BRUNO

Real Name: Bruno (last name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human mutate (post-World War II era)

Occupation: Exterminator

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Katrinka (despite treating her horribly)

Enemies: giant cockroach, giant spider

Known Relatives: Katrinka (wife)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed (see comments)

First Appearance: Mystery Tales I#22 (October, 1954)

Powers/Abilities: Bruno existed at a height of three inches and was a surprisingly gifted chemist, having concocted not only enlarging and shrinking serums, but also a serum that immediately kills bugs on contact.

Height: 3"; formerly unrevealed (see comments)
Weight: 0.3 lbs. (by approximation); formerly unrevealed (see comments)
Eyes: Unrevealed (see comments)
Hair: Brown

History: (Mystery Tales I#22/5 (fb)) - In 1954, the exterminator Bruno discovered a liquid that would make small things larger and Bruno hoped to use the serum to enlarge insects in an effort to make them easier to see so that he could exterminate them. When his wife Katrinka learned of his discovery, calling him a murderer, Bruno hit Katrinka and reminded her of the hundreds of time he had explained that it was his job to kill insects. Bruno then ordered Katrinka out of his room so that he could work on perfecting a serum that would shrink larger insects to make them easier to kill and therefore, make him the best exterminator in the business. Katrinka then watched as Bruno used his shrinking serum on a bat, which Bruno crushed after it was shrank to insect size. Happy that his new discoveries worked, Bruno continued experimenting, ultimately concocting a serum that would kill insects immediately on contact. When Bruno picked a cockroach and a spider to test his newest serum, Katrinka stormed into his lab and snatched up the enlarging serum before Bruno could use it. In the ensuing scuffle, Bruno karate chopped Katrinka's hand, causing her to knock two serum vials on the floor where they shattered. Bruno then ushered Katrinka back outside and locked the door to prevent further interferences and noticed the serums spilled all over the floor. Before Bruno could clean anything up, however, the cockroach and the spider he had been planning to test on scurried to freedom directly through the enlarging serum, causing them to grow to monstrous size. As Katrinka watched through the lab door's keyhole, Bruno grabbed an axe and fought off the giant insects, soon killing the spider. Unfortunately, when he raised his axe to strike the cockroach, he bumped into a shelf housing his other serums and the shrinking serum spilled onto Bruno, shrinking him down to three inches in size, where he was crushed by the cockroach as it escaped into the night. Katrinka finally managed to get inside the lab, where she found Bruno's tiny crushed body and wept that he should have listened to her about killing insects.

(Mystery Tales I#22/5 - BTS) - Days later, Katrinka visited the family plot with a three inch coffin housing Bruno's corpse and several of the local townspeople teased and laughed at Katrinka and her tiny coffin. Trying to ignore the remarks, Katrinka grabbed a spoon and buried Bruno. As the townspeople continued jeering, a crying Katrinka walked away after the burial, thinking to herself how she could never tell the townspeople what had really happened or they would think her crazy.

Comments: Created by uncredited writer and artist.

Bruno's height and weight prior to his transformation was impossible to determine, as he was never seen next to any character whose height and weight has been officially given. His post-transformation weight was approximated based on his height of three inches, which was given in the story as the size of his coffin. His eye color was also impossible to determine, as the art in the story never showed any particular color, only black dots.

Bruno's location was never identified but given the style of clothing in the story, I'd lean more towards eastern European but as with most horror stories printed by Marvel/Atlas during the 1950s-early 1960s, this story likely took place in the year it was published: 1954.

The giant cockroach was never seen again after this story. Perhaps he met up with other giant and/or intelligent cockroaches as part of the Cockroach Conspiracy!

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Bruno has no KNOWN connections to:

Katrinka has no KNOWN connections to:
The giant cockroach and spider have no KNOWN connections to:

Katrinka

Katrinka was Bruno's wife and was a devout pacifist, often pleading with her exterminator husband to stop murdering insects. Despite Bruno's physical abuse, Katrinka continued to love her husband and when Bruno created enlarging, shrinking and killing serums, Katrinka tried to stop him from killing a spider and a cockroach in his experiments but only succeeded in knocking over the enlarging serum which enlarged the insects to giant size after Bruno locked her out of the lab. Katrinka could only watch from the lab door's keyhole as Bruno killed the giant spider, only to knock shrinking serum on himself and get crushed by the giant cockroach. Following Bruno's death, Katrinka buried Bruno in the family plot using a spoon to dig the grave and a tiny wooden coffin to house Bruno's corpse.


--Mystery Tales I#22/5

giant cockroach and spider

When Bruno discovered an enlarging serum to make killing insects easier, his wife Katrinka tried to stop him from experimenting on a spider and a cockroach, inadvertently knocking over the vials of the enlarging serum before Bruno ushered her out of the lab and locked the door. The spider and cockroach attempted to flee during the scuffle and accidentally went through the enlarging serum in their escape, causing them to grow to size of elephants. Bruno quickly grabbed an axe and managed to kill the giant spider but accidentally knocked a shelf housing his shrinking serum when he went to kill the cockroach. Shrunk to three inch size, Bruno was crushed to death by the giant cockroach, who escaped into the night, possibly to join the ranks of the Cockroach Conspiracy.

--Mystery Tales I#22/5

images: (without ads)
Mystery Tales I#22, p19, pan5 (shrunken Bruno, main image)
Mystery Tales I#22, p18, pan1 (Bruno, headshot)
Mystery Tales I#22, p17, pan3 (Katrinka)
Mystery Tales I#22, p18, pan7 (giant cockroach & spider)


Appearances:
Mystery Tales I#22 (October, 1954) - "The Tiny Coffin" story - uncredited writer and artist


Last updated: 12/18/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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