Real Name: Unrevealed (see comments)
Identity/Class: Supernatural entity
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Miko Kyusha
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: None known (although he said he was known by many names)
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#93/3 (February, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: The full extent of Mister Black's powers are unknown, but they included teleportation and the ability to alter reality in (at least) small ways. He could also only be perceived by those whom he chose.
History: (Strange Tales I#93/3) - Mister Black's past and his previous dealings with humanity are unrevealed.
One day during World War II, a young Japanese man named Miko Kyusha received a draft notice. Miko told his father that he was afraid of being injured in warfare, and his father called him a sniveling coward, which Miko did not deny -- he was not concerned about his country or the war, only about his own safety, and he shouted that he would do anything -- anything -- to stay out of the army.
Miko's words caught the attention of Mister Black, who appeared before Miko and offered to make a deal with him -- if Miko signed a contract, Mister Black would make arrangements so that he could avoid serving in the army. Seeing no alternative, Miko willingly signed the contract, after which the mysterious visitor vanished.
The following day, Miko reported to the army induction center and underwent various physical exams. Contrary to his expectations, he passed all the tests, but as he looked at his examination report stamped ACCEPTED, he noticed the word fade to be replaced with REJECTED. Miko handed the report to a military official, who then dismissed him.
Leaving the induction center, Miko laughed with glee because he had gotten out of military service, but then a sobering thought struck him -- Mister Black would still expect him to carry out his part of the contract. Miko decided to renege on the deal and run away so Mister Black could not find him. He would take a train to another city and lose himself among the crowds, where he would be as safe from Mister Black as he was safe from the perils of war.
When the cowardly fugitive arrived at the distant city, he stood in a crowd of people and was confident he was safely hidden among the masses. But a few minutes after he arrived, the crowd looked up in fear and suddenly there was a tremendous explosion...
When the smoke cleared, there was a heavy silence that was only broken by the lone voice of Mister Black. As he stood over the corpse of Miko Kyusha, Mister Black lamented the poor fool who tried to break the contract. Mister Black had kept his word... Miko did not serve in the army, but it was only because he was fated to perish on this date, in this city -- August 6th, 1945 in Hiroshima.
As he walked away from the devastated city, Mister Black remarked, "...and no man can escape his fate!"
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Don Heck and Gene Colan.
To me Mister Black looks like another incarnation of Death, but I could be wrong.
It was never made clear exactly what Miko's part of the contract was.
Miko is now likely part of the Everwraith -- perhaps the enigmatic Mister Black was the main catalyst in the Everwraith's creation.
Profile by John Kaminski
Mister Black has no known connections to:
A cowardly young Japanese man, he signed a contract and made a deal with Mister Black so he could avoid military service during World War II. After breaking the deal, Miko later died during the bombing of Hiroshima.
--Strange Tales I#93/3
Strange Tales I#93/3, p1, pan1 (main image)
Strange Tales I#93 (February, 1962) - Larry Lieber (writer), Stan Lee (plot/editor), Gene Colan (artist)
Fear#13 (April, 1973) - reprint
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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