Classification: Terrestrial technology
Creator: Dr. Olsen, "Hans" (see Comments)
User/Possessors: Dr. Olsen, "Hans", Adolf Hitler
First Appearance: Invaders I#32 (September, 1978)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Consisting of an extremely large wall-sized video screen and a single control console (and possibly other supporting devices behind the scenes), the Dimensional Gateway could "tune in" to the extradimensional realm of Asgard and display the images on the screen. It had teleportational circuitry which transported Thor to Earth. It also transmitted electronic impulses that were received by Thor's hammer and helped to guide the thunder god to the Soviet capital of the Kremlin. At one point it was used to transmit the sound of Hitler's voice in Germany to Thor in Russia. The full extent of the Gateway's power and range is unknown (see comments).
(Invaders I#32 (fb) - BTS) - Inspired by the pagan pageantry and barbaric splendor of the operas of Richard Wagner, Hitler theorized that the composer wrote his music as "echoes from another world," and he believed that the world of Teutonic gods and beauteous valkyries that Wagner envisioned was real. To prove his theory correct, Hitler had Dr. Olsen and his assistant brought from Norway and tasked them to create a means to bring Donar, the Teutonic god of thunder (also known to the Norsemen as "Thor"), to Earth. Dr. Olsen and "Hans" worked on their project in a heavily-guarded chamber in Nazi Germany's Reichschancellory building.
(Invaders I#32) - When the Dimensional Gateway was
completed, Dr. Olsen and "Hans" demonstrated the device to Hitler,
showing the Führer an image from Asgard of Thor battling some Trolls on
the large screen; they manipulated the controls, there was a blinding
flash of light, and the somewhat disoriented thunder god stood in their
midst. Hitler then began his scheme to make Thor his ally. After showing
the thunder god film footage of how badly his "noble" armies were faring
against Russian troops, and saying that the Nazis only wanted to
liberate the Russian people from their evil masters, Hitler was able to
convince Thor of the "righteousness" of his cause and won the thunder
god over to his side. Then Hitler dispatched Thor to Russia to
assassinate Soviet leader Josef
While on a mission across the Russian border to deliver a prototype tank to Stalin, the Invaders (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie, Spitfire/Jacqueline Falsworth, Union Jack/Brian Falsworth) got there just in time to see the thunder god arrive to carry out Hitler's orders.
(Invaders I#33) - After a skirmish with the thunder god,
the Sub-Mariner grabbed Stalin and carried him aboard his Atlantean
aircraft, to fly the Soviet leader to safety in Moscow, and lost Thor in
the process. Thor used the power of his enchanted hammer to bend the
fabric of space and establish a communication link with Hitler. The
thunder god reported of his loss of Stalin, so Hitler ordered Olsen and
"Hans" to use the Gateway machine to send an electrical impulse that
would be received by Thor's hammer, to help guide the thunder god to the
Kremlin, where Hitler rightly believed Stalin had fled. Meanwhile, the
fanatical Hitler raved about how he would soon have all of the gods of
Asgard fighting for the Third Reich until the entire planet was
conquered. The stress of the situation, exacerbated by the furor of the
Führer, was having a detrimental effect on Dr. Olsen, who then suffered
a fatal heart attack, and Hitler ordered "Hans" to take Olsen's place at
the control panel.
As Thor reached the Kremlin, the Invaders faced him again in another short battle, but "Hans" had secretly adjusted the Gateway machine so that Thor could hear Hitler's wild rantings. Hitler then ordered "Hans" to bring the Trolls that they'd seen Thor battle earlier to Earth. But as the creatures began to materialize, "Hans" refused to bring such monsters to conquer the planet for the Nazis, so he set the Dimensional Gateway machine to explode. As "Hans" crawled from the smoking debris, he saw the Führer pinned beneath some wreckage; Hitler called for his assistance, but an irate "Hans" prophetically opined to Hitler about the Führer's inevitable fate, then he revealed his true name and walked off, as Nazi soldiers rushed by him to free Hitler.
(Marvel Universe#2) - Baron Strucker witnessed the Dimensional Gateway's explosion from outside the Reichschancellory building and followed "Hans" into an alley where the bandaged scientist was transported back to the future by Doom's time platform.
(Invaders I#33) - Having heard Hitler's true intentions, Thor realized he'd been deceived, and as he faded back to Asgard, the Invaders' memories of the whole incident began to fade as well. (see comments)
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas (writer) and Alan Kupperberg & Frank Springer (illustrators/storytellers).
The reason for that convenient group-amnesia at the end was probably to avoid the continuity glitches that would have arisen when Cap, Namor, and Thor would all next chronologically appear together in Avengers I#4 (March, 1964) with no reference of this "past" encounter (and I'm not even gonna get into why Cap and Namor didn't recognize each other!). Maybe the memory loss regarding Thor was brought about by Odin working behind the scenes (In Thor's own parting words: 'Twas not meant that Thor should walk amongst mortals at this time. Mayhap, one day, ere long--as 'twas prophesied--but not today!).
Thor was easily swayed by Hitler's powers of persuasion, which I guess we can attribute to Thor being younger and more gullible at the time... or maybe Rumor was assisting Hitler behind the scenes.
The Dimensional Gateway was only used to "tune in" to Asgard, but I wonder if it could be adjusted for other realities. After the Squadron Supreme mini-series came out in 1985, I was hoping that in the future (relatively speaking, during World War II), the Nazis would rebuild the Gateway machine and transport the Invaders to another world, which would turn out to be Earth-S/Earth-712, and they would meet the war-time heroes of the Golden Agency (whose members included American Eagle, Power Princess, Professor Imam, and unrevealed others).
Previously, Brain Drain had one of the four Axi-Tun aliens impersonating Donar (@ Invaders I#1-2).
Now, for an explanation of "Hans" (be patient, it's a long trip and it takes a few detours, but hopefully, it'll all make sense):
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby originally created the modern Marvel Universe back in 1961, with the publication of Fantastic Four I#1. By 1963, they did a story in Fantastic Four I#11 that fleshed-out the histories of the characters and revealed that both Reed Richards and Ben Grimm were World War II veterans. When Fantastic Four Annual I#2 came out in 1964, we learned that Victor Von Doom had attended college with Reed and Ben, thus making him a contemporary of theirs. As we got into the 1970s, there were still occasional references to Reed and Ben being veterans and a sense that the characters were getting older.
By the 1980s, the Fantastic Four series was approaching its 20th anniversary and John Byrne took over as the series' writer/artist. When Byrne was interviewed for the first issue of Amazing Heroes fanzine, he was asked how he would deal with the fact that the FF had been together for 20 years, and he responded that just because their book had been published in our world for 20 years, it didn't necessarily mean 20 years had gone by in the lives of the characters in their world; he pointed out that the "Galactus Trilogy" (@ Fantastic Four I#48-50) took three months to tell the story, but the entire story itself took place in just one afternoon. He further went on to say that if Stan and Jack had known the series would still be published two decades after they created it, they probably would never have included the war references; so the way he saw it, in their world, the Fantastic Four (and thus the modern Marvel Universe) had only existed for less than a decade (In effect, Byrne originated the idea of the "sliding time-line").
Back when Roy Thomas originally wrote this Invaders story (in the pre-Byrne years), he revealed the shocking true identity of "Hans" as Victor Von Doom half-way through the second part of this story; his intention was that "Hans" was supposed to be the young Victor shortly after he was expelled from college, following the failed experiment which disfigured him, and just before he discovered the secret order of monks in Tibet.
But Byrne began to do the Fantastic Four series from the perspective that the FF had been together for less than a decade, and he ignored all previous WWII references, and since Doctor Doom was part of the FF "family" of characters, that also meant there would be no way that he could have been around for the war without currently being a senior citizen (not to mention Doom's elderly guardian Boris!), which created a quandary in the case of "Hans" that was never addressed by Byrne.
But in the post-Byrne years, Roger Stern would eventually come up with a story that explained the "Hans" mystery (mostly) while still being faithful to Byrne's edict.
In the first three issues of the (sadly) short-lived Marvel Universe series, Roger Stern did an Invaders story which revealed that "Hans" was actually a time-traveling Doctor Doom. In a sequence that appeared in Marvel Universe#2 (July, 1998), following the explosion of the Dimensional Gateway, "Hans" was seen going into an alley and activating his time machine, transporting himself from 1940s Berlin to his castle in the Adirondack Mountains at a time-period just prior to the events in Fantastic Four I#1--I say "just prior" because of these two time-period references seen in this story:
1. Rather than wearing his full armor (which we first saw in Fantastic Four I#6), Doom wore the more "business casual" attire he was seen in during his first appearance (@ Fantastic Four I#5).
2. A newsstand is seen with current copies of NOW magazine, which have a cover-shot of pilot Ben Grimm rather than his orange and lumpy alter-ego.
Presumably, to take on the role of "Hans," Doom had changed clothes and bandaged his head, or maybe he was using a holographic image-inducer to disguise himself; it probably wasn't a robot, because "Hans" had thought balloons.
*Whew!* So there you have it..."Hans" was Doctor Doom, shortly before his first meeting with the Fantastic Four, who had time-traveled back to the 1940s (...and I don't even want to argue whether he was the "real" 616 Doom or the Doom from some divergent timeline!).
While he was at it, it's too bad Stern didn't do something with that mysterious Sceptre that Hitler had on display in this story.
The bit about Doom returning to the future using his Time Platform seemed important enough for me to add it to the profile.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The Dimensional Gateway has no known connections to
"Hans" is actually Doctor Doom/Victor Von Doom and has no known connections to
A Norwegian physicist, he (along with his assistant
"Hans") was tasked by Hitler to create a device to bring the thunder god
Thor from his native Asgard to Earth.
Because of the stress and guilt he felt for bringing Thor to Earth, only to have Hitler turn the thunder god into the Third Reich's ultimate warrior, Olsen suffered a fatal heart attack.
--Invaders I#32 (Invaders I#32-33
His face swathed in bandages (to cover a few scars from a
laboratory fire, as he explained to Hitler), "Hans" was the assistant to
Dr. Olsen. He and Olsen were tasked by Hitler to create a device to
bring the thunder god Thor from his native Asgard to Earth. Their work
resulted in the Dimensional Gateway, which allowed them to view Thor on
a video screen, and also teleport the thunder god to Earth (Olsen
credited "Hans" for the teleportational abilities of the device, and
said that "Hans" had "worked night and day on that aspect" and that he
used "mystic calculations"). The initial demonstration of the Gateway
for Hitler was a success, and Thor was brought before them; Hitler then
persuaded the thunder god to become his ally.
When Olsen died from a heart attack, "Hans" took over the controls of the Gateway, and Hitler ordered him to bring some Trolls to Earth. But "Hans" refused to bring the monstrous creatures into the world, so he set the controls to destroy the machine, and the device began to glow red-hot until it exploded. When he crawled out of the smoking debris, the irate "Hans" saw the surviving Hitler (who was pinned beneath some wreckage) and told the evil dictator: "Nazi dog! Just be glad I don't kill you myself!"
"Hans" revealed that his whole motivation for working with Dr. Olsen was because he was trying to contact his dead mother in the spirit world, and the work he had done had perhaps brought him closer to reaching her. Although he had a hatred for Hitler, "Hans" decided to spare the Führer because he felt that one day Hitler would bring down the wrath of the planet upon his own head. As he left the Reichschancellory building, "Hans" flippantly said a final farewell to Hitler and revealed his true name: "Auf wiedersehn, 'Mein Fuhrer'--from Victor Von Doom!" (see Comments)
(Marvel Universe#2) - Doom fled the building and was secretly followed to an alley by Baron Strucker. Doom returned to his own era by using his Time Platform. Strucker not only witnessed the incident, but followed Doom to the future (Doom eventually allowed Strucker to return to the past with a bunch of books, which aided Strucker in future endeavors).
--Invaders I#32 (Invaders I#32-33, Marvel Universe#2 (see above) (this only covers Doom's appearances as "Hans")
images: (without ads)
Invaders I#32, p9, pan1 (main image)
Invaders I#33, p14, pan3 (watching Trolls emerge from Gateway)
Invaders I#33, p9, pan1 (Dr. Olsen)
Invaders I#33, p15, pan3 ("Hans")
Invaders I#32 (September, 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), James Shooter (editor)
Invaders I#33 (October, 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), James Shooter, Roy Thomas (editors)
Marvel Universe#2 (July, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Steve Epting (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 04/02/2015
Last updated: 04/01/2015
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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