Real Name: Raymond Marcus (see comments)
Identity/Class: Human (1950s)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His living dolls
Enemies: Jim Kirby
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Great Moru"
Base of Operations: His mansion, outside of San Francisco, California
First Appearance: Amazing Detective Cases#12/1 (May, 1952)
Powers/Abilities: Dr. Marcus developed a shrinking serum which could temporarily reduce the size of human beings -- sustained reduction required a booster shot to be administered at regular intervals.
Marcus was also armed with a knock-out gas gun.
History: (Amazing Detective Cases#12/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Dr. Marcus is unknown, but at some point he attended an annual meeting of the Society of Science to present his research paper, "Shrinking the Human Cell, and Retarding Cell Growth". His theories caused such an uproar that Marcus was labeled as a fraud amongst his peers--he even got into a physical altercation with a fellow scientist, and police were called out to Marcus' estate.
Disgraced in the scientific community, Marcus developed a shrinking serum and began to kidnap some of the entertainers living in theatrical boarding houses on Trumbull Street. He injected them with the serum, reducing them to mere inches in height. He then set up a stage act, "The Great Moru and His Living Dolls," with himself as "Moru" and the shrunken performers as his "living dolls". Marcus would continue to inject the entertainers at regular intervals to maintain their tiny stature.
(Amazing Detective Cases#12/1) - Marcus and his shrunken slaves appeared on a TV program--"The Millet Variety Hour"--where his act was seen by detective Jim Kirby, who recognized some of "Moru's" living dolls as actual missing persons and began to investigate.
Kirby eventually traced Marcus back to his mansion and found his lab. Dr. Marcus confronted the detective as he was looking through his notes on shrinking the performers, and fired his knock-out gas gun at Kirby to stun him, but he had apparently inhaled some of the gas himself. Kirby was able to throw a punch at Marcus' face, cutting the doctor's cheek with his ring before the detective passed out. After dragging Kirby to a chair and strapping him in, Marcus injected him with the shrinking serum, but then fainted from the effects of the gas.
As Kirby began to shrink, he leaped away to escape and landed on Marcus' face, where he was so small that he eventually fell into the wound he had inflicted, and was swept away into Dr. Marcus' bloodstream.
Marcus was later killed when Kirby began to enlarge and broke out of an artery on the doctor's wrist. The coroner ruled that Marcus had died from a burst artery, probably due to a stroke.
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Martin Rose (Martin Rosenthall).
Dr. Marcus' first name was never revealed in the story, so I took the liberty of giving him one.
(Dr. Marcus successfully creates a shrinking serum, and the best he can do is use it for a miniature vaudeville act?! I guess his ambitions were pretty small, too...)
I wonder if Henry Pym was inspired by Dr. Marcus' research paper.
(...and I wonder if the writer of this story was inspired by the movie "Dr. Cyclops")
And a big THANK YOU to The Horrors of It All for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
Dr. Marcus/"The Great Moru" has no known connection to:
Standing about 18-inches tall, they were actually human entertainers whom Dr. Marcus had kidnapped and injected with his shrinking serum. Their ranks included the three Belden Brothers (acrobats), Jennie Lee (a dancer), an unidentified piano player, and an unidentified guitar player.
Following Dr. Marcus' death, the "Living Dolls" were freed by detective Jim Kirby -- as Marcus was no longer around to give them injections of his shrinking serum, they returned to their normal size and presumably went on with their lives.
--Amazing Detective Comics#12
Amazing Detective Comics#12, p1, pan1 (main)
Amazing Detective Comics#12 (May, 1952) - Martin Rose (pencils)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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