Real Name: Duke O'Dowd
Identity/Class: Human technology user (see comments)
Occupation: Axis agent; former crime-fighter, cab driver, cowhand, soldier of fortune, Foreign Legionnaire, airport mechanic, and probably other positions
Group Membership: Formerly Battle-Axis (Doctor Death/James Bradley, Skyshark/Elias Schleigal, Spider Queen/Shannon Kane, Strongman/Percy Van Norton, Volton)
Affiliations: (As Foreign Legionnaire) Kerry Flynn
and other soldiers at his fort;
(as crime-fighter) Toby, Wah Le;
(as Axis agent) formerly Golem, (Jacob Goldstein), Vision (Aarkus)
Enemies: (As Foreign Legionnaire) Sheik Tamah, Karl von Hund;
(as crime-fighter) Frango, Genghis Khan, Grundo the Great, Lambesque, Nad Neurod, Pete the Mug, Peter, Peter Rosky, Scaly Dragon, various unidentified criminals, spies, and Nazis;
(as Axis Agent) Blazing Skull (Mark Todd), Golem (Jacob Goldstein), Invaders (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie, Miss America/Madeline Joyce, Whizzer/Bob Frank), Silver Scorpion (Betty Barlow), Vision (Aarkus)
Known Relatives: Unidentified mother, unidentified younger sister, Patrick Confucius O'Dowd (uncle)
Aliases: "The Great Deliverer" (title given to him by the Bayakurans)
Base of Operations:
(as Axis agent) a secret Nazi base beneath the Mojave Desert in California
New York City, New York;
a desert region of the Middle East;
a ranch in Texas;
First Appearance: (Historic) Champion Comics#6/7 (published by Harvey Publications, April, 1940); (Marvel) Invaders II#1 (May, 1993)
Powers/Abilities: O'Dowd was skilled at using a lasso, as well as being an accomplished airplane pilot, stuntman, mechanic, soldier, swimmer, and hand-to-hand combatant.
As the Human Meteor, he wore a Wonder Belt, which enabled him to fly, granted him superhuman strength (Class 10 or higher), and surrounded him with a "contra-magnetic field" capable of repelling bullets and destroying any metal weapon that came into contact with it--however, wooden weapons (e.g. clubs) were immune to the field's effect and could be effectively used against the Meteor (see comments).
On his left wrist, the Meteor wore a mentalophone, with which he communicated with Wah Le in Bayakura.
For a time, the Meteor also carried an explosatom gun, and a yargun.
(6' 2"; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (200 lbs.; by approximation)
(Champion Comics#7/9 - Invaders II#3 (fb) - BTS) - Nothing has been revealed about Duke O'Dowd's childhood, save that he was born of an Irish background and raised in Texas, although at some point his family relocated to Boston, Massachusetts; he later claimed that one of his guiding principles was advice from his uncle Patrick Confucius O'Dowd---"Act first, explain later"---and it may be that his uncle was directly involved in his upbringing. During adulthood, O'Dowd exhibited an intense dislike of Great Britain, which he attributed to his Irish heritage, and this sentiment may have been encouraged early in his life by his uncle or other relatives.
(Champion Comics#6/7 - 7/9 (fb) - BTS) - In his early adulthood, O'Dowd spent time as a cowhand on a Texas ranch; he also became a crack pilot and stuntman. His desire for adventure led him to become a noted soldier of fortune.
(Champion Comics#6/7) - Seeking new experiences, O'Dowd joined the Foreign Legion and participated in a mission to retrieve stolen plans from renegade Karl von Hund.
(Champion Comics#7/9) - After months in the Legion, O'Dowd joined his fort's flying squad, and his aviation skills enabled him to rescue his commandant's daughter Jean when she was endangered while aboard an observations balloon; later, he and Jean were captured by the nearby Bedouin bandit forces of Sheik Tamah, and he again rescued the girl while escaping from Tamah's mountain fortress. In gratitude, the commandant agreed to give O'Dowd an honorable discharge so that he might return to the U.S. to look after his younger sister (At some point during his service O'Dowd presumably received mail from the U.S. indicating that he was needed by his sister). Fellow legionnaire Kerry Flynn offered to fly O'Dowd back to the United States.
(Champion Comics#8/9 - Invaders II#3 (fb)) - En route to Manila, Flynn's plane was caught in a twister above the Himalaya Mountains. The plane crashed by the scientifically advanced hidden city of Bayakura, which for centuries had been kept isolated by the region's mountains and repeated storms. Although Flynn died in the crash, O'Dowd survived and was hailed by the Bayakurans as "The Great Deliverer, who swooped in like a bird, just as the legend predicted."
Bayakura's supreme ruler, the ailing Leng-Lu, claimed that O'Dowd had been prophesied to "free the great outside world from the steadily increasing oppression of evil," and the initially nonplussed O'Dowd agreed to undertake such a mission; Bayakuran scientist Wah Le gave O'Dowd a Wonder Belt and advised him on his coming work. O'Dowd soon had the opportunity to put his new technology to use, when Frango, heir to Leng-Lu's title, organized an uprising to kill Leng-Lu and loot Bayakura for treasures and inventions to be used in gaining wealth in the outside world. O'Dowd used the power of the Wonder Belt to defeat the rebels, and Wah Le became the ruler of Bayakura in Leng-Lu's stead.
(Champion Comics#9/1) - After receiving a costume from Wah Le, O'Dowd--now calling himself "The Human Meteor"--flew to New York City (It is unrevealed if this is where O'Dowd's younger sister was living). Shortly after arriving, the Human Meteor clashed with the forces of the power-crazed gang-lord Nad Neurod. Afterwards, O'Dowd obtained employment as an airport mechanic; Wah Le continued to advise the Meteor via Bayakura's telovox, with which he was able to speak to the Meteor through the Meteor's wrist mentalophone.
(Champion Comics#10/1) - The Human Meteor discovered the activities of Grundo the Great, a criminal who was drawing planes to his mountain fortress via "magno-rays." The Meteor defeated Grundo before he was able to carry out his plans to wreak havoc with his "Rellik Ray#5," allegedly capable of destroying an entire city.
(Champ Comics#11/1) - An orphaned shoeshine boy named Toby discovered O'Dowd's secret, and the Meteor decided to take the boy on as an assistant in his war against evil. Later, the Meteor fought a gang of traitorous hoodlums, who were making anti-American radio broadcasts so they could overthrow the government.
(Champ Comics#12/1) - The Human Meteor exposed the criminal activities of politician Peter Rosky.
(Champ Comics#13/1) - The Human Meteor and Toby flew to Panama, where they broke up a fifth-column spy ring.
(Champ Comics#14/1) - The Human Meteor fought a gang led by two criminals known as the Scaly Dragon and Pete the Mug, who threatened to sabotage the city's water reservoir.
(Champ Comics#15/1) - When a giant claiming to be the infamous Mongol warlord Genghis Khan attacked New York City, the Human Meteor clashed with him and his barbaric horsemen.
(Champ Comics#16/1) - Genghis Khan and his horde plotted to attack Bayakura, so Wah Le summoned the Human Meteor back to the hidden city to battle the colossal barbarian.
(Champ Comics#17/1) - Allied with imperial Japan, Genghis Khan commanded his armada of sailing ships to destroy American cargo vessels; but the Human Meteor destroyed Khan's armada before he could carry out his evil scheme.
(Champ Comics#18/3) - see Comments
(Champ Comics#19/1) - The Human Meteor and Toby prevented Japanese saboteurs from using a vibro-oscillator machine to destroy the city's buildings and bridges.
(Champ Comics#20/3) - see Comments
(Champ Comics#21/1) - When Nazi spies photographed secret plans at an American munitions factory, they tried to smuggle the film out of the country on an ocean liner; but the Human Meteor and Toby recovered the film and captured the spy ring.
(Champ Comics#22/1) - The Human Meteor and Toby broke up a gang of enemy saboteurs operating out of a hospital.
(Invaders II#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point during his early career, the Human Meteor relocated back to Boston, Massachusetts.
(post-Champ Comics#22/1 - pre-Invaders II#1) - At some point in early 1942, months after his relocation to Boston, the Human Meteor was approached by Doctor Death to join the team of Nazi operatives known as Battle-Axis--O'Dowd, motivated by his anti-British prejudice, agreed to work against the Allied cause (It is unrevealed how Toby or Wah Le reacted to this decision, although the fact that the Meteor was subsequently active without his Bayakuran guns or communicator implies that Wah Le may have disintegrated the devices from afar, but was unable to similarly destroy the Wonder Belt without killing the Meteor). The team prepared for the "Mojave Project," Doctor Death's elaborate scheme involving a device called an "oscillotron," which would cause an earthquake on the American west coast that would destroy war industry plants and release poison gas from underground storage, and thus cause the U.S. to withdraw from the war-effort in order to deal with the crisis at home. The Human Meteor's absence from the public eye was noticed by the Thin Man (Bruce Dickson), who was keeping tabs on potential members for the Liberty Legion.
(Invaders II#1) - On the night of June 22, 1942, three of the Invaders--Captain America, Sub-Mariner, and Human Torch--confronted a Nazi U-boat in New York Harbor; but the members of Battle-Axis (who were aboard the submarine) counterattacked. The Human Meteor used his speed to avoid Captain America's attack, then he flew to assist Strongman by striking the Sub-Mariner as he zipped past, but Strongman insisted on finishing off the Atlantean prince on his own; with the trio of heroes defeated, Battle-Axis departed.
Later, Battle-Axis ambushed the Whizzer, and Miss America in a city park--the Human Meteor swooped by the Whizzer and punched the speedster unconscious, and Miss America reluctantly took flight to flee. The Human Meteor and Volton flew in pursuit of the heroine, but when they caught up with her, she maneuvered them into colliding with each other, which momentarily stunned them, while she made her escape.
(Invaders II#2) - In the dark of night, the members of Battle-Axis traveled to Los Angeles, California aboard Skyshark's dirigible--Human Meteor and the others stood by as Volton electrocuted two police officers who witnessed their arrival. Later, while Doctor Death and the Golem captured the Human Torch, the trio of Strongman, Spider Queen, and Human Meteor went to the science center on the campus of UCLA to steal the oscillotron--during this mission, they killed Dr. Carson (designer of the oscillotron) and private detective Dan Hurley, and rendered Hurley's secretary Betty Barlow unconscious.
As Strongman lifted up the oscillotron by himself, Human Meteor offered to help, but Strongman rejected his assistance. Then Captain America and Miss America suddenly came crashing in through a window and battled the three Nazi operatives--the two heroes were later joined by the Silver Scorpion. But when the Human Meteor noticed that daybreak was approaching, Strongman was concerned that Doctor Death would leave without them--and since the Meteor had learned enough about the oscillotron from Carson before they killed him, Dr. Death could use that information to complete his own version of the device. The three members of Battle-Axis fled, but before they left, Strongman punched some machinery and toppled it upon the oscillotron, so as not to leave the working model intact.
(Invaders II#3) - In the secret base of Battle-Axis beneath the Mojave Desert, the captured Human Torch and Whizzer were imprisoned within transparent cylinders; the members of Battle-Axis elaborated on their backgrounds to their captives--the Human Meteor told about his discovering the secret city of Bayakura, and how the Bayakurans taught him to mentally control the energy in atoms, thus giving him the power to fly (see comments).
When the rest of the Invaders attacked the base, Battle-Axis fought them to a standstill; but then Doctor Death used Professor Enoch Mason's "dimension smasher" to summon the extradimensional Aarkus the Vision, and forced him to defeat the Invaders.
(Invaders II#4) - With all the Invaders individually confined inside transparent cylinders, Dr. Death explained his scheme to them, then he released a gas within the cylinders that weakened the prisoners. After ordering Volton and the Golem to stand guard over the Invaders, Dr. Death and the others attended to the oscillotron.
But the Invaders managed to escape from imprisonment, and during the final confrontation between the two groups, Doctor Death activated the oscillotron before he was (supposedly) killed by Volton. As the oscillotron's destructive power began to build up, the Sub-Mariner smashed the device and caused it to explode. The Human Meteor and the other defeated members of Battle-Axis surrendered to the Invaders, and they were presumably taken into custody.
(Champ Comics#23/1) - The Human Meteor--having evidently repented from his work for the Axis (see comments)--was active in France, where he opposed several Nazi agents who were working with a man named Lambesque.
(Champ Comics#24/1) - A traitorous American playboy named Peter was secretly using his yacht to help the crew of a Japanese submarine salvage torpedoes from a sunken Japanese supply ship, but the Human Meteor put a stop to the operation.
(Champ Comics#25/1) - Toby became an unintentional stowaway aboard a commercial airplane when he tried to return a map to one of the passengers as the plane took off--that passenger turned out to be German spy Franz Tanner, who hijacked the plane. The Human Meteor flew to the rescue, then he and Toby fought German and Japanese spies aboard a Japanese aircraft carrier; the Human Meteor destroyed the enemy vessel with a torpedo. Later, Duke and Toby ate a delicious dinner cooked by Duke's mother.
The Human Meteor's subsequent wartime activities and his fate following the war are unrevealed.
Comments: Created by unidentified writer and artist (possibly Joe Simon) for Harvey Publications; adapted for the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas, Dave Hoover, and Brian Garvey.
Please note that the Human
Meteor's Golden Age Champion/Champ
Comics adventures listed above (as
well as some of the Affiliations
and Enemies) didn't
necessarily occur on Earth-616 (mainstream
Marvel Universe)--similar events and details could apply to
the Marvel Universe's version of the Human Meteor, but these are not
Roy Thomas originally intended for Battle-Axis to consist of some of the minor 1940s heroes of Timely Comics (predecessor of Marvel) who'd vanished from comics by 1942 and hadn't been reintroduced in modern times at that point--the Human Meteor's position in Battle-Axis was probably originally intended for the Blazing Skull. But editor Mark Gruenwald preferred not to see even long-forgotten Timely heroes turned into Nazis, so Thomas instead dredged up some characters from defunct 1940s publishers that were in the public domain, which is why the Human Meteor and the others were used.
This wasn't the first time Golden Age characters jumped companies to enter the Marvel Comics universe. Some examples (by no means all of them): The name Spirit of '76 was first used by a Harvey Comics character, something Roy Thomas probably knew when he created his version; the western Ghost Rider (later renamed the Phantom Rider) started out with Magazine Enterprises and was brought to Marvel by Dick Ayers, his original artist. American Ace, a minor Timely/Marvel character (who recently resurfaced in the All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes mini-series), debuted months before the first "Marvel" Comic, in "Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly", a free give-away produced by Funnies, Incorporated, the studio which provided many early Timely Comics stories; but perhaps the most significant Marvel character who began elsewhere was another individual who started in that same give-away...Namor the Sub-Mariner! - Loki
This profile presumes that the Human Meteor's Golden Age adventures took place at roughly the same time that they were published (three months prior to an issue's cover-date--by this method of dating, the Human Meteor was in fact active as a hero during the months he prepared for Project Mojave, despite the Thin Man's claim that he had been inactive); although it's possible that those adventures published after June 1942 were actually accounts of his activities prior to joining Battle-Axis, it may be that the Meteor--hardened murderer though he seemed to be in the Invaders story--was appalled enough by Nazi crimes to put his anti-British prejudice aside and return to the side of the Allies.
In Invaders II#3, while recounting his origin to the Human Torch and Whizzer, the Human Meteor claimed that the Bayakurans had taught him "to mentally control the energy in atoms," implying that his powers were innate; it may be that he deliberately chose to provide them with false information, to prevent the Invaders from realizing that his powers were in fact dependent upon his Wonder Belt.
...or maybe the radiation from the Belt mutated O'Dowd and he could eventually manifest the powers on his own.--Ron Fredricks
It should be remembered that all the non-Marvel adventures listed in the history above, along with details of affiliations, enemies and relations, are unconfirmed. They happened to the original Golden Age character from Harvey Publications. Similar adventures and details are ASSumed to apply to the Marvel Universe version, but these are not confirmed. That might also explain the differences in how he claimed he controlled his powers. - Loki
Although the cover of Champion Comics#8 depicted him in his green costume, O'Dowd didn't actually get his costume until the following issue, where it was originally colored RED in that story, and again in some later stories; and in another story, it was BLUE for a few panels--maybe the Bayakuran fabric of his costume was like a mood ring and reacted to his body temperature?--Ron Fredricks
As yet, details about the Human Meteor's activities in Champ Comics#18 and #20 remain elusive; any additional information will be greatly appreciated.
Profile by Ronald Byrd. Thanks to Ron Fredricks for adding the synopses for Champ Comics#15, #19, #21, #22, #24, and #25.
The Human Meteor has no known connections to:
Bayakura has no known connections to:
Wah Le has no known connections to:
Toby has no known connections to:
Genghis Khan has no known connections to:
A highly advanced hidden civilization located
somewhere in the Himalayas, it was kept isolated from the outside world
by the mountains and frequent storms of the region.
A device created in the hidden city of
Bayakura, it was apparently the source of the Human Meteor's power (see comments).
A two-way audio/video communication device
worn on the Human Meteor's left wrist, it was created in the hidden city
of Bayakura. The metalophone allowed Wah Le to advise the Meteor about any trouble that
Wah Le detected while he was monitoring the outside world with his
Two ray-gun weapons that apparently came from
the hidden city of Bayakura, they were used by the Human Meteor during
his war against evil.
A scientist living in the hidden city of
Bayakura, he succeeded Leng-Lu as the city's ruler after Leng-Lu's
Toby (last name unrevealed)
was a boy of perhaps 12 years of age; he
operated a shoeshine stand with his father, until his father was hit by a
car. Cab-driver Duke O'Dowd gave Toby a ride to the hospital to check on
his father, and Toby inadvertently learned about O'Dowd's dual identity
when O'Dowd had to become the Human Meteor to deal with an emergency--Toby
swore to O'Dowd that he'd keep his secret. Afterward, O'Dowd learned that
Toby's father had died from his injuries, so he decided to take the boy on as an assistant/sidekick in the
Human Meteor's war against evil--Toby usually accompanied the
Human Meteor by riding piggyback on the flying hero.
A heavyset elderly woman, she (name
unrevealed) had cooked a meal for her son Duke and his young
friend Toby, and she scolded them for coming home so late--she was
apparently unaware that her son had just destroyed a Japanese aircraft
carrier as the Human Meteor.
The Human Meteor's most persistent foe, he was a giant (perhaps 40 feet tall) who wielded a fiery "electric sword"; he
claimed to be the infamous Mongol warlord. Traveling in a dirigible that
was armed with flame-throwers, he and his band of barbaric horsemen flew
to New York City and attacked the metropolis; but they were eventually
defeated by the Human Meteor and returned to their native land.
images: (without ads)
Invaders II#1, p7, pan1 (Main Image - Human Meteor)
Invaders II#3, p5, pan8 (Headshot - Human Meteor recounts his origin; Bayakurans teach O'Dowd to use his powers (flashback))
Champ Comics#11, cover (Human Meteor, flying with Toby)
Champ Comics#12, cover (Human Meteor)
Invaders II#1, p21, pan4 (Human Meteor, flying over New York City)
Champ Comics#16/1, p3, pan6 (Human Meteor (red costume))
Champion Comics#8/9, p2, pan4 (O'Dowd's airplane crashes outside Bayakura (background))
Invaders II#3, p5, pan7 (in flashback, O'Dowd recounts his discovery of Bayakura (background))
Champion Comics#8/9, p4, pan3 (Wonder Belt is presented to Duke O'Dowd by (Caucasian) Wah Le)
Champ Comics#17/1, p9, pan2 (Wonder Belt around Human Meteor's waist)
Champion Comics#9/1, p1, pan3 ((Caucasian) Wah Le sitting by telovox (left), Human Meteor with mentalophone on his wrist)
Champ Comics#11/1, p3, pan7 ((Caucasian) Wah Le speaking on Human Meteor's mentalophone)
Champ Comics#11/1, p6, pan7 (Human Meteor firing explosatom gun)
Champ Comics#11/1, p9, pan5 (Human Meteor firing yargun)
Champion Comics#9/1, p3, pan2 ((Caucasian) Wah Le)
Champ Comics#16/1, p2, pan4 ((Asian) Wah Le speaking on Human Meteor's mentalophone)
Champ Comics#16/1, p5, pan3 ((Asian) Wah Le (left) speaks with Human Meteor)
Champ Comics#11/1, p4, pan5 (Toby learns about Duke O'Dowd's dual identity)
Champ Comics#23, p6, pan6 (Toby fires machines gun at Nazis in France)
Champ Comics#23, p8, pan6 (Toby, carried by Duke O'Dowd, returned to "Ma")
Champ Comics#25/1, p10, pan5 (Duke O'Dowd's mother; Toby and Duke O'Dowd (background))
Champ Comics#15/1, p1, pan1 (Genghis Khan)
Champ Comics#15/1, p2, pan4 (Genghis Khan with fiery sword)
Champ Comics#15/1, p2, pan7 (Genghis Khan with fiery sword, confronting Human Meteor)
Appearances: Harvey Publications: Marvel:
First Posted: 04/29/2004 Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know. Non-Marvel
Copyright info Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/
for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.! Back
Champion Comics#6//7 (April, 1940) - George Appel (pencils and inks)
Champion Comics#7/9 (May, 1940) - Robert Turner (writer), George Appel (pencils and inks)
Champion Comics#8/9 (June, 1940) - George Appel
Champion Comics#9/1 (July, 1940) - Robert Turner (writer), Joe Simon (pencils and inks)
Champion Comics#10/1 (August, 1940) - Robert Turner (writer), Joe Simon (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#11/1 (October, 1940)
Champ Comics#12/1 (February, 1941) - Art Peddy (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#13/1 (May, 1941) - Robert Turner (writer), Arthur Peddy (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#14/1 (July, 1941) - Edwin Wald (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#15/1 (September, 1941) - Edwin Wald (writer), Charles Sultan (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#16/1 (November, 1941) - Edwin Wald (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#17/1 (February, 1942) - Joe Simon (pencils and inks)
Champ Comics#18/3 (May, 1942)
Champ Comics#19/1 (June, 1942)
Champ Comics#20/3 (July, 1942)
Champ Comics#21/1 (August, 1942)
Champ Comics#22/1 (September, 1942)
Champ Comics#23/1 (October, 1942)
Champ Comics#24/1 (December, 1942) - Art Peddy (pencils), Mort Leav (inks)
Champ Comics#25/1 (April, 1943) - Sam Glanz (pencils and inks)
Invaders II#1-2 (May-June, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Brian Garvey (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Invaders II#3 (July, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Brian Garvey & Brian Akin (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Invaders II#4 (August, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Brian Garvey (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Last updated: 10/02/2021
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
First Posted: 04/29/2004
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
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