Real Name: Dunstan Blake

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Soldier of fortune

Group Membership: Explorers Club (until he was expelled) (see comments)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Tibetan lamas, Superius Rexians

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "An incorrigible scoundrel" (as called by an Explorers Club member), "the great god, Dunstan" (as he first introduced himself to Superius Rexians)

Base of Operations: Temporarily on the planet Superius Rex;
   formerly somewhere in Tibet;
   formerly the Explorers Club

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#54/2 (September, 1959)

Powers/Abilities: Blake had no paranormal abilities, but he likely had military experience. Being a world-traveler, he could speak most native dialects of other countries; he was also skilled at riding a horse.

A greedy and dishonest man, Blake attempted to steal a cursed diamond from a Tibetan idol; but instead, he found himself trapped on what he thought to be one-way intergalactic space-voyage to the the planet Superius Rex.

But Blake was returned to Earth after the Superius Rexians examined him and found Earthlings to be one of the inferior races of the universe.

Humbled by his experience, Blake afterwards swore to live a decent and honest life, to make up for the wrongs he committed in the past, and to be worthy of the second chance he'd been given.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black (graying temples)

(Journey into Mystery I#54/2 (fb) - BTS) - The past of mercenary Dunstan Blake is largely unrevealed, but his exploits had taken him to most parts of the world (By his own account, he had a "long and dangerous career").

   At some point, Blake joined the Explorers Club, where he played poker with some of the club members--on at least two occasions, he was caught cheating.

(Journey into Mystery I#54/2 (fb)) - While playing poker at the Explorers Club, Blake was caught cheating for the third time in the year--as a result of his disgraceful behavior, Blake's membership was revoked and he was told to permanently leave the organization.

   As he left the club and walked along the street, Blake heard a newsboy blaring the day's headlines, concerning the sudden appearance of a mysterious idol in Tibet. With his curiosity piqued, Blake bought a paper and thereby learned that the Tibetan lamas regarded the idol as sacred and untouchable, and that it contained the largest diamond ever seen on Earth. Seeing this as his opportunity to become rich, Blake was determined to steal the diamond.

   After packing a couple of suitcases, Blake hopped the first Orient-bound jetliner he could find; a few days and several trains, cars, and horses later, he was deep within northern Tibet, where he finally approached the site of the heavily-guarded idol. Blake spoke with the lamas--although they allowed him to look into the idol's inner chamber, to see the diamond sitting on its pedestal, the lamas warned him that the precious stone was cursed.

   Blake made his camp a short distance from the idol, and when evening came, he was determined to take the diamond from the superstitious lamas. Under the cover of darkness, he sneaked back over to the Tibetan camp, and to divert the armed guards' attention, he set their horses free. While the guards ran off to retrieve their runaway horses, Blake entered the idol's chamber (see comments) and stood before the diamond, excitedly thinking he would soon be the richest man on Earth. But as his trembling fingers seized the awesome jewel, a green gaseous vapor filled the chamber. Blake headed back to the entrance, but before he could reach it, he was overcome by dizziness, and then he passed out.

  When Blake finally regained consciousness, the vapor was gone from the chamber, and he was relieved that he still had the diamond in his hand. But as he tried to leave, Blake found himself trapped within the idol, for the entrance was now sealed! He pounded his fists against the barrier, but the obstacle was immovable.

   Then Blake heard a recorded voice that explained his terrible predicament to him: The "idol" was actually a disguised spaceship from the planet Superius Rex! The scientists of that world wanted an Earthling to study, but because the journey was extremely hazardous, they felt it only right to ensnare an Earthling who did not deserve to remain on his Earthling of weak character and little sense of morality.

   As he sat within the spaceship on its intergalactic flight, Blake could think but one thought: Would he make it safely to Superius Rex? And if he did...what then?

(Journey into Mystery I#55/2 (fb) - BTS) - Tense, agonizing weeks passed for Blake as the spaceship spanned the universe (see comments).

(Journey into Mystery I#55/2 (fb) ) - The spaceship finally landed and the door slid open, but when Blake stepped out, he found himself in some kind of jungle, and the only inhabitants appeared to be primitive ape-like creatures. Blake figured he could take advantage of the simple people and convince them that he was some kind of god. But instead, Blake was captured and led to a magnificent city.

   Blake was taken to a hospital, where he learned that the ape creatures communicated telepathically--he "overheard" that the scientists intended to give him a "complete scientific examination". Fearing dissection, Blake escaped from the Superius Rexians, but was eventually recaptured and strapped to an examination table.

   Much to Blake's relief, the procedure was performed using only harmless electronic rays.

   When the examination was finished, the Superius Rexians were disappointed by the results--they found Earthlings to be one of the more inferior races of the universe; they figured that they might as well return Blake back to his own planet, because he was worthless to them--subsequently, Blake was taken to the spaceship and sent back to Earth.

(Journey into Mystery I#55/2) - When Blake returned to Earth, he was a changed man--perhaps it was the cleansing effect of those probing rays, or perhaps it was just the humbling experience of meeting creatures far superior to himself. As he looked up at the night-time sky, Dunstan Blake made a sacred vow to live his life decently and honestly, to make up for the wrongs that he had done, and to be worthy of the second chance he'd been given.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Joe Sinnott.

The caption in Blake's opening narrative referred to the organization as the "Soldiers and Explorers Club" (no apostrophe)--I'm just assuming that it's the same organization as the Explorers Club, and that Blake only added the rest.

After Blake freed the guards' horses and ran into the idol (Journey into Mystery I#54/2, page4, panel 2), flames and smoke can be seen behind him, although nothing was mentioned about it in the dialogue or captions--I'm guessing he also set their camp afire to add to the confusion, so we can also include arson to his misdeeds.

Since Blake's journey aboard the spaceship lasted for an unspecified period of weeks, there obviously had to be a supply of water and some sort of food provided for him.

The 5-page story--I Dared to Defy... The Idol's Curse!--left Blake's fate unresolved; however, the following issue had a 5-page follow-up story--I Was a Prisoner of the... Apes Creatures!--which concluded Blake's tale (Thanks to John Holstein for pointing this out!)

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Dunstan Blake has no known connections to:

The Tibetan lamas have no known connections to:

The idol (spaceship) has no known connections to:

The diamond has no known connections to:

Tibetan lamas

An order of Buddhist priests in Tibet, they were camped by a giant idol that seemingly appeared from nowhere; their Grand Lama considered the idol to be sacred and untouchable.

The idol contained a huge diamond within its inner chamber, but the lamas refused to sell the precious stone because their wise men had prophesied that it was cursed.

The lamas employed warriors armed with swords, to guard the idol from those who would defile it.

When mercenary Dunstan Blake came to the idol, the lamas allowed him to look into the idol's entrance and see the diamond, but warned him of its curse.

The lamas where unaware that the "idol" was actually a automated spaceship from the planet Superius Rex, and that the diamond was really bait to trap an immoral Earthling ( Blake himself would eventually learn).

--Journey into Mystery I#54/2


Having mysteriously appeared from nowhere, it was located somewhere deep within northern Tibet, and it resembled a religious figure. Having a gold-colored exterior, its interior chamber seemed to be made of gray stone blocks. Within the chamber, on a central pedestal, was a huge diamond. The idol was guarded by a group of Tibetan lamas.

But the "idol" was actually an automated spacecraft built by the inhabitants of Superius Rex--for centuries, their scientists had observed Earthlings from afar, but they wanted to bring a human to their planet for close scientific study, to learn about alien life-forms in the universe. Since the voyage to their planet was very hazardous, they felt it only right to trap an Earthling who was immoral and of weak character (i.e. one who didn't deserve to remain on his planet). To attract such a person, the extraterrestrials baited their trap with a large diamond. When someone touched the precious stone, a gas was released that placed the captured individual to sleep, so that he could withstand the force of the spacecraft's blast-off from Earth.

Soldier of fortune Dunstan Blake was trapped within the "idol" when he tried to steal the diamond--he later found himself on what he thought would be a one-way trip to Superius Rex.

But after the Superius Rexians examined Blake and found humans to be an inferior race, they put him back aboard the spaceship and returned him to Earth--presumably, the spaceship left Earth and returned to Superius Rex afterwards.

--Journey into Mystery I#54/2, 55/2


Reportedly the largest diamond in the world, it was located within a chamber inside an idol in Tibet.

The Tibetan lamas refused to sell the diamond because their wise men prophesied that it was cursed for anyone to take it from the idol; regardless, soldier of fortune Dunstan Blake sought to steal the precious stone.

But the diamond was actually bait for an extraterrestrial trap set by the scientists of Superius Rex, who hoped to capture an Earthling of weak character and little sense of morality.

--Journey into Mystery I#54/2

images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Dunstan Blake, standing inside idol, by diamond)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p2, pan2 (Headshot - Dunstan Blake leaves Explorers Club, after having been caught cheating at poker)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p5, pan4 (Dunstan Blake holding diamond, as he hears recorded message)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p5, pan7 (Dunstan Blake sits and awaits his final fate)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p3, pan1 (Dunstan Blake speaks with Tibetan lamas; guards and idol (background) )
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p3, pan2 (Tibetan lama; guard and idol (background) )
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p2, pan7 (Dunstan Blake, on horseback, sees idol in the distance)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p5, pan6 (idol flying in space, revealed as a spacecraft)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p3, pan3 (diamond inside idol; Dunstan Blake and Tibetan lamas (silhouettes, background)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p4, pan3 (Dunstan Blake, about to grab diamond)
Journey into Mystery I#54/2, p4, pan4 (as Dunstan Blake grabs diamond, gas is released)

Journey into Mystery I#54/2 (September, 1959) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Joe Sinnott (pencils and inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters)
Journey into Mystery I#55/2 (November, 1959) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Joe Sinnott (pencils and inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Ray Holloway (letters)

First Posted: 12/25/2020
Last updated: 12/31/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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