusual properties. When combined with other elements even a minute amount of thyophite can create new elements and unearthly substances. These substances can be highly mutagenic and either cause almost immediate changes in human beings or the mutagenic effects can take years to manifest. Examples of these immediate and long-range effects can be seen in the Hyde and Hair articles.  Most people are unaffected by thyophite radiation; response to the radiation seems to be a quirk of genetics or perhaps even diet. (Although the current television show Smallville would seem to indicate that kryptonite affects many people in many different ways, as will be demonstrated in Secret Signals: The Story Behind Smallville, what actually affects the unfortunate people in that small town is not the kryptonite to which they are exposed.) Sometime after 1890 Paul Finglemore was exposed to thyophite, possibly in the form of a jewel.  This exposure did not affect him outwardly, but it did affect his genes. Although many his descendants after 1890 displayed much of the brilliance and acting ability that seem to be part of his heritage, many also displayed enhanced psionic abilities and there seemed to be a frequently occurring baldness among his male descendants. His children with Margot also displayed traits from her own heritage as a genetic sport, an extremely rare genetic anomaly but one that affected two of their children, Henry and John.

[5] The idea that a combination of the various forms of kryptonite could cause super brain evolution was later used in the Superman comic book, which leads us to speculate that the writers may have learned of Lawrence Luthor's similar attempt. In the comics story, Superman 162, June 1963, “The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue,” instead of evolving into a super brain Superman was split into two identical beings. This may be an indication that the writers also knew of Lawrence Luthor's identical quadruplet birth.

[6] The interaction of Alice Adams, Arthur Russell and Mildred Palmer are all related in the novel Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington. Lawrence Luthor’s involvement with Alice was not known by Tarkington. Tarkington also chose to ignore the ultimate outcome of Adam’s and Russell’s relationship but rather stopped his novel at the point before Arthur Russell and Alice had begun dating and Alice seemed to be maturing into a sensible young woman.

[7] Anne eventually became the ward of D. D. Warburton one of the richest men in America and, ironically, her uncle.  D. D. Warburton was David Douglas Luthor, Lawrence Luthor's brother.

[8] The son, Joseph Dunn, was in no way remarkable. He did possess pattern baldness but not the great brilliance of his father. However Joseph did carry in his genes the legacy not only of the Wold Newton family's original mutation but also the effects of thyophite mutation on Paul Luthor and also Lawrence Luthor. His grandson David was quite remarkable, as seen in the film Unbreakable

[9] Cole Sear of The Sixth Sense was descended from William Dunn (Lawrence Luthor) after his second dose of thyophite radiation.

[10] In John Byrne's Generations, a young Lex Luthor was depicted as trying to rob a diamond exchange inside a crude robot he had constructed. That part of the story is true. In Generations a young Superman and Batman defeated the crude robot in one of their earliest collaborations, before in fact they had become full-fledged crime fighters. However, this depiction is note accurate. The incident took place in 1929 in Chicago. The Batman figure was the mysterious vigilante called The Bat (who in 1995 was revealed to have been Eliot Ness) The Superman figure was indeed Clark Kent, but a journalism student wearing civilian clothing, not a costumed adventurer. Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane actually played no part in this adventure.

Lex was arrested, convicted sent to jail. His brother the Ultra-Humanite arranged for his escape.

[11] Action Comics #13 (June 1939), “The Cab Protection League.”

[12] The Cleveland police were notoriously corrupt in the early 1930's. In 1935 the reform Mayor Harold Burton brought in outsider Eliot Ness to be Public Safety Director, a position combining the duties of Police Commissioner and Fire Commissioner. One of his first tasks was to clean up the police department.  An important essay that identifies the Metropolis of this time period as being Cleveland is Untouchable and Invulnerableby Al S. Schroeder.

[13] Action Comics #14 (July 1939), “The Shoddy Subway Scheme”; Action Comics #17 (October 1939), “The Sabotage of the Clarion.”

[14] The Purple Plague was a modified form of the bubonic plague, raising purplish blisters instead of buboes. As the city would discover the plague was generally not fatal, those people who died usually had compromised immune systems. Years later Doc Savage would treat Alexi Luthor for his criminal tendencies by having him undergo the brain surgery that Doc had perfected. Prior to the operation, as per Savage’s standard procedure, Doc questioned Alexi Luthor thoroughly under truth serum about his criminal activities. This was done to help police clear up unsolved crimes. Doc Savage would discover from one of these truth serum sessions that Alexi Luthor had weakened the plague virus to make it non-fatal. Unlike his brother, Alexi was not a mad killer, although he could be ruthless enough that it often seemed this way. The person who was killed firing the electrical gun was not Lawrence Luthor but one of their henchmen who was also bald, deliberately chosen for this task for that very reason.

[15] One wonders if the name Buelow was a pun: Buelow = below, the opposite of Ultra, i.e. above

[16] Recently a member of the Nerquist family, having learned about John Scroggins, investigated the chemist’s background thoroughly. Scroggins had made a name for himself as a chemist during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  After he acquired enough capital he bought a farm and conducted his own researches. The physical description of John Scroggins matched a member of the Nerquist family of England who had disappeared under a bad light. He was dubbed an anarchist and his former apartment, which had suffered an explosion, was called by the newspapers “the Kentish Bomb Factory.” However, journalist H.G. Wells investigated the situation and discovered that Nerquist had actually been trying to create artificial diamonds. He later used this as the basis of his short story, “The Diamond Maker” (1894). From all indications Nerquist fled to the United States and used the name John Scroggins. 

[17] A version of these events of Dr. Madren and Doc Savage is presented in the Doc Savage novel, The Men Who Smiled No More, by “Kenneth Robeson” (Lester Dent), April 1936. Doc Savage researcher Rick Lai has placed these events in the early part of June 1935 in his The Complete Chronology of Bronze, Aces Publications, 1999.

[18] It was thought at the time that the shift in sea currents noticed by the diver were related to the cause of a series of droughts suffered across North America from 1930 to 1938.

[19] The Army Air Corps plane had been sent at the request of a government agency that had previously destroyed a weird underground city off the coast of Massachusetts in 1928 as depicted in Lovecraft, H.P.  “The Shadows over Innsmouth”, Visionary Publishing House, 1936.

[20] This incident was reported in Superman 4, Spring 1940, as “Luthor's Undersea City.” The published narrative greatly altered the events and had Alexi Luthor as the main villain rather than the Ultra-Humanite. Although Alexi was present, Superman probably did not see him or take notice of him.

[21] The descendents of these creatures and their encounters with a humanity that was encroaching on their habitats may have been the true stories behind the incidents that were later depicted by Hollywood as The Black Scorpion (1957), The Giant  Gila Monster (1959), and Tarantula (1955), although radiation due to atomic testing was the most often used excuse in the cinematic depictions.

[22] Such a gate was depicted in Farmer, Philip Jose The Gates of Creation.

[24] Dr. Peter Drury was involved in many odd experiments, including invisibility and controlled lycanthropy. See more at the Robert Griffin section of the Invisibles articles.

[25] In Action Comics 47 (April 1942): "Powerstone" Dan McCormick was not depicted at the villain but rather the  bald headed Lex Luthor subjected himself to electrical experiments and gained super strength and the ability to discharge electricity. This was done by DC comics in order to demonstrate Luthor’s involvement in the “Man Made Monster” incident without infringing on the intellectual property of the film, which had appeared the previous year.

[26] The film the Man Made Monster (1941) did not include any mention of the Luthor brothers or of the fight of the electrical man against Superman.

[27] In the film Man Made Monster, McCormick survived three attempts to electrocute him. He broke out of prison, returned to the laboratory of Dr. Rigas, and killed him before Rigas could turn a young girl into a zombie. Donning a rubber suit to keep in the life-giving electricity, McCormick abducted the girl. A manhunt ensued. He was killed when he became entangled in a barbed wire fence, which tore his rubber suit and shorted him out. 

However the true events of what actually occurred were not depicted in the film due to adherence to the Production Code and because of Dan McCormick's later career in service to various United States intelligence agencies. In truth Dan McCormick was electrocuted and it did make him stronger. He went on a rampage. Although he sought Dr. Rigas and Dr. Lawrence he could not find them. In a confused state of mind he donned a rubber suit to contain his electrical field, believing it was keeping him alive. He broke into a medical building similar to the old laboratory that Dr. Lawrence had used. Believing that a physician who was examining a female patient was doing something nefarious, he killed the doctor and abducted the woman.

Knowing that he would forever be branded a criminal and a murderer, Dan McCormick became one for real. In partnership with three other men, he pulled a series of heists and bank jobs. They, however, tried to kill him, and failing this set the police on him.  While escaping police pursuit he did become entangled in barbed wire fence. He was not killed, however, just rendered powerless. His death sentence was carried out and rather than being electrocuted he was gassed. However the saga of Dan McCormick was not over.

What happened to Dan McCormick after his execution was depicted in the film The Indestructable Man (1956) , (which many considered to be a remake or indirect sequel to Man Made Monster because they have comparable storylines) The storyline of the Indestructible Man is as follows:

Charles "Butcher" Benton swore revenge against his former partners in crime, including his lawyer who got him put away in the first place. Benton was executed the next day. His body was sold to a scientist who brought him back to life during an experiment. As a side effect of his resurrection Benton became indestructible. Benton was also unable to speak, as his vocal cords have been destroyed by the 300,000 volts of electricity used on him. He killed the scientist and his assistant. Benton then embarked on a mission of vengeance, stalking and killing his ex-partners.

Most of The Indestructible Man is as fictitious as the “Butcher Benton” name assigned to Dan McCormick. After his execution, Dan McCormick's corpse was shipped off to a scientist named Bradshaw, who had requested it because of its unique characteristic of immunity to electricity. The body was used as part of his cancer research, which involved shooting it with 278,000 volts of electricity. This jolt revived McCormick, who set out to kill the three men who had set him up. Although the film depicted “Benton’s” body starting to decompose as he went through his campaign of revenge, such was not the case with McCormick. The gas in the gas chamber had put McCormick in a coma. The electricity from Dr. Bradshaw's experiment revived him, although he did receive flash burns from the great amount of electricity. The burned skin being replaced by new tissue was the flesh that witnesses saw sloughing off of McCormick's body. McCormick killed two of his former partners and several others before the charge ran down.

Dan McCormick was snatched up by the United States Army and placed in Project Rebirth; however, the Army's attempts to recharge him failed, although he remained immune to electrical discharge. He served on detached duty during the Second World War, assigned to special assignments where his immunity to electricity would be most useful. In recognition of his behavior during the war he was given an honorable discharge and given a new identity since Dan McCormick was considered to be dead. But this new identity could be tied to Dan McCormick, which kept him tethered to the government. 

They gave him the identity of Maxwell Dillon, the child of Alexander Wainwright Luthor's former assistant, Nadine Dillon. The child had been born dead, tragically followed shortly thereafter by Nadine. The authorities altered the birth certificate to reflect that the child had been born alive and altered the date to fit Dan McCormick's apparent age. The false birth certificate tied Dillon to the Shop despite his apparent lack of power. The Shop was a mysterious government agency seemingly attached to the intelligences services but of unknown origin. It was involved in all sorts of human experimentation and black operations as shown in the Stephen King novel, Firestarter, the main character of which—the pyrokinetic Charlie McGee—was the result of one such human enhancement experiment.

[28] The events of Professor Uppercue, Dr. Alexis Mandroff and Doc Savage at the World's Fair are presented in The World's Fair Goblin, by Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent), June 1939. Philip José Farmer had believed these events to be fictional due to a chronological problem, the story having been printed before it could have occurred.  But Doc Savage scholar Rick Lai postulated in his Complete Chronology of Bronze that these events actually occurred before the Fair opened but believed that the only spectators were construction workers who also provided test audiences for those exhibits geared for live audiences. However my research indicates that these events occurred after the Fair was fully built but before it was opened to the general public. Since the New York World’s Fair was associated with science, technology and futurism, the city believed that it would be a publicity boon to have an International Scientific Symposium take place in the Fair prior to its opening, giving the Fair advance publicity and adding authenticity to the Fair’s theme. However, due to a low attendance by many key scientific figures and the events that occurred during the initial stages of the Symposium, as will be related, the symposium was considered a bust.  To prevent any bad publicity from marring the opening of the Fair , the city chose not to publicize that anything had occurred at the Fair prior to its being opened.

[29] In April of 1939, Doc Savage was in London and the Shadow was recovering from a brain concussion that he received in the Wizard of Crime. The Shadow also had two other adventures in April, which were recorded as The Masked Lady and The Scent of Death. The whereabouts of both men were determined by Rick Lai in The Complete Chronology of Bronze for Doc Savage and The Chronology of Shadows. The Spider seems to have been involved in the case known as Slaves of the Laughing Death

[30]This may sound confusing to those who only know of Metropolis and Gotham through the comics but understand that despite the place name differences and some misleading geographical information such as the distances between Gotham and Metropolis, that Metropolis/Gotham is actually New York City. The misinformation was deliberate fabrication by the comic book writers so people could not track down the true Wayne or Kent families. The government structure of New York is slightly different in the Wold Newton Universe in that in addition to being divided into Five Boroughs, New York is also divided into two larger districts each with a deputy Mayor. These two districts have become known as Metropolis and Gotham although they are actually East and West New York City. West City or Metropolis is Manhattan, Staten Island and Bronx; East City or Gotham is Brooklyn and Queens. 

[31] The truth of the matter, despite the Ultra-Humanite's superlative ego, was that Superman was not even aware that the Ultra-Humanite was in the vicinity. As Clark Kent he was assigned with Lois Lane to cover the New York World's Fair for the Cleveland Daily Star.

[32] The Omega Files are the secret files of the organization created by Prince Zarkon, as related in the case studies edited by Lin Carter

[33] The source for this version of events is John Byrne's Generations Volume 1, No.1.  Byrne may have been mistaken that the Trylon was converted to a rocket. In The World's Fair Goblin, one of the demonstrations depicted in the novel was a proposed moon rocket, which appeared to blast off and follow a preset course guided by a cable. Alexi probably cut the cable and launched the rocket prematurely. The rocket exploded in flight and the Ultra-Humanite's "henchman" named "L" was believed to be dead.

[34] Considering his last debacle at the Perisphere, it is interesting that he chose it as his ultimate death trap.

[35] Paraphrased from David Stepp’s Golden Age Villains: The Ultrahumanite

[36] The story in Action Comics 21 February 1940 and the subsequent appearance of this character in All Star Squadron 22, June 1983, and issues beyond that rendered his name as Terry Curtis (Kurtzenberg). However this was a name change made specifically by Superman who did not wish to use the real name of the character due to the children involved and also, although the comic book writers were undoubtedly unaware of the fact, because this particular kidnap victim was part of Superman's real family.

[37] Part of this incident turns up in Superman 17 (July-August 1942) in the story “The Human Bomb.” Although the protagonist was named Watkins, by portraying the villain as bald was a hint by Siegel that one of the two bald-headed villains of Superman's past was the true mastermind behind these terrible crimes.

[38] Simmons became the superpowered villain named Deathbolt and Everett the mystery man known as The Amazing Man. Although in the comics Deathbolt could summon and discharge electricity at will, this discharge of energy was bio-electrical in nature and contained a lot of hard radiation. It took several moments of intense concentration on Simmon's part to summon the discharge, leaving him severely fatigued. Eventually it would cost him his life. The experiment on Everett seemed to have unlocked some latent Founder DNA in his make up, giving him short-lived shapeshifting powers, specifically the ability to mimic any substance he had physical contact with. Exposure to another batch of radiation a couple of years later gave Everett the ability to discharge bio-electricity in the form of short range magnetism. The source of the latter power is presently unknown.

[39] The special connection was that Rodney Prescott was Superman's ex-son in law and will be revealed in greater detail in the “Maids of Might” article, forthcoming.

[41] This Krowak Mountain in Skull Valley was located on Skull Island in the Indian Ocean. Skull Island is the home of Kong. It, like Caprona, was once part of the Lemurian civilization. The Denhem expedition brought back the Powerstone and a few other gems without knowing their true value as power crystals. The Ultra-Humanite had the theory that these three artifacts were in fact from a vanished civilization and that they were the symbols of power as well as being powerful in themselves. More on the Powerstone and Skull Island can be found on the Immortal Befuddled article.

[42] The confusion apparently arose because of Roy Thomas’ sources, which indicated that the Guardian was there, but also indicated—perhaps through a reference to his secret identity—that Commander Steel was there.  This is because Thomas’ information came from multiple sources. One of these sources was from journals that “James Harper” left behind, indicating that he took part in this guard duty in his Guardian identity. Some declassified documents from Sicherheitsdienst, the Security Police of Nazi Germany indicated that Commander Steel was also present, so Thomas evidently assumed both were there. As will be shown in The Super Menace article, the Guardian and Commander Steel were actually the same person.

[43] Although All Star Squadron 25 also depicts the mysteryman known as the Atom aiding Green Lantern and Amazing Man, the Atom was still recovering from his nearly fatal electrocution earlier that year.

[44] Justice Inc. was looking into ties between the Falange, Franco's organization, which had often strong ties among Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico and the Philippines, and the Zoot Suiters of California. Since many Zoot Suiters were of Hispanic origin the government thought that there might be a Mexican connection. Justice Inc.’s investigation has thus far remained sealed.

[45] The comic book version of these events depicted Leigh Kent as two people.  The primary depiction was as Danette Reilly, the fire-wielding superheroine known as Firebrand, who also happened to be Curtis ex-lover. Danette Reilly was primarily Roy Thomas fictional rendering of his wife as a superheroine. Leigh was also depicted as the Fury, a heroine from the future. While there was indeed a heroine named Fury in the 1980s, she did not have any part in this particular incident. All of the scenes of Fury outside of the Ultra-Humanite's lair are complete fabrications. Leigh Kent has been discussed in Children of Superman article under the name Olga Mesmer. She will be discussed further in the “Maids of Might” article.

[46] Thyophians had greatly developed senses and were the peak of human physical evolution and they also had latent psionic abilities but for some reason did not develop them. As described in the Kypton Decrypted article the molecularly frozen or stoned Thyophian children were de-stoned  were used as the basic genetic material to create the Kryptonian genotype. Due to the length of that particular article, one of the pieces of information that was not included was that the geneticist also uncovered this Thyophian psionic latency and made it part of the Kryptonian make-up, hence the Kryptonians have X-Ray vision (clairvoyance) can fly through telekinesis are stronger. The TK is also possibly why they are stronger, faster and more invulverable than Thyophians and have some pryrokinetic abilities although the heat vision was actually first created to be optically generated lasers to aid in mining. Hugo Danner did not possess heat vision. flight and other such powers yet some of his children and grand children did. Why?  Charlotte Linders had latent psionic abilities... she may have been an Oddian mutant or just a psionic mutant. The combination of Danner genes and Linders genes gave Leigh Linders and her children great psionic ability. This is why Leigh Linders and her offspring have powers not possessed by Iron Munro and his offspring.

[47] Actually Rodney Prescott had been taken to participate in the Crisis… for a few seconds. The Ultra-Humanite had been accidentally carried with him but was shunted back to 1942. To the Ultra-Humanite it appeared as though she fell from the Chicago skyscraper and landed in a farm in Western Germany, several months later.

[48] The child was named Lacy Nasthalia Warburton. Lacy believed that her father was Lex Luthor, and upon learning of her supposed biological father’s criminal background, she began using the name, Nasthalia Luthor. It was under this identity that she attended Stanford University in California, at the same time as Linda Danvers. Nasthalia Luthor was more of a party girl than a student and became the leader of a college-based all-girl motorcycle gang named Nasty's Nasties. Supergirl also began showing up at around Stanford at this time. Nasty had contacted Lex Luthor (Alexander Wainwright) several years earlier when she was beginning adolescence and told her that she suspected he was her father. Although Luthor doubted it, he did not deny the possibility and used it to his advantage. When she told him that Supergirl was based near Stanford, Lex Luthor deputized Nasthalia to terrorize Stanford with her motorcycle gang, Nasty's Nasties.  Their objective was to flush out Supergirl and discover her secret identity. The plan backfired, as Supergirl tracked down Luthor and imprisoned him again. Nasty would begin to suspect that Danvers was Supergirl but could never prove it. Nasty Luthor’s depiction was first in Adventure Comics No. 397
Sept. 1970. The comics portrayed Lex Luthor and Lacy Nasthalia Warburton/Nasthalia Luthor as uncle and niece:

In the letters column of issue #401, it is explained that Nasty is really the daughter of Luthor's older sister, who married a "European gentleman and has been living abroad."  The editor goes on to say that Lex's and Lena's parents disapproved of the marriage and cut off communication with her, so that Lena knows nothing of her.  Such a person, however, has never been depicted or referred to in the Superman family stories.”  (Dark Mark’s Comics Indexing Domain, Supergirl, Adventure Comics No. 397, Sept. 1970).

Although the elder sister of Lex Luthor was also a bit of misinformation, the depiction of her being a niece to Alexander Wainwright is actually more accurate than Nasty’s belief that Lex Luthor was her father.

Nasty Luthor’s motorcycle gang did more than just create troubling situations for Supergirl. It was also rather renown for harassing college students who liked to visit the beach. Nasty’s girl motorcycle gang often got together with a male biker gang for beer blasts and shared mayhem. Their combined harassing of the college students was written up in as part of a study Mating Habits of the American Teenager by an anthropologist named Robert Sutwell. Sutwell’s scientific treatise became the basis for a low budget comedy film named Beach Party (1963) which spawned a spate of sequels. Among the characters in the film were a motocycle leader named Eric Von Zipper. This was loosely based on the leader of the male motorcycle gang affiliated with Nasty’s Nasties. Although Nasty was at first angry that her exploits were not depicted in the film versions, years later after she became a semi- respectable journalist, she would be grateful that this part of her past never became well known.

[49] Nazi records captured by the Soviet Union were released after the collapse of the Soviet Union and several previously unknown Nazi intelligence operations and medical experiments were uncovered. The Ultra-Humanite’s brain transplant attempts were among the documents disclosed circa 1991. Upon hearing of this Nazi plan, an imaginary series was published by DC Comics that extrapolated a possible scenario of such a plan.  See James Robinson and Paul Martin’s The Golden Age, DC Comics 1995.

[51] Although the Spider in James Robinson’s "The Spider: 1951" (The Shade #3, 1997) was not portrayed as the Spider vigilante of the pulps but rather a criminal master mind posing as a vigilante, it was indeed Richard Wentworth The Spider who encountered the Thinker in 1950.

[52]  Depicted in "The Enigma of the Empty Elevator" Superman Family #201 May-June 1980

[53]  “Queen of the Insect World,” Superman Family #213 (December 1981).  The comic book depictions of “Lana Lang” and “Superboy” conflate several real people.  The initial Lana Lang was based upon Hugo Danner’s teenage sweetheart Anna Blake, as were some depictions of Superboy (see Al Schroeder’s "The Once and Future Superboy" and "Conquest and College Years").  Anna Blake never became the Insect Queen. That character was conflated with Marie Harper, who dated and subsequently married Joe Danner—Hugo Danner’s grandson and the model for many of the Superboy stories of the 1940s and 1950s. Marie Harper was the daughter of Jim Harper (an identity used by Bingham Harvard, see “Superconfusion”) and Marjorie Kinnison. Joe Danner gave Marie an ancient crystal, which he brought back from the 30th century while visiting his mother, Laur-El Kent/Leigh Linders (see “Maids of Might”), that formed a forcefield about her. The forcefield had the ability to take any form Marie desired. Something of an entomologist, Marie visualized insect forms. Although never definitively proven, the crystal was believed to have been an early form of a Lens that had been utilized by an elite guard in Atlantis under Arion.  Marie Harper was the Lana Lang of the Legion stories.  More about Marie and Joe Danner (Superboy, Captain Comet, Captain Marv-El) will be revealed in Unknown Tales of The Legion Of Super Heroes

[54] Depicted in "The Menace of Metallo"  Action Comics No. 252, May 1959.

[55] All references to Cliff Devoe as the Thinker after 1950 should be considered fictional.

[56] As far as is known, the Valley of Gwangi did not possess giant apes. This particular juvenile Kong creature was either one of those taken from Kong Island by Lawrence Luthor, Alexi Luthor, and Carl Denham, as noted earlier, or a descendent of the pair taken from the island. The life span of the Kong species is unknown; it may be longer than smaller apes. This particular animal was captured in the Mexican jungle near Guatamala. The claim that it was from the Valley of Gwangi seems to have been pure ballyhoo. The Valley of Gwangi became notorious for the claim made by Professor Horace Bromley that dinosaurs still existed inside the inaccessible valley. A film was based on these Bromley claims, see The Valley of the Gwangi (1969).

[57] This errant fantasy was dramatized in Young All Stars 22.

[58] As evidenced by film The Son of Kong (1933). This subject is dealt with at further length in the Immortal Befuddled 18th Century article.

[59] The Books of Tharn were memoirs and histories that a time-lost Tarzan had written circa 26,000 BC. They were worshipped as holy books by a group of Stone Age tribesmen who worshipped the immortal Tarzan as their Undying God. These Stone Age tribesman discovered a method of greatly extending their life spans and became known as the Nine. The Books of Tharn were destroyed circa 12,000 BC and so the knowledge they had contained was based on oral tradition and memory. For more details see Triple Tarzan Tangle and Kane and Gribardsun-Triple Tarzan Tangle Revisited.

[60] This plan was undoubtedly the basis for the short-lived comic book series The Super Society of Super Villains (DC Comics, 1975). The Ultra-Humanite’s leadership of this group of villains was the basis for the Justice League of America story arc in issues 195-197 (1981).

 More about the Nine and the Books of Tharn can be seen at the Triple Tarzan Tangle and Tarzan? Jane? And Tarzans and the Valley of Gold.

[61] The incident examined here was depicted, in part, in several different sources, none of which told the entire story, none of which were entirely true to the fact. These sources were the Dukes of Hazzard episode “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Duke,” the film Superman III, and the comic book series Infinity Inc. issues 5-10, 1984-85.

[62] This was depicted in the usual half-farcical style in a Dukes of Hazzard episode, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Duke” (1984). The origins of the mind-altering qualities of the water were reported in the television show as chemical waste contamination of a pond in an effort to prevent people from attempting to discover the well and also to dramatize the problem of such waste dumping. The involvement of Luke and the other citizens of Conyers County with the events that became the basis for much of the film Superman III were not depicted in the Dukes of Hazzard television series for obvious reasons. However, it was about this time that Jonathan Bo Duke first met Lana Ross.

[63] These events were presented in a quite distorted fashion in the film Superman III. Daniel Clampett was portrayed as Ross Webster, Gus Gorman was also a character in the film, although played broadly by Richard Pryor. In the film Gorman had gone to Smallville to seize control of the satellite relay and use the satellite array to create a storm that would destroy the Columbian coffee crop.

[64] This is where the original source of the Koehaha river was located, according to "Five Drowned Men," All Star Comics 36, September 1947.

[65] The true events differ substantially from their portrayal in Superman III, in which an artificial form of Kryptonite causes Superman’s personality switch. Also the presence of the other costumed vigilantes was not depicted in the Superman III film, but depicted dramatically in Infinity Inc. issues 5-10, 1984-85.

[66] A few years before, this Superman would not have been much of a match for Karen Starr since Hugo Danner did not then possess the full powers that she and Clark Kent did, but a painful transfusion between Danner and Kent had caused Danner's body to be rewritten in a more Kryptonian mode, giving him vision powers and enhanced strength, but he was still weaker than Clark Kent.

[67] See the Wonder Woman article for more information.

[68] The Infinity Inc. version of these events was published in the pre-Crisis period, when DC placed the Golden Age versions of costumed vigilantes a different plane of reality from their current counterparts; consequently, the Batman of Earth-2 was written off as dead. Instead, a middle aged Robin (Dick Grayson) was affected by the water. He was confronted by and stopped by the Huntress. However, it was the current Batman (Bruce Wayne Jr.) who was affected by the water and stopped by his sister and foster brother.

[69] In the early 1960’s Linda Danvers became involved with feminism and altered her super hero identity to Power-Femme. The media however never took the rather awkward sounding label and called her Powergirl which infuriated her. She stubbornly continued to use the Power-Femme label until the late 1970s when she began calling herself Powerwoman. Her Linda Danver’s identity has also been exposed and she her civilian name was Karen Starr, a variation of  her Kryptonian name Kara Zor-El

[70] These events were partially portrayed in the film Superman III, and in DC Comics series Infinity Inc. #3-10, June 1984-January 1985.

[71] Records indicate that this homeless man was once a priest named Father Pergado who disappeared after going on a retreat in 1976. See  End of the World (1977).

[72] These events were portrayed in the film Gremlins: The New Batch. although modified for comic and dramatic storytelling

[73] For more information on the NuGenesis Fertility Clinics, see the article There are Pretenders Among Us.

[74] Wesley Dodd fought crime in the Thirties and Forties under the name of The Sandman. Many people considered The Sandman to be a more heroic version of The Green Hornet, the masked criminal of Detroit. Few people knew that the Green Hornet was actually a vigilante working against crime by posing as a criminal. Wesley Dodds, however, did know. Wesley Dodds was a genius born to a wealthy New York family who lived his early life as a dilettante and man of leisure. Britt Reid was looking to open a branch of the Daily Sentinel in New York, and Dodds thought that if Charles Foster Kane could enjoy running a newspaper, so could he. He partnered with Reid in the New York branch of the Daily Sentinel. When Dodds witnessed the Green Hornet break up a hold up, he immediately discerned the Green Hornet’s identity. Dodds had amazing powers of deduction and observation when he chose to use them. After Reid returned to Detroit, Dodds designed his own version of the Green Hornet outfit, along with a gas gun. He was dubbed The Sandman, ironically, by his own newspaper.

[75] Rex Tyler started fighting crime in 1935 as a masked vigilante. He wore evening clothes, a fedora hat, and a black handkerchief with eye holes cut into it. He was in the habit of leaving a calling card in the form of a picture of a clock face with the words “The Clock Strikes” printed on it.  Like his inspiration The Shadow, he also wielded guns. Yet he felt uncomfortable with these violent methods; he leaned towards the non-lethal philosophy of Doc Savage and Superman. Like other costumed vigilantes, in his everyday life Rex Tyler was a rather meek and mild person. A brilliant biochemist, he was content to work for a company that benefited from the fruits of his genius without much compensation. He sought a formula that would emulate the strength, stamina, and invulnerability of Superman. He succeeded in creating a formula, which he dubbed Miraclo, that would temporarily, depending on the dosage, give him increased strength, increased tissue density, and increased stamina. The highest dosage lasted approximately 90 minutes. While breaking up a Bundist riot in his new garb, the German-Americans referred to The Clock in their native language as “Das Uhr” (the clock) and also referred to him as Der Uhrmann (the Clock-man), which was misunderstood by English-speaking witnesses as “Hourman.” This was the name chosen by DC Comics to represent the “new” costumed hero (it is unknown at this time whether DC realized that the person whose adventures they had published as The Clock was the same as Hourman). Tyler continued to use the name “The Clock” during the war. Under this code name he undertook at least one intelligence mission, which was depicted in the somewhat deliberately fictionalized The Liberty File (DC Comics 2000). Tyler adopted Hourman after the intelligence missions had finished, although he had already been so depicted in the comics. He discovered that the price for use of the drug was addiction and extreme fatigue. Eventually the effectiveness of the drug on Tyler faded but the addiction to Miraclo did not fade.


Tyler's son Rick discovered that his father was the Hourman, but Rex Tyler’s refusal to allow his son to use Miraclo caused a rift between the two. Rex did not want to admit to his son that he was addicted to the drug. He told his son that the drug was too dangerous without explaining the dangers.


Rick Tyler sought other avenues to get Miraclo. He was provided a form of Miraclo by the Ultra-Gen corporation in return for an endorsement. This Miraclo formula, however, was unsafe and eventually gave Rick Tyler leukemia. Rick Tyler was getting therapy in the hospital while his father was being treated for his Miraclo addiction.

[76] Johnny Chambers began his career as a costumed vigilante in 1940. Johnny's guardian, Professor Gill, was one of the scientists who worked on a retardant for Gibberne's accelerator formula. Gill's theories were considered far fetched by other researchers. He believed that the high rate of failure for the accelerator drug originated in the slight disjuncture between brain and body function; the brain ran at a slightly slower pace than the accelerated body, and at high speed this uneven functioning was magnified. Rather than using the mind to overcome the deleterious effects of the accelerator, such as burnt clothing, extreme fatigue and rapid aging, the mind fell into the trap of allowing these things to occur rather than employing the power of an accelerated brain to channel some of the energy outwards to create a sort of field about the runner to negate the effects of the accelerator. After years of study Professor Gill came up with what he called his “speed formula.” His breakthrough came after reading a small paper by a Dr. Reed Chalmers in a psychology quarterly on symbolic logic. He created a formula designed to bring the mind and body into harmony while under the influence of the accelerator drug.


Young John Chambers insisted on trying out the accelerator along with the speed formula. Dr. Gill had him practice the speed formula for weeks to make certain Johnny spoke it correctly. When the day came to make the attempt. Johnny took the accelerator and spoke the formula. He had a burst of super speed for a moment, became wrapped in flames, and fell to the ground. At a distance he seemed blackened and smoking. He spoke the formula again and started to run. He ran for approximately twenty to thirty minutes with no ill effects. As he ran he seemed enshrouded in a blurry sheen of energy, as if a protective envelope covered him. Johnny said that he must have misspoken the formula at first because it seemed like he was burning up and he felt himself pass out. He had awakened almost immediately and started up again. The second time he felt were no ill effects.


Emboldened by this Dr. Gill attempted the experiment. As he ran his clothes burst into fire and he fell to the ground a smoking corpse.


As Johnny Chambers would discover, the combination of the accelerator and the speed formula worked on him without fail, but for everyone else it was paramount to a death sentence. Johnny Chambers was unique among those who took Gibberne's accelerator because he was slightly faster than the others including the Golden Age Flash (whose speed was highly exaggerated), and the formula did not age him. In fact he retained his youth up to his death. It was not mongoose blood that did the trick, nor a magic formula, but rather the odd circumstance that fact that the accelerator formula killed him the first time he used it.


Johnny Chambers was a Highlander type immortal but never knew it until long after he had been a costumed vigilante. His first attempt at using the accelerator formula burned him to death through speed friction, due to the accelerator in his body and his inborn super fast healing ability he resurrected and healed at superspeed, never knowing he had died. Thereafter whenever he took the accelerator formula it worked in concert with his Highlander abilities, His regenerative ability was increased by the use of the accelerator, and conversely his immortal regenerative ability and the quickening field allowed him to use the accelerator formula without ill effect or aging.


An immortal’s connection to the quickening, that is their unique connection to the Earth’s electromagnetic field, usually only visually manifests when an immortal is beheaded and the nearest immortal to them absorbd the slain immortal’s energy. However, an immortal’s connection to the quickening is always present. As is explained in greater detail in the Aliens Among Us article, Highlander type Immortals were created to be living information gathering devices and so were made to be practically safe from harm. Their immortality, regenerative powers, and other abilities, only hinted at in the first film, are tied into to a connection with the Earth's electromagnetic field. The Highlanders are the result of a mutation designed to occur at random intervals in the human population. The central nervous system does not kick into its immortality until the body suffers death.


Once the immortals are quickened, they become in tune with the Earth's electromagnetic field. A few can become adept at manipulating this connection to the electromagnetic field, such as the Highlander “wizard” Nakanom, shown in Highlander III: The Final Dimension.  However a fail safe was designed so that that on the odd chance that these valuable assets were killed by the separation of the brain from the central nervous system, the valuable information would be forcibly uploaded into the nearest Highlander.  The feeling of the upload however was one of such ecstasy that the Higlanders began to believe that it was intended for them to kill others of their kind by taking heads. They developed an elaborate mythology around the taking of heads, even to the point of believing that it was a game with only be one winner.


In the first Highlander film, after Connor is first made immortal by the Kurgen, an immortal named Rameriz travels to Scotland to teach Connor about being immortal. Rameriz demonstrates to Connor that they can run very fast, breath underwater, and feel a sense of harmony with their surroundings. Rameriz tells him that this is the quickening.


The use of the accelerator also seemed to have an odd effect on Johnny Chambers: it sped up his regenerative abilities to a phenomenal level. The corona of energy that surrounded him protected him from injury. At high speeds he could achieve long, high jumps, which were probably the origin of the rumor that he could fly.


Johnny Chamber married a fellow costumed vigilante, Libby Lawrence, a.k.a Liberty Belle during the war. Their marriage was happy until they failed to have children. Although he felt like less of a man for doing so, at Libby's insistence Johnny tried artificial means and they visited the Savage Centre for Genetic Research and were referred to a satellite agency, the NuGenesis Family Clinic. Although Johnny was sterile because once a Highlander type immortal becomes quickened, they become sterile. NuGenesis was able to use an experimental method create an embryo by fusing one of Libby's eggs with his genetic material. The technique was very expensive and there were many failures. Finally a viable egg was implanted in Libby’s womb, and in 1946 she gave birth to Tia and Tony Chambers, (whose careers will be explored in forthcoming article). It was not generally known that Johnny and Libby had produced children, and due to the twin’s troubled adolescences this relationship was not shown in any of their published exploits by DC Comics, which was licensed to depict the exploits of Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle. During the 1940s, a rival comic book company, Timely Publications, published unauthorized versions of Chambers and Lawrence under the codenames the Whizzer and Miss America, along with fictional secret identities, origins, and biographies.


Years later Timely’s successor, Marvel Comics, depicted the Whizzer and Miss America as the parents of twin children with abilities similar to those of Tia and Tony Chambers—Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.  Marvel also depicted the twin’s early troubles with the law and had alluded that they were the children of a noted terrorist, codenamed Magneto, a charge that would later return to haunt the twins.

The artificial origin of his children amplified Johnny’s feelings of impotence, and he turned his energies towards building his company, Quickstart.  The idea behind Quickstart was to use Professor Gill’s idea of harmonizing body and mind for self actualization in everyday situations. Johnny's marriage fell apart as a result of his constant attention to the company.

[77] These events were fictionalized in the DC Comics series Justice Society of America, 1992, #2-5

[78] “Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disease that accelerates the aging process to about seven times the normal rate. Because of this accelerated aging, a child of ten years will have similar respiratory, cardiovascular, and arthritic conditions that a 70-year-old would have.” Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome Network

[79] In the DC Comics version of events Pratt, Tyler, and Thunder were rapidly aged by Extant, a supervillian who had the ability to control time. He removed “chronal energy” from their bodies. T

[80] Johnny Quick's death was portrayed in Impulse #10-11 (January-February 1996) as part of a general attack on speedsters. However, his death was actually part of the eons old game played by the Highlander immortals. Savitar, a Highlander who had used his powers and immortality to construct a cult around himself, realized that Johnny Quick was such an immortal who was unaware of his heritage or potential and believed that by taking his head he also could have super-speed.

[81] JSA #32-37 (2002) portrayed these events as if the Ultra-Humanite had been successful in controlling an other-dimensional being and altered the world to his whim.


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