Real Name: "Arpad Jelinko" (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human mutate (1950s era);
   citizen of Hungary

Occupation: Doctor

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Al Powell, unidentified African tribe

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Thing" (as called by African tribesmen)

Base of Operations: A jungle somewhere in Africa;
   originally from Hungary

First Appearance: Mystic#56/3 (February, 1957)

Powers/Abilities: "Jelinko" was a highly skilled medical doctor and chemist; he later showed a talent for improvising healing salves from the plants and herbs he found in the jungle.

"Jelinko" suffered from a low self-esteem because of his dwarfish stature, so he endeavored to create a growth serum to augment his height; however, the serum unexpectedly increased his size to gigantic proportions.

Height: 40'; (originally) 4'8" (by approximation)
Weight: 30 tons; (originally) 80 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: White (balding)

(Mystic#56/3 (fb) ) - In his homeland of Hungary, the dwarfish "Arpad Jelinko" (see comments) was a medical doctor--he was such a marvel at curing people that patients flocked to his office from all over. But despite all his good work, "Jelinko" was unhappy, for he felt that although people respected him as a doctor, they laughed at him as a man because of his small stature, and he was willing to give anything to be as tall as they were.

   "Jelinko's" negative feelings built up until finally he closed down his medical practice, stopped seeing any more patients, and refused to listen to the sick and dying calling for his help; instead, he stayed in his laboratory and selfishly devoted all his time in pursuit of a growth serum to "cure" himself of his smallness. Eventually, he had almost completed the serum, but he needed just one more ingredient--an herb that grew only in the jungles of Africa (see comments).

   "Jelinko" left Hungary and traveled to Africa, spurred on by the thought that soon he would be able to complete his serum, then he could walk among his countrymen and be thought of as a man, not just "a freakish, tiny healer of others".

   After reaching Africa and finding the herb, "Jelinko" added it to the serum and drank it. But the growth serum worked beyond his expectations, for "Jelinko" grew into a towering giant--the doctor was horrified, for he found himself a million times more freakish-looking than before, and he thought of his predicament as a sort of judgment passed upon him for his selfishness in turning all the sick away. The despondent "Jelinko" realized that he could never return to his homeland, so the giant doctor became a self-imposed exile in the jungle.

(Mystic#56/3 (fb) - BTS) - To atone for his past selfishness, "Jelinko" used his medical skills to treat the ill and injured of a tribe of natives (who referred to him as "The Thing")--in return, the giant doctor only asked that the tribesmen never reveal his presence to any outsiders from the West.

(Mystic#56/3) - Big-game hunter Al Powell came to Africa and began to follow "Jelinko's" footprints from the natives' village into the jungle. But as he was hacking through the dense brush, Powell accidentally stumbled off the precipice of a cliff --he would have plunged to his certain death had not "Jelinko" caught him in his giant hand before he struck the ground.

   While Powell was unconscious, "Jelinko" smeared a healing salve over the hunter's body to treat his injuries. When Powell revived and saw the giant doctor, he proposed an idea to "Jelinko"--for their mutual benefit, Powell wanted to take him back to civilization as a money-making attraction. But "Jelinko" was reluctant to leave the jungle, and he told Powell about the tragic events that led to his becoming a gargantuan outcast.

   But towards the end of "Jelinko's" story, Powell became drowsy, and as the hunter once more lapsed into unconsciousness, "Jelinko" picked him up in his hand and carried him to the natives' village--along the way, the giant doctor muttered to himself about of how a judgment had been passed on him, and as long as he lived, he had to pay...

(Mystic#56/3 -BTS) - After reaching the village and placing the unconscious Powell on the ground, the giant doctor returned to the jungle--the subsequent fate of "Arpad Jelinko" is unrevealed.

(Mystic#56/3) - When Powell woke up, he found himself once more in the natives' village--at first, he thought his encounter with the giant had merely been a hypnotically-induced dream brought about by the natives to scare him away. But the tribesmen, told Powell that the gentle giant had been using his medical skills to care for their sick and injured, so Powell resolved to keep "Jelinko's" existence a secret.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Mort Drucker (artist).

This character's name was never mentioned in the story--in one panel, it can be partially seen on his office door, but it's covered by a waiting patient's head, and all that was visible was "DR. JE..."

So rather than constantly referring to him as "unidentified giant Hungarian doctor" for this profile, I contacted Markus (who lives in neighboring Austria), and thanks go to him for coming up with an appropriate name for the character. "Arpad" is a Hungarian name that means "the light of redemption; wanderer"--which is fitting, since the doctor wandered in Africa and treated the sick natives to redeem himself for his past transgressions.

In regards to the herb that only grew in Africa, which "Jelinko" used for his growth serum: Perhaps it was the sacred heart-shaped herb only found in the Black Panther's Wakanda.

"Jelinko's" growth serum probably utilized size-altering "Pym Particles," and he probably acquired his additional mass from the dimension of Kosmos.

This 4-page story--The Thing Behind the Wall!--was told from the narrative perspective of Al Powell; the story itself reminds me a little of the later published tale of Experiment 247.

My first thought on seeing "Dr. Je" would be that it might have been Dr. Jekyll.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

"Arpad Jelinko"/"The Thing" has no known connections to:

Al Powell has no known connections to:

Al Powell

Powell was a big-game hunter, with the sideline of bringing back alive special attractions for circuses--his credo was that he'd stop at nothing to convert any freakish find into cold cash.

Early one morning, Powell was inside the walls of an African village compound, where he discovered huge human footprints that were left the night before.  He tried to hire the villagers to guide him to where the gigantic man lived, but the villagers only responded with stony looks--the villagers had been friendly to him the day before, so Powell knew that their silence meant that he was questioning them about one of their sacred secrets, and since he was an outsider, they'd never tell him.  Undeterred, Powell left the walled compound and went to search for the giant himself.

At first the giant's trail was easy to follow, but a sudden cloudburst caused it to rain all day, and most of the tracks were washed out--although his search was going to be tougher than he anticipated, Powell was determined not to turn back.

But while he was hacking his way through the dense brush, Powell accidentally stumbled off the precipice of a cliff--as he plummeted down from the rocky ledge, Powell was knocked unconscious, and had he not been caught by a giant hand, he would have plunged to his death.

When Powell revived, he didn't feel any pain because his body was smeared with a healing salve, then he saw the giant--Powell was surprised to learn that he had been saved by the giant ("Arpad Jelinko" (see comments)), who had also treated Powell's injuries.

Seeing that a profit could be made from his freakishly gargantuan find, Powell proposed an offer to the giant for their mutual benefit--he wanted to take the giant back to civilization and turn him into a money-making attraction.  But the giant could not bear the thought of multitudes of people looking at him, then he told Powell how he came to be a giant--he had once been a dwarfish medical doctor who wanted to be as tall as others, so he neglected his patients to create a growth serum for himself, but the serum had worked beyond the doctor's expectations and turned him into a giant.

After hearing the giant's tale, Powell once again lapsed into unconsciousness, so the giant carried him back to the natives' village.

When Powell woke up, he first accused the tribesmen of putting him under a hypnotic spell and making him dream of the giant. But the tribesmen explained that the gentle giant treated their sick and injured, and he only asked that they keep his presence a secret from outsiders.

With the understanding that the giant doctor wished to remain hidden in the jungle because he wanted make amends for his past selfishness, Powell disregarded his credo and resolved to keep the giant's existence a secret.

Unidentified African tribe

The indigenous inhabitants of a jungle somewhere in Africa, their village compound was surrounded by a wooden wall.

The sick and injured of their village were attended to by a giant doctor ("Arpad Jelinko" (see comments)), whom they referred to as "The Thing"; in return for his help, "The Thing" only asked that the tribesmen keep his existence a secret from outsiders.

When big-game hunter Al Powell came to their village and found the huge footprints of "The Thing," he tried to hire the tribesmen to guide him to the giant man, but all of them upheld their end of the deal and would reveal nothing about the giant.

But after Powell went off on his own and encountered the giant, the tribesmen told Powell about their mutual agreement with "The Thing"; the words of the tribesmen convinced Powell that the giant doctor was helping them so the he could atone for his past transgressions of selfishness, and Powell agreed to keep the giant's existence a secret as well.


images: (without ads)
Mystic#56/3, p4, pan1 (Main Image - "Arpad Jelinko" as a towering giant)
Mystic#56/3, p2, pan7 (Headshot - giant "Arpad Jelinko"; Al Powell (foreground))
Mystic#56/3, p3, pan6 ((in flashback) dwarfish "Arpad Jelinko" working on growth serum in his laboratory)
Mystic#56/3, p3, pan1 (Al Powell speaking to giant "Arpad Jelinko")
Mystic#56/3, p3, pan3 (dwarfish Dr. "Arpad Jelinko" (right) treating patients in his office--name partially visible on door)
Mystic#56/3, p1, pan1 (Al Powell looking at giant footprint in African village compound)
Mystic#56/3, p2, pan5 (plummeting Al Powell saved by giant hand of "Arpad Jelinko")
Mystic#56/3, p2, pan6 (Al Powell revives after fall)
Mystic#56/3, p4, pan7 (Al Powell, promising to keep the secret of "Arpad Jelinko")
Mystic#56/3, p1, pan2 (Al Powell tries to hire African tribesmen to lead him to giant)
Mystic#56/3, p4, pan6 (African tribesmen tell Al Powell that gentle giant "Arpad Jelinko" helps them)

Mystic#56/3 (February, 1957) - unidentified writer, Mort Drucker (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 04/05/2019
Last updated: 04/05/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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