Real Name: Lewis (first name unrevealed; see comments)

Identity/Class: Extradimensional human mutate (time-period uncertain) (see comments)

Occupation: Astronaut

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Major Anders

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: Mother (presumably deceased; first name unrevealed, maiden name "Simpson" mentioned)

Aliases: "Green Man" (in story title); "Rusty" (as called by friends; see comments)

Base of Operations: An unidentified space center, somewhere on Earth

First Appearance: World of Suspense I#3/6 (August, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: Lewis was a normal Caucasian man who was temporarily mutated following exposure to an unspecified space-radiation; as a result, his skin-coloring temporarily took on a green hue for 24 hours -- other than that, he displayed no paranormal abilities (see comments).

A trained space-pilot, Captain Lewis wore an environmental-containment suit and flew Pioneer, the first spacecraft to reach Earth's moon.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 190 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Blond

History: (World of Suspense I#3/6 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Captain "Rusty" Lewis is largely unrevealed, but he was selected to pilot the Pioneer spacecraft and become the first man to land on the Moon.  After his mission was completed, seemingly without a hitch, Lewis set course to return to Earth; but unknown to him, at some point during his voyage he had encountered a force of radiation that caused his skin to turn green.

(World of Suspense I#3/6) - The Pioneer rocketship landed at the space center on Earth, and Major Anders stood watching amongst the cheering crowds.  But when the space-conquering pilot emerged, everyone was startled to see a green-skinned man; mistakenly believing that it was an alien, Anders asked the emerald "stranger" where Captain Lewis was. The confused astronaut insisted that he was Lewis, but when he noticed his own reflection in a mirror, Lewis was shocked to see a green face he didn't recognize.  Worse yet, Major Anders was suspicious that Lewis might be a spy for some alien race that lived on the Moon, so he ordered for the green man to be taken into custody for questioning.

   For three hours, Lewis was interrogated by Major Anders and another intelligence service officer; although Lewis accurately answered all their questions regarding his background to confirm his identity, still Anders was suspicious.  Anders suggested that perhaps green men on the Moon had used a truth serum on the real Lewis and supplied his answers to this green man.  The exasperated astronaut continued to insist he was "Rusty" Lewis and that there wasn't any life on the Moon.  Unconvinced, Majors Anders decided to take matters into his own hands -- he had Lewis confined to the space center, and after having Pioneer checked out and refueled, Anders himself took off for a flight to the Moon.

   Upon reaching the Moon, Anders landed Pioneer on the exact spot where Lewis had touched down, then he put on a spacesuit and explored the lunar surface; but after six hours of searching, he found no trace of Lewis or any green men. Anders wearily climbed back aboard Pioneer and took off for Earth. As he sat in the cockpit during the return flight, the baffled Major Anders could only wonder what had become of Lewis. Then Anders noticed his reflection in the window of the spaceship and saw that his own face was now green!  Finally realizing that the green man really was Lewis, Anders theorized that there must be some radiation force in space that turned both himself and Lewis green. But to his dismay, Anders thought all the suspicion he had planted about Lewis being an alien spy would now come back at him, for everyone would now think he was also a spy.

(World of Suspense I#3/6 - BTS) - Twenty-four hours after his exposure to the radiation, "Rusty" Lewis's skin-color returned to normal.

(World of Suspense I#3/6) - When Pioneer landed back at the space center, the panicking Major Anders pulled his jacket hood over his head and quickly dashed into one of the buildings; he ran into an inner office with no windows, then locked and bolted the door behind him.  Despite the calls of concerned base personnel, the green-faced Anders refused to come out.  But eventually, a voice on the other side of the door told Anders that they knew it was really him, and that there was no green race on the Moon.  Realizing there was no use in hiding anymore, Anders opened the door to see that the voice belonged to "Rusty" Lewis, who was back to his usual skin-coloring; Lewis assured Major Anders that in 24 hours he would be back to normal as well.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Al Williamson (artist).

The year was not mentioned, so it's difficult to determine in which era this story took place; but since our world's (and Earth-616 (the main-stream Marvel Earth)'s) first Moon-landing was in 1969 (as seen in Marvel: The Lost Generation I#6), then this story would have to be set on some alternate Earth, possibly one on which technology was more advanced.

There were no full-body images of Lewis in this story.  Lewis's first name was never mentioned, but considering that his hair-color was blond instead of red, I'm guessing his friends called him "Rusty" because his first name was probably "Russell".

Major Anders seemed kind of paranoid -- When he saw a green-skinned man who claimed to be Lewis,  he jumped to the conclusion that there were green men on the Moon rather than just wondering how the astronaut's skin turned green; he should have employed the principle of Ockham's razor ("The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.").

It seems kind of unbelievable that Major Anders didn't recognize Lewis just because the astronaut's skin was green, so my guess is that Lewis (and later, Anders) was hit by some form of gamma radiation -- not quite enough to make him totally "Hulk-out" ("Rusty smash!"), but enough to subtly alter his facial features -- and perhaps other identifying characteristics (finger-prints, retinal patterns, DNA) -- just enough so that he no longer resembled the same man.

The speed of the Pioneer spacecraft wasn't mentioned, but I got the impression that it flew to the Moon in a matter of hours.  And assuming Major Anders wasn't a trained astronaut, Pioneer was probably equipped with a computerized flight-recorder which duplicated Lewis's flight for Anders when he made his trip to the Moon.

With his green skin and blond hair, Lewis kind of resembled the later-introduced character Brainiac 5 from DC's Legion of Super-Heroes.

This 4-page story -- "The Green Man" -- was reprinted in Where Monsters Dwell#38 (October, 1975).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

"Rusty" Lewis has no known connections to:

Major Anders has no known connections to:

The Pioneer spacecraft has no known connections to:

Major Anders

The head of G-2 intelligence services, he was present at a space center when astronaut "Rusty" Lewis landed the Pioneer spaceship following his flight to the Moon.  But when Lewis (who had been exposed to radiation during his flight) emerged with green skin, Anders thought he might be an alien spy.

After Anders and another intelligence officer interrogated the green man and he answered all their questions accurately, Anders was still not convinced that the green man was Lewis.  Anders decided to use the Pioneer spacecraft for his own trip to the Moon to further investigate, but during his flight back to Earth, Anders saw that his own skin had turned green.

When he landed back on Earth, Anders hid in an office at the space center for fear that the other base personnel would think he was an alien spy.  He eventually came out to see "Rusty" Lewis, whose skin-color had returned to normal; Lewis assured Major Anders that his skin-color would also return to normal in 24 hours.

--World of Suspense I#3/6

Pioneer spacecraft

A single-stage rocket, it was first piloted by "Rusty" Lewis for a flight to the Moon; shortly afterwards (after inspection and refueling), it was used for a second Moon flight by Major Anders.

Pioneer could take-off and land vertically.  Its top speed was unrevealed, and possibly it had autopilot instrumentation (see comments).

--World of Suspense I#3/6

images: (without ads)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p1, pan3 (Main Image, "Rusty" Lewis (green-skin) returns to Earth)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p2, pan4 (Lewis sees his green-skin for the first time as Major Anders looks on)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p2, pan6 (Lewis (left) interrogated by Major Anders (center) and unidentified intelligence officer (right))
World of Suspense I#3/6, p4, pan7 ("Rusty" Lewis back to normal)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p2 pan1 (Major Anders (left) questions Captain Lewis (right))
World of Suspense I#3/6, p2, pan7 (Major Anders)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p4, pan5 (Major Anders (green-skin) locks himself in office)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p1, pan1 (Pioneer spacecraft lands on Earth as Major Anders watches)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p3, pan6 (Pioneer spacecraft lands on Moon again, with Major Anders aboard)
World of Suspense I#3/6, p4, pan3 (Pioneer spacecraft on return flight to Earth, with Major Anders aboard; Anders theorizes about radiation exposure)

World of Suspense I#3/6 (August, 1956) - unidentified writer, Al Williamson (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 03/08/17

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