Real Name: Elk Diamond
Identity/Class: Human mutate (1950s)
Occupation: Criminal, convict
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Doctor Orgesky, Orge
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Convict Number 594798; "Electric Monster," "Human Dynamo," "Monster Torch" (as called in newspaper headlines); "a human torch" (as called by Doctor Orgesky); "murdering torch" (as called by policeman)
Base of Operations: Doctor Orgesky's secret laboratory, near New York
First Appearance: Suspense#18/5 (May, 1952)
Powers/Abilities: After ingesting a "magnetic pill," Diamond was able to absorb the voltage delivered by an electric chair, leaving his body surrounded by a fiery electrical field. He had heightened strength, which enabled him to tear through armored cars and vault doors, and he was bulletproof (both possibly the result from him manipulating magnetic fields?).
History: (Suspense#18/5 (fb) - BTS) - The past history of Elk Diamond is unknown, but because of his many crimes, he was confined to prison on death row. At some point, Doctor Orgesky contacted Diamond and made a deal with him -- Orgesky would help Diamond escape from death in return for Diamond's pledging his services to Orgesky for a whole month. Orgesky then gave Diamond a "magnetic pill" which would save him from death by electrocution.
(Suspense#18/5) - On October 12, 1941, at precisely 11:00 PM, Elk Diamond was led down the prison corridor into the death chamber. He was strapped into the electric chair and the executioner threw the switch. As bolts of electricity shot through the criminal's body, Elk Diamond was pronounced dead a few seconds later -- but actually, the "magnetic pill" had absorbed the voltage from the chair and saved Diamond's life, although he was left in a death-like coma.
At dawn, Diamond's body was taken from prison, and later that night his body lay in a New York mortuary. At the stroke midnight, a strange glow surrounded Diamond's body and his corpse stirred in the coffin. Getting out of the coffin, Diamond was walking around when he was spotted by the elderly night watchman. The watchman fired his gun at Diamond, but he merely shrugged off the bullets, then touched the watchman's shoulder and incinerated him.
Doctor Orgesky and Orge drove up to the mortuary in an insulated van as Diamond went outside. They took him on a two-hour drive to Orgesky's secret lab and placed Diamond in a specially insulated room.
Over the course of the month, Orgesky sent Diamond out on a crime spree and had him rob several banks.
As the month began to come to a close, Orgesky confided to Orge that he planned to break his deal with Diamond, and not return him to his normal state, but would instead continue to use him to commit crimes so he could become a millionaire. Overhearing all this from his insulated room, Diamond became enraged and broke out. He first attacked and killed Orgesky, followed by Orge. Diamond ran through the house, setting everything afire with his touch, then he fled the blazing house into the storm-filled night.
But a jagged bolt of lightning stabbed out of the night sky and struck Diamond, burning him to a crisp. The storm subsided and all was quiet...the elements were satisfied...they had recovered that which rightfully belonged to them...
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Manny Stallman.
Before he was executed, Diamond appeared to be slightly larger than average, but after he was charged with electricity, he appeared to be much larger, perhaps 9 feet tall -- it's possible that this was a result of his mutation, and his size fluctuated according to the amount of power he had stored up.
Diamond didn't have a single word or thought-balloon in the whole story -- not even the standard "EEARRRGH!!" during his final death scene -- I guess it's possible that he was mute.
In regards to Doctor Orgesky and Orge: No, that wasn't a misspelling on my part -- they really did have oddly similar names -- maybe the writer wasn't feeling too particularly creative that day when it came to names for the characters.
I'd speculate that maybe Orgesky's work was later copied by the Russians to create Electro.
I'm curious as to why this story, although published in 1952, took place in the previous decade -- could it have been laying around in inventory for that long?
I wonder if the writer of this story was inspired by the similarly-themed 1941 movie "Man Made Monster".
And a big THANK YOU to The Horrors of It All for allowing me to use the scans of this story!
Profile by John Kaminski
Elk Diamond/"human torch" has no known connection to:
Dr. Orgesky & Orge have no known connections to:
Doctor Orgesky & Orge
Doctor Orgesky (left) was the mastermind behind the plot, and Orge (right) was his loyal toady assisitant.
Both were killed by Elk Diamond after Diamond learned that Orgesky planned to break his deal to return him to normal.
Suspense#18/5, p1, pan1 (main)
Suspense#18/5 (May, 1952) - Manny Stallman (artist)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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