FLEXO

Real Name: Flexo

Identity/Class: Terrestrial robot (World War II era)

Occupation: None

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Joel and Joshua Williams

Enemies: Dr. Murdo, Beezle, Karl Damos, the Iron Duke, dictator of Teutonia

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Flexo the Rubberman

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Mystic Comics I#1/1 (March, 1940)

Powers/Abilities: Flexo was created with an unidentified form of "live" rubber which enabled the robot to stretch and contort its body. The robots flexibility allowed it to move rapidly with uncanny speed. Flexo was able to inflate its body with an unidentified gas to become light as air and fly. This gas can also be discharged from a valve located on the chest with enough force to knock down several opponents within a confined area. Since the gas was a mystery, it may be the fumes have the property to cause unconsciousness in humans. Flexo was also highly resilient and durable proving impervious to high impact damage, bullets and electricity. Flexo also possessed superhuman strength at an undefined level but was shown to be able to smash through walls and even halt a large armored vehicle at full speed. Flexo did not possess free will and its actions were controlled by a special remote device used by its creators Joel and Joshua Williams.

History:

(Mystic Comics I#1/1 (fb) - BTS) - Brothers, Joel and Joshua Williams, two famous American scientists, created Flexo based on research done using an unidentified form of "live" rubber and a mysterious gas they invented. The robot lacked the capacity of free thought and a remote control unit was designed to allow it to move and act. The robot was stored inside a crate within their lab until it was needed.

(Mystic Comics I#1/1) - Joel and Joshua Williams were doing medical research using Radium for a local hospital and were given the radioactive material by a man named Beezle a medical interne. Leaving the hospital they are tricked into aiding a young woman in distress and are lead into a trap and captured by gunpoint by Beezle. The two brothers were tied to a couple of chairs and Beezle and the woman makes off with the Radium to take to their boss. The two brothers manage to activate their remote control device and summon Flexo from their lab. Bursting through a window, the robot arrives to free its masters but this alerts Beezle soon returns to investigate the commotion. The robot easily subdues the crook who then informs Joel and Joshua that there were more men waiting outside and were suspicious of an ambush. Flexo quickly speeds from the room to the street below and using his fantastic stretching ability latches onto a light pole with its arms and uses his legs to hook onto the criminal's getaway to prevent them from escaping. The crooks exit the car and try to escape on foot but are then wrapped up in Flexo's malleable arms and pinned to the ground until the police arrive. Flying over the city in their plane and using a radiation detector the brothers discover the whereabouts of the stolen radium within a large building. The Williams's brothers and Flexo enter the building and are confronted by a couple of electrified robots. Flexo, being resistant to electricity easily destroys them and is then ordered to squeeze past a series of bars blocking the way ahead. Flexo is soon met by a group of armed criminals led by their leader Dr. Murdo who begin to shoot at it. Dr. Murdo reaches for a bottle of acid to throw at the robot and Joel and Joshua via remote control, order Flexo to expel a blast of its mysterious inner gases from a nozzle on its the chest. This quickly knocks out the evil gang and they soon recover the stolen Radium while Flexo destroys Dr. Murdo's death ray machine which was empowered by the radioactive element.

(Mystic Comics I#2/1) - Dr. Joel and Joshua Williams under contract with the United States Navy developed an anti-torpedo device called the Repeller. Joel while enroute to Washington with the prototype was forced to land his plane when foreign spies using a ray-gun weapon, disrupts the engine. The spies capture and tie Joel to a tree and soon after leave with the device. Joel accesses a special radio device hidden in one of the folds of his jacket and contacts his brother Joshua for help. With the aid of Flexo, Joshua soon arrives and in the middle of freeing his brother a hungry pack of wolves appears but are easily dealt with by the amazing robot and drives them off. The two brothers and Flexo track down the enemy spies who stole the Repeller within an empty mine. Flexo is given the order to attack and defeats a large number of them by twisting its body like a propeller and flailing its arms. The leader of the group makes his escape from the mine with the Repeller by causing a cave in. Flexo's durable body protects the two brothers from the deadly falling debris and begins to quickly burrow a way to the surface. The enemy spy Karl Damos, now in a car begins to speed away down the country road. Flexo is given the order to stop him and it gets ahead of the car and stands out on the road to act as a barricade. The speeding car savagely rams Flexo with no affect. The impact forces the car off the road and down a nearby cliff. Flexo then takes flight and retrieves the Repeller before it crashes with the car on the rocks below.

(Mystic Comics I#3/3) - Flexo is summoned by Joel to save two children trapped inside a burning building. Later on after discovering that the fire was set as an arson racket by a criminal gangster called the Iron Duke, Flexo is sent by the two brothers to stop a boat from becoming the next target. The Iron Duke and his men are easily captured by Flexo as they were no match against the strength and power of the mighty robot.

(Mystic Comics I#4/4)- Eminent scientist, Professor Winston's top secret formula was stolen by a spy for the evil dictator of Teutonia. He asks Joel and Joshua for help in recovering it because this chemical has the power to destroy whole cities and the two brothers agree to help. Arriving by plane to Teutonia, they are soon captured by the dictator and taken away to be executed. Joel using the remote device summons Flexo who quickly dispatches the firing squad. The brothers find out that the formula is being taken by armored car to the nearby city of Leitsborg with the dictator. Joel, Joshua and Flexo quickly begin pursuit. Stopping ahead of the convoy, Flexo is ordered to stand in the middle of the road ahead and stretch its arms around a couple of nearby trees for support. The speeding, armored car rams into the awaiting robot with devastating results. The force of the impact destroys the armored car and the evil dictator as it rebounds off the resilient and near indestructible Flexo. With formula in hand, the trio returns to their awaiting plane and head back to the United States.

(Agents of Atlas#4 (fb) - BTS) - Flexo was one the of the paranormals Jimmy Woo had taken into consideration to put on the Agents of Atlas team.

Comments: Created by Will Harr (writer), Jack Binder (pencils & inks).

So far these are the only appearances of Flexo (he didn't actually appear in Agents of Atlas), Joel and Joshua Williams. The final panel in Mystic Comics I#4/4 says that there was going to be another Flexo story in the next issue. Unfortunately, this fifth story did not appear and Flexo was never heard from again.

The country of Teutonia does not correspond with any known nation in the world past or present. When this story was written, the United States was not yet involved in WWII. In looking for an evil dictator as the protagonist, William Harr may have modeled him and the country after Hitler and Nazi Germany. If this country exists in the Marvel Universe it may be found as a small nation somewhere near Germany. Another possibility that may exist is that Teutonia may have been conquered after the death of its dictator by Nazi Germany during WWII. This would imply that the country no longer exists after having been absorbed by Germany and forgotten.

The artists on the first three issues were Will Harr and Jack Binder but in Mystic Comics I#4 the credits said by FOS. For the life of me I puzzled about who these initials were for and found out they were done by three people, Ben Flinton, Bill O'Connor and Leonard Sansome. I would like to thank the guys at UHBMCC for having this information available on their website.

Could Flexo The Rubberman's creators Joel and Joshua Williams be related to Wonderman (Simon Williams) and Grim Reaper (Eric Williams)? Could they have founded Williams Innovations?
--Gammatotem

Of the 3 scientists that went to talk to Professor Albert Horton about the original Human Torch in Marvel Comics#1 70th Anniversary Special (October, 2009) one looked like Professor Zog the creator of Electro the Marvel of the Age and the other one like one of the Williams Brothers the creators of Flexo.
--Gammatotem

The foreign spy that Flexo fought in Mystic Comics#2 (April, 1940) was identified as Karl Damos in Marvel Mystery Handbook 70th Anniversary Special (2009).
--Gammatotem

Thanks to Luc Kersten for the added info from Agents of Atlas#4.

Profile by AvatarWarlord72

CLARIFICATIONS:
Flexo has no known connection to:

Joel and Joshua Wililams have no known connections to:


Joel and Joshua Williams

(Mystic Comics I#1/1) -The scientists, Joel and Joshua Williams were brothers who had invented the robot Flexo using an unidentified gas and "live"rubber technology they had invented. In order to control the robot's actions a special remote control unit was created and they placed Flexo inside a crate in their lab until needed.
Working on research using radium the brothers who were respected scientists are given a sample from a nearby hospital. Leaving with the sample they are tricked into helping a woman in distress and leads them into a trap set by her accomplice, Beezle who worked at the hospital. Using the remote control unit, they are able to summon Flexo who quickly comes to their rescue. They command Flexo to capture Beezle and a group of criminals waiting outside in a car. Returning to their lab they grab a radiation detector and take off over the city in a plane in order to track down the stolen Radium. The Brothers soon discover the location and later while accompanied by Flexo, enter the building and come face to face with a pair of robots surrounded by an electrical field. They order Flexo to destroy them and then sent the robot with its amazing ability to stretch and shape its body through a series of metal bars that blocked the way ahead. On the other side of the bars Flexo is met by a group of armed men lead by their leader, Dr. Murdo who try to stop it. The brother via remote control issue a command for the robot to release some of its mystery gases which quickly renders the men unconscious. Joel and Joshua recover the radium and also order Flexo to destroy Dr. Murdo's Death Ray device.

(Mystic Comics I#2/2) - Working under contract with the US Navy, the two brothers invent a new explosive and an anti torpedo device dubbed the Repeller. Having to do more tests with the explosive Joshua stays behind while his brother Joel leaves in their plane to take the Repeller to Washington. Joel's plane is forced to land as the engine cuts out and is soon captured by a group of foreign spies that tie him to a tree and steal his ant torpedo device. Joel using a special radio hidden in the folds of his coat contacts his brother and is soon rescued from a pack of hungry wolves by Flexo. The brothers track the spies to a nearby abandoned mine and send Flexo to deal with them. The leader of the group of spies makes his escape to the surface and causes the mine entrance to cave in. Flexo's durable body protects them from the falling debris and it is commanded to quickly tunnel an escape to the surface. Now at the surface they discover that the Spy was trying to get away in a car and order Flexo to block the road ahead. The spy rams his car into Flexo but violently rebounds off its rubber body down a cliff. Flexo quickly takes flight and grabs the Repeller before it crashed on the jagged rocks below. Presumably Joel and Josh Williams make it to Washington to give the Repeller to the US Navy.

(Mystic Comics I#3/3) - While out on the town, Joel witnesses a massive fire within an apartment building and calls his brother Joshua for help. Joshua activates Flexo and it is sent into the blaze to rescue a pair of children that were trapped inside. Deciding to investigate the fire, Joel learns of an arson racket by a local gangster called the Iron Duke and with his brother and Flexo save a boat Captain and his vessel from burning. The Iron Duke is easily captured by the powerful robot at their command.

(Mystic Comics I#4/4) - They promise to help their friend and fellow scientist Professor Winston, recover his stolen secret formula from the European dictator of Teutonia who had sent spies to retrieve. After arriving at Teutonia by plane, Joel and Joshua are captured at the airport by armed soldiers and are arrested and taken to see the dictator. The dictator deems them as enemies and has them sent to be shot by a firing squad. Joshua activates Flexo with his remote control and the robot arrives and makes short work of the soldiers. Interrogating one of the soldiers the brothers learn that the dictator has gone to the nearby city of Leitsborg with the explosive formula and set out after him. After taking flight with Flexo, the brothers catch up to the dictator in an armored car and using their remote, commands Flexo to bar the road ahead. The armored car strikes the robot but is deflected off its rubber body and crashes. The resulting impact kills the dictator and the Joel and Joshua reclaim the formula and return to the United States.

--Mystic Comics I#1/1 (Mystic Comics I#1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4


Flexo's Remote Control Unit

Nothing has been revealed about this device and origin except that it was used to activate and control Flexo's actions as directed by Joel and Joshua Williams. This handheld unit consisted of a series on numbers and letters and a nice shiny red button in the center. Joshua Williams seemed to be the primary user of the remote control as he is the only one in the stories that is shown using it and there only appears to have been one device created.

--Mystic Comics I#1/1 (Mystic Comics I#1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4

 


images:
Mystic Comics I#1/1, p1, pan1 (main image)
Mystic Comics I#2/2, p8, pan1 (Flexo in action)
Mystic Comics I#2/2, p9, pan2 (Williams brothers)
Mystic Comics I#1/1, p3, pan7 (Remote control unit)


Appearances:
Mystic Comics I#1/1 (March, 1940) - Will Harr (writer), Jack Binder (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Mystic Comics I#2/2 (April, 1940) - Will Harr (writer), Jack Binder (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Mystic Comics I#3/3 (June, 1940) - Will Harr (writer), Jack Binder (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Mystic Comics I#4/4 (August, 1940) - Ben Flinton, Bill O'Connor, Leonard Sansome (art team), Stan Lee (editor)
Agents of Atlas#4 (January, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Leonard Kirk (pencils), Kris Justice (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 12/22/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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