Real Name: Cornelius C. Webb
Occupation: Sociologist, landlord
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Theseus and Ariadne (his lab rats)
Enemies: Captain Mar-Vell, Rick Jones, Mr. Weiss and his other tenants/test subjects
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Mad Master of the Murder Maze (see comments)
Base of Operations: Minos Towers in New York City
First Appearance: Captain Marvel I#19 (December, 1969)
Powers/Abilities: None. Cornelius Webb was an overweight middle-aged man who had no skills in physical combat. Although a genius, Webb was a manipulative sociopath who regarded other human beings as "lab rats" to be experimented on. Webb relied on the technology hidden in Minos Towers, which he controlled from his master control panel.
History: (Captain Marvel I#19 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius Webb wrote the book "Psycho-Pathology Among Rats" and won much acclaim and wealth as the nation's most renowned sociologist. Webb then built his Minos Towers apartment building (which could be transformed into a labyrinth filled with mechanical menaces) and got tenants who were a diverse mixture of various ethnic groups, age and income brackets, all for his grand experiment -- he would reduce such a group to the status of cowering animals and then write about it for his next book (and would bask in the fame and royalties in South America, of course).
(Captain Marvel I#19) - Following a final battle with Yon-Rogg and the Mandroid, Rick Jones (at that time still sharing existence with the Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell) went to New York looking for employment and an apartment -- he found both when he saw Webb's Daily Bugle ad for Minos Towers. Jones met with Webb, who gave him a rent-free apartment with details on a job to follow later. Webb then began to use monstrous 3-D projections to foment fear and distrust among the building's residents.
A week later, Mar-Vell was discussing with Jones (via their telepathic link) his suspicions of Webb, when suddenly a giant rat appeared in Jones' apartment. Slamming his wrist bands together, Jones exchanged atoms with Mar-Vell, who discovered that the rat was only another 3-D projection. Then Mar-Vell heard muffled cries from the hallway as Webb activated other traps for his "test subjects." Mar-Vell helped save the tenants from various death-traps, then made his way into Webb's inner sanctum where he was hit by controlled atomic blasts which started to trigger the exchange from the Kree hero back to Rick Jones -- Captain Marvel realized that Rick would never survive the atomic bombardment. Webb gloated over Captain Marvel's imminent defeat and the fact that none of the others would help him because they were too busy worrying about themselves. Just then, Mr. Weiss leapt at Webb, knocked him aside, and destroyed the master control panel at the cost of his own life.
After Mar-Vell finally switched atoms back with Rick, Rick found Webb in a catatonic state of shock, unable to accept the fact that his experiment -- to prove that Man could be reduced to an animal..."a desperate, utterly selfish rat in a cage" -- was a failure because Mr. Weiss unselfishly sacrificed his own life to save Mar-Vell/Rick.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane.
Although he was called "The Mad Master of the Murder Maze" on that issue's cover and in the story's title, he was never actually referred to that in the story itself.
Profile by John Kaminski
Cornelius Webb has no known connections to:
A virtual oasis amidst the tenements of the sprawling city, Minos Towers was built by Webb to provide housing for a diverse group of tenants. Along with luxurious, ultra-modern apartments and an indoor swimming pool, the building also featured such "amenities" as flooding hallways, moving walls, poison gas, criss-crossing sharpened spikes, and other booby-traps, all for Webb to use on his unwilling test subjects.
--Captain Marvel I#19
A survivor of Auschwitz in 1945, Weiss was one of the residents of Minos Towers who made friends with new tenant Rick Jones. When Webb began his sinister experiment, Weiss saw the fearful looks on the others' faces which reminded him of concentration camp inmates. When Weiss heard Webb say that for his experiment he was willing to sacrifice a few meaningless lives for the betterment of the race, it reminded Weiss of the words spoken by an officer at Auschwitz. Weiss attacked Webb and destroyed his control panel at the cost of his own life.
--Captain Marvel I#19
images: (without ads)
Captain Marvel I#19, p14, pan3 (main image)
p5, pan3 (head shot)
p4, pan3 (Minos Towers)
p12, pan5 (Mr. Weiss)
Last updated: 06/09/06
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