Real Name: Henry Melton

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Unrevealed, possibly retired

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Mutant plant, unidentified scientist

Known Relatives: Emily Melton (wife)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: His home, somewhere in the suburbs of the United States

First Appearance: World of Fantasy#1/4 (May, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: Henry Melton was a senior citizen with no paranormal abilities, and he was slightly hard of hearing.

Melton enjoyed tending to the flowers he and his wife planted around their house; he unwittingly saved the world from ecological destruction when he used an ordinary herbicide sprayer to kill a rapidly-growing mutant plant.

Height: 5' 8" (by approximation)
Weight: 150 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Gray

(World of Fantasy#1/4) - One day, Henry and Emily Melton were planting tulip bulbs around their home; their next-door neighbor--a haughty scientist--watched the elderly couple puttering in their garden and felt sorry for them, because caring for their flowers seemed to be the only pleasure that the "poor useless, pitiful creatures" had left in life. The Meltons cleared a spot in their yard for future planting, then quit for the day.

   That night, a rainstorm soaked the ground; as the rainwater seeped deep down into the earth, it nourished a small strange plant that stirred beneath the spot the elderly couple had cleared. But this was no plant the Meltons had set there, nor was it a weed, because it was different from any plant that had ever existed on Earth, for it was a mutant plant. Feeding itself on fertilized soil and the small insects that tunneled near it, the mutant plant rapidly grew and sprouted above ground by sunrise.

   That morning, the Meltons noticed the strange plant growing in their yard--although Emily didn't think it was a weed, she'd never seen anything like it before, but she told Henry that they should wait until it got a bit bigger so they could figure out what it was. (Unbeknownst to the elderly couple, the mutant plant's seed pods were soon due to split open, so its millions of tiny seeds could be carried by the wind and fall on fertile ground all over the world, and thus grow into more plants of the same kind--in time, these mutant plants could have dominated the world's other plant-life.)

   Shortly afterwards, Henry noticed a flower blooming from the strange plant, so he plucked it from the stalk and carried it to the house so Emily could put it in a vase--meanwhile, the mutant plant continued to thrive, and soon it would reach full growth.

   When Henry got in the house, Emily saw that the flower was already beginning to wilt, and as it died, it filled their home with a strange odor--Emily told Henry to take the wilting flower outside and bury it before it smelled up the whole house. But when Henry opened the door, he saw the strange plant was larger yet, and Emily was concerned that the ugly thing would crowd out their other flowers and plants, so Henry went to get the weed sprayer.

   Henry pumped the sprayer, and the weed-killer did its work--the pods with their millions of dangerous seeds withered, and beneath the earth, the roots of the mutant plant died.

   Contemporaneously, the scientist saw his "useless" elderly neighbors once again puttering around with their plants--he was completely unaware that Henry Melton had just saved the world from an ecological disaster.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Tony DiPreta (artist).

The origin of the mutant plant was never revealed--since it came from below the earth, maybe Warlord Kro and the Deviants were somehow involved.

The basic plot of this 4-page story--The Useless Ones!--would kind of be reused a few years later with the story of the Weed.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Henry and Emily Melton have no known connections to:

The mutant plant has no known connections to:

The unidentified scientist has no known connections to:

Emily Melton

She was married to Henry Melton, and her eyesight had grown weak from age.

Although they had no family, she and Henry shared a common interest--they enjoyed tending to the flowers they planted around their home.

One day, she and Henry noticed a strange rapidly-growing plant in their yard, and Emily was concerned that the ugly thing would crowd out their flowers, so Henry sprayed it with weed-killer.

Emily was unaware that the mutant plant would have otherwise threatened the world with ecological destruction if not for her husband.  

--World of Fantasy#1/4

Mutant plant

Its origin unknown (see comments), it was a mutation of an unspecified variety of plant-life. The dormant seed was deep below the earth, under the yard of Henry and Emily Melton's home, and it began to germinate when seeping rainwater made contact with it. The mutant plant rapidly started to grow, nourishing itself with fertilized earth and the small insects that tunneled near it.

The pink mutant plant sprouted out of the Meltons' yard; at the end of its stalks, it formed an unusual yellow flower and seed pods--the pods were soon due to split open, and the millions of tiny seeds would have been carried by the wind to fertile ground all over the world so that more such plants could grow, and eventually dominate all other plant-life.

But the world was unwittingly saved from ecological destruction by Henry Melton, who used an ordinary weed-sprayer to kill the mutant plant.

--World of Fantasy#1/4

Unidentified scientist

He was an arrogant and self-important researcher in some unspecified field of science (possibly chemistry); he spent his time seeking the secrets of nature and the universe, and felt that someday he would contribute something of great importance to mankind.

When he looked out his laboratory window, he saw his elderly neighbors--Henry and Emily Melton--puttering in their garden and tending to their flowers. He disdainfully considered the couple to be useless, because unlike himself, they were too old to do anything constructive to contribute to the future of mankind--ironically, Henry Melton would unwittingly save the world from ecological destruction when he used a weed-sprayer to kill a rapidly-growing mutant plant.

(Note: Although I have him listed as an enemy, it was unrevealed if there was actually any ongoing animosity between the scientist and the Meltons.)

--World of Fantasy#1/4

images: (without ads)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p4, pan6 (Main Image - Henry Melton spraying weed-killer at mutant plant)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p3, pan6 (Headshot - Henry Melton sees flower from mutant plant)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p4, pan1 (Henry Melton carries flower from mutant plant into house for Emily; mutant plant (background))
World of Fantasy#1/4, p4, pan5 (Henry Melton decides to kill mutant plant with weed-killer; Emily (left))
World of Fantasy#1/4, p2, pan3 (Emily Melton)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p4, pan4 (Emily Melton tells Henry to get rid of smelly wilted flower)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p3, pan1 (mutant plant feeds on small insect as it begins to grow underground)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p3, pan5 (mutant plant forms flower at the end of its stalk)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p4, pan2 (mutant plant continues to grow)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p1, pan2 (unidentified scientist watches Henry and Emily Melton planting flowers around their house)
World of Fantasy#1/4, p1, pan3 (unidentified scientist thinking about the Meltons)

World of Fantasy#1/4 (May, 1956) - unidentified writer, Tony DiPreta (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 03/23/2020
Last updated: 03/23/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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