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Real Name: Earl Rawls

Identity/Class: Normal human (1950s Era)

Occupation: Criminal, car thief

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Unidentified extradimensional race

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unidentified city in USA

First Appearance: Unknown Worlds#36/2 (September, 1950) (actually #1/2; see comments)

Powers/Abilities: Rawls was a normal human criminal who specialized in stealing cars, which he sold to his underworld contacts. He briefly operated an alien automobile and proved himself heroic against an alien invasion.


(Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2 (fb) - BTS) - An extradimensional race planned to invade Earth and kill all Earthlings. They built a motor vehicle that could travel between dimensions. They gave the automobile to one of their spies (who was disguised as a human) and dispatched him to Earth to gather information. 

(Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2) - Earl Rawls noticed a strange car parked on the street outside his apartment window. The professional car thief was fascinated by the vehicle because he had never seen one like it before ("Looks like a foreign make..."). Rawls was determined to steal the automobile, and he saw it as a challenge because he had previously only stolen cheap cars, and this one looked like a "luxury liner". He went out on the street and tried to start a conversation with the car's owner, but the owner only ignored him--Rawls thought it was probably for the best because the odd-looking man walked funny and he looked like he was wearing a mask. Two days later, Rawls saw the car again. He couldn't resist the temptation, so he climbed inside. As he sat in the driver's seat, Rawls observed that the car's dashboard looked more complex than the cockpit of a B-29 Superfortress bomber. Suddenly, the car's owner ran towards him and shouted. Rawls reacted instinctively and pushed what he supposed was the starter button, and the car immediately traveled through dimensions to its point of origin. As Rawls got out of the car, he was seized by two aliens, and they revealed that they had built the car so they could conquer Earth. Rawls broke free from the aliens, got back in the car, and pushed the starter button again, then found himself back in his own neighborhood. Determined to get rid of the strange car, Rawls lit a match and set the seat afire; the flames spread and began to consume the automobile--whatever alien material it was made of, Rawls could see it wasn't fireproof. The car's owner ran to the blazing vehicle, for he knew he would be trapped on Earth if the car was destroyed. The flames burned away the owner's human disguise, and the alien seemed to disappear when the car exploded. 

(Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2 - BTS) - Rawls was arrested for setting fire to the car, but he didn't tell the police the whole story because they probably would not have believed it. Rawls was eventually sentenced to prison.

(Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2) - Rawls sat in his prison cell, but he did not mind being jailed because he felt that he had somehow saved the world; he also decided that he would never steal another car again!

Comments: Created by an uncredited writer and Russ Heath (artist).

That alien car kinda reminds me of the Ford Lincoln Futura (which was used to make the Batmobile on the old Batman TV series). 

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.

Earl Rawls has no known connections to:

The alien automobile has no known connections to:

Alien auto crosses dimensions

Alien Automobile

It was a yellow-colored vehicle with a transparent bubble-top. It was built by an extradimensional race to transport a spy to Earth. While the vehicle was parked on an Earth city street, it was stolen by car thief Earl Rawls. Rawls accidentally traveled to the aliens' dimension, but after learning of their plans for conquest, Rawls "drove" the car back to Earth and set the vehicle afire. The car and the alien spy were both destroyed in the subsequent explosion.



--Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2

Unidentified Extradimensional Race

These technologically advanced blue-skinned humanoids stood about 5-feet (1.5 m) tall and had a pair of antennae protruding from their heads. They lived in another dimension and were planning to invade Earth, so they built an automobile that could travel between realities. They sent a spy disguised as a human to Earth to gather information about the planet. But their scheme of conquest was foiled by car thief Earl Rawls.


--Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2

images: (without ads)
Journey Into Unknown Worlds#36/2, p2, pan1 (main image)
    p4, pan2 (headshot)
    p1, pan1 (alien auto)
    p3, pan8 (headshot of alien)
    p3, pan5 (2 aliens)

Other Appearances: None

Last updated: 04/21/11

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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