Real Name: Albert Nesbit (see comments)
Identity/Class: Human (1920s, World War II to 1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Unidentified professor
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His home, somewhere in America;
formerly University of Vienna, Austria
First Appearance: Marvel Tales I#105/4 (February,
Powers/Abilities: Although having a formal
education in chemistry, Albert Nesbit was a normal human being whose
pride got the better of him.
Height: 5' 10" (by
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Marvel Tales I#105/4 - (fb)) - The past of Albert Nesbit is largely unrevealed, but thirty years earlier, he was a chemistry student at a university in Vienna. One Sunday afternoon, he was alone in a park, near an unusual serpent statue. As he was reading aloud from a book of poetry, he heard the sound of weeping. He turned and saw that it was the stone serpent that was crying, its eyes still moist from tears! He happened to be carrying a test tube in his pocket, so Albert caught one of the statue's tears--he knew no one would ever believe him, but since he had the trapped teardrop, he'd know that it actually happened.
The next day, Albert sat in class, obsessively staring at the liquid in the test tube. The professor noticed and inquired why he was so interested in what appeared to be only a drop of water; Albert told him it was actually a teardrop. The professor sarcastically asked him why he was crying over his chemistry problems, and Albert explained that the tear was from the eye of a statue in the park. Being a man of science, the professor doubted Albert's claim, so after class he and Albert walked to the park to examine the statue. The professor informed Albert that the statue was of the Midgard Serpent from Norse mythology, and he insisted that the "teardrop" was probably just a drop of rain; he went on to warn Albert that if he believed in nonsense, he would never amount to anything in the great science of chemistry. But the irate Albert knew differently, and he angrily vowed to the professor that someday he would be more famous than he was simply because he did believe in such "nonsense". Relations between the professor and Albert were strained afterwards, but Albert still graduated and went to America--he continued to keep the test tube with the teardrop.
(Marvel Tales I#105/4) - The events of the subsequent
years are unrevealed, but Albert seemed to live an uneventful
life. One night he was standing before a window in his home,
holding the test tube and lamenting his life's shortcomings. He
thought of how perhaps his professor had been right about him--he was a
fool, for he was getting old and had done nothing in science to make his
name remembered; he had nothing but the teardrop from the statue.
Then a slender bolt of ghost-white lightning shot out through the
peaceful night sky and smashed through the window. Albert dropped
the test tube on a table-top, and as the bolt lingered over the vial,
the teardrop within began to sparkle like a jewel, then it throbbed and
moved as if it were alive! Looking down upon the fallen vial,
Albert saw the teardrop eating its way through the test tube... then it
continued to drip through the top of the table. He grabbed a small
soup pot to catch the liquid, but it ate through the container as well,
and dropped to the concrete floor. When Albert saw the fluid
beginning to dissolve the stone floor, he grabbed a silver dish and ran
downstairs, catching the teardrop just as it came through the
ceiling. But the teardrop began to dissolve through the silver
plate, so Albert caught it on a small three-inch thick sheet of
iron. When the fluid began to bore its way through the iron,
Albert realized that he had discovered the "universal solvent," a liquid
that could dissolve anything, and his mood was elated, for now his
name would go down in history! But his joy was short-lived and it
was immediately replaced with a feeling of horror, for Albert realized
that there wasn't a container that could hold the fluid... and worse
yet, the teardrop would continue dripping until it dissolved the world!
Comments: Created by Hank Chapman (writer) and Gene
Although he was only identified as "Albert" in the story, he was
mentioned with the surname "Nesbit" in the Midgard Serpent profile in
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#1.
Since Earth-616 (the mainstream Marvel Earth) is still around, I guess we can assume the Midgard Serpent's teardrop eventually lost its dissolving power. Or maybe it's still out there behind-the-scenes, still slowly dissolving the world--after all, it was only a small teardrop, and it is a pretty big planet...
That lightning bolt that just happened to strike the test tube and empower the teardrop seemed a little too coincidental--maybe Loki was in a mischievous mood, so he sent a magical bolt to play a little prank.
This story--The Drop of Water--was reprinted in Monsters on the Prowl I#21.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Albert Nesbit has no known connections to:
A brilliant man of science, he taught a chemistry class at a university in Vienna thirty years earlier. One day, he noticed one of his students--Albert Nesbit--staring at a test tube filled with what appeared to be water. Nesbit informed him that the "water" was actually a captured tear that came from the eye of a statue in the park.
Later, the disbelieving professor accompanied Nesbit to the park to examine the statue. Upon seeing the statue, the professor told Nesbit that it represented the Midgard Serpent from Norse mythology. Although Nesbit insisted he had seen the statue crying, the professor warned him that he would never amount to anything in the great science of chemistry if he continued to believe such nonsense.
--Marvel Tales I#105/4
A stone statue on display in a park in Vienna, it was an effigy of the Norse Midgard Serpent. The statue wept when it heard student Albert Nesbit reading aloud from a book of poetry; Nesbit managed to capture one of the statue's tears in a test tube.
Nesbit later took his disbelieving college professor to the park to show him the statue.
--Marvel Tales I#105/4
A fluid that Albert Nesbit had caught in a test tube thirty years earlier, it was a teardrop that fell from the eye of a statue of the legendary Midgard Serpent. Nesbit kept the test tube for years, and one night it was struck by a bolt of lightning, which somehow gave the liquid a semblance of life and altered it into a "universal solvent". The teardrop first dissolved the glass test tube, then continued to eat its way through a wooden table, a soup pan, a concrete floor, a silver plate, and a small three-inch thick sheet of iron. Albert was left with the problem of how to contain the teardrop when he realized it would slowly dissolve the world.
--Marvel Tales I#105/4
images: (without ads)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p3, pan8 (main image, Albert Nesbit catches teardrop on small iron sheet)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p1, pan2 (headshot, Albert Nesbit (30 years earlier) tells professor "water" is actually teardrop)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p1, pan3 (headshot, Albert Nesbit (30 years earlier) holding test tube with statue's teardrop)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p3, pan9 (Albert Nesbit realizes the world is doomed!)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p1, pan3 (unidentified professor)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p2, pan2 (Albert notices statue crying)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p2, pan1 (professor reveals to Albert that statue is of the Midgard Serpent)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p2, pan6 (Albert holds test tube with teardrop as lightning bolt strikes it)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p3, pan2 (teardrop eats through test tube)
Marvel Tales I#105/4, p3, pan4 (after eating through table, teardrop dissolves bottom of soup pot as Albert tries to catch it)
Marvel Tales I#105/4 (February, 1952) - Hank Chapman (writer), Gene Colon (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 09/22/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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