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Real Name: Karl Zymek

Identity/Class: Normal human (1950s Era)

Occupation: Prisoner, scientist/chemist

Group Membership: Prisoners of an unidentified jail

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Prison staff, police, US Government

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Bullet-Proof Man" (as called in story title)

Base of Operations: Unidentified prison in the USA

First Appearance: Strange Tales of the Unusual#8/7 (February, 1957)

Powers/Abilities: Zymek was a normal human who had extraordinary knowledge in chemistry. However, he was loyal only to himself and unrepentant of past  misdeeds. He developed a chemical potion that created an invisible and impenetrable film over his skin.


(Strange Tales of the Unusual#8/7 (fb) - BTS) - Zymek sold vital scientific secrets to a communist state, but was caught and imprisoned by US federal authorities for treason with a 30-year sentence.

(Strange Tales of the Unusual#8/7) - Locked in prison and unrepentant of his traitorous crimes, Zymek soon began developing a scheme to escape. Seeing the guards' bullets as the only real hurdle, he secretly devised a film that would coat his body in an impenetrable shield while he worked in the prison lab. Months later, he achieved the correct formula (likely swallowing the concoction). The next day in the recreation yard, he ran for the perimeter. He ignored the guards' warnings, punching some aside, with his bullet-proof body protecting him from the prison guards' weapons fire and gas shells. He climbed over the walls and evaded capture until surrendering three days later because the small oxygen unit he had was running out. He was hungry as no food could pass down his throat, with the police even (unsuccessfully) trying a blowtorch to break the invisible envelope protecting Zymek's body. His oxygen rapidly running out, the police phoned Washington for advice.


Comments: Created by uncredited writer and Vic Carrabotta (art); cover art by Carl Burgos.

Although not shown at the end, he presumably died from lack of oxygen inside his impregnable cocoon.

In X-Men I#8 (November, 1964) the Beast created a Power-Enhancing Ray Gun that left Unus in the same predicament that Karl Zymek found himself in (though I don't think Unus had to worry about running out of air--just food and water).

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Karl Zymek, the "Bullet-Proof Man" has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Strange Tales of the Unusual#8/7, cover (main image)

p1, pan1 (head shot)

Other Appearances: None

Last updated: 06/03/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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