Real Name: Jonathan Storm
Identity/Class: Human mutate (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Dr. Curtis (first name unrevealed), Chen Yu
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Man Who Refused to Die" (in story title)
Base of Operations: His home/laboratory (somewhere in America); "Forbidden City" (somewhere in Tibet)
First Appearance: Suspense#4/5 (August, 1950)
Powers/Abilities: Storm was a scientist who specialized in the fields of modern physics and higher mathematics.
Despite being sixty years old, Storm pushed himself hard in his research, but he eventually began to succumb to the effects of old age.
After imbibing the waters of the Fountain of Youth, Jonathan Storm's age began to rapidly regress--within hours, he became younger and younger until he de-aged into nothingness.
10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: Gray; black (after drinking from Fountain of Youth)
(Suspense#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Professor Jonathan Storm is largely unrevealed, but he was a brilliant and accomplished scientist who (by his own account) had helped to develop the atomic bomb.
(Suspense#4/5 (fb)) - At the age of sixty, Storm was working in his laboratory when he began to experience dizzy spells and weakness, so he made an appointment with Dr. Curtis for a full medical examination.
After running a battery of tests, Dr. Curtis gave Storm his diagnosis--Storm was merely suffering from the effects of old age, and Curtis advised him to slow down and enjoy the time he had left, otherwise he might be dead before the year was out. But as Storm walked home, his mind was in turmoil because he was in the middle of a research project, and he couldn't slow down because he felt there was too much for him to do before he died. So Storm became determined to find some way to prolong his life; since modern science seemed to be unable to stave off his impending death, he turned instead to superstition and lore, and he became determined to find the location of the legendary Fountain of Youth.
For months, Storm conducted research in crypts and ancient libraries, obsessively poring through ancient volumes and manuscripts of black magic; he accumulated data until he found numerous references to the Fountain being in Asia, specifically in the "Forbidden City" in Tibet, so he prepared to take a journey.
Storm booked passage aboard a ship and first sailed to Japan, then made his way to China, and onward. Near Chungtu, he made arrangements with Chen Yu, the captain of a camel-train, to accompany him to the Tibetan border. But as they reached their destination, the caravan was attacked by bandits; Storm barely escaped the assault, but with no food or water, he wandered alone and delirious through the desolate mountainous terrain of Tibet. Finally collapsing from exhaustion, Storm was faintly aware of being found by the indigenous people of the area before merciful oblivion erased his hunger, thirst, and pain.
(Suspense#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - The unconscious Storm was taken to the lamasery of the "Forbidden City".
(Suspense#4/5 (fb) ) - Storm later awoke in a bed chamber, wearing fresh clothing, and feeling rested and clean. An attendant monk brought Storm some food and informed him that he was in the "Forbidden City," and he told Storm that the Highest One wished to speak with him.
After he ate, Storm was led by the attendant to the chamber of the Highest One, where he saw a bubbling fountain; the Highest One (having read Storm's thoughts) verbally confirmed it was the Fountain of Youth, but he forbade Storm from drinking its waters. Storm desperately lunged for the Fountain, but he was seized by the Highest One's guards. The Highest One was about to explain to Storm why he could not drink from the Fountain, but having noticed that the guards had relaxed their grip on him, Storm broke free and dashed to the Fountain again, then plunged his face into the water and gulped long and deeply. As the water coursed down his throat, Storm immediately felt his limbs grow lighter as the stiffness in his aged body eased and faded. Once again, the guards seized Storm, but the vigor of his younger days had returned, and the rejuvenated scientist stood before the Highest One and laughed defiantly, for he was certain he would live forever because he had conquered death!
The Highest One told Storm that he had not cheated death, but had only brought it closer--he explained that the water would continue to cause Storm to rapidly grow younger and younger until he had "whirled backward into eternity". Storm looked at his reflection in the Fountain's waters, and saw the face he wore when he was twenty-five years old; the Highest One informed him that he would continue to get younger until he was no more.
(Suspense#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - The guards led Storm to a small room off the Fountain chamber and locked him within. As the hours passed, Storm continued to get younger and younger with ever-increasing rapidity, and his body and mind dwindled as he became a boy... then a toddler... then an infant...
(Suspense#4/5) - The Highest One and his guards approached the closed door and heard the whining cry of a newly-born baby. When they opened the door, they found only Storm's empty clothing laying on the floor; seeing that Jonathan Storm had regressed beyond the age of his birth into nothingness, the Highest One wished him peace.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and an unidentified artist (see comments).
In regards to the artist: The story was unsigned, so I did some research, but could only find guesses as to who it might be, including Don Heck, Joe Maneely, and Mike Becker (...but some panels almost looked to me like the artwork of Jack Kirby).
Other characters would later share a similar fate to Jonathan Storm's
regression beyond birth, including Simon Drudd, Drom
the Backwards Man, and (temporarily,
at least) Silvermane (Silvio Manfredi) (@
Amazing Spider-Man I#75).
Besides having a main character whose name would be used for a later-introduced character (see clarifications), other aspects of this story are reminiscent to the origins of the later-introduced characters Dr. Droom/Druid and Dr. Stephen Strange.
And coincidentally, this same anthology series -- Suspense -- would later have a story about another "human torch" related character.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Jonathan Storm has no known connections to:
Dr. Curtis has no known connections to:
Chen Yu has no known connections to:
The attendant monk has no known connections to:
The Highest One has no known connections to:
The Fountain of Youth has no known connections to:
He was Professor Jonathan Storm's physician, and he ran a series of tests when the elderly scientist complained of weakness and dizzy spells. But it was Curtis' opinion that the hard-working scientist was merely suffering from the effects of old age, and he advised Storm to slow down and enjoy his remaining years, otherwise he would be dead before the year was out.
The captain of a camel-train in Chungtu, he agreed to let Jonathan Storm accompany his caravan as they traveled to Tibet, but he warned Storm about the danger of bandits in the area.
When the caravan was attacked by bandits near the Tibetan border, Chen Yu was apparently killed, but Storm managed to escape.
An unidentified inhabitant of the lamasery of the "Forbidden City" in Tibet, he was a disciple of the Highest One.
When the unconscious Jonathan Storm was brought to the lamasery, the monk took care of him until he revived. The monk later introduced Storm to the Highest One.
In the lamasery of the "Forbidden City" in Tibet, he was the mentor and teacher to the monks. He could attune his mind to read the thoughts of others.
When the elderly Jonathan Storm came to the lamasery on a quest for the Fountain of Youth, the Highest One had read his thoughts and knew for what he was searching.
The Highest One forbade Storm from drinking the Fountain's waters and tried to explain to him why he could not; but before he could do so, the scientist dashed to the Fountain and drank its water, heedless of the Highest One's warning. Storm was initially pleased because he was rapidly growing younger, but the Highest One informed Storm that his age regression would continue until he had "whirled backward into eternity".
Hours later, the Highest One found nothing remaining of Storm but his empty clothing; realizing that Storm had regressed to beyond the age of his birth, the Highest One wished him peace.
A bubbling fountain that sprang from deep within the secret depths of the
earth, it was located within the "Forbidden City" in Tibet.
images: (without ads)
Suspense#4/5, p5, pan7 (Main Image - elderly Jonathan Storm, deliriously wandering in Tibet)
Suspense#4/5, p2, pan2 (Headshot - elderly Jonathan Storm in lab, making appointment with Dr. Curtis)
Suspense#4/5, p1, pan3 (Headshot - Jonathan Storm regressed to about twenty-five years of age)
Suspense#4/5, p8, pan7 (Jonathan Storm's empty clothes following his regression into nothingness at Highest One's feet)
Suspense#4/5, p2, pan4 (Jonathan Storm (left) questions Dr. Curtis (right))
Suspense#4/5, p2, pan5 (Dr. Curtis gives Jonathan Storm his diagnosis)
Suspense#4/5, p4, pan7 (Chen Yu (left) agrees to let Jonathan Storm accompany him)
Suspense#4/5, p5, pan5 (Chen Yu (foreground) killed by bandits near Tibet, as Jonathan Storm (background) rides off)
Suspense#4/5, p6, pan2 (attendant monk brings food to Jonathan Storm)
Suspense#4/5, p6, pan3 (attendant monk tells Jonathan Storm he's in "Forbidden City")
Suspense#4/5, p7, pan1 (Highest One seated in throne)
Suspense#4/5, p8, pan4 (Highest One tells Jonathan Storm about the consequences of drinking from Fountain of Youth)
Suspense#4/5, p6, pan6 (Fountain of Youth and guards (background); attendant monk, Jonathan Storm, Highest One (reading Storm's thoughts) (foreground))
Suspense#4/5, p8, pan1 (Jonathan Storm drinks waters of Fountain of Youth)
Suspense#4/5, p8, pan5 (Jonathan Storm sees reflection of his younger face in waters of Fountain of Youth, as Highest One warns him of his fate)
Suspense#4/5 (August, 1950) - unidentified writer, unidentified artist, Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 02/19/18
Last updated: 02/23/18
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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