Real Name: Mark Coren

Identity/Class: Human mutate (Post-World War II era)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Unidentified scientists

Enemies: Ozt, Zak (behind-the-scenes)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Prisoner of the Satellites" (in story title)

Base of Operations: Unidentified small eastern American city

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#1/5 (January, 1959)

Powers/Abilities: Mark Coren was a normal human with no paranormal abilities. After being struck by extraterrestrial technology ("meteors"), Coren found himself continuously surrounded by tiny "satellites" that orbited his body and emitted rays which caused him to shrink to a height of about 6 inches--although his shrinking had slowed at that point, scientists theorized Coren would continue to shrink out of existence unless a solution could be found to counterbalance the rays.

A solution was eventually discovered when Coren was launched into space aboard a "moon satellite" and exposed to cosmic rays, which returned him to normal size, apparently with no lasting aftereffects (see comments).

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown

(Tales of Suspense I#1/5 (fb) - BTS) - In their spaceship orbiting behind the dark-side of the Moon, Ozt and Zak monitored the ensuing events as they sent a shower of yellow-green "meteors" to Earth as "Phase I" of their master-plan.

(Tales of Suspense I#1/5) - One of the "meteors" crashed down to a vacant lot in front of Mark Coren. When he recovered from the shock, Coren was uninjured, but he found fragments from the "meteor" continuously orbiting around his body like satellites. Then he noticed a kind of force or pressure on him as he began to shrink into a more solid, compact form--even as Coren reached a smaller size, the satellites (also reduced in relative size) continued to encircle his body.

   Scientists the world over quickly compiled the results of the meteor shower--Mark was the only human being involved, but other objects (including a 20-story building) had been similarly affected, and fear began to grow that this was all some deliberate plot against Earth.

   A careful study was made of Mark's miniaturized condition--although his rate of compression had decreased, it was theorized that it was only a matter of time before he shrank out of existence. The scientists found only one way to save Coren--by counterbalancing the rays the tiny satellites were giving off. A "moon satellite" was speedily constructed, and Mark (still encircled by the orbiting meteor satellites) was placed inside; then the "moon satellite" was launched into orbit around Earth's protective atmosphere, where pure cosmic rays began to balance the forces shrinking him.

   Meanwhile, aboard their spacecraft, Ozt and Zak viewed Mark Coren's launch on a monitor-screen--Ozt complimented the Earthlings for their ingenuity, but thought their attempt to be quite futile, while Zak cautioned his comrade that they had to be certain of the results before they enacted "Phase II" of their operation (see comments).

   In Earth-orbit, the effects of the cosmic rays continued to build up against the compressing forces of the tiny satellites surrounding Mark Coren; the speed of the satellites began to diminish until, one by one, they dropped off, and Mark was free of them. But then Coren slowly began to grow inside the confines of small "moon satellite," and his sudden mass change threw the device off its controlled orbit; as the "moon satellite" whirled in a crazy pattern around Earth, it appeared as though it might be doomed to burn upon reentry into the atmosphere, or be flung into space beyond the planet's gravitational pull--Mark himself was more concerned that he'd burst through the small "moon satellite" before either of those circumstances came about.

   But as Ozt and Zak were about to begin "Phase II" of their plan, the "moon satellite" was brought back under radio-control and returned to Earth, and Coren was brought safely home (...just in time, for at this point, he had burst out of the "moon satellite," having grown to about half his normal size). 

   Meanwhile, the discouraged Ozt and Zak left orbit in their spaceship--they realized that their plan was a failure, for their whole operation depended on Earthlings' inability to cope with "Phase I," but mankind had proven themselves to be superior.

   At the "moon satellite's" landing site, one of the scientists observed Mark Coren's continuing growth and predicted that he'd be back to his normal size in no time. Coren inquired if there had been any further meteor attacks in the interim; the scientist replied that there hadn't, and it was likely there wouldn't be any more, because whoever caused it now knew that mankind could overcome them.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Steve Ditko (artist).

I wonder if Mark's exposure to cosmic rays left him with any super-powers--maybe he gained control of his shrinking and became a size-changing hero and was possibly affiliated with the First Line... or maybe he chose not to use his powers and just led a normal life instead. (I mention this because the depiction of the tiny Mark Coren with the satellites orbiting around him reminds me of the Silver Age-version of DC's The Atom when he shrank.)

It was never revealed what happened to the building and the other unspecified objects that where exposed to the "meteors"--unless some way was found to generate the cosmic rays on Earth, they probably shrank down into the Microverse.

It was never revealed exactly what Ozt and Zak had planned for "Phase II" or what their whole goal was--I'd speculate that maybe they were from the Microverse, and they were collecting specimens for a typical "conquer-Earth-and-enslave-humanity" plot.

Mark Coren's shrinking effect predates the Silver Age Atom (Ray Palmer) in Showcase#34 (October, 1961) by nearly two years.

My guess is that Ozt and Zak utilized their world's equivalent of the size-altering "Pym Particles".
--Ron Fredricks

And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for originally scanning this story for me!

Profile by John Kaminski. Expanded by Ron Fredricks.

Mark Coren has no known connections to:

Ozt has no known connections to:

Zak has no known connection to:

The unidentified scientists have no known connection to:

The "meteors" have no known connection to:

The "meteor satellites" and the "moon satellite" have no known connections to:

Ozt and Zak

Two humanoid extraterrestrials (race unrevealed), they orbited the dark side of the Moon in their spacecraft. They viewed a large monitor-screen while they sent a "meteor" shower to Earth--the "meteors" were actually technological devices used for "Phase I" of their plan to shrink Mark Coren and various Earth objects (see comments).

When a solution was eventually discovered to overcome Coren's shrinking, Ozt and Zak realized that Earthlings had proven themselves to be superior, so they presumably departed for their homeworld before they could initiate "Phase II".

(Note: Although Ozt and Zak were responsible for the "meteor" shower, their actual presence was otherwise unknown to the people of Earth, and thus mankind was apparently totally unaware of their existence.)

--Tales of Suspense I#1/5


Appearing to be yellow-green meteors from space, they were actually a delivery-system used to transport the technology employed by the extraterrestrials Ozt and Zak to Earth.

Upon crashing to the surface of the planet, the "meteors" split into fragments--the fragments then encircled various targets like tiny orbiting "satellites," and they emitted rays which caused the targets to shrink.

Earth scientists eventually discovered that cosmic rays could counterbalance the "satellites'" shrinking force.

--Tales of Suspense I#1/5

Unidentified scientists

Two unidentified individuals, they were experts in some unspecified branch of science.

When a mysterious meteor shower caused Mark Coren and various other objects (including a 20-story building) to shrink to miniature size, the scientists studied the effect to find some way to reverse the process.

Theorizing that cosmic rays could counterbalance the shrinking force, the scientists speedily constructed a "moon satellite" and launched Coren into space. 

--Tales of Suspense I#1/5

"Moon satellite"

It was speedily constructed by scientists and used to transport the shrunken Mark Coren into space, where he would be exposed to cosmic rays, in the hopes that it would reverse his shrinking.

When the cosmic rays proved to be the solution, Coren's sudden growth caused the "moon satellite" to spin out of control--worse yet, Coren was worried that he would burst through the confines of the small satellite.

But radio-control eventually succeeded in bringing the runaway satellite back to its normal orbit, and Coren was brought safely back to Earth just in time, for his size had increased to the point that he had burst out of the "moon satellite" just as it landed.

--Tales of Suspense I#1/5

images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p1, pan4 (Main Image - Mark Coren, surrounded by "meteor satellites")
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p1, pan3 (Headshot - Mark Coren)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p2, pan3 (Mark Coren discovers he's shrinking)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p2, pan4 (shrunken Mark Coren; unidentified onlookers (background) )
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p2, pan6 (Ozt and Zak's spaceship (rear view) orbiting Moon)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p3, pan6 (Ozt and Zak viewing monitor inside spaceship)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p5, pan1 (Ozt; Zak (background) )
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p5, pan4 (Ozt and Zak's spaceship (front view) )
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p1, pan1-2 ("meteors" fall to Earth; one strikes near Mark Coren)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p2, pan5 (scientists examine shrunken building)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p3, pan1 (scientists (background) come up with a theory to cure shrunken Mark Coren (foreground))
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p3, pan2 (shrunken Mark Coren (surrounded by "meteor satellites") placed inside "moon satellite")
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p4, pan4 (inside "Moon satellite," shrunken Mark Coren begins to grow after exposure to cosmic rays)
Tales of Suspense I#1/5, p5, pan3 ("moon satellite" returns to Earth, just as Mark Coren's growth causes it to burst open)

Tales of Suspense I#1/5 (January, 1959) - unidentified writer, Steve Ditko (pencils and inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 10/09/2006
Last updated: 02/22/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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