Real Name: Markham (first name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Unidentified fellow scientist
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The old goat" (as
referred to by Gene)
Base of Operations: His home/laboratory
First Appearance: Marvel Tales I#150/3 (September, 1956)
Powers/Abilities: Having no paranormal abilities, the altruistic Markham was a skilled medical research scientist who devoted his work for the benefit of mankind.
While experimenting with molds for a new form of antibiotic, Markham discovered what he dubbed MOLD-GROWTH X--this substance caused tremendous growth, although it only reacted on inanimate material.
10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: Black (graying temples)
(Marvel Tales I#150/3 (fb) - BTS) - In an effort to create a new form of antibiotic, Dr. Markham began experimenting with molds; at some point, he hired Gene as his lab assistant.
(Marvel Tales I#150/3) - Markham excitedly told Gene that he had discovered a new type of growth produced by an antibiotic mold--Gene figured the discovery (which Markham dubbed MOLD-GROWTH X) would be worth a lot of money.
Later, Gene sat alone and obsessively brooded--he thought that since he was Markham's assistant, then he was entitled to get half of what Markham sold the mold for.
The next morning, Gene proposed to Markham his scheme to sell MOLD-GROWTH X, then they could split the money and both be rich. However, Markham rejected Gene's preposterous idea, because his experiment was not yet complete--besides, he was a scientist, not a huckster, and he intended to give his work to the world, not sell it!
But seeing his opportunity for riches slipping away caused Gene to violently snap--he grabbed Markham and recklessly pushed him into a lab table, causing the scientist's elbow to knock over the rack of test-tubes containing MOLD-GROWTH X. As the falling test-tubes shattered on the floor, a green gas was released that flooded the lab. Suddenly, the entire structure and everything within began to expand, while Markham and Gene were unaffected--although Markham understood what was actually happening, Gene was under the mistaken impression that the two of them were shrinking (see comments).
Irrationally blaming Markham for making them both "midgets," the insanely enraged Gene began to chase after him, and the scientist had no choice but to flee. The two "doll-sized" men began to climb a giant staircase, but then the pursuing Gene fell from a step and struck his head, knocking himself unconscious as he landed.
Realizing the danger they faced, Markham dragged the insensate Gene out the enlarged house's giant front door--fortunately, the door was ajar, otherwise he never would have been able to get it open. Just in time, the scientist and his unconscious assistant reached the safety of the outdoors, for behind them, the enlarged house blew up, bursting like an over-inflated balloon.
Shortly afterward, Dr. Markham saw a fellow scientist in the crowd that gathered, and he explained to him what had happened--the gas from the mold only reacted upon inanimate material, causing the tremendous expansion of his house and everything inside, while he and Gene had remained at their normal sizes.
Meanwhile, the unconscious Gene had revived, still under the delusion that he had shrunken.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Bob Powell.
This 4-page story--The
Shrinking Man!--was done with a surprise-ending--it wasn't
until the final panel that the reader learned Dr. Markham and Gene had
retained their normal sizes all along, while it was the house (and
everything within) which had actually grown.
Maybe MOLD-GROWTH X contained "Growth Pollen" from Kosmos.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Dr. Markham has no known connections to:
Gene has no known connections to:
MOLD-GROWTH X has no known connections to:
name unrevealed) was employed by Dr. Markham as a lab
technician--although Gene was inefficient, his job was easy and
well-paying for one of his limited talents.
When the falling test-tubes shattered on the floor, a green gas was
released that flooded the lab. Suddenly, the entire structure and
everything within began to expand, but Gene was under
the mistaken impression that both he and Markham were shrinking.
It was a new form of mold discovered by Dr.
Markham while he was trying to produce an antibiotic, he dubbed it
somewhere in America, it was where Markham lived and conducted his
images: (without ads)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Dr. Markham)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p2, pan4 (Headshot - Dr. Markham)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p3, pan3 (Dr. Markham (left) and Gene, as gas makes laboratory start to grow)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p4, pan7 (Dr. Markham explains how gas caused house to grow)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p1, pan1 (Gene)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p1, pan3 (Gene broods)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p3, pan4 (Gene (left) blames Dr. Markham for making them "shrink," as Dr. Markham climbs enlarged stairs)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p4, pan7 (stunned Gene, under the mistaken impression that he has shrunk; unidentified fellow scientist (foreground))
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p2, pan6 (Gene knocks Dr. Markham into test tubes containing MOLD-GROWTH X)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p2, pan7 (test tubes of MOLD-GROWTH X shatter on floor, releasing gas; Gene and Dr. Markham (background) )
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p3, pan1 (clouds of MOLD-GROWTH X gas fill house; Gene and Dr. Markham)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p4, pan5 (interior of Markham's house, Dr. Markham drags unconscious Gene to giant door)
Marvel Tales I#150/3, p4, pan6 (Dr. Markham drags Gene to safety (silhouettes), as Dr. Markham's enlarged house bursts like a bubble)
Marvel Tales I#150/3 (September, 1956) - unidentified writer, Bob Powell (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 09/15/2020
Last updated: 09/15/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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