Human Engineering Life Laboratories
Classification: Facility/Scientific complex;
located on the edge of the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral
Creator: Professor Phillip Prometheus, N.A.S.A. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
User/Possessors: Computrex, Humanoids, NASA, Professor Phillip Prometheus
First Appearance: Micronauts I#4 (April, 1979)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Human
Engineering Life Laboratories initially served as the scientific
research base of Professor Phillip Prometheus.
Presumably among other things, HELL contained all of the Microverse
specimens Prometheus had collected, as well as various computer banks
and types of diagnostic equipment; the Prometheus Pit, a tunnel from
Earth's plane into the Microverse; and the Humanoids, his android
taken over by Computrex, HELL served only to house Computrex in its
computer banks, to contain the Prometheus Pit, and to contain and
preserve Prometheus' decaying form.
Following the destruction of its remaining facilities, HELL was
apparently reinstated as the research facility/team of Prometheus. It
is unrevealed whether it had a central and/or multiple bases.
Prometheus was known to have been active on Mackelroy Army Base, Arizona.
I#4 (fb) - BTS / Micronauts
I#15 (fb) - BTS)
<A "few months" before the main story> - NASA administrator
Professor Phillip Prometheus established and worked out of the Human Engineering Life Laboratories.
It was not until after it was named that someone realized its acronym was H.E.L.L.
I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Dead specimens of Microverse life (including at least
one Acroyear warrior, although no names of beings or races were known
on Earth at the time) were deliver to HELL from all over the
I#5 (fb) - BTS / Micronauts
I#15 (fb) - BTS) - Prometheus built a portal connecting Earth's realm and this microverse,
which he dubbed the Prometheus Pit.
I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Prometheus created robotic servants he dubbed Humanoids. (Micronauts
I#4 - BTS) - Ray Coffin arrived at the HELL institute with Steve and
their dog, Muffin, the latter two of whom had encountered natives of the Microverse.
The Micronaut Bug was stowing away with the Coffins.
Steve Coffin convinced Prometheus of the validity of his findings.
I#5 - BTS) - Tracking Bug's brainwaves, the Micronauts entered the HELL institute as well.
I#5) - Upon learning Steve Coffin had encountered living "sub-aliens,"
Prometheus aggressively demanded information on them, which the
Humanoids restrained Ray Coffin. After Marionette joined Bug,
Prometheus activated equipment that began to tilt the floor,
forcing Steve, Bug, and Mari toward the Pit. The other Micronauts
arrived and saved Steve and their teammates, and Ray tackled Prometheus so that both men fell into the Pit.
The Humanoids prepared to carry out
Prometheus' last orders, that the sub-aliens be used to test the Pit.
I#6) - Humanoids pursued the fleeing Micronauts, Steve Coffin, and
Steve's dog, Muffin. The Micronauts' weapons drove them back and
disabled them sufficiently for the group to escape.
I#7) - Microverse tyrant Baron Karza performed a "mind-merge," transforming Prometheus'
form into a giant duplicate of his own, after which he entered the
Prometheus Pit and emerged on Earth's exit within HELL.
I#8 (fb) - BTS) - Karza/Prometheus, able to control Prometheus'
Humanoids, extended his personal force field around HELL and assaulted
the forces of the space center.
I#8) - With HELL as his base, Karza/Prometheus battled the US Air Force, the Micronauts, and
Captain Universe (the Uni-Powered Ray Coffin).
When the Micronauts used
the Prometheus Pit to travel back to the Microverse, planning to seal
the Pit behind them and strand Karza on Earth, Karza reversed the
mind-merge, reverting Prometheus back to his own form (allegedly
transforming his molecules back to their original form), and sent his
mental self back through the Prometheus Pit as well.
The addled Prometheus was taken away by a pair of Military Police (or base security, or whatever).
I#15 (fb) - BTS) - SHIELD sealed the Prometheus Pit on Earth's side.
I#15 - BTS) - Per a plan to confront their foe the Psycho-Man in the
Microverse and to investigate SHIELD's claims of the Pit having been
sealed, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) traveled to HELL to investigate.
(fb) - BTS) - The Human Torch used the Prometheus Pit to access the Microverse.
I#44 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the inactive Prometheus Pit filled with water.
I#44 (fb) - BTS) - Having "survived" its computer circuitry's
destruction in an ethereal energy form, Computrex re-established itself
Learning of the Micronauts history there, Computrex
reasoned that they would one day return there to access the Prometheus
Entering HELL's computers, Computrex initiated repairs and
established itself in control of the complex.
Computrex resolved to use the Prometheus Pit to travel to the
Microverse and dominate it by controlling its machines.
I#44 (fb)) - Sensing that HELL's computers wished to link back up with
Prometheus' cyborg systems and figuring Prometheus' systems might have
more hidden in his own memory banks than he had imparted into his
computers, Computrex took control of Prometheus' cybernetics and forced
Prometheus to walk to HELL.
Taking control of Prometheus' cyborg components, Computrex had him
placed in a tube of fluid that presumably slowed his dead organic
I#42 - BTS) - The
Micronauts sought the Prometheus Pit as a means to
return to the Microverse.
I#43 - BTS) - The remaining Micronauts (Rann, Microtron, Nanotron, and
Devil) arrived at HELL.
I#43) - Devil first arrived at the Prometheus Pit and was driven into
an animalistic frenzy by the scent of Prometheus' rotting flesh.
Computrex released and animated Prometheus to confront the Micronauts.
I#44) - Computrex blasted Devil with
lasers, setting him afire. The pain- and fear-maddened Devil dove into the Prometheus Pit.
I#44 (fb) - BTS) - With the Pit filled with water, Devil's flames were extinguished.
I#44) - Still-maddened, Devil emerged from the Prometheus Pit, and attacked Prometheus, severing the computer-link that tied
Prometheus to Computrex.
Further injured, the thrashing/stumbling Prometheus was tripped by
Microtron and Nanotron and fell into the water-filled Pit.
Via Devil's assaults, Computrex overloaded and exploded, collapsing HELL's remains.
(War Machine II#7 (fb) - BTS) - Prometheus was somehow back to life and again in charge of some incarnation of HELL.
(War Machine II#7 - BTS) - American Eagle (Jason Strongbow) and War
Machine (Jim Rhodes) apprehended Prometheus.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Michael Golden, Josef Rubinstein.
Profile by Snood.
H.E.L.L. should be distinguished from:
- H.E.L.L. (Oonagh Mullarkey, Ranulph Haldane) - site of creation of
Prime Evil & Pride - Haldane Encephalographic Laboratories Limited--Codename: Genetix#1
- HELL dimension (Mephisto, Satan, Satannish, Thog) - mystic
realm, divided into numerous subsections ruled by different entities
representing the same aspect of evil, souls of evil humans are drawn
into one of these realms--Silver Surfer I#3
- Other HELL characters, places, items, etc.
images: (without ads)
Micronauts I#4, pg. 11, panel 1 (full building)
#5, pg. 7, panel 4 (mostly full body, distant, over Earth's Prometheus Pit entrance);
pg. 8, panel 1 (Microverse specimens);
#8, pg.3 (Karza and Humanoids fighting from entrance of HELL);
#15, pg. 15 (Human Torch flying into lockdown HELL)
#44, pg. 7, panel 3 (Computrex' energy form arriving at HELL's ruins);
panel 4 (Computrex' energy form accessing HELL's computers)
last page, last panel (HELL exploding)
Micronauts I#4-7 (April-July, 1979) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Michael Golden (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Al Milgrom (editor)
Micronauts I#8 (August, 1979) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Michael Golden (penciler), Bob McLeod (inker), Al Milgrom (editor)
Micronauts I#15 (March, 1980) - Bill Manto (writer), Howard Chaykin (breakdowns), Al Milgrom (finisher/editor)
Micronauts I#43 (June, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Gil Kane (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Al Milgrom (editor)
I#44 (August, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Gil Kane (penciler), Danny
Bulanadi, Carl Potts, & Al Milgrom (inkers), Al Milgrom (editor)
Machine II#7 (August, 2009) - Greg Pak (writer), Allan Jefferson,
Mahmud Asrar, & RB Silva (pencilers), Nelson Pereira & Jeffrey
Huet (inkers), Michael Horwitz (assistant editor), Bill Rosemann
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 09/21/17
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