Real Name: Henry Dunn
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Patrons of a corner cafe
(including Paul Berring, Jack (last name unrevealed))
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Most Dangerous
Man in the World" (in story title, and as called by himself); "the
instrument of death" (as called by himself)
Base of Operations: An unidentified American city
First Appearance: Strange
Stories of Suspense#13/4 (February, 1957)
Powers/Abilities: Appearing to be about fifty years
old, Henry Dunn was a physically unimpressive man
with no paranormal abilities; he wore eyeglasses, and always seemed to
carry an umbrella.
In an effort to gain the fear and respect of others, Dunn
claimed he possessed the power to predict an individual's death; he
later became convinced that he had the ability to wish a man to death.
Following his arrest, Dunn was
diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor--the tumor had affected Dunn's
mind and had caused him to act irrationally delusional; it would
eventually be fatal to him.
Height: 5'10" (by
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: Black (balding)
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Henry Dunn is largely unrevealed, but he worked as a bookkeeper for a dry-goods store. The mild and meek Dunn was a nobody, and he lived an unremarkable, humdrum life of no consequence--he had never married, nor did he ever have any friends. Virtually a non-entity, Dunn always dreamed of being noticed.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4) - Dunn walked into the
corner cafe he regularly frequented and ordered his usual meal. As
he dined, Dunn overheard the other men in the cafe (including Jack and
reporter Paul Berring) whispering amongst themselves and making
disparaging remarks about him--Dunn had been tormented by cruel remarks
all his life, and as a twinge of pain shot through his skull, he became
determined to finally do something big to get himself noticed, something
that would make people afraid of him, so that he'd be remembered.
Dunn walked over to Jack (the main instigator of the remarks) and told him that he had the power to foresee a person's death; then Dunn informed Jack that he would be dead within twelve hours. Shaken by Dunn's prediction of his impending doom, Jack left the cafe, and Dunn thought to himself that he wished Jack really would die. Shortly afterwards, the cafe patrons heard a scream and a crash outside, and they learned Jack had just been killed--the brakes on a parked truck had slipped, and the heavy vehicle rolled back into Jack, who had been too lost in thought to notice.
Now convinced that his own claim was true, Dunn told Berring that Jack's death occurred because he had wished it; he suggested that Berring should write a newspaper article about him because he could summon death, and therefore he was the most dangerous man in the world! But the doubting Berring replied that Jack's death was merely coincidental; nonetheless, Dunn still insisted the reporter had better write about him and make him famous, because he had the power!
The next evening, Dunn walked into the cafe and saw Berring sitting at the counter. Dunn was quite upset with the reporter because Berring never wrote the news article about him; the reporter replied that he didn't believe Dunn really had the power to predict death, so Dunn threatened to bring death to Berring. Refusing to give Dunn the publicity and attention he craved, Berring left the cafe and walked back to his office to work.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4 - BTS) - Determined to make his threat come true, Dunn got a baseball bat and stationed himself outside of the newspaper building, where he waited to attack Berring.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4) - Berring came out of the newspaper building and walked the darkened street to his apartment house; but he couldn't keep himself from thinking about Dunn, and all along the way, he felt as though he were being watched and followed. Suddenly, as Berring passed by an alley, Dunn emerged from the shadows and was about to swing a baseball bat to bludgeon the reporter; but Berring seized Dunn by his wrists and prevented him from doing so.
Dunn was taken into police custody; two hours later in the prison hospital, a doctor informed Berring that Dunn had an inoperable brain tumor that had affected his mind, and the physician also mentioned that Dunn would be dead within a week.
The next day, as he was laying in his prison hospital bed, Henry Dunn read a newspaper headline about himself; Dunn was very pleased because his wish had come true--he was famous, his name was in every newspaper in the country, and he was no longer a nobody.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Robert Q. Sale (artist).
Considering the violent themes of death and attempted murder in this story, I'm kind of surprised it made it past the recently-enacted Comics Code Authority.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Henry Dunn has no known connections to:
Paul Berring has no known connections to:
Jack has no known connections to:
A newspaper reporter for the Daily Press-Globe, he was dining in a corner cafe when Henry Dunn walked in--while some of the other diners began to whisper jeering remarks about the meek little "nobody" of a man, Berring replied that sometimes a "nobody" does something to make themselves famous, and he unintentionally inspired Dunn to seek infamy.
Dunn claimed to have the power to predict a person's death, and he told a fellow diner--Jack--that he would soon die. When Jack was killed shortly afterwards, Dunn told Berring that he should write a newspaper article about him and his "power"; but Berring refused to do so because Jack's death was merely a coincidental accident. Dunn threatened to use his "power" against Berring, but the reporter refused to give Dunn the attention he craved.
Later, as he was walking home to his apartment, Berring narrowly avoided an attack from Dunn.
Berring later learned from a prison doctor that Dunn had an inoperable brain tumor; the reporter ended up writing the newspaper headline about the apprehension of Dunn, which would give Henry Dunn the fame he had so desired.
--Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4
A diner in a corner cafe, he whispered to his fellow diners that he thought
Henry Dunn was such a "nothing," and he wondered how anybody could get to be
Dunn's age and still be such a "zero".
images: (without ads)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Henry Dunn enters cafe and orders his usual meal)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p2, pan1 (Headshot - Henry Dunn)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p2, pan5 (Henry Dunn claims to have power to predict death (Jack in background))
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p3, pan3 (Henry Dunn (left) claiming he can wish a man to death, Paul Berring (right))
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p4, pan7 (Henry Dunn laying in prison hospital bed, pleased to read newspaper headline about himself)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p3, pan6 (Paul Berring at cafe counter)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p4, pan2 (Paul Berring leaves newspaper building)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p4, pan5 (Paul Berring (right) stops assault from Henry Dunn (left))
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p2, pan4 (Jack confronted by Henry Dunn)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4, p2, pan6 (Henry Dunn (left) predicts Jack's death)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/4 (February, 1957) - unidentified writer, Robert Q. Sale (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 10/21/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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