Real Name: Lurton Gaxton

Identity/Class: Human (1950s)

Occupation: Businessman, owner of Lurton Gaxton Enterprises

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: The Man in Black

Enemies: His business rivals

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: His office building in an unidentified American city

First Appearance: Mystery Tales#45/1 (September, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: None; Gaxton was a normal human being.

History: (Mystery Tales#45/1 (fb)) - Lurton Gaxton was a ruthless businessman who ruined many competitors. One day, Gaxton was visited in his office by Tom Peters, a small-time business rival. Peters begged Gaxton not to ruin him and absorb his business, but Gaxton told Peters he had no one to blame for his own troubles but himself because he didn't "think big" like Gaxton did.

  As Gaxton left his office, smiling smugly, he came upon a mysterious stranger. The Man in Black told Gaxton that he was the one who had never really "thought big" -- "To think big...means to think with love and compassion!"

  Gaxton felt compelled by the Man in Black's words to step into the elevator and press the DOWN button. As the elevator descended, the cable snapped and the car plunged downward...

  (Mystery Tales#45/1) - The next thing he knew, Gaxton found himself in a yard and reduced to the size of an ant, where even blades of grass towered over him like trees. He heard a loud clanging, scrambled away, and narrowly avoided being crushed by a juggernaut -- a boy riding a tricycle. The boy returned and tried to step on the "ant" (Gaxton), who desperately cried out "I'm a man...a little man! I'm not an ant!" but his voice was too tiny for the boy to hear. Tearfully, Gaxton realized too late how he had made other men feel ("Little men should be pitied and given help...NOT crushed!").

  Gaxton awoke in the wreckage of the elevator car with the Man in Black kneeling beside him, telling him he was going to be alright. Gaxton learned that the whole experience had only been a hallucination. As a doctor entered the elevator car to treat him, Gaxton saw the mysterious stranger fade away, but he was left with a new outlook on life.

Comments: Created by an unknown writer and John Forte.

Considering Gaxton's unethical business practices, perhaps he's somehow related to racketeer Blackie Gaxton.

It was never explained who "The Man in Black" was supposed to be -- perhaps he's another embodiment of Death (like the one who claimed Johnny Boone, although it seems uncharacteristic for Death to be merciful and give someone a second chance) or maybe he's some kind of sorcerous being (Marvel's version of DC's Phantom Stranger).

And a BIG Thank You to Wolfs-Head Comics for scanning this story for me!

Profile by John Kaminski

Lurton Gaxton has no known connections to:

The Man in Black has no known connection to:

The Man in Black

A seemingly supernatural entity, he showed Lurton Gaxton the error of his ways and taught him a valuable lesson in compassion towards his fellow man.

--Mystery Tales#45/1









Mystery Tales#45, p1, pan1 (main image)

p4, pan7 (head shot)
p4, pan6 (Man in Black)

Mystery Tales#45 (September, 1956)

First Posted: 05/26/2007
Last updated: 05/26/2007

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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