Real Name: Marvex
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Fifth-Dimensional) construct (World War II era)
Occupation: Aider of human interest, adventurer
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Clara Crandall, Jim Hansen
Enemies: Bolo and the Fifth-Dimensional beings, Spike Green, Ingrediento, Brad Lewis, Dr. Narr, von Crabb
Known Relatives: Bolo (creator, deceased)
Aliases: The Super-Robot
Base of Operations: Unspecified city, outer space
First Appearance: Daring Mystery Comics#3/7 (April, 1940)
Powers/Abilities: Marvex's body is made of a "strange metal" called "super fabri-steel", presumably of Fifth-Dimensional origin, which makes him practically indestructible. His structure seems also airtight as he can survive underwater and in the vacuum of space. He is extremely strong, and can pull a car for miles with no apparent strain. He is also fast enough to keep up with a speeding car, and can jump at least as high as a thirteenth-story window, even out into space. The "delicate mechanism" in his brain which gives him sentience also gives him a high degree of intelligence but also a violent streak. He can broadcast radio messages. Despite his rugged construction, strong physical abuse can temporarily disrupt his functioning, and he is susceptible to magnets. He sometimes wears normal 1940s street clothes.
Weight: 300 lbs
(Daring Mystery Comics#3/7) - In 1940, Bolo, a scientist in the so-called "Fifth Dimension", observed humans on Earth and determined that they would make excellent slaves. Consequently, he used "super chemicals" to bring life to a powerful mechanical humanoid body, naming the robot "Marvex". However, Bolo had unwisely given his intended slave free will, and Marvex rebelled at the idea of allowing the beings of the Fifth Dimension to enslave him or any other robots they might create. He slew Bolo and his associates, and began to tear the laboratory apart. In the ensuing destruction, a powerful explosion somehow transported Marvex bodily to Earth.
Marvex was found by a stranded motorist on his way to the gas station, and promptly pulled the man's car to the next gas station, earning $20 with which he bought a suit and thus disguise his true nature. As Marvex explored the new world he found himself in, he witnessed an explosion in a high-rise building and leapt to the rescue, rescuing Clara Crandall and her father, whose plans for a new kind of battleship armor had been stolen by spies who had set off the explosion to cover their tracks. Crandall's father died, and the spies returned in a car to finish her off, but Marvex shielded her with his body. Marvex ran after the car, tearing off the roof and slaughtering the occupants. In a desperate grab for mercy, one of the spies told the robot that a man named von Crabb had the plans. Marvex rewarded him by hurling him against a rock face, then set out to confront von Crabb at the Eastern Building. Von Crabb locked the plans in a safe and ineffectually shot Marvex, who disarmed him and demanded that he open the safe. Von Crabb refused, and so Marvex tore it open himself and threw von Crabb through the wall to his death. Taking the plans to Crandall, Marvex revealed to her that he was a robot.
(Daring Mystery Comics#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - Marvex's human-like head was replaced with one of a much more streamlined, mechanical design.
(Daring Mystery Comics#4/5) - Marvex and Crandall discussed Crandall's friend Jim Hansen, who had been convicted of murder and sent to Death Row. Crandall was sure Hansen was innocent, but all the witnesses who could have helped clear his name had mysteriously vanished. As Marvex left Crandall's home, he came across a bank robbery, which he quickly foiled. The police came and took the robbers -- Spike Green and his gang -- prisoner. However, as Marvex left the scene of the crime, he was caught in a steel net by some of Green's other henchmen and dragged behind their car. The rough treatment temporarily deactivated Marvex, and he did not awaken until they had thrown him off a boat into the harbor. The shock of the cold brought Marvex around, and he freed himself, heading up to the boat. There, he overheard that Green was planning a jailbreak before Jim Hansen (in the same cell block) would be able to identify him as the real killer. Having heard all he needed, Marvex defeated all of the thugs on the boat and called the harbor police. He then commandeered their car and headed for the prison.
Just as Marvex reached the warden's office and told him what he'd heard, Green started a riot in the mess hall, and he and a band of prisoners fought their way into the office. They managed to overpower Marvex through sheer numbers, carried him to the electric chair, and bound him in. Then they turned on the power and left. However, Marvex was impervious to electricity and broke free, beating the convicts to the prison gate. There he fought them long enough for the guards to recapture them, and personally caught Green, protecting him from the guards' bullets so that he could confess to the murder of which Hansen had been convicted.
(Daring Mystery Comics#5/5) - Marvex located and apprehended the members of Brad Lewis' east side mob who were planning a bank robbery. The newspaper coverage of the event prompted the roboticist Dr. Narr to prepare a trap for Marvex, so that he could study him. Narr sent Marvex a note which led the robot to the old hill tower, where he was trapped in a net and carried into the tower by several of Narr's robots. When they removed him from the net, however, Marvex quickly smashed them. Narr incapacitated him with a magnetic ray and placed him on a similarly-magnetic table, preparing to dismantle him. In desperation, Marvex contacted Crandall by radio, and she quickly tracked him to the hill tower, where she smashed Narr's control panel. This not only deactivated the magnetic table, but sent Narr's robots into an unguided destructive rampage. Marvex saved Narr from his own creations, then destroyed them. Enraged at the destruction of his robots, Narr tried to kill Marvex and Crandall, but accidentally fell to his death through one of the tower's high windows. The pair left shortly before the damaged tower collapsed in a fireball.
The remnants of the east side mob, seeing the explosion at the old tower, assumed Marvex was dead and went to the docks to steal a shipment of gold. They killed the guards and boarded the ship, but Marvex arrived in the nick of time and stopped them. Shortly thereafter, Crandall arrived with the police, and Lewis and his mob were arrested.
(Avengers/Invaders#10, 12) - In 1943, the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt) came into possession of the Cosmic Cube, which led to the creation of alternate reality Earth-93198; in this timeline, Marvex was one of the many superheroes who were killed and impaled on a massive wall. The same Cube was later recovered by soldier Paul Anselm, who used it to resurrect the heroes. The heroes (including Marvex) combined their efforts with the Invaders and the time-displaced Avengers to battle the forces of the Red Skull. When the Skull was defeated, the Cube was used to wipe the heroes' memories of the entire event.
(All Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1/2) - Marvex, back with his human-like head, continued exploring the city, going down a manhole before being told to leave, and scaring off a passing flirtatious woman by undressing to reveal his hard metal body. A thief stole his clothes and Marvex was about to go off and get some more when he passed a theater where rehearsals were in swing for a new musical. Hearing that the producers wanted to take the show on the road, Marvex ripped up the stage with the dancers still on it and carried it into the countryside where a passing millionaire bought the show. The grateful producers gave $20 to Marvex which he used to buy new clothes back in the city. There he stopped the menace of the sentient sandwich creature that called itself Ingrediento by flinging him across the ocean. Marvex once more disrobed to show a woman that he was a robot and she ran off while a happy mayor gave him money which he again used for clothes. Needing time to think about what to do next, he sat in the countryside for "seventy years" until deciding that it was getting him nowhere. He inspected the current era of the 21st Century but found that he did not like it and so jumped off into outer space to explore further.
Comments: Created by uncredited writer and artist (possibly Hal Sharp/Allen Simon).
Clara seemed to be a good influence on Marvex. When he first arrived in our dimension, he went out of his way to kill the criminals he encounterd, as well as his own creators, but by his last 1940s' appearance, he tried to save the life of Dr. Narr even though the doctor had abducted and tried to dissect him.
When Bolo and company were initially looking at Earth, they declaree that they were going to make the humans their slaves, but then Bolo proceeded to make Marvex instead, and planned to make more like him. Perhaps he simply meant he was going to make slaves in the image of the humans; he did after all give Marvex a very human countenance. In fact, Marvex looks almost exactly like William Shatner, despite the fact that Shatner himself would have only been nine when this story was published. At any rate, I suspect that Marvex had his head redesigned intentionally to look less human, as he seems to have a bit of a complex, declaring loudly and inappropriately to Clara at the end of every story that he is a robot, not a human.
Room 307 of the Eastern Building is on the thirteenth floor. Go figure.
Marvex received an entry in the Marvel Mystery Handbook - 70th Anniversary Special.
Tentative identification of the creative teams for Marvex's appearances as per The Grand Comics Database Project, which suggested that the (co-)creator may have been Allen Simon. Info for Daring Comics#3 & 4 comes from the Anniversary reprint (which is where the color images are from).
Color images plus minor update by Grendel Prime.
Clarifications: Marvex the Super-Robot has no known connection to:
Clara Crandall has no known connection to:
Bolo has no known connection to:
Bolo was a member of a technologically advanced race of large-headed humanoid beings who lived in the Fifth Dimension. He seemed to hold a position of authority, or at least respect, among his kind. He was inspired to create a robot slave by observing humans, but his creation Marvex rebelled, and killed Bolo.
Bolo was a skilled inventor and researcher in the robotic sciences. He wore a device of unknown function on his head which appeared to project energy of some kind. He may have had psionic abilities. He was physically weaker than Marvex.
Bolo's Fifth Dimension does not seem to be related to the Fifth Dimensions of either Diablo or Xemu, but so little of it is seen (mainly some mysterious smoke and the interior of Bolo's lab) that it cannot be ruled out.
--Daring Mystery Comics#3/7
Clara Crandall was the daughter of a scientist who was working on new battleship armor for the US Navy. When spies destroyed her home and killed her father, she met Marvex, who saved her and recovered the plans. Crandall quickly became Marvex's best friend and willing assistant in his war against crime. She even saved his life at one point when, alerted by his radio-transmitted SOS calls, she tracked him to Dr. Narr's tower and freed him from a magnetic table. Although it is not clear, she may have had romantic designs on Marvex, although his acute awareness of his mechanical nature prevented any exploration of the subject.
Crandall demonstrated no noteworthy abilities, although she was brave and a decent shot with a revolver.
--Daring Mystery Comics#3/7 (Daring Mystery Comics#3/7, 4/5, 5/5
Spike Green was a mobster who had murdered someone and framed Jim Hansen for the crime. He was later stopped by Marvex from robbing a bank and arrested. Sent to prison, he organized a violent escape with other prisoners. Marvex arrived to thwart the breakout but was outnumbered and overpowered with a blow to the head. Green then had the robot taken to the electric chair and left. However, Marvex escaped and stopped the convicts' escape attempt, protecting Green from prison guards' bullets and then forced a confession from Green that Hansen was indeed innocent.
--Daring Mystery Comics#4/5
Jim Hansen was a good friend of Clara Crandall, but had been framed for a murder and sentenced to execution. The day before he was to be put to death in the electric chair, Clara revealed to Marvex that she thought he was innocent. Spike Green later confessed to the killing and the prison warden quickly released Hansen thanks to Marvex's intervention.
--Daring Mystery Comics#4/5
A construction worker put Polynesian isotope sauce on his mixed lunch when a sudden lightning bolt hit it and increased its size dramatically, also bringing it to life. The humanoid lunch then ran amok in the city when Marvex spotted it spanking a policeman. Marvex picked up up the sentient sandwich and flung it across the Atlantic to France where it landed on a table at a café and was presumably eaten.
--All Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1/2
The spy called von Crabb was after the secret formula for new battleship armor (for whom is unknown, possibly a foreign power) that had been developed by Clara Crandall's father. After stealing the plans, he organized for the inventor to be killed to stop him from drafting up new ones. Marvex reached him but von Crabb locked the stolen plans in a safe and shot at Marvex with no effect. Marvex ripped the safe open and then powerfully flung von Crabb through the wall where he fell to his death.
His name suggests that he was of German descent, but the lack of the usual contemporary ridiculous German accent in his English indicates that he had lived in America most - if not all - of his life.
--Daring Mystery Comics#3/7
Full shot - Daring Mystery Comics#4/5, p40, panel 1
Head shot (Shatner version) - Daring Mystery Comics#3/7, p46, panel 1
Head shot (later version) - Daring Mystery Comics#4/5, p36, panel 1
All Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1/2, p6, panel 7 (in space)
Daring Mystery Comics#3/7, p46, panel 2 (Bolo)
Daring Mystery Comics#3/7, p48, panel 7 (Clara Crandall)
Daring Mystery Comics#4/5, p40, panel 6 (Jim Hansen)
All Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1/2, p4, panel 4 (Ingrediento)
Daring Mystery Comics#4/5, p38, panel 2 (Spike Green)
Daring Mystery Comics#3/7, p51, panel 5 (von Crabb)
Mystery Comics#3/7 (April, 1940) - unknown (script), Hal Sharp (art)
Daring Mystery Comics#4/5 (May, 1940) - unknown (script), Hal Sharp (art)
Daring Mystery Comics#5/5 (June, 1940) - unknown (script), possibly Jack Alderman (pencils and inks)
Avengers/Invaders#10 (June, 2009) - Alex Ross(plot), Jim Krueger (plot/script), Steve Sadowski, Patrick Berkenkotter (pencilers), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Avengers/Invaders#12 (August, 2009) - Alex Ross (plot), Jim Krueger (plot/script), Steve Sadowski, Patrick Berkenkotter (pencilers), Stephen Wacker (editor)
All Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1/2 (September, 2009) - Michael Kupperman (story & art), Alejandro Arbona (editor)
Last updated: 10/02/09
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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