Real Name: Johnny Fry
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Extradimensional invaders
(including Mr. Stobbs, Mr. Talas)
Known Relatives: None
(in story title, and as called by himself)
Base of Operations: Unidentified American city
First Appearance: Strange
Stories of Suspense#8/3 (April, 1956)
Powers/Abilities: Johnny Fry
was a normal human with no paranormal abilities.
A peddler by profession, Fry was a go-getter who
considered himself a "super-salesman," and he boasted that he could sell
anything to anybody--Fry would use his marketing skills to foil a
mass-kidnapping attempt instigated by alien invaders.
Height: 5' 10" (by
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
(Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in time, alien invaders from a parallel world took human form and secretly came to Earth--they apparently had difficulty mimicking human faces, as the flesh of their own faces appeared old, wrinkled, and sagging (see comments).
The aliens occupied a factory building,
where they initiated their scheme to kidnap Earthlings by producing
jars of "vanishing cream"--when topically applied to the skin, the
substance reacted on an individual's body cells, causing that person
to vanish into the invaders' world, where their scientists could study
them. As they began production of the "vanishing cream," the invaders
sought the services of a human sales-agent to distribute their product
to unwary humans.
The past of Johnny Fry is largely
unrevealed, but he worked as a door-to-door salesman--he had previously
sold jars of Health Cream, a skin tonic that reduced sagging skin.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3) - Fry went to the
factory and applied with Mr. Talas for a job selling their product. He
was hired and given a sample case of "vanishing cream"--Mr. Talas warned
him that under no circumstances was he to demonstrate or touch the
"vanishing cream," but only allow the customers to try it. Fry took the
sample case, and as he walked through a corridor to exit the factory, he
noticed all the company's employees shared the same general appearance,
having unhealthy-looking sagging skin on their faces.
Fry passed by a door to the factory's production department--wanting to familiarize himself with the "vanishing cream's" manufacturing process so that he might do a better job of selling it, Fry attempted to enter, but an armed guard refused to permit him. When the guard was momentarily called away from his post to speak to Mr. Talas, Fry took the opportunity to sneak into the production department, where he hid and watched workers filling jars with the "vanishing cream". Suddenly, one of the workers cried out in alarm, because he had accidentally spilled some of the substance on his wrist--Fry was shocked when he saw the worker disappear, vanished into thin air! Then the other workers spotted Fry (whom they referred to as an "Earth creature") and chased after him; in a panic, Fry fled the work area.
Fry made his way outside the building, but found the factory gate closed and guarded, so he darted back inside and went into Mr. Talas' empty office, where he hid in the closet--he planned to stay there until dark, then sneak away later. While he waited, Fry heard the employees searching for him and calling to each other in some strange tongue.
Night fell and darkness crept in to the office, so Fry was about to ease himself out of his refuge, but then Mr. Talas walked in with Mr. Stobbs. As he listened to their conversation, Fry learned he was actually dealing with creatures from a parallel world, who planned to use the "vanishing cream" to kidnap humans for their scientists to study. Talas mentioned to Stobbs that he was concerned about humans becoming suspicious about their people's appearance, because with their sagging faces, they didn't have the healthy look of true humans; Mr. Stobbs agreed that it was a major problem that he wished they could find some means of rectifying. After Talas and Stobbs left, Fry slipped away in the darkness and jumped the fence, then made his way to his apartment.
When he got home, Fry wanted to find some way to stop the invaders, but he was frustrated because he thought no one would ever believe his story. Then he got an idea to turn the invaders' own scheme against them--having some labels left over from his last job, Fry covered all the jars of "vanishing cream" in the sample case and disguised them as Health Cream.
Since Mr. Stobbs had never actually seen him at the factory, Fry went to his house and made a sales-pitch to him--Fry told Stobbs that his product would reduce wrinkles and make sagging flesh become firm and elastic. Thinking that the salesman's merchandise was a terrific boon that would make him and his fellow invaders appear more human, Stobbs bought Fry's entire stock of disguised "vanishing cream".
(Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3 - BTS) - Mr. Stobbs presumably distributed the jars of "Health Cream" amongst the factory personnel, and ordered them to apply it to improve their looks--subsequently, all the invaders apparently vanished back to their homeworld.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3) - Two days later, Fry went back to the factory neighborhood and found the invaders' operation shut down, and the empty building for rent--a passing policeman told Fry that all the factory's personnel had seemingly vanished overnight, without a word to anybody. Johnny Fry felt a great sense of pride for being the best salesman in the world, because his spiel to Mr. Stobbs had saved Earth from the alien invaders.
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Jay Scott Pike (artist)This was only a 4-page story, so specific details were kind of sparse--for example, the invaders normal forms were never depicted, and it was unrevealed if they were natural shape-shifters, or if they used some artificial procedure to appear human
Actual vanishing cream (used for such purposes as moisturizing the skin) is so-called because it seems to disappear when applied on skin.
The Living Eraser made people disappear to his dimension too...
I thought this also when I read this profile today...that's scary.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Johnny Fry/"Super-Salesman" has no known connections to:
The "vanishing cream" has no known connections to:
An unidentified race from a parallel world, they took human
forms and secretly came to Earth--they apparently had some difficulty
mimicking human faces, because the flesh on their own faces appeared
wrinkled, sagging, and unhealthy-looking.
It was a chemical preparation created by extradimensional
invaders, who produced it in a factory on Earth and planned to use it to
kidnap humans for study.
The leader of the extradimensional invaders, Mr. Stobbs (his true name unrevealed) supervised
a plot to use "vanishing cream" to kidnap humans to their homeworld for
images: (without ads)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Johnny Fry, applying for job)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p2, pan5 (Headshot - Johnny Fry sneaks into "vanishing cream" production area)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p4, pan4 (standing over sample case of "vanishing cream", Johnny Fry gets an idea how to stop invaders)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p4, pan7 (policeman (left) tells Johnny Fry (right) that factory is shut down)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p1, pan1 (Mr. Talas)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p1, pan2 (Miss Temple (right); Mr. Talas (seated), Johnny Fry (background))
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p2, pan2 (Johnny Fry walks through corridor of factory and notices unusual appearance of employees)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p2, pan7 (Johnny Fry (background) sees production worker accidentally spill some "vanishing cream" on his wrist)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p3, pan1 (production worker fades away, as other production workers see Johnny Fry)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p3, pan7 (Mr. Talas (left) speaks with Mr. Stobbs (center), as Johnny Fry (right) eavesdrops)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p4, pan1 (Mr. Stobbs (rear view) explains invaders' plot, as Johnny Fry eavesdrops)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3, p4, pan5 (Johnny Fry (left) sells disguised "vanishing cream" to Mr. Stobbs)
Strange Stories of Suspense#8/3 (April, 1956) - unidentified writer, Jay Scott Pike (pencils), John Forte (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 12/08/2019
Last updated: 12/10/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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