Real Name: Lod (see comments)
Identity/Class: Extradimensional extraterrestrial robot (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Human "robots"
Enemies: Ona Gorn, Paul Rale
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Master" (as called by human "robots"), "Monster of Moog" (story title)
Base of Operations: His palace on planet Moog
First Appearance: Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1 (September, 1950) (actually #1/1; see comments)
Powers/Abilities: Standing about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, this blue-skinned artificial lifeform had a dwarfish humanoid body with a disproportionally large head with multiple antennae protruding from his cranium. He could read minds with mental telepathy and control the wills of others. His powers were greatly augmented by a virtual link to external machinery that allowed him to dominate minds on a planet-wide scale. He could also disintegrate living beings with a thought.
(Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1 (fb)-BTS) - The origin of Lod is unknown, but centuries earlier, he took control of the humans on the planet Moog, transforming them into mind-numbed "robots"--Lod thus became absolute ruler of his world. With the aid of external machinery, he controlled the actions of his living automatons, and they were unable to rebel, but Lod sensed the deep hatred they had for him. Lod eventually grew tired of living amongst "robots," so he began to mentally probe interstellar space, in search of a suitable mate.
(Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1) - On the night of April 7th in the year 3250 A.D., scientists at the Chicago Universarium of Cosmic Research detected the sheer dynamic mental force of Lod's super-brain probing the solar system. The mental image of Lod manifested in the apartment of Ona Gorn. Lod paralyzed Ona's body and numbed her mind, then teleported her to his homeworld. But as the comet-like teleportation trail exited the window of the apartment, it was seen by Ona's boyfriend Paul Rale. Paul later procured a spaceship and followed the unique energy signature of the teleportation beam until he came to a space-station outpost. One of the men aboard the station--Moss--showed Paul a space-chart that indicated the energy beam continued its path into an unexplored region of the galaxy. Moss accompanied Paul as the two men boarded Paul's spacecraft and continued to follow the beam's trail.
Meanwhile, Ona awoke in Lod's palace, where she was attended by two females with blank expressions. One of the women informed Ona that she was Lod's "chosen one". Ona begged the women to help her, but they told her escape was impossible. Lod entered the chamber, mercilessly disintegrated the two "robot" women into dust, and told Ona he had selected her to be his bride. After he mentally paralyzed Ona's resistance, Lod forced her to accompany him as he took her on a tour of his empire. He showed Ona the huge machines which controlled his "robots," which Lod in turn controlled with his thoughts. Lod told Ona that there were only two human beings on Moog--Ona and himself (see comments)--and that she and he would soon people the planet with new inhabitants (a proposition that Ona found repulsive). Lod adjusted the machinery and made all the "robots" freeze like statues, and he took Ona to their impending marriage ceremony. Just then, Paul and Moss landed on Moog at a nearby airstrip. The two men deactivated the mind-controlling machinery and the "robots" began to revolt. Before the union of Ona and Lod could be consummated, Ona noticed that she was free of the paralysis. Suddenly, Lod screamed and was overcome by a hellacious headache; he collapsed to the floor, and the tyrant realized his "robots" were no longer under his control. As the rioting "robots" began to storm the palace, Ona fled to the airstrip, where she hoped to find a spacecraft to escape. She ran into Paul and Moss, and the three climbed aboard Paul's spaceship. As they flew away, they saw Lod's palace in flames, but they agreed to let the "robots" settle their own problems. While they continued their long journey home, Moss made a startling revelation: After a close examination, he had discovered that the "robots" of Moog were really human beings – and their master was a robot!
Comments: Created by uncredited writer and Russ Heath (artist).
This story ran only 7 pages, so it was pretty sparse on details. How Moss came to the conclusion that Lod was a robot is a mystery (he never even saw Lod!). Lod considered himself to be human, and if he was a robot, why would he want a human female for a mate? (Sure, Ona was a total babe, but a robot would have more in common with a microwave oven!) With all this in mind, I'm gonna try a little creative speculation:
Maybe Lod wasn't an electro-mechanical robot, but rather a bio-engineered cyborg lifeform created from human DNA (which explains why he considered himself human, and his desire for a human female), and he had cybernetic enhancements connected to his brain (which explains why Moss thought he was a robot). Maybe Lod was created to link all the minds of the Moogians together (as sort of a living Internet), and coordinate work efficiently and to make workers more productive. If he controlled workers on a world-wide level, maybe "Lod" was actually an acronym--L.O.D.--which stood for "Logistical Omnipresent Director" or somesuch.
And in regards to this story's issue number: The first issue of Journey Into Unknown Worlds has #36 on the cover. This was because the numbering was carried over from Teen Comics (featuring humorous stories), which ran up to #35. With #36, the title changed and the format went to science-fiction/fantasy. The numbering continued with the second issue (#37), and the third (#38); but with the fourth issue, the number was adjusted to #4 and continued on until this series was canceled with issue #59 (...and to further add to the confusion, this means that 36, 37, and 38 were repeated on the covers of completely different issues that came out later in the run!).
And a BIG Thank You to Pappy's Golden Age for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski.
Lod/"Monster of Moog" has no known connections to:
Ona Gorn has no known connections to:
Paul Rale has no known connections to:
The human "robots" have no known connections to:
In the utopian future of 3250 A.D., Ona lived in an apartment in Chicago. One night, she was teleported to the planet Moog by the alien tyrant Lod, who chose Ona to be his bride. Ona was later rescued by her boyfriend Paul Rale.
--Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1
In 3250 A.D., Paul was with the scientists when they discovered Earth was being mentally scanned by an extraterrestrial intelligence. Paul later left to pick up his girlfriend Ona Gorn and take her out for a dinner date on Jupiter; but while he was outside Ona's apartment, Paul saw the energy trail of a teleportation beam and learned Ona had been abducted. He tracked the energy trail through space and eventually landed on the planet Moog. Paul started a rebellion against the tyrant Lod, then rescued Ona and returned her home.
--Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1
They were the human inhabitants of the planet Moog. They were transformed into mind-numbed "robots" by the tyrant Lod. With blank expressions on their faces, and no capacity for independent thought, they lived only to serve Lod and perform menial tasks. When the Earthman Paul Rale landed on Moog to search for his kidnapped girlfriend, he shut down the machinery that gave Lod the power to dominate the "robots". With their minds freed, the former "robots" realized they were humans and revolted against Lod's tyranny.
--Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1
Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/1, p2, pan5 (main image)
p1, pan1 (image)
p7, pan4 (fall of Lod)
p2, pan6 (Gorn)
p3, pan4 (Rale)
p6, pan4 (humans as "robots")
p7, pan3 ("robots" as humans, in revolt)
Other Appearances: None.
Last updated: 04/14/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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