Real Name: Dr. Henry Burke

Identity/Class: Human technology user (1950s era)

Occupation: Archeologist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His two assistants (Roy named)

Enemies: A tribe of Neanderthal men, dinosaur

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile; temporarily in Tibet

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#2/2 (March, 1959)

Powers/Abilities: Henry Burke was an ordinary man with no paranormal abilities. Following an apparent atomic mishap, he was temporarily transported through time and space to a primordial jungle (see comments). Along with his knowledge of archeology, Burke was skilled in the operation and maintenance of an atomic-powered drilling machine; he also carried a cigarette lighter.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Blond

History: (Tales to Astonish I#2/2) - The past of Dr. Henry Burke is unknown, but he was working for a historical museum when the museum's director offered the archeologist the opportunity to lead an expedition to Asia. Burke's group set up their drilling machine at an excavation site near the mountains of Tibet, where they began boring a hole into the earth. The device suddenly stopped, and thinking it was a problem with the machine's atomic piston head, Burke put on a rope harness and had his men lower him down the drill-shaft so he could make repairs. But when he reached the drill head, he was overcome by dizziness--he felt himself falling and he had the strange feeling as if time were melting.

   When he regained his senses, Burke found himself in the upper branches of a tree. The rope had enough slack in it, so Burke jumped down from the tree and was shocked by what he saw. Although he thought he should be in the very center of the earth, he instead found himself in the midst of a prehistoric jungle where no jungle should have been, with light and air where darkness belonged--it appeared to him as if he had fallen through time as well as space. Suddenly, Burke was attacked by a tribe of Neanderthals, and the savage cavemen hurled their spears at him. He quickly jumped behind some rocks for cover, then he heard a deafening roar and saw an approaching dinosaur. The cavemen scattered, and the monster turned its attention to the one human who was too shocked to run--Henry Burke. Reaching into his pocket, Burke pulled out his cigarette lighter and produced a flame, the one thing the creature had never seen before, and the frightened monster fled.

   The cavemen returned and began to bow down to Burke, and he supposed it was because they thought his lighter was magic. But then it started to rain, and the lighter's flame was snuffed out. The cavemen's awe turned to disappointment, then to anger, then to hate, and once again the primitive men threw more spears at Burke. But suddenly the rope tightened and Burke was hoisted upward--he once more had the dizzying sensation that time was melting. Burke was pulled out of the drill-shaft and he told his men about his adventure. But the men theorized that the radiation of the drilling device must have knocked him out and he had only been dreaming about the whole fantastic experience until they pulled him out; Burke had to agree with them, although the events seemed so vivid and real to him. Then one of the men called to Burke to look over an artifact they found in the shaft; it was an aged, rusty, moldy metallic object--Burke's engraved cigarette lighter, but it looked as if it had been buried for centuries....

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Matt Baker (artist)

Henry Burke thought he went back in time, but science tells us that the dinosaurs died out long before early mankind ever walked the planet; however, I have a possible explanation for this story's anachronism--

Marvel Atlas#2's appendix entry of Subterranea states, "Some points in Subterranea feature spatial distortions that allow Subterraneans to travel vast distances within minutes. With that in mind, maybe Henry Burke fell into one of these spatial distortions and was actually transported to Antarctica's Savage Land, where dinosaurs and primitive men concurrently exist--unfortunately, that doesn't explain the rusted cigarette lighter...

Speaking of which, those cigarette lighters can sure come in handy for scaring off monsters--one was also used to drive Diablo away.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Henry Burke has no known connections to:

Neanderthal men

Numbering at least five, they were a group of primitive men who inhabited the prehistoric jungle in which Henry Burke found himself in. They spied upon Burke when he first arrived, then attacked him with their spears. When a dinosaur came around, the Neanderthals scattered to safety while the beast focused its attention on Burke. Burke frightened the monster away with the flame of his cigarette lighter, then the cavemen returned and began to bow down to Burke in worship of the lighter's flame.  When a sudden rainstorm snuffed the flame, the Neanderthals resumed their hostilities toward Burke and hurled their spears at him again, but by then the archeologist was pulled back through time.

--Tales to Astonish I#2/2


A prehistoric beast somewhat resembling a brontosaurus, this behemoth was one of the native creatures inhabiting the prehistoric jungle visited by Dr. Henry Burke. It had Burke cornered against some rocks, but he pulled out his cigarette lighter and frightened the monster away with the flame.

--Tales to Astonish I#2/2

Atomic-powered drilling machine

The latest in excavation equipment, it was said to be able to dig farther into the earth than ever before.  It seemed to project an energy beam that disintegrated any soil and rock in its path .  It was set up in the mountains of Tibet by archeologist Henry Burke and his men, where it was used to drill a shaft.  But shortly after it was activated, the machine developed a problem with its atomic piston head.  Dr. Burke had to be lowered down the shaft to initiate repairs, but the radiation of the machine apparently caused a time/space warp to open, and Burke fell into a prehistoric jungle.

--Tales to Astonish I#2/2

Burke's cigarette lighter

An ordinary cigarette lighter, it was engraved with Henry Burke's name and carried in his pants pocket.  Burke had it with him when he had apparently traveled back in time and found himself in a prehistoric jungle.  He used its flame to frighten a dinosaur away, but the flame was snuffed out by rain when he used it to hold a tribe of cavemen at bay.  He apparently dropped it while he was being pulled back to his own time and space; it was recovered shortly thereafter, but it had been crusted over by time, and it looked as if it had been buried for centuries.

--Tales to Astonish I#2/2

images: (without ads)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p3, pan2 (Main image Henry Burke in rope harness, falling down shaft)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p3, pan1 (Henry Burke overcome by dizziness)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p3, pan6 (Burke walking in jungle, Neanderthals watching in foreground)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p4, pan1 (Neanderthal men attacking Burke)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p1, pan1 (dinosaur menacing Burke)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p2, pan2 (Burke and Roy operating atomic-powered drilling machine)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p4, pan5 (cigarette lighter in Burke's hand)
Tales to Astonish I#2/2, p5, pan7 (Burke's recovered cigarette lighter, crusted over by time)

Tales to Astonish I#2/2 (March, 1959) - unidentified writer, Matt Baker (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 12/19/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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