DR. CHARLES PARKER
Real Name: Charles Parker
Identity/Class: Extradimensional human mutate
formerly lab assistant, convict
Affiliations: Dr. Crandall Hart
Enemies: "Future men"; giant insects
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the world
First Appearance: Suspense#14/1 (February, 1952)
Powers/Abilities: After injecting himself with an immortality serum, Parker was endowed with eternal life; although the chemical greatly slowed his aging process, it did not keep his body from deteriorating, nor was he immune from showing the signs of old age (e.g. gray hair, wrinkles, senility). When his body was dismembered, Parker's disembodied head and heart still lived.
(Suspense #14/1) - Charles Parker's past is unknown, but circa 1930 (see comments), he worked as a lab assistant for biochemist Dr. Hart. Hart worked in seclusion for three days, but Parker learned from reading Hart's notes that the scientist was trying to develop an immortality serum. On the fourth day, Hart came out of his lab and announced that he had successfully completed the formula and he hoped it would be a boon for humanity. But Parker had his own selfish designs for the serum, so he plunged a knife into his employer's back and killed Hart. Then Parker took a syringe and injected himself with the serum--with the knowledge and wealth he would accumulate over the coming centuries, he was confident that he would eventually rule the world. Parker burned Hart's notes, poured the rest of the serum down the sink, and went to his apartment to make plans. He intended to steal Hart's money from his safe, then travel leisurely around the world and search for the opportunity to begin his plans for world domination--he was in no hurry, for he had all of eternity to work at the scheme. But the next morning, as he was packing his luggage, the police burst into Parker's apartment and arrested him for the murder of Dr. Hart. At Parker's trial, the judge sentenced him to 99 years in prison--Parker could only laugh at the absurdity of the punishment, for it would merely be a fleeting moment in the life of a man who would live forever!
In prison, the years rolled by, others died, but Parker lived on. A fellow inmate asked Parker why he wasn't concerned about the length of his sentence, and Parker told him he didn't care about the years because he was immortal. When word of his bizarre claim got around, Parker was taken to the prison psychiatrist for an evaluation, but he maintained his assertion, so the psychiatrist diagnosed Parker to be delusional and ordered him to be transferred to an asylum for the criminally insane. During the transfer, Parker broke free and made his escape, then he began his journey to the far corners of the globe--India, Africa, Europe--in search of a way to seize control and begin his climb to power. Years passed, and Parker grew weary of wandering, so he returned to America and settled in a small town in Connecticut. He felt lonely and attempted to make friends, but all his acquaintances thought him to be a demented eccentric--surely no man could have seen or done all the things Parker claimed in a single lifetime! Feeling socially isolated, Parker began to weep, for he realized he would be alone forever because of his unique condition. As time passed by, wars changed the shape of the world, old societies crumbled and disappeared, and new communities took their place. But wherever Parker tried to settle, others sensed the difference in him and forced him to leave. Parker became a homeless beggar, and he soon learned that eternal life was far more a curse than a blessing.
The countless centuries became millennia, and humankind itself changed. Parker's appearance made him a freak in comparison to the "future men," and he was captured and put on display in a zoo cage; he later escaped when an interplanetary war erupted and an alien attack resulted in the destruction of the city. It was the final war, for the "future men" were all dead, bombed out of existence, yet Parker envied them because he would never be free of his tired body, nor would he ever know the freedom that death brought. He lived alone in the ruins of a dead and barren wasteland, and the only other forms of life on the planet were insects; ironically, Parker had achieved his goal: he was now ruler of the world. The centuries crawled by, and life returned as the great desert became a jungle, and monstrous insects arose to roam the land. The cadaverous Parker took refuge in a cave, but his senile mind could no longer cope with his undying existence. In an attempt to commit suicide, he went outside and threw himself to the insects. The giant creatures tore the wizened immortal's body apart, leaving only his disembodied head and heart laying on the ground--a head that giggled and winked, and a heart that was still beating.
Comments: Created by an uncredited writer and Russ Heath (artist).
Boy, what a gruesome ending... you can almost hear EC's Crypt-Keeper say, "Well, kiddies, looks like poor ol' Doc Parker has gone to pieces! Heh heh!"
It was never specified what year Parker injected himself with the immortality serum, so I'm only guesstimating 1930 based on the style of clothing worn by the plain-clothes police detective who arrested Parker.
Since the majority of Parker's life took place in the distant future, that probably puts this story into an alternate reality, although I guess there could be an Earth-616 counterpart of Charles Parker wandering around somewhere...
My guess is that the immortality serum was concentrated in Parker's head/brain and heart, which is why the giant insects left those particular body parts behind (i.e., they left a bad taste in the bugs' mouths).
Maybe Dr. Crandall Hart's serum was later duplicated by Professor Hogarth (see Harry Sikes).
And a BIG Thank You to The Horrors of It All for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski.
Dr. Charles Parker has no known connections to:
Dr. Crandall Hart has no known connections to:
The "future men" have no known connections to:
Dr. Crandall Hart
Dr. Hart was the greatest biochemist of his time, and he employed Charles Parker as his lab assistant. Hart spent 20 years developing an immortality serum. He finally perfected the formula and presented it to Parker. Hart hoped to use the serum for the benefit of humankind, but Parker had his own selfish intentions in mind, so he plunged a knife into Dr. Hart's back and murdered him.
In the distant future, they were the evolutionary successors of homo sapiens. They had dwarfish bodies and proportionally large craniums. They captured the immortal Charles Parker and put him on display in a zoo cage, next to a gorilla. The "future men" were all killed when an interplanetary war erupted and their city was bombed--the imprisoned Parker subsequently escaped captivity.
In the far distant future, giant insects became the dominant form of life on Earth (presumably, they were mutated by the increased radiation levels that were the result of the final war that destroyed civilization). They roamed outside a cave where the immortal Charles Parker had taken shelter. When the ancient Parker had grown tired of his undying existence, he went outside and attempted suicide by throwing himself to the colossal bugs. The giant insects ripped Parker's body apart and apparently devoured it, leaving only Parker's beating heart and still-living head laying on the ground (see comments).
Suspense#14/1, p1, pan1 (main image)
Other Appearances: None
Last updated: 03/18/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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