Real Name: Unrevealed (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Death (but only because he didn't want to go)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Man who Captured Death" (in story title)
Base of Operations: His laboratory
First Appearance: Amazing Adult Fantasy#9/2 (February, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: In life, "Hiram Fletcher" was a renowned scientist in some unspecified field.
"Hiram Fletcher" was able to build a force field ray projector which he used to capture the embodiment of Death.
History: (Amazing Adult Fantasy#9/2) - After a lifetime of great achievements, the elderly "Hiram Fletcher" felt his own mortality soon approaching, but feeling he had more to offer the world, "Fletcher" was not ready to go. Coming up with a plan to prevent the inevitable, he spent his last months working on a machine to capture Death itself.
As "Fletcher" sat in his chair, weary from his work, the embodiment of Death appeared before him. The shadowy, pallid-faced "man in black" approached him, ready to claim him, but "Fletcher" used his last ounce of strength to press a button and activate the machine, thus entrapping the grim-visaged figure in a force field.
Although Death warned him, "You know not what forces you tamper with! Release me before it is too late!", "Fletcher" knew that as long as the brooding figure was held captive, the world need never fear Death again!
Throughout the world, Death had lost its power, and a new age had begun -- but not quite in the way that "Hiram Fletcher" had hoped...
Insecticides no longer killed the bugs that devoured crops, and famine threatened the world. Beasts of prey that normally died at the end of their lifespans remained alive to multiply and roam closer to civilization. In cities, rats and vermin did not die, and got bolder and bolder. Germs and microbes could not be killed, causing disease to spread, and hospitals became overcrowded. And worst of all, the aged and gravely injured, praying for a long sleep to ease their pain, found no release. With no Death, the world soon fell into chaos.
Blinded by his own selfishness, and now seeing the consequences of his actions, "Hiram Fletcher" learned that death was a necessary part of life, so he deactivated his machine and released Death.
As Death escorted him into the afterlife, he promised that he would bring "Hiram Fletcher" peace, as he had brought to so many others before him -- "Thus has it ever been...Thus must it ever be..."
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
This story was reprinted in Astonishing Tales#21 (December, 1973).
"Hiram Fletcher" was never actually named in the story (Death only addressed him as "Professor") -- it's just a name I came up with, so it's subject to change, but I figured after 40+ years, he deserved to get a name.
The All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#3 has a complete profile on Death (which can take on any number of forms -- here, it looks a little like the demon D'Spayre).
"Hiram Fletcher" wasn't the only one to capture Death: Adventures Into Weird Worlds#23 (October, 1953) 1st story (Professor Martin) and Spellbound#16 (August, 1953) 5th story.
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
"Hiram Fletcher" has no known connections to:
"Hiram Fletcher's" last accomplishment, it was an electrical device that generated a force field powerful enough to entrap the embodiment of Death.
--Amazing Adult Fantasy#9/2
Amazing Adult Fantasy#9, p7 (main image)
Amazing Adult Fantasy#9, p11, pan2 (head shot)
Amazing Adult Fantasy#9, p8, pan3 (Ray Projector)
Amazing Adult Fantasy#9, p7 (Death)
First Posted: 11/17/06
Last updated: 02/19/18
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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