Real Name: Ted Lestron
Identity/Class: Human mutant (see comments)
Group Membership: None initially; later joined with the other men with "atomic brains"
Affiliations: The other men with "atomic brains"
Enemies: Mankind in general (but only because they feared him)
Known Relatives: Karl Lestron (father), unidentified mother
Aliases: "The Man with the Atomic Brain" (in story title)
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Journey Into Mystery I#52/2 (May, 1959)
Powers/Abilities: Ted Lestron could accomplish many feats with the powers of his mind, which included: telepathy, telekinesis/levitation, teleportation, and passing through solid walls.
History: (Journey Into Mystery I#52 (fb)) - Professor Karl Lestron was present at an early atomic bomb test in 1944. The radiation he absorbed while observing the explosion affected his genetic structure, an effect which would later be passed on to his son, Ted.
(Journey Into Mystery I#52 (fb)) - Ted demonstrated remarkable abilities -- even as a toddler, he was able to levitate objects with the force of his will. His powers increased as he grew, but to stop any wild talk and suspicions, Ted avoided using his powers.
(Journey Into Mystery I#52) - One day, when a train overpass was crumbling, Ted supported the weight of the passing train while traffic cleared from underneath the bridge. At first hailed as a hero, Ted could read the other people's thoughts, and he knew that they really feared him.
Ted agreed to a scientific examination of his powers. When the government learned of the results of the tests, it was decided that Ted would be made a ward of the government as a preventative measure so his powers would not fall under any evil influences; "overhearing" this with his telepathy, and not wanting to be held as a prisoner, Ted decided to run -- feeling alienated from the rest of the world, he just wanted to be left alone. As he was pursued by federal agents, Ted transported himself to the Moon, but since there was no atmosphere to breathe, he left and began transporting himself to some of the other planets, but found the conditions of all too hostile to support life, so he decided to return to Earth. Looking for a place where he could live in isolation, Ted next went to the ancient abandoned jungle city of Kora, and was surprised to find a bald-headed stranger waiting there who knew him by name. The stranger bid Ted to accompany him, but Ted refused. Ted then found himself seized by a powerful mind-force -- the stranger had a power greater than Ted's own! The stranger told Ted that he was going to take him to join with the stranger's group. Both of them flew to the other side of the world, to an island in the Pacific, where Ted met three other strangers who all demonstrated the same powers as he. The bald-headed stranger told Ted that they were all men with "atomic brains" who were born of parents who had come into contact with radiation -- radiation that had the power to speed man's evolution to a position he would not normally be able to attain for another thousand years. The stranger told Ted that they would all work to bring forth the day when mankind would be able to accept them and they could lead humanity to a brighter tomorrow.
Seeing that he was no longer alone, and inspired by the stranger's speech, Ted decided to stay with the four men to make that dream a reality.
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Steve Ditko.
Although it was never specifically stated in this story that Ted Lestron was a mutant, he was said to be the next step in man's evolution, so... ["A rose by any other name..." and all that.]
This story was pretty much redone a few years later as "The Man in the Sky" in Amazing Adult Fantasy #14 (July, 1962), with Tad Carter as the main character; Dell Comics also created a very similar character in 1962 with "Brain Boy".
In the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, AAF #14 gets the description "Prototype issue (Professor X)" -- I think that same comment applies to JIM I#52 as well because of the bald-headed stranger.
And speaking of Professor X -- I wonder if Charles Xavier ever met up with these characters? Maybe they were thinking of having him join them once, but since he "only" had the power of mental telepathy, they thought his powers to be too limited to be useful to them.
Although Tad Carter made an appearance in the modern Marvel Universe (in X-Men: The Hidden Years), the fate of Ted Lestron and the other men is unknown; perhaps they (like Tad Carter) joined with Tobias Messenger's group ("The Promise"), or maybe they're all still out there on that island...
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
Ted Lestron/"The Man with the Atomic Brain" has no known connections to:
The other men with "atomic brains"
None identified, they were a benevolent group of four men who had mental powers similar to Ted Lestron. They made their home on a small island in the Pacific, where they hoped to use their powers to guide mankind to a brighter future.
--Journey Into Mystery I#52/2
Journey Into Mystery I#52, p6, pan5 (main image)
Last updated: 07/05/14
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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