Real Name: "Floyd Pflug" (see comments)
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Bank robber
Group Membership: None
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Flat Man" (as called by himself)
Base of Operations: An unidentified American city
First Appearance: Spellbound#3/3 (May, 1952)
Powers/Abilities: Apparently knowledgable in chemistry, "Pflug" developed a pill which could compress the mass of his entire body and clothes into a thickness that was thinner than that of a dime (i.e. less than 0.053 in/1.35 mm) with no ill effects. But as it was impossible to remain alive in that flattened form for longer than six hours, it was necessary for him to ingest the antidote (also in pill form) to return to normal.
History: (Spellbound #3/3) - "Floyd Pflug's" past is unknown, but after seven years of work, he developed a body mass compression formula in the form of a pill, and came up with a bank robbery scheme. One night at 6:00 PM, "Pflug" swallowed the pill for the first time, which gave him a flattened body. Realizing that he could remain in this state for only six hours before he needed to take the antidote or it would be fatal, the Flat Man got into his car and drove to a bank, confident that he had plenty of time to do what he needed.
"Pflug" parked his car behind the bank, and although it was locked up for the night, the Flat Man went to the rear service entrance and saw the eighth of an inch gap under the door -- plenty of room for him to slide his flattened form underneath to get inside.
Sneaking up behind the night watchman, the Flat Man stabbed him in the back with a knife and went about his work. After squeezing himself through the slit in the vault door, the Flat Man disconnected the burglar alarm and opened the door from the inside. He then began to empty the vault of all the cash, spending over five hours carrying the money bags back and forth to his car. When the vault was cleaned out, the paper-thin plunderer got back into his car and drove home.
Making it back home with minutes to spare until the deadline, the Flat Man picked up the antidote pill, swallowed it, and choked... the pill was too big to go down his compressed throat!
Panicking, the Flat Man could do nothing but listen to the clock as it struck midnight, ushering in the six hour limit before his compression formula would prove fatal.
The Flat Man collapsed and apparently died among his ill-gotten gains.
Comments: Created by Hank Chapman and an unknown artist.
The Flat Man's real name was never revealed, so the name that I gave him is subject to change.
The Flat Man may have been a genius, but it looks like he had all of the foresight of Henry
("Whoops-I-left-the-antidote-to-the-shrinking-serum-up-on-the-windowsill!") Pym (see Tales to Astonish I#27).
Coincidentally enough, a similarly-themed story (with the same title) appeared a short time later in Superior Comics' Journey Into Fear#19 (May, 1954) -- this one was about a guy who got squished by a steam-roller, yet he still lived! You can see it HERE. -
And a big THANK YOU to Brian Hirsch for getting me the scans of this story!
Profile by John Kaminski
The Flat Man has no known connection to:
Spellbound#3, p13, pan5 (main)
Spellbound#3 (May, 1952) - Hank Chapman (writer)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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