Classification: Extraterrestrial object (see comments) (1950s era)

Creator: Unknown (see comments)

User/Possessors: Henry and Martha (last names unrevealed)

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#43/4 (February, 1957)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: Composed of unidentified elements, this softball-sized stone glowed with a yellowish luminescence; its radiation made inorganic matter vanish (see comments). Its rays were temporarily contained when it was placed inside a steel strongbox. The stone was eventually erased from existence when its own rays were reflected back upon it with a mirror.

History: (Journey into Mystery I#43/4) - The origin of this strange stone is unknown, but one night it fell from the sky and plummeted earthward (see comments). It landed in a field near the rural home of Henry and Martha and started a small fire. Thinking it was a meteor, Henry ran out to investigate. After the flames died out, the stone seemed to glow from within, but it was cool to the touch, so Henry carried it back to his house. Martha warned him he shouldn't have touched it because she didn't like the looks of it, but Henry was sure it was harmless, and he thought the glowing rock was pretty. Henry put it on the table by the lamp to have a better look at it. To their surprise, slowly but steadily, the rays of the stone made the lamp disappear. But Henry noticed the rays of the glowing rock didn't bother him or Martha, so he guessed the radiation probably affected only non-living things; nonetheless, Martha insisted he get rid of it. Instead, Henry placed the stone in his strongbox and closed the lid--it was made of heavy gauge steel, and he figured it would slow down the rays for a while. Henry told Martha he thought the stone was valuable, and that it might change their lives--it might even change the world.

   Later, after the couple went to bed, Henry had a turbulent nightmare that haunted his sleep. In his dream, he was corrupted by the power of the stone, as he saw himself carrying it and threatening to make entire cities vanish unless mankind made him the supreme ruler of the world. With panic clutching his heart, Henry awoke and stood looking out the bedroom window, pondering his thoughts, when Martha woke up and asked him what was troubling him. Henry's nightmare had given him a change of heart, and he decided that they had to find some way to destroy the rock, for no one man should have such power. Henry opened the strongbox and removed the stone, and as he held Martha's mirror, he reflected the rock's rays back upon it, making the strange stone fade away. Martha wondered where the rock had gone to, but Henry told her it didn't matter--what counted most was that they were rid of the terrible thing.


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

This stone was never named, so I just identified it by the story's title: "The Secret of the Strange Stone".

Although it presumably fell from space, it landed pretty gently and didn't even leave an impact crater like a meteor would, but I guess that could be attributable to the stone's unusual properties.

It was never clarified exactly what happened to that vanished lamp--whether its atomic structure was totally disintegrated, or if it was transported to another dimension (a la the Living Eraser), or whatever.

The origin of the stone was not explained. Maybe it came from the Lifestone Tree. Or maybe it had some connection to Galactus' Ultimate Nullifier. Or maybe it was an "eraser" for that alien pencil that got dropped out of a flying saucer.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

"Strange Stone" has no known connections to:

Henry and Martha

An elderly American couple, their simple lives were changed one night when a glowing rock fell from the sky and landed in a field near their rural home. Henry brought the glowing stone in the house, but Martha was apprehensive about it. Henry placed the stone by the lamp on the table to get a better look at it, but the rays of the glowing rock made the lamp vanish. Henry noticed that the rays didn't seem to be harming himself or Martha, so he thought they probably only affected non-living matter. Thinking the strange stone might be valuable, Henry placed it in his strongbox to prevent the rays from making anything else disappear, then he and Martha went to bed.

But after Henry had a nightmare about himself becoming corrupted by the power of the stone, he decided to get rid of it. He used Martha's mirror to reflect the stone's rays back upon it, the glowing rock disappeared, and the elderly couple were relieved to be rid of the strange stone.

--Journey into Mystery I#43/4

Henry's strongbox

A lockbox made of heavy gauge steel, it was temporarily used to contain the radiation of the "Strange Stone".
(I just hope Henry remembered to take out any valuables he may have had in it before he closed the lid!)

--Journey into Mystery I#43/4

Martha's mirror

A common mirror, its reflective surface was used to direct the "Strange Stone's" radiation back upon itself.

--Journey into Mystery I#43/4

images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p1, pan2 ("Strange Stone" landing on earth; Henry, Martha, and their home in background)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p2, pan2 ("Strange Stone" being placed on table near lamp by Henry)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p2, pan4 ("Strange Stone's" radiation making lamp vanish)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p3, pan7 (Martha and Henry relieved that "Strange Stone" has vanished)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p2, pan6 (Henry putting "Strange Stone" in lockbox)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p3, pan5 (Henry holding mirror to reflect "Strange Stone's" radiation)
Journey into Mystery I#43/4, p3, pan6 (mirror reflecting "Strange Stone's" radiation back upon itself as Martha watches)

Journey into Mystery I#43/4 (February, 1957) - unidentified writer, Al Williamson (penciler), Ralph Mayo (inker)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 01/01/16

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