Real Name: Unrevealed, if any
Identity/Class: Allegedly extraterrestrial; it is not known if the Un-Human is a unique being or a typical or mutated member of an alien race. The Un-Human may also possibly be a Deviant Mutate (See Comments).
Occupation: Would-be destroyer of humanity
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Operative of "Comrade X" from the "Red Planet", Druig (possibly)
Enemies: Human Torch (Jim Hammond), Toro (Thomas Raymond)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: "Red Planet"; New York City
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes#16/2 (September, 1968)
Powers/Abilities: Some hundreds of feet tall, the Un-Human is immensely strong with a scaly hide that is immune to fire and probably other forms of injury; it is possible that, like a number of gigantic extraterrestrial races, it uses a form of telekinesis to support its vast bulk. Roughly humanoid in build, it has two arms, four legs (each of which ends in a crab-like claw), and eight heads, at least one of which is equipped with an extendable "fang" that can inject poison into an opponent's bloodstream. Despite its physical invulnerability, it apparently needs to breathe, since it can be rendered unconscious by chloroform. The Un-Human does not speak but only growls, perhaps suggesting that it is non-sentient; if so, it might be an extraterrestrial animal or possibly a genetically engineered "killing machine."
History: (MSH#16) - In late 1954 or early 1955 (See Comments), an immense flying "gizmo" appeared in the sky above New York City and released several leaflets (one of which was caught by the heroic android called the Human Torch and his mutant sidekick Toro) with the message "Earth People: Soon after you read this, you will be destroyed by the Un-Human who will be parachuted from our craft! We need your world for the growing population of our planet! After the Un-Human destroys all of you, we will return! [signed] Comrade X, Red Planet." Shortly afterward, the Un-Human itself was dropped from the craft via an immense fireproof parachute. The Torch and Toro shot down the (automated?) craft but were unable to injure either the Un-Human or its parachute. Toro flew in closer to attack the Un-Human directly in "one of its ugly faces," only to be struck down by its poisonous fang. As the Torch caught the falling Toro, the Un-Human landed and began to wreak havoc in the city, tearing down buildings and presumably causing much loss of life.
The Torch rushed Toro to Doctor Carter, evidently a friend of the heroes, who diagnosed him as needing an immediate blood transfusion from the Torch. Before the Torch could decide whether to remain and help Toro or return to the fight, the Un-Human tore the top off of Doctor Carter's building. The Torch took to the air with a gallon jug of chloroform, which he threw into one of the Un-Human's mouths. The bottle exploded inside the Un-Human's mouth, knocking it out and dropping it "like a giant redwood tree" (toppling several other buildings and no doubt increasing the death toll in the process). The Torch rushed back and provided the life-saving transfusion for Toro, while the unconscious Un-Human was left to supposedly be chained by the police and killed with gas, an operation whose logistics were, perhaps wisely, not dwelled upon further.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer (possibly Stan Lee) and Dick Ayers.
This story was reprinted in Human Torch#8/2 (November, 1975)
While the notion of an alien race attempting to conquer the Earth via a single monster is not unheard of (as seen not only in some Atlas science fiction stories but also in the Japanese science fiction film industry), the Un-Human's rather prosaic arrival by parachute, coupled with the vaguely communistic tone of the equally prosaic explanatory note, suggests that it might in fact have been a mutation or artificial life-form sent by Earthly enemies, possibly communist, to destroy the United States, with the supposed threat to the world as a cover story (In the comic books of the 1950s, communists would try almost anything.). Another possibility is that "Comrade X" is none other than the Deviant Kro, who (as revealed in Marvel Universe#4-7) spent some time during the mid-1950s sending giant monsters out to terrorize the world, occasionally doing so in cooperation with communist agents; if so, the Un-Human might have been a Deviant mutate.
Further reconciling the Commies and the
Deviants, (as borrowed from Cary in the Grottu
entry) Kyle further
Maybe the Un-Human was genetically engineered by Soviet puppets loaned to Warlord Kro by the renegade Eternal Druig? The latter did spend a good portion of the Cold War posing as a KGB "interrogator." And, he could easily have supplied whatever technology Kro lacked for the Un-Human's mutation/creation! Also, Comrade X in this story may have been an earlier incarnation of Comrade X.
Human Torch's last published pre-modern appearances were in Human Torch Comics#38 (August, 1954) and Captain America Comics#78 (September, 1954);
the Un-Human story was written during the 1950s and presumably intended for a
future issue of one or the other of these titles, but both were cancelled
before it could be used, and the story went unpublished until its appearance in
Marvel Super-Heroes. Any additional information about other "lost"
golden age stories would be very much appreciated.
Avengers Index#7 confirms on page 20 that yes, the Unhuman story immediately preceded the flashback in Avengers I#134/AWC#42/Saga#4 where the Torch burned himself out.--Per Degaton
Although the story's exact timeframe is unclear (The story is narrated by Toro as a reminiscence.), it is possible that it occurred after Captain America#78 but before the android Torch was rendered inactive in 1955, making the Un-Human the Torch's last known pre-modern foe. Oddly, the Torch's clash with the Un-Human, memorable though it might seem to the casual observer, was not mentioned in the Saga of the Human Torch miniseries.
Finally, the blood transfusion given to Toro may have extended his youthful vigor (much like Spitfire in Namor the Sub-Mariner#12), allowing him to make an appearance in the "Modern Age" of the Marvel Universe without showing a noticeable addition in age when he re-appeared for the first time since the 1950's (and also apparently died) in Sub-Mariner#14.
Profile by Ronald Byrd
Edited/Updated by Kyle Sims
The Un-Human has no known connection with and should not be confused with:
Comrade X, the sender of the Un-Human, has no known connection with:
Last updated: 09/26/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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