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Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: THEM

User/Possessors: Fixer (Paul Norbert Ebersol), Mentallo

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#142/1 (March, 1966)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: A heavily armored subterranean vehicle that used powerful energy beams to carve out its own tunnels, the Thru-the-Ground Tank could accommodate at least two occupants in the control cockpit. Additionally, it was equipped with high-pressure turbo-blowers to quickly cool the molten fires of the newly formed tunnels that were ignited by its energy beams.


Mentallo and the Fixer share the cockpit


(Strange Tales I#142/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Fixer obtained the Thru-The-Ground Tank from THEM under unrevealed circumstances (see comments). 

(Strange Tales I#142/1) - After forming a partnership, Mentallo and the Fixer used the Tank to bore a tunnel from the Fixer's hideout to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Manhattan headquarters. But just short of breaking into the operations center, Mentallo warned the Fixer to stop the machine because he sensed danger ahead: a twenty-foot-thick protective concrete wall. The Fixer first activated the Tank's turbo-blowers to cool the fires in the tunnel, then the two subversives left the vehicle to examine the barrier. With a mental probe, Mentallo determined that the wall was impenetrable to the Tank's energy beams (see comments), so the Fixer swiftly modified the turbo-blowers into giant "Jericho tubes," which he used to magnify his bellow to thunderbolt intensity--the sonic vibrations completely shattered the molecular structure of the great wall, causing it to crumble and giving the invaders an ingress to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s inner sanctum.


Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils) and Howard Purcell.(inks).

After the Fixer and Mentallo were defeated and taken into custody (@ Strange Tales I#143/1), the Thru-the-Ground Tank was probably confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. It's surprising that the Tank could easily tunnel through miles of earth and bedrock, yet it couldn't make it through the concrete barrier--maybe that concrete was laced with Secondary Adamantium? Although he may have customized it somewhat, the Fixer admitted to Mentallo that he hadn't actually built the Thru-the-Ground Tank himself, but got it from THEM (an identity used by A.I.M. at the time for criminal activities);similar subterranean vehicles had been previously used by the Hate-Monger (@ Fantastic Four I#21) and the Rabble Rouser (@ Strange Tales I#119/1)--perhaps THEM built those as well. 

And a BIG Thank You to James Sharpe for the scans!

Profile by John Kaminski.

The Thru-the-Ground Tank has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#142/1, p6, pan3 (main image)

p7, pan1 (cockpit)
p7, pan2 (turbo-blowers)

Other Appearances: None

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First Posted: 03/03/2010
Last Updated: 03/03/2010

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