Real Name: Gustav "Schultz" (see comments)
Identity/Class: Normal human
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Hans "Langenscheidt" (see comments)
Enemies: Two Transylvanian policemen (names unrevealed), unidentified aliens
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile in Transylvania
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#76/2 (August, 1960)
Powers/Abilities: A normal human, Gustav was a brutal criminal who was armed with a Luger handgun. After he became trapped in a timeless Limbo-like void between Earth and an alien dimension, Gustav was left in a ghostly state where he was immaterial and imperceptible to other humans.
(Strange Tales I#76/2) - The past of Gustav is unknown, but a some point he met Hans, and the two men went to Transylvania. After three weeks, they had just committed their first robbery and were fleeing town, with two policemen in pursuit. Gustav and Hans ran into a nearby forest, but Hans tripped along the way and broke his leg. Seeing that Hans could no longer run with him, and not wanting to leave him behind to give the police his identity, the cold-blooded Gustav pulled out his handgun and shot his partner-in-crime dead. The police officers heard the gunshots and found Hans' body, then picked up Gustav's trail, which led further into the woodland.
As Gustav ran the entire length of the forest, he saw a house in the distance. He went toward the bleak old home and decided to hide from the police there, despite his apprehensive feelings about the dismal place. He went inside and found that the house seemed to be deserted ("No one would live in such a hovel!"), but as Gustav started to explore the somber, silent interior, he heard the sound of footsteps within. He pulled his gun and shouted for the approaching entities to show themselves. Across the musty room, Gustav saw vague and shadowy forms emerging through the wall. As the strange figures stepped closer, Gustav panicked and fired his pistol, but was shocked when he saw the bullets pass harmlessly through the unearthly beings. Gustav's first thoughts were that the old house was haunted and that these things were ghosts, but one of the aliens explained to him that they were actually beings who dwelt in another dimension parallel to Earth, and because of this circumstance, they could not be touched. They showed Gustav a quick glimpse of their homeworld, and explained that at certain points along the dimensional barrier, their world and Earth met. Gustav was relieved because he figured that although he couldn't touch the aliens, it also meant that they couldn't touch or harm him. But suddenly Gustav felt faint and passed out.
Gustav slowly and painfully returned to consciousness (with a bad headache) and noticed the aliens were gone. Then he heard voices outside and knew that it was the pursuing police officers. He tried to retrieve his lost gun (which he had dropped when he fainted), but couldn't find it in the darkness. The police kicked in the door, and Gustav realized he'd been caught--there was nothing else he could do, so he decided to surrender peacefully. As the police walked in his direction, Gustav meekly held out his hands to be cuffed, but was stunned when an approaching police officer--completely unaware of his presence--walked right through him! Gustav surmised that he had somehow passed into a different dimension and he no longer existed on Earth. Time had lost its meaning to Gustav, and he continued to slip further out of Earth's dimension--a month (or perhaps a year?) later, he roamed the lonely void between dimensions, finding no life, no world to call his own. He only knew he was paying a terrible penalty for the loathsome life he had led ... but for how long?
Comments: Created by an uncredited writer and Don Heck (art).
The last names of Gustav and Hans were never revealed, so I took the liberty of naming them (I just named them after two of the bumbling guards of Stalag 13, from the TV series "Hogan's Heroes").
The interdimensional void Gustav was lost in reminded me of the realm of Limbo ruled by Immortus--if it was Limbo, maybe Gustav eventually became a Space Phantom.
And a BIG Thank You to James
Sharpe for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski.
Gustav Schultz has no known connections to:
Gustav's partner-in crime, he and Gustav were involved in a robbery in a Transylvanian town. As they were fleeing from police officers into a forest, Hans fell and broke his leg. Rather than leave Hans behind to reveal his identity to the police, Gustav shot and killed his hapless associate.
--Strange Tales I#76/2
Vaguely humanoid members of an advanced extradimensional civilization, the aliens' homeworld was parallel to Earth behind a dimensional barrier. At times, they could cross the barrier and emerge in an abandoned house in Transylvania; because of the immaterial condition their bodies assumed while they were in the Earth dimension, they were mistakenly thought to be ghosts by any humans who saw them. One night, they encountered the criminal Gustav. They gave him a brief glimpse of their world, and Gustav later found himself trapped in the void between their world and Earth.
--Strange Tales I#76/2
Strange Tales I#76/2, p1 (main image)
Other Appearances: None
Last updated: 04/27/10
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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