Type: Terrestrial (Subterranea) city (1950s era)
Environment: The Golden City was situated within a mammoth cavern one-thousand miles below Earth's surface; emanating from the cavern was an unspecified force (possibly magical in nature? (see comments)) that transmuted all metals into gold.
Usual Means of Access: The Golden City was only accessible by tunneling through the planet.
Dominant Life-Form: Although said to have once been inhabited by a race far wiser than humans (per Moore's supposition), the Golden City was unoccupied (see comments).
First Appearance: World of Fantasy#14/4 (October, 1958)
(World of Fantasy#14/4 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in the distant past, the Golden City was built by an unspecified race--although it had apparently been constructed from diverse metals, emanations from the cavern caused all the metal in the city to be transmuted into gold. For some reason, the inhabitants of the Golden City eventually abandoned their home under unrevealed circumstances.
(World of Fantasy#14/4 (fb) - BTS) - Theorizing that there was once a civilization living below the earth thousands of years ago, the Professor organized a team to explore the nether regions of the planet--included among the group of six men were Cook and Moore. Using the "mole car," the Professor transported himself and his men down into a network of subterranean tunnels; the men separated into groups of two to search individual tunnels.
(World of Fantasy#14/4 (fb) ) - Cook and Moore were scouting a tunnel on foot when they found the immense cavern containing the Golden City. Moore's first inclination was to tell the Professor and the others about their discovery, but Cook pointed out to Moore that the two of them were the only members of the group who knew about the city's existence, and if they kept their discovery a secret, they could keep all the gold for themselves; the greedy men made plans to get hold of the "mole car" at a later time and make a return trip.
Cook and Moore returned to the "mole car" to meet with the rest of the group, and they falsely reported to the Professor that they had found nothing; the disappointed Professor commented that none of the other scouting parties had found anything either. With their expedition a seeming failure, the Professor and his men climbed aboard the "mole car" to return to the surface--the trip back was a doleful one for all, with the exception of Cook and Moore, who were quite content with their secret discovery.
When the "mole car" reached the surface and the group disembarked, the Professor was surrounded by a gaggle of reporters who were eager for a story--the Professor despondently told them that his team had found nothing, and after mentioning that he was very tired, the Professor suddenly collapsed.
(World of Fantasy#14/4 (fb) - BTS) - Due to the stress of the perceived failure of his expedition, the Professor died a week later from a broken heart; Cook and Moore took possession of the "mole car".
(World of Fantasy#14/4) - Cook and Moore used the "mole car" to tunnel back down to the Golden City. Upon making a closer inspection, Moore noticed that gold seemed to be the only metal present in the city (A fact which Cook thought made their task all the better).
The two men spent a week in the Golden City, gathering all the smaller gold objects that they could carry by hand into a pile. When they had collected all the gold the "mole car" could hold, Cook decided it was time to head back to the surface--but he did wonder where the original builders of the city had gotten all the gold from, because if he and Moore could find the source, then they could get all of the precious metal.
As Cook and Moore carried their first load of plunder back to the "mole car," Moore reacted in horror when they reached their subterranean vehicle--he now understood where all the gold came from, and realized that he and Cook were faced with a major problem. To explain the gravity of their predicament, Moore pulled Cook's knife from its scabbard and showed him that its blade had transformed to gold; Moore then explained that the city wasn't built of gold...but it had turned to gold--there was some sort of ray or emanation coming from the cavern that transformed all metal brought down there to gold!
Cook understood Moore's shocked reaction when he saw the "mole car" himself, for the subterranean vehicle had transformed to gold as well, thus it was incapable of drilling through solid rock and returning them to the surface. The men realized that they would be trapped far below the earth until the effects of the magical rays wore off.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Jim Mooney (artist).
Although Cook and Moore referred to it as the Golden City, the true name of the subterranean metropolis was unrevealed.
Perhaps the Golden City had some connection to the hidden land of el Dorado -- maybe the power of the cavern was the source of all that gold the people of el Dorado used to build their city.
In regards to the previous inhabitants of the Golden City: That fallen statue in the lower left of the panel where Moore and Cook are walking through the Golden City's streets seems to suggest that the original inhabitants were humanoid.
Although one caption referred to the force that transmuted metals into gold as "magical rays," there was no other evidence that the rays were of a mystical nature (...but I guess it's as good of an explanation as anything else); maybe whatever that force was had something to do with Jinku and the other Lava Men temporarily transforming into golden forms (@ Avengers I#307).
The unidentified Professor kind of resembled the earlier-introduced Professor Kerrin--perhaps they're the same person?
The "mole car" was never referred to as such--it was only called "the car"--but when considering the title of this 4-page story -- The Mole Mystery! -- I figured there should be a "mole" in it somewhere.
The fates of Cook and Moore remain unresolved, but since the Golden City itself was still gold after centuries, it seems logical that the transmutation of the "mole car" was also permanent; so unless they brought a lot of provisions with them, it's possible Cook and Moore eventually starved to death.
The builder's of the Golden City might have abandoned the city because prolonged exposure turns Hemoglobin (an iron-containing protein) into gold too. This and other Golden Cities (1st story in Marvel Tales I#149 (August, 1956) "Among The Missing!" & 2nd story of Mystic#51 (September, 1956) "No One Will Ever Know!" (this one made of Fool's Gold, but an unfound diamond field is nearby and can be seen here) could be former outposts or colonies of El Dorado.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The Golden City has no known connections to:
Cook has no known connections to:
Moore has no known connections to:
The Professor has no known connections to:
The "mole car" has no known connections to:
Cook and Moore participated in the Professor's expedition to discover a lost civilization below the earth's surface. When they came upon the Golden City in an immense cavern, Cook bullied Moore into keeping their discovery a secret so the two of them could keep all the gold for themselves.
But when Cook and Moore later returned to the Golden City, they learned that some force in the cavern transmuted all metals into gold, including the "mole car" they used to transport them there; the two of men were trapped below the surface of the planet.
--World of Fantasy#14/4
Moore and Cook discovered the the Golden City in an immense cavern below the earth. Although he initially wanted to tell the Professor about their discovery, the meek Moore was bullied by Cook into keeping it to themselves.
Moore later realized the true nature of the cavern, and he pointed out to Cook that some sort of emanation from the cavern had turned all the metals in the city into gold--as proof, Moore pulled Cook's knife from its scabbard and pointed out that the blade had transformed to gold. Moore and Cook were trapped in the subterranean city when they discovered their "mole car" had also transformed into gold.
--World of Fantasy#14/4
An elderly unidentified scientist (see comments), he believed there had once been a civilization in the depths of the earth; he organized a team of six men (including Cook and Moore) for an expedition one-thousand miles beneath the planet's surface.
Using the "mole car," the Professor transported himself and his men down to a network of subterranean tunnels, then sent the men to scout the tunnels.
Although the other men had found nothing, Cook and Moore found the Golden City, but they kept their discovery a secret for their own gain.
When they returned to the surface, the Professor spoke to reporters and told them that he and his men had found nothing; after mentioning that he was very tired, the Professor collapsed. Due to the stress and disappointment from his expedition being perceived as a failure, the Professor died from a broken heart a week afterwards.
--World of Fantasy#14/4
A subterranean vehicle capable of boring through solid rock, it was used by the Professor and his team to tunnel one-thousand miles below the earth.
After the Professor's death, it was used by Cook and Moore to tunnel into the great cavern that contained the Golden City.
The magical rays that emanated from the cavern eventually transmuted the metal "mole car" into gold--being too soft to tunnel through solid rock, the golden "mole car" was incapable of returning Cook and Moore to the surface.
--World of Fantasy#14/4
images: (without ads)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p1, pan1 (Moore and Cook in cockpit of "mole car" as they see Golden City)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p1, pan3 (Cook and Moore first discover Golden City)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p3, pan2 (Golden City ("mole car," Cook, and Moore in foreground))
World of Fantasy#14/4, p4, pan1 (Moore and Cook walk through streets of Golden City carrying loot)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p2, pan4 (Cook)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p3, pan7 (Cook)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p2, pan4 (Moore)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p4, pan5 (Moore holds Cook's transformed gold-bladed knife)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p2, pan6 (Professor climbing aboard "mole car")
World of Fantasy#14/4, p3, pan1 (Professor collapses)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p1, pan2 (tunneling "mole car" emerges into cavern)
World of Fantasy#14/4, p4, pan7 (Cook and Moore find "mole car" transmuted to gold)
World of Fantasy#14/4 (October, 1958) - unidentified writer, Jim Mooney (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First Posted: 10/03/17
Last Updated: 02/19/18
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