Real Name: Paul Kraus

Identity/Class: Human mutate (1950s era)

Occupation: Scientist, lecturer

Group Membership: Founder and leader of the Mentalists

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Unidentified announcer

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Brain"

Base of Operations: His laboratory in an unidentified American city

First Appearance: Spellbound I#21/5 (April, 1954)

Powers/Abilities: Dr. Paul Kraus was highly knowledgeable in the workings of the human brain, and he was skilled in the field of biochemistry.

Kraus hated the physical demands of his body (and generally loathed mankind), so he developed a chemical brain serum to stimulate his mind--constant injections of the serum progressively caused him to mutate and evolve, and while his intellect and the size and power of his brain increased, his body got weaker and smaller. Having delusions of grandeur, Kraus planned to rule the world with his superior mind, but he eventually progressed to the point where his physical body deteriorated into nothingness, and he was left as a large disembodied brain.

In the final stage of his mutation, Kraus apparently had the ability to hypnotically dominate the entire world by voice commands, but as he no longer had a body with which to speak, his spell was broken--as a consequence of no longer having any physical means of protection, the bodiless brain was bludgeoned to death.

Height: (originally) 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown (balding)

(Spellbound I#21/5 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Dr. Paul Kraus is largely unrevealed, but he extensively studied the human brain. At some point, he founded the Mentalists, a cult-like group "dedicated to man's immortal mentality," but he was only using their devotion for his own enrichment. Kraus secretly developed a brain serum, which he planned to use only on himself.

(Spellbound I#21/5) - One night at a meeting hall, Kraus addressed a gathering of the Mentalists; he mentioned the upcoming publication of his book--The Man With the Club--the title of which symbolized modern man's closeness to his apeman ancestor. Kraus preached to his followers that man was a victim of his unstable emotions, that the savage "man with the club" would be the downfall of civilization, and that mankind could only advance by severing the shackles of the body to become pure thought.

   After the lecture, Kraus went home to his laboratory--he contemptuously thought that the fools who were his followers were like sheep. Then Kraus injected himself with the brain serum--he planned to rule the world with the mental power it brought him.

   As time passed, the now-dwarfish Dr. Kraus continued to take serum shots, each dose greater than the last--with each injection, new areas of his mind were awakened and freed for his use, and as his brain grew larger, his body shrunk further.

   Eventually, Kraus achieved great fame and success, and his book sold in the millions; Kraus himself became known to the public as "The Brain," and his appearance awed people, for he was the embodiment of mental power--noted scientists, and even the President, sought the advice of "The Brain". As the membership of the Mentalists grew worldwide, no longer would a mere meeting hall hold the audiences who attended his lectures, so Kraus went to a TV studio and began to deliver his speeches on television.

   Following a broadcast of his lecture, Kraus returned to his lab--he thought of how he would soon have the mental power to mesmerize every living soul in the world and make them his slaves. But as he began to practice the words and intonation needed to bring about his hypnotic enslavement of the planet, Kraus received a telephone call from a broadcasting company--the caller requested that Kraus deliver a televised lecture that would be transmitted worldwide; seeing this as the perfect opportunity to initiate his scheme to dominate humanity, Kraus agreed to speak on the condition that television screens would be installed in public squares throughout the world, so that he could reach the largest audience possible. Kraus' demand was met, arrangements were made, and his lecture was scheduled to be broadcast in two weeks.

   In the two weeks that followed the phone call, Kraus took greater doses of his serum--his brain pulsed and grew larger, and his body became weaker and smaller. Astounding thoughts filled Kraus' mind--after he controlled Earth, Kraus planned to build spaceships to conquer other planets, then he'd fashion robots to replace men, and ultimately destroy mankind.

   The day of the worldwide broadcast arrived, and before entering the TV studio where he would speak his fatal words to the planet, Kraus injected himself with a huge dose of the brain serum--with his head already swelled to a freakish size, Kraus predicted that the final dose would give him the use of the last dark portions of his mind, then his thoughts and abilities would be limitless.

   When the broadcast began, an announcer introduced Kraus to the studio audience and proclaimed that "The Brain" was about to deliver the most important message in the history of mankind. While he stood upon the platform and disdainfully looked down at the sea of expectant faces, Kraus could feel the serum working as his mind soared to even greater heights--soon the inferior "animals" would know his triumph of mind over matter!

   But as Kraus began to speak his hypnotic commands, his voice was only a whisper; then, as the last huge dose of his brain serum took hold, Kraus' voice was completely gone, for all the physical properties of his body began to dwindle and fade away--the words that would enslave the world were left unsaid, for nothing remained of Kraus but a large pulsing brain.

   Subsequently, the hypnotic spell Kraus had cast over the peoples of Earth was broken, and everyone now recognized his evil. The announcer grabbed a policeman's billy club and ran on to the stage; the club rose and fell as the announcer struck the brain--with no physical means of protection, the brain stopped pulsing, for it was dead.

   Paul Kraus' evil scheme of planetary domination was shattered, and the world was saved...for "the man with the club" had triumphed.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Dick Ayers (artist).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Paul Kraus/"The Brain" has no known connections to:

The unidentified announcer has no known connection to:

Paul Kraus' brain serum

Identified as GLUTAMIC-ACIDIC-THIAMIN-HYDRO-CHLORIDE on its container label, it was a chemical mixture secretly created by Dr. Paul Kraus.

When injected into his bloodstream with a syringe, the serum had the effect of progressively increasing the size of Kraus' brain, while it shrunk his body.

Kraus continuously took greater doses of the serum, and with each injection, his intellect expanded, while his physical form was reduced to dwarfish proportions.

Kraus eventually injected himself with a huge dose of the serum right before he appeared on worldwide television broadcast--he planned to use the power of his mind to hypnotically enslave the peoples of the planet.

But that final dose caused Kraus to evolve to a point where his physical form disappeared, leaving him as a large disembodied brain--with no voice to speak his commands, Kraus' hypnotic spell was broken and his plan failed. The disembodied brain was subsequently bludgeoned to death by a man with a club.

--Spellbound I#21/5

The Mentalists

They were the devoted cult-like followers of Dr. Paul Kraus, and they were inspired by his lectures on the human brain. As Kraus attained great fame, membership in the Mentalists grew worldwide.

Kraus used his brain serum to evolve his mind to a superior level, and he schemed to rule the world--although he thought of them as sheep, Kraus planned to use the Mentalists as his overseers when he conquered the planet.

--Spellbound I#21/5

unidentified announcer

He introduced Paul Kraus during a worldwide television broadcast.

Kraus was planning to use the broadcast to enslave the entire planet with the power of his mutated brain and the hypnotic commands of his voice. But Kraus reached the final stage of his mutation and evolved to the point where his body dwindled to nothingness, leaving him only as a disembodied brain--no longer having a body with which to speak, Kraus' hypnotic spell was broken.

Realizing that the pulsating brain of Kraus was evil, the announcer grabbed a policeman's billy club, then he struck the disembodied brain until it was dead, and thus saved the world.

--Spellbound I#21/5

images: (without ads)
Spellbound I#21/5, p3, pan1 (Main Image - Paul Kraus, holding syringe with brain serum)
Spellbound I#21/5, p2, pan3 (Headshot - Paul Kraus, delivering lecture)
Spellbound I#21/5, p5, pan4 (Paul Kraus, continuing to mutate after final injection of brain serum)
Spellbound I#21/5, p5, pan5 (Paul Kraus, mutated into large pulsating brain)
Spellbound I#21/5, p2, pan6 (Paul Kraus, holding vial of brain serum)
Spellbound I#21/5, p2, pan7 (Paul Kraus uses syringe to inject himself with brain serum)
Spellbound I#21/5, p1, pan2 (some of the Mentalists file into auditorium to listen to Paul Kraus)
Spellbound I#21/5, p2, pan4 (audience of the Mentalists listen to Paul Kraus' lecture)
Spellbound I#21/5, p5, pan1 (unidentified announcer introduces dwarfish Paul Kraus)
Spellbound I#21/5, p5, pan6 (unidentified announcer grabs billy club from policeman)
Spellbound I#21/5, p5, pan7 (unidentified announcer strikes and kills brain of Paul Kraus with billy club)

Spellbound I#21/5 (April, 1954) - unidentified writer, Dick Ayers (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 05/02/2019
Last updated: 05/02/2019

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