Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Martian) (pre-modern era)

Occupation: Invader

Group Membership: Martians

Affiliations: Martians

Enemies: Citizens of Center City (including Bobby Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Bill Gordon)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Center City, somewhere in America; originally from Mars

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#29/1 (May, 1962)

Powers/Abilities: The Martian possessed enhanced strength, and he seemed to be impervious to conventional gunfire. As he only operated during the night, he apparently had extremely sensitive vision which allowed him to perceive his surroundings in complete darkness.

He was equipped with a spaceship and a portable teleportation ray.

Weaknesses: When exposed to bright lights, the Martian grew weak and collapsed -- this was apparently a vulnerability common to his race.

Height: Unrevealed (7'; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

(Tales of Suspense I#29/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Martian came to Earth in his spacecraft -- his mission: To teleport the buildings of Center City to Mars, where his fellow Martians could study the humans within the structures and prepare for an invasion of Earth. Because of his sensitivity to light, the Martian hid in the city's sewer system during the daylight hours, then struck only at nightfall.

(Tales of Suspense I#29/1) - One morning, the residents of a suburban neighborhood were shocked to discover that Bill Gordon and his house were missing.

   The following morning, the people of Center City found that an entire block of homes and stores had vanished, along with those who inhabited the buildings.

   That evening, the Martian again used his teleportation ray to make another section of the city vanish without a trace.

   Because of the mysterious disappearances, panic began to spread amongst the populace; but in the wooded outskirts of the city, a wandering hobo discovered the Martian's spaceship and reported it to authorities. After learning that they were dealing with a hostile extraterrestrial, the police put a cordon around the city to capture the alien; but when the Martian next struck in the dark of night, the police were physically helpless to stop the alien, and the frightened townspeople began to leave the city.

   However, teenager Bobby Carter noticed that the alien only struck at night, and that his spacecraft bore no lighting instruments. Ascertaining that the Martian could not bear intense light, Bobby recommended that the police bombard the Martian with powerful lamps.

   Hours later, the Martian prowled through the darkened city with his teleportation ray, ready to take another section of buildings. But the police used Bobby's suggestion, and suddenly every light in the city was turned on with blazing brilliance, which caused the Martian to collapse. The police immediately swarmed around the alien, bound him in chains, and the Martian was finally brought down. Too weak to protest, the Martian was compelled to reverse his teleportation ray, and all the missing people and buildings of Center City were returned to Earth.

   A short time later, the defeated alien was allowed to climb aboard his spaceship and leave Earth forever -- since Earthlings now knew their weakness, the Martians would never bother them again... and if they did, they could easily be defeated by ordinary light.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby.

The Martian Masters entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1970s Handbook confirms that this story did in fact take place on Earth-616, the mainstream Marvel Universe.
--David A. Zuckerman

The Martian Who Stole A City wasn't the first Martian who stole a city. Martians stole New York City and left it suspended in space in order to study humans (Mystic#29 (4/54) "No Exit")

Big thanks to MD Carter for originally allowing me to borrow the image from his website, The Monsters of Jack Kirby.

Although the cover of this issue depicted him as an immensely huge being with lumpy orange skin (and looking somewhat similar to an early version of the Thing/Ben Grimm), the Martian in the story was actually just a little taller than humans, and he seemed to be covered by shaggy orange fur. -- Ron Fredricks

Profile by Prime Eternal. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

The Martian Who Stole a City has no known connection with:

Bobby Carter and his parents have no known connection with:

Bill Gordon has no known connection with:

Martian's spaceship

A spacecraft capable of interplanetary flight, it was used by the Martian to travel to Earth; he left it concealed in a wooded area on the outskirts of Center City.

While the Martian was hiding in city's sewer system, the spaceship was discovered by a wandering hobo, who reported it to authorities.

The spaceship had no internal lighting systems, which teenager Bobby Carter noticed, and that fact eventually gave him the idea of how to defeat the Martian.

--Tales of Suspense I#29/1

Martian's teleportation ray

Wielded by the Martian, it was a portable ray-gun mounted on a tripod; it fired a beam which caused a structure and all of its contents (including the human occupants) to disappear from Earth and reappear on the planet Mars.

The Martian used it to steal several buildings from Center City, until he was eventually captured by the police.

Afterward, the Martian was compelled to reverse the settings on the ray, and all of Center City's missing people and buildings were returned to Earth.

--Tales of Suspense I#29/1

Bobby Carter

A teenage boy, Bobby lived with his parents in Center City. He enjoyed spending hours solving puzzles, which gave him unusually keen powers of observation.

When a Martian came to Center City and began stealing some of the buildings, Bobby noticed that the alien's spacecraft had no internal lighting, which eventually gave him the idea of how to defeat the Martian.

Bobby then recommended to the police that they use bright lights against the alien.

--Tales of Suspense I#29/1

Mr. and Mrs. Carter

Residents of Center City, they (first names unrevealed) were the parents of Bobby Carter; they were concerned because they thought their teenage son wasted so much of his time working on puzzles.

When a Martian came to Center City and began stealing some of the buildings, the frightened Mr. Carter was ready to take his wife and son away and abandon the city.

But the Martian was eventually defeated, and both Mr. and Mrs. Carter were apparently unaware that because of Bobby's puzzle-solving skills, he had come up with the solution to defeat the Martian.

--Tales of Suspense I#29/1

Bill Gordon

A resident of Center City's suburbs, he was the first victim of the Martian's teleportation ray.

One morning, Gordon awoke as usual at 7:00 AM, then washed and shaved, and had his breakfast; but when he stepped out of his front door to go to work, Gordon was shocked to find himself and his house on another planet!

The night before, Gordon and his house had been teleported into a containment dome on the planet Mars, and he could only stand in stunned silence as other Martians looked upon him.

Presumably, Gordon and his home were returned to Earth after the Martian was defeated and the teleportation ray was reversed.

--Tales of Suspense I#29/1

images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p3, pan5 (Martian prepares to fire teleportation ray)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p6, pan2 (Martian fights police)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p7, pan1 (Martian (rear view) gets hit by intense light)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p7, pan2 (weakened Martian collapses, surrounded by police)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, cover (original depiction of Martian)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p4, pan7 (Martian's spaceship, discovered by hobo (foreground))
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p5, pan4 (interior of Martian's spaceship; Bobby Carter)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p7, pan5 (Martian's spaceship leaves Earth)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p5, pan7 (Martian with teleportation ray)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p3, pan6 (activated teleportation ray)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p7, pan4 (policeman uses teleportation ray to return people to Earth)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p3, pan2 (Bobby Carter, working on a puzzle; Mr. and Mrs. Carter (background))
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p6, pan5 (Bobby Carter figures out how to defeat Martian; Mr. Carter (background))
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p3, pan3 (Mrs. and Mr. Carter)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p2, pan4 (Bill Gordon leaves his house)
Tales of Suspense I#29/1, p2, pan5 (Bill Gordon discovers his house has been transported to another planet, as other Martians look at him)

Tales of Suspense I#29/1 (May, 1962) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Ray Holloway (letters)

First posted: 04/21/2003
Last updated: 05/11/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
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:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters