TIME MASTER

Real Name: Elias Weems

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Inventor; former terrorist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Ant-Man (Henry Pym), his employers (until he reformed)

Known Relatives: Tommy Weems (grandson) (see comments)

Aliases: "The Mad Master of Time" (in story title); "the master of age", "the master of time" (as called by himself)

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York City

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#43/1 (May, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: Having no paranormal physical abilities, the elderly Professor Elias Weems was a scientific genius, but his specific field of expertise was unrevealed.

As a senior citizen, Weems was discharged by his employer when he reached the mandatory retirement age, so he sought revenge against society by building an age-accelerating time ray.

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 157 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White

History:
(Tales to Astonish I#43/1 (fb)) - The past of Elias Weems is largely unrevealed, but he was employed as a laboratory scientist and was pretty happy with the world. He was looking forward to an upcoming visit from his grandson Tommy -- Weems was planning to take the boy to the research lab and show him all the interesting things he was working on.

   However, Weems' employer had a mandatory retirement policy once an employee reached 65 years of age, which got his dander up when he was forced to leave his job. Resenting being tossed aside due to his age, the humiliated and embittered Weems feared he'd lose Tommy's love and admiration because he had been fired, so he decided to punish society for its condemnation of the elderly. In his cellar workshop, Weems worked day and night, and succeeded in constructing a device that projected a ray capable of aging anything it contacted.

   Weems first tested his ray on a sapling in his backyard, and successfully aged it to a fully-grown tree. To see if his ray would work on an animal, Weems went to the zoo and secretly used it on a baby elephant -- before the startled eyes of a crowd of onlookers, the little pachyderm rapidly aged to an elderly adult, then it was returned to its rightful age when Weems reversed the ray. Weems next tried his ray on a teenage girl walking on the sidewalk, temporarily transforming her into a middle-aged woman before restoring her to normal.

   Convinced of his time ray's effectiveness, Weems used the pseudonym of "The Time Master" in a letter he sent to the police department the following day -- he demanded to be made ruler of the city, or else he threatened to prematurely age the populace. But as the police were reading the letter aloud, their words were picked up by the tiny antennae of several ants within the station house, and the ants relayed the message to Ant-Man.

   Ant-Man (as Henry Pym) happened to have witnessed the incident with the baby elephant at the zoo, and he believed that the mysterious Time Master was someone with great scientific ability who had turned against society. For his investigation, Ant-Man visited various labs around the city, to check if any had recently fired a disgruntled employee; when he got to Weems' former employer and learned that he was terminated because of his age, Ant-Man got his first lead in the case and tracked down Weems to his house.

   When Ant-Man got to the scientist's home, Weems caught the tiny hero off guard and used the time ray on him, and Ant-Man suddenly became old and feeble. Weems removed Ant-Man's helmet and dropped him into the bottom of an empty flower pot, where the prematurely-aged hero was too weak to climb out. Then Weems took his time ray and went to the area of city hall, where he planned to vent his wrath upon the whole city.

   But the elderly Ant-Man escaped when he suddenly remembered his growth gas -- returning to normal size, he was free from the prison, but he was still trapped in an elderly body. After recovering his helmet, Ant-Man headed to city hall to confront Weems.

   Meanwhile, Weems went to the roof of a building across from city hall and trained the ray on a crowd of people on the streets of New York; however, he inadvertently aged his beloved grandson Tommy, who had just arrived in town -- the boy unknowingly walked out of a subway station and into the path of the ray, and he was instantly transformed into a middle-aged man. Distraught over Tommy becoming another helpless victim of his deadly aging ray, Weems accidentally dropped the time ray off the roof, but Ant-Man commanded his ants to use their bodies to cushion the fall, and thus prevented the device from breaking when it landed on the sidewalk.

   Ant-Man had the people in the crowd reverse the device's controls and train the ray on him and the other victims, returning everyone to their normal ages. Upon seeing his grandson's youth restored, Weems came to his senses and surrendered to the police.

   On the day of Weems' court hearing, his former employer and Ant-Man spoke on his behalf. Ant-Man pointed out that the tormented Weems wasn't really a criminal; he was just confused and afraid of losing his grandson's respect and affection because he had been fired. His employer even accepted some of the blame for Weems' irrational behavior. Because of the favorable testimony of the two, the judge released Weems on his own recognizance, without serving any jail time, and he was even rehired at his former workplace; sometime later, Weems gave Tommy that tour of his work-laboratory.

   And so everyone learned a valuable lesson or two that day: Never judge a man's worth solely on the basis of his age; and appreciate your youth and strength, and make the most of them while you can, the better to serve humanity (It could have been an episode of Fat Albert).

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Don Heck.

How can Tommy never have gotten hold of his grand-dad's Time Ray? By now he could be in high school, college, or working. Surely something's happened to make him want to take revenge on the world! Maybe he showed or bragged about the machine to his friends? Or maybe Elias is going senile and is angry at the world again...Come on!
Yeah, little Tommy could have used the time ray to make some money from his teenage friends -- "Hey guys, want to look like you're over 21 for a couple hours? Well, I got something better than a fake I.D.!"

And although Tommy's surname was never mentioned in the story, I think I recall one of the original George Olshevsky Marvel Indexes mentioned it to be "Weems". -- Ron Fredricks

I wonder if Elias' son (and Tommy's father) could be Dr. Stephen Weems aka the Modular Man.
--John Kaminski

The Time Ray could be using the same kind of energy to age living things as the Eon Ray.
--Gammatotem

Time Master has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Elias Weems/The Time Master has no known connections to:


Elias Weems' time ray

After Weems was terminated from his job because he had reached the mandatory retirement age, he created this ray gun to get revenge on society. The gun utilized electromagnetic "hyper-energy" to create a beam which increased the atomic activity of all living cells and tissues, thus causing plants, animals, and humans to rapidly age when struck by it.

By reversing the time ray's settings, it fired an anti-matter energy beam that reversed the aging process, thus undoing the effects of the rapid aging and returning the targets to their rightful ages.

Using the identity of the "Time Master," Weems embarked on a campaign of terror to cause people to prematurely age; but after he accidentally aged his beloved grandson, Weems came to his senses and surrendered himself to the police, and everyone affected by the ray was subsequently returned to their normal ages.

The ultimate fate of the time ray was unrevealed.

--Tales to Astonish I#43/1


Tommy Weems

A boy of perhaps twelve years of age, he was the grandson of scientist Elias Weems. Tommy loved his grandfather, and since he had a vacation from school, he took a trip to visit him; his grandfather was planning to give Tommy a tour of his workplace.

But Elias was bitter because he was forced to retire from his job, and he wanted to get revenge on society for its condemnation of the elderly; to achieve this end, he created a time ray that prematurely aged people.

Tommy arrived in the city just as his grandfather was firing his time ray at a crowd of people, and Tommy was also hit by the beam; the boy instantly became a middle-aged man, which horrified Elias, because his beloved grandson had unintentionally become a victim of his revenge. Elias came to his senses and surrendered to the police, and the time ray was reversed to return Tommy and the others to their proper ages.

Sympathetic to Elias' plight, Ant-Man testified on his behalf during his trial, and Elias was released without any jail time; Elias' former employer even rehired him.

Some time later, Tommy was impressed when his grandfather gave him that tour of his workplace.

--Tales to Astonish I#43/1


Elias Weems' employers

They were the administrative staff of an unidentified scientific research laboratory.

One day, the manager terminated elderly scientist Elias Weems because it was the company policy to discharge all employees over the age of 65.

The distraught Weems went to the company president to plead for his job, but to no avail -- the president only told him that his ideas were unimaginative and out-dated. Seeking to get revenge upon society for its condemnation of the elderly, the embittered Weems created a time ray to prematurely age people and adopted the pseudonym of the "Time Master".

Later, the company president helped Ant-Man to learn the true identity of the Time Master.

After the menace of the Time Master was ended, the company president testified on Weems' behalf at his trial -- the president even accepted some of the blame for Weems' irrational behavior, and he was impressed by Weems' fantastic time ray invention.

The sympathetic judge released Weems on his own recognizance, without serving any jail time, so the company president rehired him.

(Comment: I'm assuming the guy who's firing Weems in the first image was his manager; while the one in the other two images seems to be the president/owner of the company.)

--Tales to Astonish I#43/1


images: (without ads)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p11, pan2 (Main Image - Time-Master fires his time ray at crowd from building rooftop)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p3, pan1 (Headshot - Elias Weems, talking to himself about Tommy)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p3, pan6 (Elias Weems (right profile) vows revenge for his firing)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p4, pan2 (in his cellar workshop, Elias Weems works on his time ray)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p5, pan6 (Elias Weems reverses settings on time ray to restore baby elephant to its normal age)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p12, pan3 (time ray)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p4, pan4 (Elias Weems tests time ray on sapling)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p4, pan5 (time ray rapidly ages sapling into fully-grown tree)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p11, pan5 (Tommy Weems)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p11, pan7 (Tommy Weems aged by time ray)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p13, pan4 (Elias Weems (left) in his workplace; Tommy Weems with his youth restored)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p3, pan2 (Elias Weems (left) gets fired by his manager)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p8, pan4 (company president (background) tells Ant-Man about firing Elias Weems)
Tales to Astonish I#43/1, p13, pan3 (in courtroom, company president testifies on behalf of Elias Weems (background))


Appearances:
Tales to Astonish I#43/1 (May, 1963) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Don Heck (pencils and inks), Ray Holloway (letters)


First Posted: 09/09/01
Last updated: 04/19/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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