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Real Name: Robert "Bob" Denning

Identity/Class: Normal human (early 1950s era)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Creatures in a pocket dimension

Known Relatives: Gale Denning (wife)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed city in the USA

First Appearance: Suspense#8/8 (May, 1951)

Powers/Abilities: Robert Denning is an average young man who could afford the occasional art items and curios.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 155 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Black
Hair: Blond


(Suspense#8/8 (fb) - BTS) - Robert "Bob" Denning enjoyed the occasional purchase at auction houses for odd items. His faithful wife Gale tolerated this.

(Suspense#8/8 (fb)) - One day, Bob chanced upon a small auction house. Despite the atmosphere of fear, he went in and joined the few people there. Bob was then held to the spot as the dead-faced auctioneer revealed a large painting with images of monsters and terror. Bob felt compelled to bid and bought the painting, then left quickly. He felt as if the painting was alive and was ashamed of his reckless spending as he later showed Gale at their home, but she was shocked to see something move in the painting. Afraid, she ordered it be removed, so Bob hid it in the attic.

   Later, restless sleep drove him upstairs again where he reached out to the hapless woman in the painting, but was instead drawn into the painting in a kaleidoscopic vortex into a pocket dimension; once there, he appeared on the painting as well. Now within the painting, Bob defended the woman from a giant monstrous beast. The woman revealed she had been pulled into the painting, but another ghoulish creature attacked. Bob grabbed a rock and smashed its head; other monsters came out to devour the dead. The woman wanted to head back to the hills of the barren, rocky landscape, but Bob wanted to stay. Looking out from the frame, he saw his old attic just as Gale appeared, intent on slicing up the painting with a knife. But somehow she heard Bob's calls and reached out to his image. However, this time Gale was drawn in as Bob was ejected via the same disorienting vortex. Shielding his eyes from the picture, he grabbed the knife and slashed at the painting, realizing too late that Gale had been pulled in.

(Suspense#8/8) - Seemingly driven mad by fear, he retold the events to the editors of Suspense magazine.

Comments: Created by uncredited writer, Don Rico (pencils & inks).

It seems fairly clear that the painting acted as a portal to a hellish pocket dimension, but if so, where? Was it a part of Mephisto's realm or an entrance to limbo (Belasco's Otherplace dimension)? Was it just a tool used as a trap by Nightmare or another of the Fear Lords to cultivate fear? Was it simply an alien dimension with monstrous creatures defending their domain? (Nah, probably not the latter!)

It also seems that time in the painting's pocket dimension traveled slower than in the outside world.

It seems unlikely that Gale Denning died when Bob destroyed the painting, but rather his actions trapped her there and he accepted that at the end. It seems unrealistic that there was only one entry to this dimension, so she may have had an opportunity to escape.

And, of course, no relation to the esteemed interior designer Robert Denning.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Robert Denning has no known connections to:

Gale Denning

Red-haired Gale Denning was Bob's devoted wife and tolerated his collection quirk, but she hated the last painting he bought with its horrible imagery. Bob moved it to the attic after she thought she saw movement in the painting, but he was secretly pulled into the nightmarish dimension of the painting. Investigating his disappearance, she went to the painting to destroy it, but heard his voice calling out to her from within the painting. She reached out and ended up changing places with him, but Bob blindly cut the painting up to end its terror, leaving only a scrap showing his wife's terrified face trapped in the painting's pocket dimension.





images: (without ads)
Suspense#8/8, p1 (main image)
   p3, pan2 (headshot)
   p2, pan4 (with painting)
   p4, pan4 (falling into vortex)
   p3, pan5 (Gale)

Suspense#8/8 (May, 1951) - uncredited writer, Don Rico (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 04/08/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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