Real Name: Jeff Cord

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His friends (including Hank)

Enemies: Inhabitants of subterranean city (including Leander)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed (see comments); temporarily in subterranean city

First Appearance: Marvel Tales I#141/3 (December, 1955)

Powers/Abilities: Jeff Cord displayed no paranormal physical abilities; as an amateur spelunker, he was skilled at rock-climbing.

   Cord discovered a subterranean civilization and initially found it to be an idyllic paradise, so he joined the community; but after becoming bored and restless with the subterranean people's idle lifestyle, he became discontented and returned to the surface-world.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown

(Marvel Tales I#141/3 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Jeff Cord is largely unrevealed, but he was distressed with the fast-moving and hectic world, and he longed to spend his life in quiet contemplation and leisure. Cord began to indulge in his hobby of spelunking because he enjoyed the silent peacefulness below the earth.

(Marvel Tales I#141/3) - Cord was exploring a cavern with his friends, and they went deeper into an unexplored network of tunnels. When they paused to take a break, Cord told his friends how much he liked the quiet underground, and he opined that people needed more leisure-time so they could relax and think, and thereby solve the problems of the world.

   The men continued farther down the tunnel, but Cord got separated from the group when he noticed a shaft that seemed to go straight down into a subterranean chamber. Overwhelmed with curiosity, Cord anchored his rope and began to climb down the shaft; as he descended, he noticed illumination at the bottom that was as bright as daylight. When he reached the bottom of the shaft, Cord found himself within a huge subterranean chamber that was illuminated by phosphorus rocks, and the chamber itself contained a wooded valley, a lake, and a primitive city.

   A procession of inhabitants from the city approached Cord, and Leander informed him of the history of his people--they had lived there for centuries, and some emanation from the chamber endowed them with almost eternal life (see comments). Leander further explained that food in the subterranean valley was plentiful, so with no need for them to toil, he and his people dedicated their lives to meditation and thought. Thinking that he had found a virtual Garden of Eden where he could pursue his heart's desire, Cord pleaded with Leander to let him live there; Leander insisted that Cord had to stay, for he and his people didn't want the secret of their civilization to be revealed to the surface-world.

   Cord changed his clothing to a simple toga, and he adopted the lifestyle of the subterranean people--he was initially happy to leave all the responsibilities and worries of the surface-world behind him. But as time passed, Cord became bored and restless; as he walked throughout the city, he noticed the buildings to be in a state of disrepair because the people didn't keep up with maintenance. Cord finally came to the realization that life in the subterranean depths was a farce, because the people were lazy and had nothing to strive for--all they seemed to do was eat and sleep and wander about aimlessly.

   Having had his fill of idleness, Cord changed back into his regular clothing and announced to Leander that he was leaving to return to the surface of the planet. Fearing that Cord would tell others about their secret city, Leander ordered his followers to seize the spelunker, but Cord easily fought them off, for they had no strength due to the inactive lives they led.

   Cord returned to the shaft and climbed back up; as he ran through the underground tunnels and back to the cavern, he realized that nothing worthwhile could be achieved without actually working for it, and he vowed that he'd give up spelunking. When he exited the cavern and finally emerged into the sunlight again, Cord decided he'd never reveal anything about the subterranean civilization, and he was happy to be back where he belonged.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Mort Drucker (artist).

It was never mentioned exactly where that cavern that Cord and his friends were exploring was located; but considering the medieval architecture of the subterranean city, and the fact that Leander spoke English, my guess is that the cavern was somewhere in Great Britain. Maybe Leander and his followers had some connection to the Troglodytes.

Although Leander speculated that emanations from subterranean rocks gave him and his people almost eternal life, maybe their longevity was actually attributed to the subterranean atmosphere (...for a further explanation of this, see the comments for Kala).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Jeff Cord has no known connections to:

Leander has no known connections to:

Jeff Cord's friends

Three fellow spelunkers (only Hank (blond hair) identified), they accompanied Jeff Cord into a network of subterranean tunnels.

--Marvel Tales I#141/3

Subterranean city

Accessible from a shaft within a network of unexplored underground tunnels, the city was within a huge subterranean chamber that was lit by phosphorus rocks.

It was nestled in an underground valley where food was plentiful, for the lake and woodlands were stocked with fish and game.

The city was built centuries ago by people who had migrated from the surface; the original settlers were still alive, for some force emanating from the chamber endowed them with almost eternal life (see comments).

--Marvel Tales I#141/3

Inhabitants of subterranean city

Led by Leander, they were the original settlers of the city (population unspecified); they had lived there for centuries, for emanations from the rocks of the subterranean valley had granted them almost eternal life (see comments).

They had left the surface of the world centuries ago because they found nothing but strife.  They discovered a subterranean valley where food was plentiful and easily obtained, so they had no need to work, and they dedicated their lives to contemplation.  But because the people led lives of abundance and had all their needs met, they no longer had anything to strive for--seeming only to eat and sleep, they became lazy and didn't even work to maintain their city's buildings.

When spelunker Jeff Cord accidentally discovered their city, he thought he found a paradise, so he pleaded with Leander to let him live there; fearing that Cord might lead others to the city if they allowed him to depart, Leander insisted that he had to stay.

When Cord became restless and bored with the idle lifestyle of the people, he told Leander he was leaving to return to the surface; but fearing he might tell others about their secret city, Leander ordered his underlings to seize Cord.  Due to the inactive lives they led, Cord was easily able to escape from Leander's lackeys and return to the surface.

--Marvel Tales I#141/3

images: (without ads)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p5, pan5 (Main Image - Jeff Cord climbing up shaft)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p3, pan1 (Headshot - Jeff Cord sees he has been separated from his friends)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p4, pan7 (Jeff Cord (wearing toga) becomes bored with life in subterranean city)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p5, pan7 (Jeff Cord returns to sunlight and surface of world)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p2, pan3 (Jeff Cord (right) tells Hank about his complaints of the world)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p2, pan4 (Jeff Cord (right) tells his friends about his complaints of the world)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p3, pan7 (after climbing down shaft, Jeff Cord first discovers subterranean city)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p4, pan2 (Leander and Jeff Cord within subterranean city)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p4, pan5 (Leander tells Jeff Cord (wearing toga) about plentiful food in subterranean valley)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p4, pan3 (Leander tells Jeff Cord about the history of his people and city)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p5, pan2 (discontented Jeff Cord announces to Leander and his followers that he's leaving)
Marvel Tales I#141/3, p5, pan3 (Jeff Cord fights off subterranean city inhabitants as Leander orders his seizure)

Marvel Tales I#141/3 (December, 1955) - Stan Lee (writer), Mort Drucker (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 02/25/18

Last updated: 02/25/18

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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