MARVEL BOY

Real Name: Martin Oksner Burns (see comments)

Identity/Class: Magically-augmented human mutate (1940s era)

Occupation: Student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: "Hercules", Miss Prim (first name unrevealed)

Enemies: Goderich von Blubber

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Appearance: U.S.A. Comics#7/3 (February, 1943)

Powers/Abilities: After his own blood was mixed with the blood of "Hercules," Marvel Boy was endowed with superhuman strength and could lift up to 7 tons.  He had some degree of invulnerability, and was able to withstand flames without injury.

Marvel Boy wore an apparently magical and indestructible costume which further augmented his intelligence; it also granted him superhuman speed to some unspecified degree, along with the power of flight.

Height:  5' 9"
Weight: 119 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Reddish-blond

History:
(U.S.A. Comics#7/3) - The past of Martin Oksner Burns is largely unrevealed, but one day he and his fellow classmates accompanied their teacher on a field trip to a museum displaying Egyptian mummies -- the display included a mummy case alleged to be that of an Egyptian hero named "Hercules".  A fellow student accidentally toppled the sarcophagus with the mummy of "Hercules," causing it to fall upon Martin; a vial containing a blood extract from "Hercules" fell out of the mummy case, shattered on the floor, and deeply cut Martin's arm -- the vial's blood mixed with Martin's, but his wound healed within minutes, and shortly thereafter Martin discovered that he had superhuman strength.

   Late that night, as Martin sleeplessly lay in his bed, he looked out his bedroom window and saw a shadowy figure he assumed to be "Hercules"; the mysterious visitor gave him a costume (which would further augment his abilities), dubbed him "Marvel Boy," and bid him to go out to fight evil.

   As he flew through the night, Marvel Boy came upon a burning apartment building, and he rescued a subway signalman trapped within.  The signalman informed Marvel Boy that Nazi saboteurs had started the fire after torturing him to get his confidential list of subway signals, and he warned the young hero that the Nazis were about to disrupt the city's subway system.

   Meanwhile, in the main signal station of the subway, Goderich von Blubber and his two henchmen took control of the public-transportation facility. The Nazi agents planned to sabotage the train signals in the early morning rush hour to cause all the subway cars to collide.

   Suddenly the flying Marvel Boy crashed through the window of the facility; after fighting the henchmen, Marvel Boy restrained von Blubber with a choke-hold and activated a switch that sent out a signal to immediately stop all subway trains.

   Half an hour later, when the police and subway officials arrived at the signal station, they found von Blubber and his men tied up -- they also found a note from Marvel Boy, apologizing for his stopping all the trains, but it was the only way he could save the lives of the passengers.

   That morning, Martin walked to school and apologized to Miss Prim for showing up late for class -- unaware of Martin's earlier heroic deed, his teacher scolded him for not having brains enough to take the subway, because it was faster than walking.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Bob Oksner (artist).

And although the blurb in the last panel promised another Marvel Boy adventure in the next issue, this would be the character's only appearance.

To me, this character seems like a cross between Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Fawcett Comics' (later DC's) Captain Marvel.

Marvel Boy has a profile in All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update#4, from which I got some of this profile's information (e.g. Marvel Boy's physical characteristics, von Blubber's first name).

This particular character was basically just a reworking of the earlier introduced Marvel Boy (@ Daring Mystery Comics I#6/1; September, 1940) who was also named "Martin Burns"; but these two Marvel Boys are distinct individuals, and they are distinguished by their middle names, which were taken from their respective creators (The earlier Marvel Boy has the middle name of "Simon," after his creator, Joe Simon).

Both Marvel Boys had a connection to "Hercules,"and the Young Avenger (like the two Marvel Boys) also had a mysterious shadowy figure who instructed him to perform heroic deeds -- perhaps there was some connection between these three young heroes.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Marvel Boy (Martin Oksner Burns) should not be confused with:

Miss Prim has no known connections to:

"Hercules" has no known connections to:

Goderich von Blubber has no known connections to:


Miss Prim

She was a school teacher who took her students -- including Martin Oksner Burns -- to a museum display of Egyptian mummy cases.

A sarcophagus containing the mummy of "Hercules" accidentally fell upon Martin and he was cut by a shattered vial of "Hercules'" blood, so Miss Prim called for a doctor.  She was surprised when Martin's wound healed within minutes.

As a result of "Hercules'" blood mixing with his own, Martin had unknowingly been endowed with superhuman strength; when Miss Prim asked him to help her push a revolving door in the museum, Martin's newly-acquired strength caused it to rotate uncontrollably, and Miss Prim was trapped in the rapidly spinning portal; she called for help, and she was shocked when Martin stopped the revolving door using only one finger.

The next morning, when Martin showed up late for class, Miss Prim scolded him for not taking the subway -- she was unaware that Martin (as Marvel Boy) had earlier prevented a Nazi plot to sabotage the city's subway system.

--U.S.A. Comics#7/3


Mummy case of "Hercules"

Displayed in a city museum, it was an ancient sarcophagus which supposedly contained the mummified remains of an Egyptian hero named "Hercules"; it also contained a glass vial with a blood sample of the champion.

The mummy case was accidentally toppled and fell upon student Martin Oksner Burns; the vial with the blood extract of "Hercules" fell out and cut Martin's arm as it shattered on the floor.  The vial's blood mixed with Martin's own blood, granting him superhuman strength.

--U.S.A. Comics#7/3


"Hercules"

A shadowy figure who appeared outside the bedroom window of Martin Oksner Burns late one night, he told Martin that he had been chosen by fate to represent him in the 20th Century to fight the forces of evil and oppression.

"Hercules" smashed his hand through the window to give his own cloak and flying costume to Martin, and he dubbed the youngster "Marvel Boy".

After Martin put on the costume, "Hercules" told  him he would be "as strong as Hercules, as fast as a winged Mercury, and as wise and good as Abraham Lincoln"; the shadowy figure then bid the youngster to go out and fight evil.

(Note: This individual never actually identified himself, and Martin only assumed that it was "Hercules".  Since the shadowy figure stated that Martin had been "chosen by fate," then perhaps this individual was actually one of the Fates.)

--U.S.A. Comics#7/3


Goderich von Blubber

A Nazi fifth columnist wanted by the FBI, von Blubber was assisted by two unidentified henchmen.

After torturing a subway signalman to get his confidential list of subway signals, von Blubber and his men set the signalman's apartment building afire.

Von Blubber and his men next went to the main signal station of the subway, where they planned to cause the subway cars to collide during the morning rush hour, but their scheme was foiled by Marvel Boy (Martin Oksner Burns).  After knocking out the two henchmen, the young hero put von Blubber in a choke-hold and activated a signal to immediately stop all trains.

Later, the authorities arrived and found von Blubber and his men tied up -- presumably, the three Nazi agents were taken into custody.

(Note: Von Blubber and his men weren't exactly working a covert operation -- von Blubber himself wore a swastika armband, and his henchmen wore bright yellow shirts with large black swastikas on their chests.)

--U.S.A. Comics#7/3


images: (without ads)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p4, pan6 (Main Image - Marvel Boy (Martin Oksner Burns))
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p3, pan7 (Headshot - Martin Oksner Burns)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p6, pan4 (Marvel Boy flies through window of subway control room; Goderich von Blubber (left) and one of his henchmen (right))
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p6, pan7 (Marvel Boy about to confront Goderich von Blubber's henchmen)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p2, pan1 (in museum, Miss Prim explains significance of mummy cases to Martin Oksner Burns)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p3, pan5 (Miss Prim caught in rapidly spinning revolving door, surprised when Martin stops it with his finger tips)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p2, pan3 (Miss Prim and museum director present mummy case of "Hercules")
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p2, pan7 (mummy case of "Hercules" falls upon Martin Oksner Burns, shattered vial containing blood extract on floor)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p4, pan2 ("Hercules" at bedroom window of Martin Oksner Burns)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p4, pan3 (hand of "Hercules" smashes through window to give Martin Oksner Burns his costume)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p6, pan2 (Goderich von Blubber)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p6, pan3 (Goderich von Blubber at subway control panel)
U.S.A. Comics#7/3, p7, pan3 (Marvel Boy (Martin Oksner Burns) puts Goderich von Blubber in choke-hold by subway control panel as he stops all trains)


Appearances:
U.S.A. Comics#7/3 (February, 1943) - unidentified writer, Bob Oksner (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)


First Posted: 06/12/2018
Last updated: 06/12/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters