Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (race unreveald; 1950s)

Occupation: Atrion prospector, gambler

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: An unidentified gold prospector

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Poker Face" (as called in story title); "the spaceman," "the strange being" (as called by a newscaster)

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the universe

First Appearance: Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/6 (December, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: Having a slender humanoid body, the alien stood about twelve feet tall, but displayed no special powers.

Along with his spaceship, the alien used various pieces of prospecting equipment. Additionally, he may have employed some type of force field.

History: (Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - Under unknown circumstances, the alien won claim to Earth in a game of Zanda, then traveled to Earth in his spaceship to search for atrion.

(Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/6) - The alien's ship circled the world many times before landing in Russia. Leaving his ship, the alien went outside to make an inspection of the land, using his instruments to test the surrounding rock and soil. The Soviets responded immediately to the intrusion in their traditional manner, sending several tanks and cannons, which fired on the alien. But strangely enough, the alien just ignored the attack and went on with his inspection of the terrain. After his work was finished, the stranger returned to his ship and took off. Later that same day, the alien was spotted by a group of villagers in India, but he gave them no heed as he went about his work.

  News reports from around the globe -- from Timbuktu to Nome, Alaska -- reported sightings of the visitor, and anybody who owned a television set kept it operating for further news about the alien. All that could be confirmed was that the strange being was indifferent to all communication, he was invincible to all military weapons, and he just went about minding his own business -- but that was what the world was worried about: What sort of business was the creature up to?

  One day, the great ship appeared above New York, and the alien disembarked. He walked around the city, followed by curious crowds, but he paid no attention to the people as he continued with his survey. The crowds soon thinned out -- many people were convinced that it was all just a publicity stunt, anyway -- and after completing his tests, the spaceman returned to his ship and left.

  The next time he was seen, the alien was in a lonely spot of the Mojave Desert, where he was confronted by an angry gold prospector, who thought that the alien was trying to jump his claim and steal his gold. For the first time, the alien spoke: "Gold! Bah! It's atrion I want! That's more precious and there's none of the metal on this planet!" The alien then told the gold prospector that his claim was no good...he owned the planet, but he didn't want it...even though he won it in a game of Zanda.

  When the gold prospector inquired as to what "Zanda" was, the alien explained that where he came from, it's the equivalent of the game of Poker -- he won the Earth in a card game!

Leaving the old prospector speechless, the traveller from space entered his ship and vanished in the sky. He was never seen again.

Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Jack Kirby.

Definition: poker face - a face lacking any interpretable expression, as that of an expert poker player.

The alien was never actually identified in this story, and was only referred to as "Poker Face" in the story title.

And a BIG Thank You to Brian Hirsch for getting me the scans of this story!

Profile by John Kaminski

"Poker Face" has no known connection to:

The unidentified gold prospector has no known connections to:


A huge cylinder shaped vessel, it was capable of interstellar travel and could withstand artillery fire.

--Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/6

Prospecting equipment

In his search for the precious metal atrion, the alien used such devices as: a hand-held scanner, a soil probe, and a hover chair.

--Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/6

Gold prospector

An unidentified old man living in the Mojave Desert, he had staked out a gold claim in the area, and was quite irate when he mistakenly thought the alien was trying to jump his claim.

--Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/6



Strange Tales of the Unusual#7/3, p1, pan1 (main)

p4, pan2 (head shot)
p4, pan4 (spaceship)
p1, pan3 (hand-held scanner)
p2, pan5 (soil probe)
p4, pan5 (hover chair)
p4, pan7 (Gold prospector)

Strange Tales of the Unusual#7 (December, 1956) - Jack Kirby (artist)

Last updated: 10/28/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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