Real Name: Rudy

Identity/Class: Terrestrial robot (World War II era)

Occupation: Personal assistant

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Lil' Prof, Oswald, the Professor's wife, local authorities, unnamed socialites;
    possibly Blue Diamond (Elton Morrow), Captain Daring, Citizen V (John Watkins, Sr.), the Fin (Peter Noble), Silver Scorpion (Betty Barstow), the Thunderer (see comments)

Enemies: Dopey Dan, the Groom, the Groom's goons, Maine woods local wildlife

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Oversized tin can" (nickname used by the Prof's wife)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed town in the United States

First Appearance: Daring Mystery Comics I#8 (January, 1942)

Powers/Abilities: Rudy the Robot was a human shaped automaton made from unrevealed metal alloys. Rudy had a mech-mind sensitive to the telepathic impulses of whomever held his control board. By typing a single letter and thinking a command, Rudy would automatically follow his controller's orders.  He could accomplish complex feats like painting houses, serve drinks and fire shotguns with deadly accuracy. Rudy was durable enough to fight off three adult men. Rudy could not talk, but was able to experience, process and respond to rudimentary emotions such as happiness, anger and sadness to the point of tears.

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 500 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Gray
Hair: None


(Daring Mystery Comics I#8 (fb) - BTS) - Rudy the Robot was created by an inventor known only as the Li'l Prof. Many of his creations were incorporated in the house he shared with his wife and nephew Oswald. His latest, greatest invention was Rudy a robot with a super-sensitive mech-mind he could control with mental commands sent through a typewriter-style control board he wore around his waist.

(Daring Mystery Comics I#8 (fb) - BTS) - News of Rudy's creation reached the criminal known as the Groom who figured he could use the robot to commit crimes. He ordered his men to stake out the professor's mansion.

(Daring Mystery Comics I#8) - Rudy was assisting the Lil' Prof when Oswald came by. Eager to show his nephew what Rudy could do, the prof ordered the automated man to help him paint the living room. Oswald had more interest in his water pistol however. Even the Prof's wife had little faith in the enterprise, prompting Rudy to throw a book at her. Furious, she told her husband to move Rudy to the cellar with the rest of the junk while she took young Oswald to the movies. The Prof consoled the upset Rudy, assuring him they'd convince her he was useful.

(Daring Mystery Comics I#8 - BTS) - From a distance, the Groom's men spotted Oswald and his aunt leave the house. Mistaking the young boy for the inventor, they figured the coast was clear to grab Rudy. They went to summon the Groom.

  (Daring Mystery Comics I#8) -The Groom and his two goons tripped the burglary alarm, notifying the Li'l Prof of their presence. Taking a break from painting the living room, he climbed on top of the ladder and waited for the intruders. Unshaken by the Groom's threats, the Prof created a diversion by dumping a bucket of paint on them. This allowed Rudy to move in, knocking out one of the goon's by throwing a blowtorch at him. The flammable tool created a fire the Prof decided to douse by activating his super-sprinkler system. During the fight, Rudy went wild but in his frenzy he did knock out the goons. However, the dazed Groom recovered enough to threaten the Prof with a nearby gun, unaware it was actually Oswald's water pistol. Rudy showed up with the actual weapon and held the criminals at bay until the police arrived. 

(Comedy Comics I#9) - Rudy served as butler when the Prof hosted a soiree for his socialite friends, dazzling them with the trophies of all the wild animals he'd hunted over the years. Oswald didn't believe his uncle had actually hunted in his life and decided to pull a prank on the guests by putting soap in the cocktails Rudy was serving. When his guests got furious and stormed out, the Prof confronted Oswald who bet ten bucks he'd never be able to nab a bear if they went hunting. After properly punishing his nephew for the trick he played, the Prof took him and Rudy hunting in the Maine woods.

(Comedy Comics I#9 - BTS) - Criminal Dopey Dan escaped from prison and decided to hide out in the Maine woods. Breaking into a cabin owned by the Prof, he spotted a bear rug and decided to put it on for warmth. Spotting himself in the mirror, he figured he looked exactly like an actual bear, roaring with laughter that he "shoulda bin in deh moovies!!'. He decided to head upstairs for a well deserved nap.

(Comedy Comics I#9) - On the train to Maine, Rudy looked up from his newspaper and addressed the creator, only for the startled Prof to realized this was yet another trick played by Oswald who was planning on an even bigger caper. He'd secretly packed a bear costume for Rudy to wear and scare his uncle.

(Comedy Comics I#9 - BTS) - The Li'l Prof was well aware of Oswald's plan and decided to indulge him.

(Comedy Comics I#10) - After settling in at their cabin, the Li'l Prof left Rudy and Oswald alone to go out hunting early in the morning. When he encountered a bear, he figured it was Rudy and tried to control him with his mental connection. He quickly learned it was an actual bear and ran for his life. Rushing back to the cabin with the bear in tow, he made it in time only to find Dopey Dan downstairs with a gun in his hand. Quick witted as always, the Prof opened the door and let the approaching bear in. Dan and the bear jumped each other, throwing the Prof out of the house and into a nearby rain barrel.

(Comedy Comics I#9 - BTS) - Oswald had put the bear costume on Rudy and was waiting in the woods for his uncle. When the Prof didn't show, they decided to head back, with Oswald keeping some distance.

(Comedy Comics I#9) - The tussle knocked out both Dan and the bear. By then, Oswald arrived and figured one of the bears was Rudy. The boy tried to revive him, only to discover it was the actual bear. The Prof was still stuck in the barrel and couldn't get to his rifle in time. Luckily, his mental commands ordered Rudy to grab the gun and shoot the animal.

(Comedy Comics I#9 - BTS) - Rudy, the prof and Oswald delivered Dopey Dan to the local authorities and claimed the reward money.

(Comedy Comics I#9) - Back home on the train, Rudy witnessed Oswald pulling a fast one on his uncle by handing over his piggy bank to settle the bet, only for the Prof to discover there was a mere 5 cents in it.

Comments: Created by Frank Pretsch (writer, pencils, inks)

With only two appearances under his belt, Rudy the Robot remains a fascinating character we got to see far too little of. Strictly speaking, he was supposed to be a bit of an adventurer, but his two stories were pretty much played for laughs. Decades later, new audiences discovered him when he and the Li'l Prof appeared in a reprinted ad for Daring Mystery Comics reprinted in 1997's Thunderbolts: Distant Rumblings. There, he was shown next to heroes like Captain Daring, the Fin, Silver Scorpion and the Thunderer, but they were never actually seen fighting the 3rd Reich.

The ad originally appeared in black & white in Human Torch Comics I#5B. While adverts aren't normally considered proper appearances, there are exceptions, and the format of this advert does lend itself to the possibility that these characters did team up at some point for some unrecorded adventure(s). It would require some time-travel on Captain Daring's part, but that's hardly a problem in the Marvel Universe, and why should the Invaders, Crusaders and Liberty Legion be the only teams of heroes that arose to battle the Axis during the War? If it is a panel from an untold story then we could add to the history above:

(Human Torch Comics I#5B) - Rudy and L'il Prof teamed up with Blue Diamond, Silver Scorpion, the Fin, Captain Daring and the Thunderer to battle the Axis, and later welcomed new member Citizen V to their ranks, with Rudy agreeing with Citizen V's assertion that it was their job to snare the "mad dog" (presumably Hitler) that threatened the world.


Given his robotic nature, it's not unthinkable Rudy could still be around today. He'd be pretty antiquated, even back then he looked like the Tin Man from The wizard of Oz. Nevertheless, he'd still hold the record for being the first semi-sentient robotic lifeform created by man. Even if his bond with the Li'l Prof is a little too reminiscent of Philo Zog and his robot Electro who predate Li'l Prof and Rudy by two years.

Profile by Norvo

Rudy the Robot has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Ad for Citizen V (main image)
Daring Mystery Comics I#8, p38, pan5 (attacks Professor's wife)
Daring Mystery Comics I#8, p42, pan7 (arrests the Groom)
Comedy Comics I#9, p7, pans 7&8 (shoots a bear)
Comedy Comics I#9, p4, pans 7&8 ('talks')

Daring Mystery Comics I#8 (January, 1942) - Frank Pretsch (writer, pencils, inks), Vincent Fago (editor)
Comedy Comics I#9 (April, 1942)
- Frank Pretsch (writer, pencils, inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 07/29/2020
Last Updated: 07/31/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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