Real Name: Spencer Keene
Identity/Class: Human cyborg (1930s)
Occupation: Unrevealed (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Big Earl Kawolski, his torpedoes
Enemies: Dugan Travelling Circus of Wonders (Boffo, Cephallo, Dominic Fortune, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, Erik, Katrina, others), Sabbath Raven
Known Relatives: Unidentified father (deceased)
Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California (circa 1938)
First Appearance: Marvel Premiere#56 (October 1980)
Powers/Abilities: Spencer Keene has an "electric" (bionic) right hand, strong enough to smash stone or through the wooden frame of a small seaplane, and with sufficient grip strength to crush a Mauser pistol into pieces without effort. Since he describes it as a hand, but visual evidence shows it extending down the entire length of his arm, he may be minimizing his loss when describing it, or it might be that only the hand is missing, but that the bionics require a long metal sleeve that covers the remainder of his arm. Spencer is a passable fighter, good enough to give the experienced combatant Dominic Fortune some difficulty, though this was at least partially thanks to Spencer's electric hand. He is also a capable (and boastful) pilot, though experienced aerialist Sabbath Raven was unimpressed with his landing.
Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: (Without electric arm) 157 lbs.; (with electric arm) 192 lbs. (both by approximation)
(Marvel Premiere#56 (fb) - BTS) - A cad and a bounder, Spencer Keene was the son of a rich man who possessed a cruel sense of humor.
When his father died, he left Spencer two
safes rigged to explode if their locks were touched. When Spencer tried to
open the first, it blew off his right arm distal to the elbow. Spencer survived
and replaced the lost limb with an "electric hand"
(though in truth the bionic seemed to extend
far beyond just his hand).
Intent on opening the second safe without
an explosion, Spencer learned of a circus mentalist, Cephallo, whose reputed
telekinetic powers might be able to circumvent the safe's boobytrap.
He tried to buy the circus from its owner, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, so he could gain control of Cephallo as his employer, but Dugan refused to sell despite Spencer's persistent offers, until finally Spencer tried to force the issue by sending hired goons to intimidate Dugan and follow him around for a week. Instead, the heavy tactics merely annoyed Dugan, who deliberately antagonized his shadows by using the circus as collateral while aboard the Mississippi Queen, a gambling ship anchored just outside U.S. borders off California, only to lose the circus to the house.
(Marvel Premiere#56) - The circus' new owner, Sabbath Raven, contacted Spencer, who offered to pay cash for the circus. When she accepted, he flew his own seaplane to meet her the next morning, but she took an instant dislike to his smarmy and condescending manner and changed her mind, electing not to sell. Spencer stormed off in a rage, but was contacted by Big Earl, a disgruntled employee of the circus, who offered his aid.
Earl met with Spencer at the Keene estate,
where Spencer revealed his true reason for wanting the circus, showing off
both the remaining safe and his electric arm. Spencer tasked Earl with assisting
two new goons in kidnapping Cephallo, but -- to his annoyance -- his underlings
mistakenly snatched Cephallo's assistant, Glory. Acquiescing to her request
for a light for her cigarette, he tossed her his lighter, only to witness
it stop in mid-air and float as it lit the smoke.
Glory readily admitted that she was the real mentalist, with Cephallo merely her front man. At Spencer's insistence, she used her telekinetic ability to unlock the safe, but just after she had done so, Dugan and his ally Dominic Fortune smashed into the warehouse Spencer and his men were in, seeking to rescue Glory. Their bombastic entrance triggered the boobytrap, but Dugan managed to throw the safe outside into the ocean before it exploded.
As he did
so, Spencer used the distraction to slug Dominic from behind and flee to
his seaplane, but Sabbath, who had transported Dugan and Dominic there in
her own plane, was waiting outside and shot at him as he boarded his vessel.
Shaken, Spencer took off straight through
the flames of the burning dock, crippling one of his engines. Sabbath pursued
in her own plane, enabling Dominic to leap from her aircraft to Spencer's.
He shot his way through the wooden fuselage into the cabin, but Spencer attacked,
crushing Dominic's mauser with his electric hand. As Spencer punched at him,
Dominic hooked the electric hand with his glove's grapples, then punched
Spencer began to lunge forward for another attack, but the damaged engine exploded as he did so, sending the off-balance Spencer flying to punch through the plane, wrecking the metal hand, and giving Dominic an opening to knock Spencer out. Realizing the plane was about to crash into a mountain, Dominic pulled Spencer outside and leapt into the ocean; having continued her pursuit of Spencer's plane, Sabbath then landed, and Dominic hauled his defeated opponent onto the wing of her aircraft. They flew back to the docks, where Dugan was waiting with the authorities to take Spencer into custody.
Comments: Created by Len Wein, David Michelinie, Howard Chaykin and Terry Austin.
Spencer's occupation isn't revealed; he's evidently got some money even without access to the contents of the safe, since he can afford to hire goons, run a seaplane and maintain the family estate.
bionic arm in the 1930's is pretty high tech...obviously Spencer's
arm is beyond what's available in the real world nearly 90 years later...how
many people would be able to create such technology in Marvel's
Profile by Loki, with thanks to Spidermike for approximating how much his electric arm would weigh.
Spencer Keene has no known connections to:
Spencer hired a trio of "torpedoes" to harass Dugan, and, after giving him grief for a week, they finally attacked him while he was aboard the Mississippi Queen. Dominic Fortune stopped the fight for the Queen's owner, Sabbath Raven, but the trio laughed in his face when he told them they would have to pay for the damage they had caused, so he informed them he was keeping the launch they had used to get to the Mississippi Queen as payment, then threw them overboard with Dugan's help, to swim the three miles back to shore.
Spencer sent two different goons to kidnap Cephallo, and they snatched the mentalist's trailer not realizing that it contained Glory, Cephallo's assistant, instead. When Dominic and Dugan came to rescue her, Dugan quickly overpowered the hired thugs while Dominic took on their employer
According to his son, Spencer's father had a cruel sense of humor, which is why he left his son a legacy of two safes boobytrapped to explode at the slightest jar if someone tried to open them. Spencer didn't find this particularly amusing, especially after losing an arm to one of the devices.
images: (without ads)
Marvel Premiere#56, p11, pan7 (main image)
Marvel Premiere#56, p6, pan6 (headshot)
Marvel Premiere#56, p7, pan7 (breaking his father's bust)
Marvel Premiere#56, p14, pan7 (crushing Dominic's gun)
Marvel Premiere#56, p16, pan3 (view of full electric limb)
Marvel Premiere#56, p3, pan4 (trio of goons)
Marvel Premiere#56, p11, pan1 (duo of goons)
Marvel Premiere#56, p7, pan6 (father's bust)
Marvel Premiere#56 (October 1980) - Len Wein and Howard Chaykin (plot), David Michelinie (script), Howard Chaykin (layouts), Terry Austin (finished art), Jim Salicrup (editor)
First Posted: 03/28/2019
Last updated: 03/28/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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