Real Name: ?? Dark (first name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Extradimensional human (Pre-Modern era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Milton (lab assistant)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His lab on an Earth-like planet in a "macroverse" (see comments)
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#76/4 (August, 1960)
Powers/Abilities: None, however Professor Dark was a genius who built a microscope powerful enough to allow him to view a world inside an atom (see comments).
History: (Strange Tales I#76/4) - After building his powerful new microscope, Professor Dark (aided by his assistant, Milton) focused the device on a glass specimen case to study the details of the tiniest atom within. As he gazed into the atom, he found it to be a complete universe unto itself, composed of separate parts orbiting around. When he focused in closer, he could see individual worlds. All the worlds looked dead, but one showed signs of life. The professor increased the power on the microscope further, and he saw faint outlines of tiny inhabitants racing around madly, like savage beasts. Still increasing the magnification, he saw so much movement, so much violence, as though something horrible was happening -- it was then that Professor Dark realized he was watching a world at war! He continued to stare in horrified fascination at the scenes of battle that were taking place so near, yet so far away.
Becoming deeply depressed, Dark couldn't watch anymore. Other worlds had the same rivalries and the same conflicts as his own -- what use was discovering new worlds only to learn that nowhere have living creatures learned to exist in peace?
Smashing the microscope, Dark yelled, "Everything is a waste!! It is better that no one suspects that even the atoms around us contain savage, senseless life!"
Afterwards, Dark told Milton that they must never again mention the world that existed inside the specimen case...the strange savage world called -- Earth!!!
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Steve Ditko.
Until the last panel of the last page, this story was written in such a way as to make the reader think that Professor Dark was actually an Earth scientist.
(But no explanation was ever given as to how the professor knew the Earth's name, though)
Since "microworlds" are actually worlds in other dimensions which can be accessed through shrinking, Professor Dark's microscope was somehow viewing into another space/time continuum.
I wonder if Professor Dark was associated with Professor Ace, whose shrinking ray sent a drifter named Brad to the "miniature" world of Earth.
All these macro/micro-verse stories remind me of a poem I once read (Who says this isn't the Marvel Age of Higher Culture?):
"Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em.
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so, ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves in turn, have greater fleas to go on.
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on."
Doctor Stone from World of Fantasy#16 (February, 1959) story "Worlds Within Worlds!" is a prototype to Professor Ace & Professor Dark.
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
Professor Dark has no known connections to:
A device built by Professor Dark, it was powerful enough to view inside an atom.
--Strange Tales I#76/4
Strange Tales I#76, p20, pan1 (main image)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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