Real Name: Filbert Phelps
Identity/Class: Extratemporal human technology user (1960s era, see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His colleagues
Known Relatives: None (see comments)
Base of Operations: Nonexistent future; formerly his mansion, somewhere in America
First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#85/2 (October, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: An inventive genius, Phelps was a greedy and selfish individual; he considered his fellow scientists to be fools because they devoted themselves to the betterment of mankind, while he was only concerned with how much money he could make with his inventions.
Phelps built a time machine because he wanted to travel into the future to gather information on "past" (relatively speaking) events that would benefit him financially when he returned to his present--although his colleagues advised him that such a voyage was impossible because "the future doesn't exist yet," Phelps was heedless of their warnings, and nonetheless made a journey through time. He was subsequently projected one year into the future, where he found himself stranded in a world of vast nothingness (see comments).
Height: 5' 10" (by
Weight: 165 lbs. (by approximation)
(Journey into Mystery I#85/2 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Filbert Phelps is largely unrevealed, but he lived in a mansion with a laboratory, having apparently accumulated a great deal of wealth from his previous inventions.
(Journey into Mystery I#85/2) - With dreams of becoming fabulously wealthy, Phelps was close to finishing his greatest invention--a time machine. When his machine was completed, Phelps planned to transport himself to the future, where he could discover valuable information about his present--he could learn which stocks would go up, which industries would grow, even learn which horses would win races; when he returned to the present, he could then use that information to invest and gamble on things that couldn't lose, and thereby become the richest man in the world.
At a social gathering, Phelps revealed his plan to his colleagues, but they only warned him that it was dangerous...and besides, it was impossible to go into the future because the future didn't exist yet. Nonetheless, Phelps was unswayed by their advice and thought them to be envious of him, so he continued working on his invention.
Although his colleagues came to his mansion and made one final effort to try to dissuade him, Phelps ignored their calls outside his lab as he finally completed his fantastic device. He stepped inside the chamber of the time machine and adjusted the dial to transport him one year into the future. He thought of the millions of dollars that would soon be his as he activated the machine.
Phelps was projected into the future, but was horrified when he completed the voyage--he didn't realize that the time machine itself wouldn't come to the future with him, so there was no way for him to return to his own time!
But worse yet, he found himself in a world of vast nothingness--as he stood completely alone in a blank void, Filbert Phelps was left with nothing but to wait for his own present to catch up with him...
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Don Heck (artist).
This 5-page story--Filbert's
Frightful Future!--ended with Filbert Phelps' final fate
unrevealed, but it seems unlikely that he would have survived a whole year
without food or water...
Maybe Filbert was somehow related to Willy Phelps, who also built a time machine for the same purpose as Filbert.
Since this particular story appeared in the same issue as Thor's first recorded battle with Loki, perhaps these events took place in the early days of the modern Marvel Universe.
However, it's unusual that Filbert found only blank nothingness when he traveled one year into the future--other time-travelers (e.g. Frederick Fenton, Frank Hanes, etc.) were able to go farther into the future and find something (...although it might not always be to their liking). But I've thought of a possible explanation: During Filbert's voyage through time, a symbolic "calendar" was partially depicted that showed the year to be "196-" (see time machine sub-profile for image)--considering the year this story was published, maybe Filbert's world was Earth-9007, which was erased from existence by Immortus in November of 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Filbert Phelps have no known connections to:
Considered by Filbert Phelps to be his greatest invention, it
was a large booth that could transport him through time.
Three fellow scientists who were associates of Filbert
Phelps, they included Ben (wearing
glasses, last name unrevealed) and two others (names
images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p2, pan6 (Main Image - Filbert Phelps standing in front of his time machine)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p1, pan1 (Headshot - Filbert Phelps in nonexistent future)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p3, pan2 (Filbert Phelps working on time machine, thinking about his plan to make millions)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p5, pan6 (Filbert Phelps finds himself stranded in nonexistent future)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p2, pan7 (Filbert Phelps standing in front of completed time machine)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p4, pan3 (interior of time machine, Filbert Phelps sets controls)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p5, pan1 (Filbert Phelps travels to future, sans time machine (Note year on symbolic "calendar"))
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p3, pan3 (at social gathering, other two colleagues and Ben (wearing glasses) warn Filbert Phelps (right))
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p3, pan4 (at social gathering, two colleagues and Ben (wearing glasses) (background); Filbert Phelps (foreground))
Journey into Mystery I#85/2, p4, pan1 (outside Phelps' mansion, colleagues (Ben, wearing glasses, center) try to stop Phelps)
Journey into Mystery I#85/2 (October, 1962) - Stan Lee (writer), Don Heck (pencils and inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Jon D'Agostino (letters), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 01/10/2020
Last updated: 01/10/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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