Real Name: Eric Wolton

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

Occupation: Chemist, thief

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: The citizens of Bromburg (including Mayor Josef Fuhmar and Police Chief Otto Grotz)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: His lab hut near the town of Bromburg on an unidentified island off the coast of the mainland (see comments)

First Appearance: Journey Into Mystery I#49/1 (November, 1958)

Powers/Abilities: None. Eric Wolton created a chemical mixture he dubbed "Compound Z" while trying to create a new perfume. "Compound Z" could cause humans to temporarily grow to a height of 30 feet when inhaled, but this effect would wear off and the person would return to their normal size after 8 hours unless they inhaled another dose. Continued dosages maintained a person's giant size with no apparent harmful effects. On two separate occasions, Wolton was transformed into a giant by "Compound Z".

History: (Journey Into Mystery I#49) - Chemist Eric Wolton was working in his lab when he accidentally created "Compound Z," a sweet smelling green vapor. Breathing in some of the fumes, Wolton felt dizzy and went outside his hut, and was shocked when he grew to 30 feet in height. Exhausted, he lay on the ground to sleep. When he awoke the next morning, he had returned to his normal height, so he thought the whole experience had just been a dream. But when he saw the huge impression his sleeping body had made on the soft ground, he realized that it had really happened.

Thinking that the people of Bromburg would be helpless if they suddenly found themselves at giant size, Wolton planned a crime spree. Early in the morning, in the island town's subway tunnel that ran to the mainland, Wolton wore a gas mask as he brewed some "Compound Z" and let the vapors spread to the surface. When the air had cleared, Wolton removed his gas mask and went to the surface to see enlarged people burst from the buildings as Bromburg became a city of giants.

While the giant people awkwardly milled about on the streets, Wolton took advantage of the chaos and confusion and started looting the jewelry stores and banks, storing his loot on the subway cars. The city officials suspected that Eric Wolton was responsible for the crisis -- he was the only one unaffected -- but Wolton was easily able to elude capture by the clumsy giants by hiding in the subway tunnel. He would spend the next several days brewing up more of the "Compound Z" and exposing the citizens to it just before the effects of a dosage wore off. Gathering his ill-gotten gains, Wolton planned to use the subway car to return to the mainland, then he would live like a prince in England or France.

Days later, after acquiring more stolen property than he felt like carrying, Wolton decided to brew up one last dose of "Compound Z" to use on the people so he couldn't be followed, when suddenly the air supply on his gas mask ran out. Unable to breathe, Eric Wolton tore off his gas mask and was forced to breathe in the fumes of the enlarging chemical.

Seven hours later, when the effects of "Compound Z" had worn off and the people of Bromburg returned to their normal size, an enraged mob ran to the subway entrance and found Wolton enlarged to giant size, trapped in the "narrow" (for him) subway tunnel. The police planned to wait until Wolton returned to normal size, then they would take him to prison.

Comments: Created by an unknown writer and John Forte.

Although its location was never specifically mentioned, based on some of the details in the story (the names of some of the characters, the uniforms worn by the police officers, etc.), I'd say that Bromburg was located somewhere in Europe, probably Germany.

Maybe it was meant to be the Polish city Bromberg nowadays known as Bydgoszcz. Perhaps Bromburg is even the English name for Bromberg.
--Markus Raymond

Only about 8 individuals were actually shown to be turned into giants, and most of the town still looked to be in good shape at the end of the story. Considering the amount of destruction that would probably be caused to the town if the entire population was suddenly enlarged to 30 foot tall behemoths, I'd say "Compound Z" must have affected everyone to varying degrees as it dispersed in the air (i.e. some people may not have inhaled as high a dosage and only grew a few feet taller than normal), or maybe some of the remaining people were unaffected and just hid in the safety of their homes.

A few years after this story appeared, Ant-Man/Henry Pym created an enlarging formula and became Giant-Man in Tales to Astonish I#49 (November, 1963).

Looks like Eric Wolton somehow accidentally discovered what would later be known as "Pym Particles" before Henry Pym did -- these particles probably originated from the dimension of Kosmos.

There have been other instances of chemically induced growth (see Doctor Dill, Wilbur Fiske).

Mr. Dunn (Astonishing#57 (January, 1957), 6th story "The Strange Power Of Mr. Dunn!") also created a Growth Formula like Wolton.

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

Profile by John Kaminski

Eric Wolton has no known connections to:

Mayor Josef Fuhmar and Police Chief Otto Grotz

Two of the town officials of Bromburg, they were turned into giants by the fumes of "Compound Z". They suspected Eric Wolton was responsible for their town's plight.

--Journey Into Mystery I#49/1




The citizens of Bromburg

The denizens of Bromburg whose lives were suddenly thrown into chaos when they found themselves turned into giants by Eric Wolton's "Compound Z".

--Journey Into Mystery I#49/1




"Compound Z"

A chemical mixture accidentally discovered by Eric Wolton while he was working on the formula for a new perfume. The sweet smelling green fumes of "Compound Z" would cause humans to grow to giant proportions for up to 8 hours when inhaled. Wolton brewed the potion in the subway tunnel beneath the town of Bromburg to make the inhabitants grow to giant size, after which he looted the town in the confusion.

--Journey Into Mystery I#49/1




images: (without ads)
Journey Into Mystery I#49, p1, pan1 (main image)

p4, pan6 (head shot)
p3, pan4 (Mayor Fuhmar and Police Chief Grotz)
p2, pan7 (Bromburg citizens)
p2, pan6 ("Compound Z")

Journey Into Mystery I#49 (November, 1958) - John Forte (artist), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 03/09/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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