MYSTO THE MYSTIC
Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human magic user (?)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Burt Malone (client)
Enemies: Spectre of Doom
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "World's Greatest Clairvoyant" (carnival billing)
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#61/2 (February, 1958)
Powers/Abilities: Unrevealed, but apparently Mysto had some degree of precognizance. He was also seemingly able to capture the Spectre of Doom inside his crystal ball, and held it captive until the crystal ball was subsequently shattered.
History: (Strange Tales I#61/2 (fb) - BTS) - Mysto's past is unknown, but at some point he had established a fortune-telling act with a traveling carnival.
(Strange Tales I#61/2) - Reckless and daring race-car driver Burt Malone was plagued with visions of a gigantic "Spectre of Doom" that only he could see -- the Spectre would appear before him, looming over the race track just before accidents occurred.
Greatly shaken by these sightings and losing confidence in himself, Malone felt that he could not continue his racing career. One day, Malone's associates wanted to help him, so they talked him into consulting Mysto at the county fair. During the consultation, Mysto told Malone that he had conjured the Spectre and imprisoned it in a crystal ball, then gave the crystal ball to Malone to keep -- Mysto told Malone that as long as the crystal ball was kept intact, the Spectre would be unable to get out, and Malone would be safe. Malone then put the crystal ball on a shelf for safekeeping.
With his confidence renewed, Malone once again began racing, and met with great success. But one day during a race, Malone once more saw the Spectre. He swerved into another car and crashed, but was pulled from the flaming wreckage just in time. Although he insisted that he'd seen the Spectre again, Malone's friends reassured him that it was still trapped in the crystal ball -- but they later found that the crystal ball had fallen off the shelf and was shattered to pieces on the floor...
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Dick Giordano.
Sorry, but there were no clear views of Mysto available in this story, and he always appeared obscured -- remember, he's supposed to be a mysterious guy.
So what was the deal with Mysto? Was he just a fake fakir, or was he perhaps a true master of the arcane arts moonlighting at a carnival?
My reason for doing this profile: This story reminded me of the very first Dr. Strange story that would appear a few years later in Strange Tales I#110/3, wherein Doc helped out Brandon Forsythe, who was plagued with nightmares of a hooded figure -- maybe Mysto could be considered a pre-Marvel/"Lost Generation" version of Dr. Strange?
(...and yes, I know I'm stretching things and I've spent a lot of time and energy writing about a character who only appeared in three panels of a four-page story from a half-century ago, but that's what can happen when you dare to delve into the realms of the obscure -- be warned.)
I'd say that the Spectre of Doom was probably not an embodiment of Death since the story dealt with none of the ramifications that would result from there being an absence of death in the world (see "Hiram Fletcher" for details) -- maybe it was just a standard evil spirit trying to cause mischief in the material world.
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
Mysto the Mystic has no known connections to:
Burt Malone has no known connection to:
The Spectre of Doom has no known connections to:
A champion race-car driver, he was troubled by visions of a "Spectre of Doom" during his races. He eventually sought the aid of Mysto.
--Strange Tales I#61/2
Spectre of Doom
A giant ethereal apparition, it appeared only to Burt Malone during his races and was a harbinger of the accidents that always followed. It was seemingly captured by Mysto in a crystal ball, then apparently was freed when the crystal ball was shattered.
--Strange Tales I#61/2
Strange Tales I#61/2, p3, pan2 (body shot)
Strange Tales I#61 (February, 1958) - Dick Giordano (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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