Real Name: Ted Higgens
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Crew of Alice II (including Tim), Oceaniers (including unidentified Oceanier woman)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile aboard Alice II (see comments)
First Appearance: Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2 (May, 1956)
Powers/Abilities: Skilled in the use of SCUBA gear, Higgens was employed as a professional skin-diver. During one of his routine dives, he encountered the Oceaniers, a race of undersea-dwelling people.
Height: 5' 11" (by
Weight: 175 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2) - The past of Ted Higgens is unknown, but he was stationed aboard the sailing vessel Alice II as a skin-diver, where he explored the ocean depths. One day, the crewmen asked Higgens why he took up diving, and he admitted that he hoped to find another life below the ocean's surface--this elicited laughter from the other sailors, who joked that he was suffering from the "rapture of the depths" without even diving, because he was only imaging fairy-tale lands beneath the sea. The next day, Higgens was preparing for his usual dive, and he told Tim he was going to try to reach the sea bottom (a depth of nearly 400 ft. at that location) to try for a world skin-diving record. As he followed the depth-markers, Higgens was transfixed by the peaceful silence of the water. He continued to swim down, but when he reached the 300 ft. marker, Higgens became disorientated as he felt the water pressure getting to him. Then he saw four human-like forms swimming towards him, one of them a beautiful woman. Realizing that he was in trouble, the woman assured Higgens they would help him, and she and her entourage guided him back to their underwater city, where he was then taken through an air lock and into an air-filled chamber. The woman explained to Higgens that her people had lived in their city beneath the sea for centuries, but he was the first surface-dweller to ever see it. While the two looked out an observation window, the woman told Higgens her people called themselves "Oceaniers" and she showed him how they farmed the sea floor. She told him that her people would let the surface world know about them when they thought mankind was ready to understand. Higgens pointed out that he now knew about them, but the woman told him their secret was safe, for no one would believe him, and besides, her people were planning to move their kingdom many miles south the next day.
Then Higgens began to cough and choke, and the woman told him the small oxygen supply they had was insufficient for his needs, so he had to return to the surface. Higgens implored her to let him stay so he could learn more, but for his own good, she insisted he leave, and she gave Higgens a sea rose to remember her people by, which he put in his waterproof pouch. As Higgens put on his SCUBA gear and returned to the sea, the Oceanier woman waved farewell and told him that someday their two worlds would meet. Higgens swam up to the surface and returned to the Alice II; as the crew helped him from the water, they told him they had been very concerned about him, for they figured his oxygen had run out minutes earlier. Higgens excitedly told them about the amazing world beneath the sea, but since he seemed to be raving irrationally, the crewmen thought the "rapture of the depths" had caused the diver to hallucinate. They put the exhausted Higgens in his bunk to recuperate, and he began to wonder if he had only imagined the whole experience. Then he noticed the red sea rose the Oceanier woman had given him in his waterproof pouch--it was dry, so he knew he didn't just imagine the encounter. But Higgens realized that no one would ever believe him, so he decided to keep the secret of the Oceaniers to himself.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Al Williamson (artist)
was never mentioned in what ocean this story took place, so we don't know
where the Oceaniers made their home.
There was only a one-panel glimpse of the Oceaniers' city, so I really couldn't judge how large it was, nor can I estimate their population (only three males and two females were shown).
I state that the Oceaniers were amphibious based on the unidentified woman being able to survive in the air-filled chamber, so I'm only assuming it's a trait common to her people.
In this short 4-page story, nothing was explained about the Oceaniers' origin (they didn't even show up until page 3). Since they weren't blue-skinned, they probably have no connection with the Sub-Mariner's Atlanteans. Maybe they're somehow connected to Kanu and Bala.
The Oceanier woman--with her red hair and green clothing, she reminds me of Aquaman's wife Mera (who first appeared several years after this story)-- maybe she's some relation to the "Queen of the Sub-Sea Realm".
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Ted Higgens has no known connections to:
Tim has no known connections to:
The Oceaniers have no known connections to:
The Alice II has no known connections to:
A civilization of amphibious people (see comments), their origin and numbers are unknown (see comments). They had lived in their city beneath the sea (at a depth of about 400 ft.) for centuries. They mastered some of the ocean's creatures and used them to farm the sea floor. For undisclosed reasons, they were planning to move their kingdom many miles south.
--Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2
Note: One of the Oceaniers was dressed like the Timely Comics aquatic hero the Fin minus the goggles.
She was swimming with a group of her people when they encountered skin-diver
Ted Higgens while he was near their city. Higgens had become
disoriented from the water pressure, and she and the others escorted him
back to their city. She took Higgens into an air-filled chamber and
told him about her people. Shortly afterward, Higgens began to have
trouble breathing because there was insufficient oxygen in the chamber, and
the woman insisted that he leave and return to the surface. She gave
Higgens a red sea rose as a memento of his visit, then waved farewell as
Higgens swam back to the surface.
An exploratory sailing vessel, it was on an unspecified mission in one of
the world's oceans. Along with diver Ted Higgens, it had a crew of at
least three (including Tim).
images: (without ads)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p1, pan2 (Ted Higgens aboard Alice II)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p4, pan7 (Higgens holding sea rose)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p2, pan5 (Higgens, in SCUBA gear, aboard Alice II with Tim)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p2, pan6 (Higgens, in SCUBA gear, in ocean by depth-marker chain)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p3, pan4 (unidentified Oceanier woman and two Oceanier men saving Higgens)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p3, pan7 (Higgens and Oceanier woman looking out observation window to watch other Oceaniers farming)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p3, pan5 (unidentified Oceanier woman and Higgens swimming to Oceanier city)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p4, pan1 (unidentified Oceanier woman)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p4, pan2 (Oceanier woman giving Higgens sea rose)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2, p1, pan1 (Alice II sailing sea, Ted Higgens' silhouette at stern)
Journey into Unknown Worlds#45/2 (May, 1956) - unidentified writer, Al Williamson (pencils), Gray Morrow (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 01/13/16
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