Real Name: Rita Raymas (see comments)
Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments) (1950s era)
Occupation: Stage magician
Group Membership: Ludwig Nardo's Traveling Wagon Show
Affiliations: Ludwig Nardo, Victor
Enemies: Baruta, Nugliano
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Greatest Magician on Earth"
Base of Operations: Mobile in an unidentified European country (see comments)
First Appearance: World of Mystery#3/2 (October, 1956)
Powers/Abilities: Rita had the power to somehow cast realistic illusions of inanimate objects, animals, and people--although the full extent and limitations of her abilities were unrevealed, her illusions included lamps, ashtrays, statuettes, birds, mice, pigs, and Victor.
Rita employed Victor as a diversion while she surreptitiously used her illusions to disrupt the munitions production of her country's war-mongering dictator.
Height: 5'6" (by
Weight: 130 lbs. (by approximation)
(World of Mystery#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Rita is largely unrevealed, but she was a citizen of a small European nation (see comments)--although she loved her country, she detested the evil dictator Baruta, who ruled the nation.
Rita somehow acquired the ability to cast life-like illusions; she eventually joined Ludwig Nardo's Traveling Wagon Show, where she used her powers to perform as Raymas the Magician.
When Baruta began to make plans to attack a peaceful neighboring nation, Rita feared the war the tyrant would bring to her beloved country, so she came up with her own plan to stop him and used her power to create Victor.
(World of Mystery#3/2) - Rita and Victor were present when Nardo (with Baruta's soldiers standing behind him) sadly announced to his performers that their "great leader" Baruta had ordered the wagon show to be closed; furthermore, the dictator decreed that all performers had to register to work the night-shift at the armament plant. The silent Victor appeared to be very unhappy about the news, so Rita verbally consoled him, telling Victor that helping Baruta win the coming war was more important than a mere wagon show--one of the soldiers overheard Rita and complimented her for being a true patriot. The performers reported to work at the Nova Armament Plant to produce Baruta's weapons of war.
One night in the factory, something strange occurred--instead of producing artillery shells, the production line began turning out lamps and ashtrays! Nugliano, the chief foreman of the weapons factories, eyed all the performers suspiciously--although he knew that Raymas the Magician was somewhere among them, Nugliano didn't know which one of the group he was; but Nugliano noticed Rita giving Victor a scowl of disapproval. Since Victor was working at the end of the shell assembly line, Nugliano had his suspicions about him, so he reassigned Victor to the bullet plant. Even as Victor suddenly seemed to vanish, the shell production line began to turn out statuettes of their enemy nation's president!
But trouble began at the bullet plant, where the production line was producing birds and mice! Nugliano noticed Victor standing nearby and he thought it strange that the bizarre events should happen in places where Victor was present, so he told Victor that the next night he would be reassigned to work in the heavy artillery plant...and he warned Victor that he would be watched every moment. Nugliano made arrangements for spies to not only watch Victor, but his friends, too...especially the girl (Rita) who seemed to take such an interest in Victor.
As Victor walked away from the plant at the end of his shift, he was followed by Rita--Rita scolded Victor for betraying their "great leader" Baruta, even as the two were secretly being watched by one of Nugliano's spies.
The next night, the startling news of the peculiar sabotage at the arms plants brought the dictator Baruta himself to the heavy artillery factory. Victor was operating a machine which produced cannons; but when a large pig came out of the assembly line instead, Baruta flew into a rage and thought it to be enough proof of Victor's guilt, so the dictator ordered him arrested for treason. Victor calmly stood as the guards surrounded and rushed at him, but he suddenly vanished and the guards collided with each other. Victor reappeared on an upper floor, then vanished again--seeing this as evidence that Victor was a magician and that he was guilty of sabotage, Baruta ordered that all work in the arms plants would cease until the traitor was caught and brought before a firing squad.
One by one, the performers were brought before Nugliano for questioning, and they proved themselves innocent of any collusion to sabotage arms production--Rita even told Nugliano that she hoped Victor would be punished for his crimes. It was obvious to Nugliano that Victor had deceived Rita, for she seemed to be loyal to Baruta's war effort.
But nonetheless, all arms production for the small nation was stopped until the magician was captured; consequently all of Nardo's performers were released from their forced labor in the munitions factories.
Baruta's power to make war was halted because weapons production was at a standstill, so he was obliged to sign a peace pact with the neighboring country's president, and the threat of any war was ended. Baruta's secret police would continue to pursue Victor, but they would never catch him.
With her illusion of Victor having served its purpose, Rita returned to her life with Nardo's Traveling Wagon Show, where she resumed he performances as "Raymas, the Greatest Magician on Earth".
Comments: Created by Carl Wessler (writer) and Jack Davis (artist).
Rita's last name was never explicitly mentioned in the
story, so I'm only assuming her surname was "Raymas" and not just a
This 4-page story--Who Is Raymas?--was done with a surprise ending, and the reader was led to believe that Victor was the sabotaging magician, but the last panel (see Main Image) revealed that Victor was only an illusion, and that it was Rita who was really Raymas the Magician.
Rita's true nature was never revealed, so her illusion-casting power could be the result of her being a magic user, or perhaps she was a mutant (like Roger Carstairs or Mastermind).
It was unrevealed if Rita based her image of Victor on a "real" person, or if he was purely the creation of her imagination.
The names of Baruta's nation and the country he planned to attack were never mentioned, but they were neighboring countries, so I checked through the Marvel Atlas for two small European countries unique to Earth-616 (mainstream Marvel Earth) which might fit that description--perhaps they were Belgruin (@ Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man#17) and Transia (@ Avengers I#31/Thor I#133).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Rita Raymas has no known connections to:
Victor has no known connections to:
Ludwig Nardo has no known connections to:
Baruta has no known connections to:
Nugliano has no known connections to:
Appearing to be an associate of Rita, Victor was actually an illusion
created by Rita (see comments) for
her plan to sabotage the weapons production of her country's war-mongering
Nardo was the owner of a traveling wagon show in a European country (see
comments). Among the numerous performers in Nardo's troupe
were a clown, Ervani the Amazing Ventriloquist, and Rita, who performed as
Raymas the Magician.
The ruthless tyrant of a European country (see
comments), Baruta (first name
unrevealed) had delusions of grandeur--he wanted to make his
small nation a world power. Baruta planned to achieve his goal by
first attacking a peaceful neighboring country, so he ordered his weapons
factories to increase production.
In a small European nation (see
comments), Nugliano (first name
unrevealed) was the chief foreman of the dictator Baruta's
weapons plants. When strange happenings began to occur in the
factories, Nugliano suspected Victor of being responsible--he never knew
that the strange happenings (and Victor)
were merely the result of Rita using her illusion-casting powers to bring
weapons production to a standstill.
images: (without ads)
World of Mystery#3/2, p4, pan7 (Main Image - Rita performing as Raymas the Magician on stage)
World of Mystery#3/2, p1, pan3 (Headshot - Rita)
World of Mystery#3/2, p3, pan3 (Rita walking behind Victor, scolding him for betraying Baruta, as Nugliano's spy watches them)
World of Mystery#3/2, p4, pan4 (Rita (left) tells Nugliano that she hopes Victor gets caught and punished)
World of Mystery#3/2, p1, pan3 (Headshot - Victor)
World of Mystery#3/2, p3, pan7 (Victor standing in heavy artillery plant, surrounded by guards)
World of Mystery#3/2, p4, pan6 (Victor eluding Baruta's secret police)
World of Mystery#3/2, p1, pan1 (Ludwig Nardo tells his performers that wagon show is closing; Baruta's soldiers (background))
World of Mystery#3/2, p3, pan4 (Baruta in heavy artillery factory)
World of Mystery#3/2, p4, pan5 (Baruta (seated) signs peace pact with neighboring country's president)
World of Mystery#3/2, p2, pan3 (Nugliano trying to learn which performer is Raymas)
World of Mystery#3/2, p2, pan6 (Nugliano investigating strange happenings in bullet factory)
World of Mystery#3/2 (October, 1956) - Carl Wessler (writer), Jack Davis (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 11/03/2018
Last updated: 11/03/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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