Type: Alien world

Environment: Earth-like, yet everything is flat

Usual means of access: Via a Trans-Dimension Machine

Dominant life form: The 2-D Men, the Hypno-Creature

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#23/1 (November, 1961)

(Tales of Suspense I#23/1 (fb) - BTS) - Desiring to conquer the fuller and richer realm of three dimensions, the inhabitants of a two-dimensional world spent "ages" building a Trans-Dimension Machine. With their device finally completed, the 2-D Men transported themselves through the dimensional barrier to Earth; disguised as human utility workers, they began digging a large hole in a city street, to create a permanent entrance between the two dimensions -- they planned to infiltrate the three-dimensional world, to conquer and enslave the populace.

(Tales of Suspense I#23/1 (fb)) - Teenager John Cummings was a curious young lad who was always asking questions. One day, while he was walking along the sidewalk, he saw some workers digging in the street. When he asked them what they were doing, they angrily refused to answer and yelled at him to go away. Now really curious about the workers' secretive manner, John spied on them from the top of a building with binoculars. He saw them descend into their newly dug pit and then fade into thin air. Amazed, and now determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, John headed to the pit and climbed down inside.

   But as he reached the base of the pit, John felt himself begin to fade as well. Soon he vanished completely, as the molecules of his body were reassembled into a new form, and he was transported to another universe. He found himself inside a giant machine, the purpose of which was to transport things across the dimensions -- he also immediately discovered that his body had been re-formed into an almost two-dimensional, flat form!

   Exiting the machine, John was astounded to see that he was in a different world, one where everything was flat. Cautiously searching the alien city, he caught sight of some green-skinned, flat beings wearing work-clothes and carrying human face-masks. John overheard their conversation and learned that they were the utility workers he had seen, and that they had constructed a Trans-Dimension Machine for the purpose of invading Earth. Using their human disguises they planned to infiltrate human society, while secretly conquering humanity.

   Suddenly the 2-D Men's intruder warning light went off, revealing John's presence. As John ran away, they fired bolts of electro-currents at him, but John managed to dodge the blasts. The 2-D Men then unleashed their tiny Hypno-Creature and exposed it to some special fumes.

   The Hypno-Creature grew to gigantic size after exposure to the vapors, and then chased after John. As John dashed into the Valley of Crystal, the Hypno-Creature attempted to capture him with its hypno-ray, while the 2-D Men watched with glee. However John seized a chunk of crystal and reflected the hypno-ray back into the eyes of the Hypno-Creature, and the monster hypnotized itself. John then ordered the creature to attack the 2-D Men as a diversion, while he ran back to the Trans-Dimension Machine to return to Earth.

   Once back in his own world and restored to his three-dimensional body, John commandeered a steamroller parked at the 2-D Men's construction site and sealed the pit with rocks, thus crushing the Trans-Dimension Machine hidden there, and destroying the passageway to the Dimension of Doom.

(Tales of Suspense I#23/1) - Years later, after he reached adulthood, Cummings recounted his adventure in the Dimension of Doom.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers.

This story was reprinted in Fear I#9 (August, 1972). The dimension in question was only referred to as "The Dimension of Doom" in the title.

Obviously the 2-D Men (and everything else in the Dimension of Doom) aren't fully two dimensional, just...flat. I refer to them as the 2-D Men just because the name sounds cool.

You'd think that the 2-D Men could have rebuilt their Trans-Dimension Machine and tried to conquer Earth again by now. Perhaps they could use some other method of inter-dimensional travel like the Nexus of All Realities in Man-Thing's swamp. As for John Cummings, he could've grown up to become a paranormal researcher or something. He could investigate strange disappearances, U.F.O abductions, and extradimensional activity.

I'd like to think that these pre-Marvel horror and monster stories took place in the pre-modern era, usually around the date they were published--Snood.

Maybe the 2-D Men of the Dimension of Doom have some connection to Kalahia, an other-dimensional city of scientists who could transform themselves into a two-dimensional state -- this city was discovered by Bruce Dickson, who learned this ability and went on to become the Thin Man in Mystic Comics#4 (August, 1940).
--John Kaminski

Profile by Ben Penberdy, Spaceknight. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

The Dimension of Doom has no known connection to:

The Dimension of Doom's Valley of Crystal has no known connection to:

The 2-D Men have no known connection to:

The Hypno-Creature has no known connection to:

John Cummings has no known connection to:

John Cummings

Back when he was a teenager, the inquisitive John uncovered the 2-D Men's plot to invade and conquer Earth. After finding their Trans-Dimension Machine outlet in the pit they were digging on a city street, he was transported to the Dimension of Doom, where he was transformed into a two-dimensional form.

When he was being pursued by the 2-D Men's Hypno-Creature, John was able to defeat the monster by reflecting its hypnotic ray back upon it.

After returning to Earth and being restored to his normal three-dimensional body, John used a steamroller to seal the pit, thus destroying the Trans-Dimension Machine and making it impossible for the 2-D Men to travel to Earth (or at least not for a long time).

Years later, the adult Cummings recounted his adventure in the Dimension of Doom.

--Tales of Suspense I#23/1

The 2-D Men

The green-skinned 2-D Men were the inhabitants of the two-dimensional Dimension of Doom, and their bodies were flat. They wielded weapons such as bolts of electro-currents, and the Hypno-Creature.

The 2-D Men somehow discovered the three-dimensional realm of Earth; wishing to conquer the world and surrounding universe, they spent years building the Trans-Dimension Machine, which would allow them to cross the dimensional barrier.

After completing the device, three of the 2-D Men transported themselves to Earth, where their bodies became three-dimensional. Wearing work-clothes and human face-masks, they disguised themselves as utility workers and began to dig a pit in a city street -- they planned to create a permanent entrance between their world and Earth, so their people could infiltrate the three-dimensional world and enslave it.

But their scheme was ruined when teenager John Cummings was transported to the Dimension of Doom; John ultimately returned to Earth and sealed the pit, which destroyed the 2-D Men's Trans-Dimension Machine.

(Comment: Their population was unrevealed, but there were a total of six 2-D Men depicted in the story.)

--Tales Of Suspense I#23/1

The Hypno-Creature

Apparently a native life-form in the Dimension of Doom, the Hypno-Creature was relatively small and harmless; but when exposed to special fumes stored in a vial worn around its neck, it grew to a full height of approximately 20 feet. Using its hypno-ray that it projected from its eyes, it could defeat virtually any opponent; but the creature itself was not immune to its own ray. It was unrevealed whether the Hypno-Creature was unique, or whether there were any more living in the Dimension of Doom.

When John Cummings was transported to the Dimension of Doom and learned of their invasion plot, the 2-D Men unleashed the Hypno-Creature to pursue him. But after the Hypno-Creature chased him into the Dimension of Doom's Valley of Crystal, Cummings grabbed a large piece of crystal and used it to reflect the creature's hypnotic ray back at it, and the monster hypnotized itself. Cummings then ordered the towering Hypno-Creature to turn and attack the 2-D Men, while Cummings made his escape back to Earth.

--Tales Of Suspense I#23/1

images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p4, pan8 (city in Dimension of Doom; two-dimensional John Cummings (foreground))
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p5, pan3 (within city of Dimension of Doom, two-dimensional John Cummings overhears 2-D Men discussing their plans)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p2, pan5 (John Cummings asks workmen a question)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p4, pan5 (John Cummings becomes two-dimensional after being transported to Dimension of Doom; Trans-Dimension Machine (background))
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p3, pan2 (three-dimensional 2-D Man, disguised as workman, fades away in pit, as John Cummings watches him)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p5, pan1 (in Dimension of Doom, trio of 2-D Men carrying human face-masks)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p5, pan2 (in Dimension of Doom, trio of 2-D Men discuss their invasion plans)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p5, pan7 (Hypno-Creature held in hand of a 2-D Man)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p6, pan3 (after inhaling fumes, Hypno-Creature begins to grow)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p6, pan5 (fully grown Hypno-Creature pursues two-dimensional John Cummings, as 2-D Men watch)
Tales of Suspense I#23/1, p6, pan7 (two-dimensional John Cummings uses crystal to reflect Hypno-Creature's ray back at it)

Tales of Suspense I#23/1 (November, 1961) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Ray Holloway (letters)

First posted: 12/03/2002
Last updated: 12/23/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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