Real Name: Sam Bonner
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Collector (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Professor Zukor
Enemies: Jivaro tribe (including the chief and at least four others)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His mansion
First Appearance: Mystic#23/1 (September, 1953)
Powers/Abilities: Sam Bonner was an ordinary man whose body was shrunken to about one-fifth of its original size, while his head retained its normal proportions; despite the size mismatch, Sam didn't seem to suffer any ill effects.
History: (Mystic#23/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Sam Bonner is unknown, but he had amassed a collection of odd and gruesome antiquities, which included: The mummified left hand of the Roman emperor Nero, the skull of the Indian chief Sitting Bull, the skeleton of the hunchback Quasimodo, a petrified vampire, and a stuffed werewolf. He displayed the arcane artifacts in his mansion, in a room he called his Chamber of Horror.
(Mystic#23/1) - It was a dark and stormy night when Bonner invited three experts over to his home to show them his collection. The experts were impressed by it all, but told him that his collection lacked one thing: A genuine shrunken head ("A collection of this sort isn't complete without a shrunken head!").
However, shrunken heads were difficult to find--every collector who went into Jivaro Indian country in South America got one handed to him...his own! One of the experts told Bonner that the Jivaros had even discovered a way of shrinking a man's head...without chopping it off!
So the trio of experts apologized and told Bonner his collection was interesting, but it was incomplete and worthless to any museum. Sam kicked them out of his house (literally), then spent the next few days brooding, although he sadly realized they were right. His own cowardice kept him from getting a shrunken head because he was afraid of getting his own head shrunk. If only there was a way he could make his head shrink-proof...
Sam went to Professor Zukor's lab and consulted with him about his dilemma, and the scientist came up with a solution. First, Zukor had Sam immerse his whole head in a vat of a chemical mixture, then covered his head in a clear plastic dome and bathed it with infra-red rays. When the process was complete, Zukor assured Bonner that nothing would be able to shrink his head... not even Jivaro Indians!
A few days later, Sam flew down to Ecuador and tried to hire some of the locals as pack-carriers and guides, but they refused because they were afraid of the Jivaro head-shrinkers. So Sam made the journey alone, hacking his own way through the tangled jungle. On the sixth day of his expedition, Sam found the Jivaro village, empty--apparently they were out hunting. He went to the chief's trophy hut to get all the shrunken heads he could carry (Some of the heads he recognized--hunter Kirk Hudson, collector Buck Carter). Bonner gathered an armful of the grisly trophies, then turned to leave, but he was stopped by two spear-wielding Jivaros. Sam was taken to the chief, who sentenced him to have his head shrunken ("He who try steal tsantas(shrunken heads) have him head made small on body!"). Because of Zukor's treatment, Sam refused to show fear, and confidently told the chief that he couldn't shrink his head. But the chief told Sam that the Jivaros could shrink any head, and if they failed, they'd give him a shrunken head from the trophy hut and let him go free. Bonner agreed to the challenge and dared the chief to begin ("Start shrinking Sam's head... if you can!").
The head-shrinking ceremony began with Sam being served "The Drink of Darkness" ("So you feel no pain!"), and as he slowly lapsed into unconsciousness, the tribesmen made a potent brew from chambira and taraputu bark, and covered Sam's head with quechua leaves--Sam didn't see or feel much afterwards, for no one was allowed to witness the secret head-shrinking process of the Jivaros. When Bonner revived, the Jivaros could only stare at him in amazement ("You right! Jivaro fail! No can shrink your head!"). But the chief kept his promise and Sam departed with his trophy and returned home (...although I'd say it's a safe bet that he had to stop off along the way to get his suits re-tailored).
Two weeks later, Sam invited the three experts back to his Chamber of Horror and presented his newest addition, but they were (understandably) more shocked by the change that had come over Sam...
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and John Romita (?).
Sam never mentioned an occupation, so maybe he was independently wealthy.
If they ever decide to bring him back, maybe Sam Bonner could join the Collectors...
Or apply for membership with the Headmen...
Or double-date with MODOK.
***DISCLAIMER: The following is provided for informational purposes ONLY, So DON'T Try It at Home, Kids! (...or at least get Mom & Dad's permission first!)***
For more information on how shrunken heads are really made, see HERE.
Since they didn't employ conventional methods and could shrink heads that were still attached to living bodies, I'd speculate that these Jivaros discovered a chemical means of generating Pym particles--perhaps while using indigenous materials, they stumbled upon a chemical compound that was similar to the shrinking serum later developed by Henry Pym (@ Tales to Astonish I#27). And since Professor Zukor's treatment had made Sam's head immune to these chemicals, his body must have absorbed them instead (...and YES, I know I'm putting w-a-a-ay too much thought into this goofy story!).
And a BIG Thank You to Pappy's Golden Age for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski
Sam Bonner has no known connection to:
Mystic#23, p5, pan8 (main)
Mystic#23 (September, 1953)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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