"STRANGER FROM SPACE"
Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Plutonian) (see comments) (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Doctor Merle, Ludwig, Martians (see comments)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile; originally from Pluto (see comments)
First Appearance: Mystic I#24/2 (October, 1953)
Powers/Abilities: Having a vaguely humanoid body, the "Stranger from Space" had scaly green skin--possibly he was reptilian. He had two hearts, three digits on each hand (two fingers and thumb), and was carnivorous. He was easily able to speak English, so perhaps he did so telepathically (or perhaps the ear-pieces he wore were some form of translator device).
He traveled to Earth as the sole occupant of his spacecraft.
Height: 6' 6" (by
Weight: 250 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Mystic I#24/2 (fb) - BTS) - The past of the "Stranger from Space" is largely unrevealed, but he and his flesh-eating brethren traveled from Pluto to invade Mars, where they devoured Martians by the thousands--the few surviving Martians hid in terror in the canals (see comments). For unspecified reasons, the "Stranger" then traveled in his spaceship toward Earth.
(Mystic I#24/2) - The "Stranger's" spaceship developed engine trouble and crashed outside the isolated laboratory of Dr. Merle and his assistant Ludwig. As the injured extraterrestrial staggered out of his ship, he collapsed in front of the two Earthmen. The fearful Ludwig wanted to kill the alien; but Merle insisted that the "Stranger" could unlock untold mysteries of the universe for mankind, so they had to help him. Merle and Ludwig carried the "Stranger" into the lab to treat his injuries, and for seventy-two hours, Dr. Merle worked medical marvels on the creature. When the alien's two hearts sounded fine, Merle was ready to revive him. But Ludwig angrily objected, for he still feared the alien; after a heated argument with Merle, Ludwig walked out of the lab and threatened to notify the authorities.
Using a hypodermic needle, Merle injected a stimulant into the alien; seconds later an arm twitched, an eye opened, and the alien sat up. The dazed "Stranger" asked Merle where he was, and Merle told him he was on Earth--Merle was pleasantly surprised the alien spoke English, and the "Stranger" replied that it was a "simple feat". The alien complimented the scientist's world, saying that it was much like Mars before the Plutonians invaded; the "Stranger" further elaborated that flesh-eaters from Pluto came and devoured numerous Martians--hearing this, Merle was left with the (mistaken) impression that the "Stranger" was actually a Martian, and he told the alien he was lucky to have escaped. Then Merle recommended to the "Stranger" that he get more rest, and they would talk more in the morning.
That night, as the "Stranger from Space" slept soundly in Merle's lab, Ludwig sneaked back in, carrying a knife--he was determined to kill the alien before it got stronger and deadlier. But before Ludwig could stab the sleeping extraterrestrial, Dr. Merle sprang from the darkness and struck his former assistant on the head, knocking him out. Merle roused the alien and pointed to the unconscious Ludwig, telling the "Stranger" that they had to get off the planet before every fanatic in the country came after them.
Merle accompanied the "Stranger" back to his crashed spaceship--the alien assured him that his craft was rugged and was still operational, so they climbed aboard. Moments later, the ship thundered into space, and Merle wondered aloud where they could go since they were both outcasts. The "Stranger" told him they would go back to his planet; taken aback, Merle warned the "Stranger" that the Plutonians would eat them alive if they landed on Mars. Smiling with fangs in his slavering jaws, the "Stranger" corrected Dr. Merle's mistake about his planet of origin...
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Gil Kane (artist)
although this was a pre-Comics
Code story, Marvel/Atlas was never quite as gory as EC
Comics, so we didn't see Dr. Merle as the main course at a Pluvian
banquet (The ending of this story
reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episode "To
This alien was never identified, so I just used the story's title to identify him.
Since it's unlikely that life could develop on cold and distant Pluto, the "Stranger" was probably not a native--perhaps he and his people were actually from another star-system, and they were just using Pluto as a base (much like the Kronans, who became known as the "Stone Men from Saturn" because they were based on one of the ringed planet's moons). I think the "Stranger from Space" had a similar appearance to the Badoon, so maybe he and his people are offshoots of that race.
In regards to those Martians that were mentioned: Through the years, there have been so many diverse races identified as "Martians" (including this one, this one, Zetora, the enemies of Robot X, etc., etc.)--perhaps none of these were truly natives of the red planet, but were just using Mars as a base as well. Yet all these aforementioned Martians seem to be aggressive, and therefore don't seem too likely to give up to the "Stranger's" people without a fight.
So who were those Martians the Plutonians devoured? Well, in the first (and only) Thin Man story in Mystic Comics I#4, it was mentioned that the Kalahians had peaceful relations with some Martians who seemed to be more interested in exchanging scientific knowledge rather than conquest; these Martians have never been seen since, so my guess is that these are the ones to whom the "Stranger from Space" was referring.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The "Stranger from Space" has no known connections to:
Dr. Merle has no known connections to:
Ludwig has no known connections to:
Capable of interplanetary travel (at least),
it transported the "Stranger" from Pluto to Mars, then to Earth. Its
interior was roomy enough to accommodate at least two occupants.
The "Stranger's" spaceship was first sighted by Dr. Merle and Ludwig in their telescopic viewer.
Dr. Merle was an accomplished scientist (Exactly what field of science he specialized in was never made clear--he had a telescopic viewer, which suggests he was an astronomer, but he was also knowledgeable in alien physiology, so I guess Dr. Merle was just one of those Marvel scientists who seems to know everything); Ludwig (Unrevealed whether that was his first or last name) was Dr. Merle's assistant.
They were working in Merle's isolated laboratory when they sighted what they at first thought to be a comet in a telescopic viewer; but the object turned out to be an alien spacecraft.
The spaceship crashed near the lab, and they saw the craft's sole alien occupant emerge. Ludwig feared the extraterrestrial and wanted to kill it, but Merle was convinced the "Stranger from Space" would help mankind--Merle later learned that he should have listened to his assistant.
images: (without ads)
Mystic I#24/2, p2, pan8 (Main Image, "Stranger from Space")
Mystic I#24/2, p3, pan2 (Headshot, "Stranger from Space" (side view) (Dr. Merle in background))
Mystic I#24/2, p4, pan6 ("Stranger from Space" reveals his true nature to Dr. Merle)
Mystic I#24/2, p1, pan1 ("Stranger's" spaceship, as seen in telescopic viewer)
Mystic I#24/2, p1, pan3 (Dr. Merle (left) and Ludwig (right))
Mystic I#24/2, p2, pan1 (Dr. Merle (left) and Ludwig (right) watching alien emerge from spacecraft)
Mystic Comics I#4/3, p3, pan3 (in Kalahia, Bruce (Thin Man) Dickson and Olalla view Martian on telescopic screen)
Mystic I#24/2 (October, 1953) - unidentified writer, Gil Kane (pencils), Matt Fox (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 12/06/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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