Real Name: Volcan (see comments)

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments) (1940s era)

Occupation: Would-be conqueror, God of the Middle Earth

Group Membership: None (see comments)

Affiliations: Flame Men

Enemies: Bob Roland, Carol

Known Relatives: None (see comments)

Aliases: "Great One" (as called by a Flame Man)

Base of Operations: His subterranean kingdom

First Appearance: Mystic Comics I#5/3 (March, 1941)

Powers/Abilities: Due to his gigantic size, the golden-skinned Sub-Earth Man likely had a high degree of superhuman strength, and he was extremely long-lived (if not immortal). His body exuded fiery waves, but unlike his Flame Men, he seemed to have greater control over his body-temperature and could regulate his flames (...such as when he was able to carry Bob Roland and Carol without burning them). He had the power to propel himself in flight through underground tunnels.

He seemed to have a weakness to cool temperatures, as his powers had diminished over countless centuries.

The Sub-Earth Man carried a proportionally-sized hammer (it was unrevealed if it possessed any special properties), and he utilized the tectonic forces, geothermal energies, and raw elements of the earth itself as his weapons.

Height: 60' (by approximation)
Weight: 40 tons (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown

(Mystic Comics I#5/3 (fb) - BTS) - Although his past is largely unrevealed, the Sub-Earth Man claimed there was a time when he ruled supreme as the god of the ancient fiery Earth, and long ago, men knew and feared him. But gradually, as the planet cooled, his power was lessened. From his subterranean lair, he began utilizing the forces of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in a plan to drive humanity from the face of the Earth so he could rule the planet again.

   In 1941, with the aid of his Flame Men, the Sub-Earth Man activated a long dormant volcano near the Mexican village of Las Palmas on the Pacific coastline.

(Mystic Comics I#5/3) - Geologist Bob Roland and Carol were exploring a winding network of tunnels in the volcano when they were captured by the Flame Men and brought before the throne of the Sub-Earth Man. The fiery giant informed Bob and Carol of his scheme, then ordered his Flame Men to cast the two into a pit of lava. In an act of desperation to save their lives, Bob told the Sub-Earth Man that if he would spare their lives, Bob would help him by using his knowledge to find a spot beneath a great city, where he could strike and cause an earthquake that would do the most damage.

   Accepting the geologist's offer, the Sub-Earth Man first showed Bob and Carol the weapons of the earth at his disposal--molten lava, poisonous gases, boulders, and super-heated steam; then the fiery giant carried the two to the spot where Bob directed him. The Sub-Earth Man allowed Bob and Carol to leave, and commanded the Flame Men to escort them back to the surface.

   But the Sub-Earth Man had been tricked, for Bob had directed him to strike a spot beneath the Pacific Ocean, and as a mighty blast erupted out of the ocean, water began pouring through the fissures into the fiery giant's subterranean kingdom; unperturbed, the Sub-Earth Man ordered his Flame Men to redirect the water into the steam-cauldron pits--he figured the more steam he made, the more power he would have to blow through the Earth's crust.

   Meanwhile, on the surface of the Pacific, huge waves caused by the Sub-Earth Man's eruption were forming into a giant tidal wave that threatened to destroy Las Palmas. Bob and Carol found some dynamite at a deserted construction site and blew a huge gap in the volcano's side, from which poured a torrent of lava. The lava flowed down to the ocean, where it spread out along the shore and formed a hissing, sizzling wall that halted the tidal wave and saved the village.

   Bob Roland and Carol were relieved that their actions had spared Las Palmas from destruction, but they realized they still had the Sub-Earth Man to deal with... (see comments)

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Harold De Lay (artist).

And although the blurb in the last panel promised another Sub-Earth Man story in the next issue, this would be the one-and-only appearance of these characters.

The Sub-Earth Man never mentioned his true name, but while Bob and Carol were fleeing from captivity, Bob referred to him once as "Volcan" (page 7/panel 5)--unless the Sub-Earth Man revealed his name behind-the-scenes, I guess it could have just been a nickname created by Bob.

Maybe the Sub-Earth Man was actually the demon Cha'sa'dra, who was worshiped by Jinku and the Lava Men.

Or since he claimed to have been around "when Earth was a fiery planet," that implies the Sub-Earth Man had existed since the Distant Past, so perhaps he was one of the Elder Gods ( which case, he would be related to Chthon, Gaea, Set, etc.)--maybe he escaped the notice of the Demogorge because he was so far below the surface of world.

Perhaps the Sub-Earth Man (Volcan) is the Earth-Core God Vool-Kan that the South African witch doctor Buka impersonated in Mystic Comics#8 (March, 1942) in a Black Marvel story.

"All hope abandon, ye who enter here" is a reference to Dante's Divine Comedy. With all the fire in this story it did seem like a true inferno to me.
--Markus Raymond

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Sub-Earth Man/"Volcan" has no known connections to:

Bob Roland has no known connections to:

The Flame Men have no known connections to:

Bob Roland and Carol

Bob was a geologist, and Carol (last name unrevealed) was his fiancee.

The two were exploring a volcano near the Mexican village of Las Palmas when they discovered a stone door. Bob was able to decipher the Mexican hieroglyphs on the door, and despite the ominous warning--All hope abandon, ye who enter here--Bob pried the door open and the two entered a network of underground tunnels.

They were captured by the Flame Men and taken to the Sub-Earth Man. The fiery giant told them of his plans to conquer the world, then ordered the two to be cast into a lava pit; but Bob offered to help the Sub-Earth Man find the perfect location to strike and cause the most damage if he would release them (...much to Carol's disgust).

After Bob showed the fiery giant where to attack, they were released from captivity; but Bob had fooled the Sub-Earth Man into striking at a spot under the Pacific Ocean, and his underground lair was flooded. However, the eruption had also caused a tidal wave that threatened to destroy Las Palmas.

Bob and Carol managed to find some dynamite at a nearby construction site, and they used it to blow a hole in the side of the volcano; lava flowed from the hole and formed a wall along the seashore that blocked the tidal wave and saved the village.

Bob and Carol were relieved that Las Palmas was spared, but they realized they still had the menace of the Sub-Earth Man to contend with...

The final fates of Bob Roland and Carol are unrevealed (see comments).

--Mystic Comics I#5/3

Flame Men

Numbering at least a dozen, they were the sentient underlings of the Sub-Earth Man. Standing about 6 feet tall, they were constantly engulfed in flames, and their body-temperatures were hot enough to melt metal, but they wore asbestos suits to protect anything they might handle ( when they captured Bob Roland and Carol).

The Flame Men assisted the Sub-Earth Man in his scheme to conquer the world.

--Mystic Comics I#5/3

images: (without ads)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p3, pan4 (Main Image - Sub-Earth Man sitting on his throne (holding hammer in left hand))
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p8, pan3 (Headshot - Sub-Earth Man)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p7, pan2 (Sub-Earth Man in flight, carrying Bob Roland and Carol)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p8, pan1 (Sub-Earth Man surrounded by Flame Men)
Mystic Comics I#5/3. p2 pan1 (Bob Roland and Carol exploring volcano, finding stone door)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p10, pan7 (Bob Roland and Carol, after saving village, realize they still have to deal with Sub-Earth Man)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p2, pan6 (Flame Men (wearing asbestos suits) seize Carol)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p6, pan5 (Sub-Earth Man points to Flame Men preparing poisonous gases)
Mystic Comics I#5/3, p8, pan2 (Flame Man warns Sub-Earth Man that his kingdom is flooding)

Mystic Comics I#5/3 (March, 1941) - unidentified writer, Harold De Lay (pencils and inks), Joe Simon (editor)

First Posted: 09/03/2018
Last updated: 09/19/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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