Real Name: Jeff Barker
Identity/Class: Human magic user (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Archie Munn (until he betrayed him)
Enemies: John Mulfort, Leo Price, Edward Rossby
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile;
formerly a federal penitentiary;
formerly his home, somewhere in America
First Appearance: Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1 (July, 1957)
Powers/Abilities: A normal human, Barker was skilled in espionage--he specialized in stealing secret U.S. government documents, which he sold to hostile foreign powers.
Using a book of alchemical black magic, Barker created the "Dreadful Disc", a magical talisman which reduced his size (including his clothing (see comments)) to 10 inches--he would stay shrunken as long as he maintained contact with the disc. To keep his hands unencumbered, Barker eventually attached the disc to a small chain, which he wore around his neck while shrunken.
Apparently Barker's strength was proportionally diminished when he shrank, because he was unable to free himself from a mouse-trap while at his reduced size.
Height: 5' 10" (by
approximation); 10" (while using "Dreadful Disc")
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
(Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1 (fb) - BTS) - Baker stole secret government documents to sell to enemies of the United States, but federal agents were hot on his trail.
At some point, Barker obtained an ancient book of alchemy--one of the spells within was a formula for creating a metal disc which could shrink its possessor.
(Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1) - In his cellar laboratory, Barker was working on creating the magical disc--for the final step in the process, he put the disc in his furnace for the half-hour of high heat the formula required.
After thirty minutes had elapsed, Barker was just about to retrieve the disc when Leo Price and another FBI agent came pounding down the basement steps to arrest him. Barker was brought to a quick conviction for his crimes in a court of law, and the judge sentenced him to thirty years in a federal penitentiary.
In his prison cell, the traitorous Barker was undisturbed by any sense of guilt, for only one thought gnawed at his mind: He had to find some way to get hold of the disc. But Barker's cellmate Archie Muun was due to be released that day, so Barker offered to pay him $2000 if he retrieved the disc from the furnace and brought it back to him. Although the simple-minded Munn admitted he could use the money, he was reluctant to smuggle anything into the prison; Barker only explained that something would happen to Munn when he handled the disc, then he'd see that he could get in and out of the cell without being detected, so Munn agreed to give it a try.
The next day, Barker secretly got a visitor in his cell--the shrunken Archie Munn, whose reduced size allowed him to easily slip past the cell-bars and carry the disc to Barker. But when the slow-witted Munn handed the disc to Barker, their situations were reversed--Munn returned to his normal height and was trapped in the cell, while Barker shrank and fled from the prison.
(Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1 - BTS) - To keep his hands unencumbered while shrunken, Barker attached the disc to a small chain that he could wear around his neck.
(Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1) - Using the power of the disc, Barker returned to stealing more secret documents; his method of operation was simple--while shrunken, he'd enter a government office when it was open and hide; when night came, he'd lay aside the disc to return to normal size and get the documents he wanted, then he'd take up the disc again and hide; when morning came, the shrunken Barker would simply slip out of the opened office with the documents, unseen (see comments).
For weeks, secret documents continued to mysteriously vanish, so Leo Price eventually questioned Archie Munn and learned about the power of Barker's disc; Price came up with a solution to capture Barker.
A week later, the shrunken Barker was in another government office at night, and he accidentally set off a burglar alarm; when the night watchmen came to investigate, Barker climbed into a filing cabinet drawer, intending to hide beneath some papers...
(Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1 - BTS) - ...but Barker stepped on a mouse-trap (planted there by Agent Leo Price). With his arms pinned at his sides by the sprung trap, the shrunken Barker couldn't remove the disc on the chain around his neck, and thus was unable to return to normal size.
(Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1) - The next day, Agent Price visited the prison from which Barker had escaped. Price went to the office of Warden Edward Rossby with a "present"--the warden could only stare in stunned silence when Price handed him the shrunken Jeff Barker, who was still caught in the mouse-trap.
Comments: Created by Carl Wessler and John Forte.
Considering he was caught in a mouse-trap, Barker should just consider himself lucky that he didn't suffer the same fate as Ralph Halley.
Although it wasn't specifically stated so in this 4-page story, my guess is that the disc also reduced anything that Barker was carrying in the pockets of his clothing--he probably just stuffed the stolen documents in his pockets, so they shrank with him.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Jeff Barker has no known connections to:
Archie Munn has no known connections to:
Leo Price has no known connections to:
John Mulfort has no known connections to:
Edward Rossby has no known connections to:
The "Dreadful Disc" has no known connections to:
The simple-minded Munn was incarcerated in a federal
penitentiary for an unspecified crime; his cell-mate was Jeff Barker.
An agent with the FBI, he had spent months gathering evidence
against Jeff Barker, who was stealing secret government documents. Price
and a fellow FBI agent arrested Barker when Barker was trying to retrieve
a metal disc from his furnace.
A supervisor with the FBI, he was Agent Leo Price's chief.
He was the warden of an unidentified federal penitentiary where Jeff Barker had been
imprisoned; but Barker had mysteriously escaped.
It was gleaming
coin-like object that Jeff Barker created by using a formula from an
ancient book of alchemy. During the final step of its creation, the
alchemical spell required that the disc (see
red circle) be kept in a kiln at
high heat for no less than one-half hour, so Barker used some tongs to
place it in his home's furnace.
images: (without ads)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p4, pan3 (Main Image - shrunken Jeff Barker (with disc on chain around his neck) climbs into file cabinet drawer)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p2, pan3 (Headshot - Jeff Barker in prison)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p1, pan1 (Jeff Barker in his basement, creating disc)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p4, pan7 (shrunken Jeff Barker (with disc on chain around his neck) caught in mouse-trap; Leo Price (background), Warden Edward Rossby (foreground))
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p2, pan7 (Archie Munn holds disc in palm of his hand)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p3, pan2 (shrunken Archie Munn (carrying disc) climbs through prison cell bars; Jeff Barker (left))
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p3, pan3 (Archie Munn returned to normal size and trapped in prison cell; shrunken Jeff Barker (carrying disc) escapes from prison cell)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p4, pan2 (Leo Price)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p4, pan1 (Leo Price (left) questions Archie Munn in prison)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p3, pan4 (John Mulfort (left) speaks with Leo Price)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p4, pan5 (Warden Edward Rossby (right) receives box from Leo Price)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p4, pan6 (Warden Edward Rossby (left) opens box; Leo Price)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1, p1, pan2 (disc (in red circle) being placed in furnace by Jeff Barker)
Journey into Unknown Worlds I#59/1 (July, 1957) - Carl Wessler (writer), John Forte (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 09/08/2020
Last updated: 09/08/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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