MAGNETO

Real Name: Hunk Larken

Identity/Class: Human, mutate

Occupation: Strongman, wanderer, former astronaut and circus freak

Group Membership: None

Affiliations:

Enemies:

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Magnetor (see comments), "the Modern Monstrosity"

Base of Operations: Mobile in outer space
formerly, the midwest

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#84 (May, 1961)

Powers/Abilities: Magneto had the ability to control the power of magnetism. During states of extreme agitation, metal objects would either be drawn towards him, or flung away. His control of magnetism also allowed him to manipulate electromagnetic fields, enabling him to affect non-metal objects. Hunk would attract with his left arm, and repel with his right arm.

Even without his powers, Hunk possessed above average strength, and stood eight feet tall.

History: (Strange Tales I#84)- Hunk was a simple-minded fellow who lived out in the country in the American midwest. His life was fairly uneventful, until one day when he helped retrieve a car that had spun off the road, and lifted it clear off the ground with his amazing strength.

The owner of the car was a con man, and was convinced that Hunk was his ticket to fortune. He convinced Hunk to return to the city with him and signed him to a basketball team-- but he hadn't counted on how slow Hunk was, and the team fired him. He tried to make Hunk a baseball player and a boxer, but he wasn't suited to any of those occupations. The con man left Hunk alone, apologizing to him.

Hunk drifted into a carnival, where he found work in the freak show. However, he was frequently humiliated by the patrons, and once lifted a man off the ground when he was made fun of. The carnival fired him.

One day, Hunk saw a television broadcast regarding a flight to outer space which required a volunteeer. Hunk went to Washington and volunteered to be their astronaut, and they approved of him, hoping his physical strength would make him an ideal astronaut.

Hunk piloted his rocket into space, but soon encountered a cosmic mist of radioactive anti-matter, which engulfed him. Hunk was barely able to hit the "return" switch before falling unconscious. As the doctors examined him, he suddenly displayed the ability to control magnetism. eager to have his revenge on a society that spurned him, Hunk set out to cause chaos across the city, especially at the carnival he had been fired him. The military sent jets after him, but he easily flung them aside with his powers.

However, Hunk's powers quickly faded, and he feared retribution. Overhearing that another ship was being sent to space, he managed to steal aboard the craft, hoping to escape the Earth for good. As Hunk left the Earth behind, he was contacted from the base by the con man, who had arranged for Hunk to get aboard the ship without being caught, and revealed that Hunk's ship was programmed to stop at every Earth-like planet it found, so that Hunk could find a new home where people wouldn't judge him because of his size. With tears in his eyes, Hunk began his voyage.

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

When Magneto's story was reprinted in Monsters on the Prowl #24, his name was changed to "Magnetor."

Call me a cynic, but the conclusion of Hunk's tale doesn't make me sigh wistfully at the grand chance of salvation he's given-- rather, I'm left going "how exactly will he reach another planet? Exactly how long will he live?"

Still, it leaves the door open for his return, when we learn that he met up with the, uh...let's say Sneepers, and is now the leader of an invasion force to conquer Earth.

The scenes of Hunk being belted by the cosmic mist are very similiar to the cosmic rays seen in Fantastic Four #1, scant months later.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Magneto should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Strange Tales I#84, page 6, panel 2
Strange Tales I#84, page 9, panel 4


Last updated: 12/19/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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