Real Name: Mac Grant
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Lois Deane
Enemies: Detective Tim Haley, Detective
Ed Morgan, unidentified old man
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Old Black Beard", "the
old goat" (as referred to by his past self)
Base of Operations: Unidentified American airport
First Appearance: Strange
Stories of Suspense#13/2 (February, 1957)
Powers/Abilities: A normal
man with no paranormal abilities, Mac Grant was an amoral con-man who
felt no guilt for his crimes. He was skilled at piloting both propeller
and jet aircraft (see comments),
and he had his own plane.
While fleeing from the police, Grant took a flight in an
experimental jet which transported him 2 hours into the past--following this time-displacement, Grant
briefly wore a stolen hat and coat, and disguised his face with a
false black beard..
Height: 5' 10" (by
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Mac Grant is largely unrevealed, but under unspecified circumstances, he swindled $10,000 from an old man. On the run from the law, Grant was planning to use his plane to fly to Canada; he went to the airport, where he sat in a diner booth and waited for his girlfriend Lois Deane to arrive.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2) - While Grant drank a cup of coffee in the diner, he was concerned that the police might tail Lois to find him.
Meanwhile, Detectives Morgan and Haley were staking-out
Lois' home, and they followed her when she took a cab to the airport.
At 10:00 PM, Lois entered the diner, and Grant was sure she had seen him; but when a black bearded stranger sitting at the counter beckoned to her, Lois smiled and walked over to him instead. Grant was initially puzzled by his girlfriend's behavior, but when he saw the two police detectives come in and arrest the bearded stranger, he figured Lois had purposely led them to the wrong man so Grant could make his getaway. The detectives took the bearded stranger and Lois (since she was a material witness) into custody--Grant was unconcerned, because Lois had done nothing wrong, and he figured they'd release her shortly.
Grant hurried out to his own airplane to make his flight
from justice, but he was unable to get the plane's engine started. He
searched the airfield and found a jet plane with plenty of fuel, so he
climbed aboard it and took off--within 30 seconds, the aircraft hit the
top speed of 3500 MPH. Grant struggled to control the strange plane as it
accelerated--he was aware that it was far exceeding even the top speed
shown on the indicator, and nothing but blackness surrounded him.
Grant was helpless as his flight continued, but two hours
later, the fantastic plane ran out of fuel--he glided the jet down to a
landing strip, and was surprised to find that it was the same airport
from which he'd departed. Landing safely, Grant hastily disembarked from
the jet and walked to the airport terminal. He supposed that the
detectives had let Lois go by this time, and she was probably waiting in
the diner for him--but figuring the detectives might be waiting there,
too, Grant decided to get some sort of disguise.
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2 - BTS) - Grant went into
the airport terminal's sundry store and bought a Halloween mask (see
comments)--he removed the black beard from the mask and affixed
it to his face; he completed his disguise by making off with a
customer's hat and coat, leaving his own leather jacket on the hook in
(Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2) - The disguised Grant
went to the diner and sat at the counter. A few minutes later, Lois came
in, and Grant beckoned to her. When Lois smiled and approached him, the
disguised con-man complimented her for the trick she had used to fool
the detectives--Lois was confused, for she didn't understand what Grant
was talking about. Just then, Detectives Morgan and Haley entered and
placed Grant under arrest. As he was being taken into custody, Grant
glanced over to a booth in the corner of the diner--he was stunned when
he saw himself
staring at him!
Looking up at the clock over the diner's doorway, Grant
was shocked to see that it was 10:00 PM, because it had been 10 o'clock
ago! Breaking out in a cold sweat under the false beard, Grant could
only theorize that the jet plane had flown so fast that it had carried
him backwards, two hours into his past--Mac Grant now realized that the
black bearded stranger he had seen being arrested earlier had been
Comments: Created by Carl Wessler (writer) and Gray Morrow (artist).
Grant seemed to easily adapt from flying his
propeller airplane to flying that jet--maybe he was formerly a pilot in
the US Air Force, and he was experienced in flying both types of
aircraft; and maybe that experimental jet had some connection to
the time-traveling XD-1.
Since Grant pulled the black beard off a Halloween mask, it would imply that this story took place sometime just prior to October 31st (...either that, or that airport store did a bad job keeping their inventory up to date).
It's hard to make logical sense of this 4-page story--The Black Beard!-- because it seems that Mac Grant is eternally trapped in an endless chicken-or-egg time-loop. If the experimental jet was out of fuel when the future Grant landed it, then how could the earlier Grant have taken off in it? And the future Grant was arrested, so what happened to his past/present self? (Argh! All these alternate time-divergences and paradoxes make my head hurt!).
BTS test pilot Charlie could have been Chuck Chandler (3-D Man).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Mac Grant/"Old Black Beard" has no known connections to:
Lois Deane has no known connections to:
Detective Tim Haley has no known connections to:
Detective Ed Morgan has no known connections to:
The girlfriend of swindler Mac Grant, she went to an airport
diner to meet him--Lois was unaware that she was being tailed by
Detectives Morgan and Haley.
Located at an unidentified American airport, it was a
propeller aircraft used by Mac Grant (Judging by its silhouette, I'm guessing it
may have been a Cessna
Located at an unidentified American airport, this aircraft
had never been flown before, and its top speed was unknown; a test pilot
("Charlie") was scheduled to take it for its first flight.
Two plainclothes police detectives (It was unclear exactly
which one was which), they were pursuing con-man Mac
Grant; the detectives were on a stake-out at the home of Grant's
girlfriend, Lois Deane, in the hopes that she would lead them to Grant.
images: (without ads)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p1 pan1 (Main Image - Mac Grant sitting in airport diner booth)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p2, pan3 (Headshot - Mac Grant, after detectives arrest his future self)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p2, pan2 (Mac Grant (sitting in diner booth); Mac Grant's future self (in black beard disguise), Lois Deane, Detectives Tim Haley and Ed Morgan (background))
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p4, pan4 (Mac Grant (in black beard disguise) sees his past self sitting in diner booth)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p4, pan6 (Mac Grant (in black beard disguise) realizes he's traveled two hours into the past
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p3, pan6 (Lois Deane speaks to disguised Mac Grant in diner)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p3, pan7 (Lois Deane, confused by Mac Grant's compliment)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p2, pan4 (Mac Grant by his plane)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p2, pan5 (Mac Grant climbs into experimental jet)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p2, pan6 (in control tower, airport personnel react as Grant flies off in experimental jet)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p3, pan2 (Mac Grant flying experimental jet)
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p4, pan1 (Detectives Tim Haley and Ed Morgan about to arrest Mac Grant; Lois Deane (left))
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2, p4, pan3 (Detectives Tim Haley and Ed Morgan; Lois Deane (right))
Strange Stories of Suspense#13/2 (February, 1957) - Carl Wessler (writer), Gray Morrow (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 12/10/2019
Last updated: 05/31/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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