Real Name: Dunstan Blake
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Occupation: Soldier of fortune
Group Membership: Explorers Club (until he was expelled) (see comments)
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
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
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
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
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
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Blake was caught cheating for the third time in the year--as a result of his disgraceful behavior, Blake's membership was revoked and he was told to permanently leave the organization.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 planet...an 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:
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
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 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.
Reportedly the largest diamond in the world, it
was located within a chamber inside an idol in Tibet.
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.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters