Real Name: Karl Luger
Identity/Class:Unrevealed (see comments)
Occupation: Mechanic, terrorist
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Howard Walton
Enemies: Lester Caval, unidentified victims
Aliases:"Monster" (as dubbed by media)
Base of Operations: Workshop at 7 Vine Street and mobile in an unidentified American city
First Appearance: Mystic#11/3 (August, 1952)
Powers/Abilities:An ingenious mechanic, the seemingly robotic Karl Luger had great strength and could smash through brick walls; he was also bulletproof. He wore a full-head mask (and presumably flesh-colored gloves) to appear completely human; he also seemed able to alter his size slightly (see comments).
(Mystic#11/3 (fb) - BTS) - Karl Luger's past is unknown (see comments), but at some point he disguised himself with a human face mask and set up a workshop in a dilapidated building.
(Mystic #11/3 (fb)) - After removing his disguise, Luger would go on nightly rampages of death and destruction in the city, always disappearing before the first light of dawn. Police were helpless to stop the onslaughts because their bullets only bounced off the giant automaton, whom the public referred to simply as "the Monster". During one such attack,a reporter managed to snap a photo of the Monster, which would appear in the next day's newspaper.
(Mystic#11/3) - Wealthy industrialist Howard Walton was confronted by his business partner Lester Caval after he discovered that Walton had embezzled from their company. Walton agreed to return the money, but he needed a few days to recover it all, so Caval gave him a week and threatened to contact the authorities if he didn't return every last cent.
Walton was determined to eliminate Caval instead, but he did not want to risk doing it himself, nor did he trust anyone else to handle the task. Then he noticed the newspaper headline and photo of the Monster and had an idea: he would make it appear that Caval was a victim of the Monster! He placed a classified ad--"WANTED, SUPERIOR MECHANIC TO BUILD ROBOT"--and received a response from Karl Luger. When he visited Luger's workshop, Walton was impressed by the mechanic's quiet manner and air of deep concentration, and after seeing some of his creations, he had little doubt that Luger was a mechanical genius and the right man for the job. He showed Luger the picture of the Monster and told him he wanted a servile robot that looked just like it. A few nights later, Walton returned to the workshop--Luger was nowhere in sight, but Walton found a large robot that was a perfect likeness of the Monster. He ordered the robot into his car and drove it to Caval's penthouse apartment, then commanded the automated assassin to kill his business partner.
Later, Walton heard a news report on the radio: the robot had pushed Caval out of a window, but had continued on to kill the building's doorman and scores of bystanders as well. Worried that the robot had gone berserk--and more concerned that he might somehow be implicated in the deaths--Walton drove back to Luger's workshop the next afternoon and waited for hours for the master mechanic to return. As darkness fell, Luger finally entered the gloomy building. Walton lit a match and told Luger that the robot was running amok and had to be stopped. Luger explained to Walton that there was no other Monster, only one robot. He then pulled his mask off and seized Walton as the match flickered out...
Comments:Created by Carl Wessler (writer) and Myron Fass (art).
While disguised as a human, Luger was fairly tall (close to 7 feet), but as the Monster, he looked to be taller yet (around 9 feet), so maybe he could reconfigure his mechanical body and adjust his height.
The exact nature and back story of Karl Luger was never revealed (c'mon,it was just a 5-page story!). I suppose he could have been an extraterrestrial (like Ten-For or Torgo); alternatively, he could have been a renegade robot (like an earlier version of Ultron) that killed its creator and assumed his identity...
But considering his name, the fact that he spoke German (e.g. "Ja, Herr Walton..."), and the time-period this story was set in, here's my 100% completely speculative theory: maybe a decade earlier in Germany, Karl Luger was a robotics expert who was employed by the Nazis in the design and construction of the Sleepers; he later emigrated to America, built this more durable mechanical body, had his brain transplanted into it, and became a human cyborg (to ensure his survival when the Sleepers were activated on "Der Tag").
Luger's activities following this story are unknown. Maybe he made a mask of Howard Walton's face and took over his identity (with Lester Caval dead, he wouldn't have to worry about the embezzlement charges, and he'd have unfettered access to Walton's financial empire).
I think Luger would be an interesting adversary for some of the pre-Marvel heroes (First Line, Monster Hunters, "G-Men").
And a BIG Thank You to The Horrors of It All for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski.
Karl Luger has no known connections to:
Howard Walton was a millionaire industrialist who lived in a fortress-like mansion in the suburbs. He embezzled $3 million from his company and his business partner Lester Caval threatened to take legal action against him. Walton hired Karl Luger to build a robot duplicate of the Monster that was terrorizing the city, and sent it to kill Caval. But Walton eventually became another victim when he learned that Luger himself had been the killer robot all along.
Mystic#11/3, p1, pan1 (main image)
Other Appearances: None
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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