Real Name: Thomas Beeres
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Occupation: Probably unemployed
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Man of Mystery
Known Relatives: Martha and Joe (sister and brother-in-law; last names unrevealed)
Base of Operations: Unidentified American city
First Appearance: Mystic I#50/1 (August, 1956)
Powers/Abilities: The timid Thomas Beeres was an unskilled man with no confidence in himself; but with the assistance of the Man of Mystery (whom only Beeres could see and hear), he became a contestant on a TV quiz-show, and the enigmatic stranger secretly provided him with the answers to the questions.
Beeres nearly won the quiz-show's grand-prize, but he got greedy and reneged on a deal to share his earnings with the Man of Mystery -- as a result, the stranger vanished before giving Beeres the answer to the final question, and Beeres lost all his winnings.
Height: Unrevealed (5"7'; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (150 lbs.; by approximation)
(Mystic I#50/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Thomas Beeres is largely unrevealed, but he was an unexceptional person and a life-long loser. He lived with his sister Martha and her husband Joe -- although they had supported and taken care of him for years, Thomas secretly resented them, because he felt like a poor, cheap, unwanted relative.
(Mystic I#50/1) - While he was in town one day, Thomas noticed a placard seeking contestants with specialized knowledge for Hit the Top, a TV quiz-show. Thomas was startled by the voice of a black-clad stranger, who suddenly appeared behind him. The shadowy figure encouraged him to sign an entry blank for the show, but Thomas insisted he was no expert at anything. The mysterious man then told Thomas that he knew all the questions they'd be asking beforehand, along with the answers, and that he'd help Thomas win the big cash prize if Thomas agreed to share it with him. Figuring he had nothing to lose, Thomas signed an entry blank, little expecting ever to be called.
But shortly thereafter at Martha and Joe's home, Thomas received a phone call, requesting him to come to the TV studio as a contestant for that night's Hit the Top episode. As Thomas left for his appearance on the quiz-show, Martha and Joe wished him good luck, and told him they'd be watching him on television.
Outside the TV studio, Thomas met his mysterious new friend -- the stranger told him to chose MYTHOLOGY as his category, then told Thomas the answers to that night's questions.
As he walked out on stage and was greeted by the emcee, Thomas thought to himself that the whole show was just a phony scam that the stranger was somehow connected with, and he probably just needed Thomas to collect the money for him. But regardless, Thomas played along -- with the answers provided by the Man of Mystery, he was able to successfully answer all the emcee's questions about mythology, and his earnings increased with each response. At the conclusion of the show, Thomas was invited back for next week's episode, to risk his winnings for even higher cash-prizes. As Thomas left the studio, the Man of Mystery waited for him outside -- the stranger congratulated him and promised to meet him again the following week.
When he got home, the once-timid Thomas was a different person -- Martha and Joe sincerely congratulated him, but he turned his scorn upon them, because he was convinced that they just wanted his prize-money after having supported him for so long -- he refused to share any of his winnings with them, because he figured he didn't need Martha and Joe anymore, for he now had his new mysterious friend to help him.
Before the quiz-show the following week, Thomas was again provided with more mythology answers by the Man of Mystery, and he easily answered all the emcee's questions. Thomas' earnings grew higher and higher, and he was invited back the next week to risk all his winnings for the top prize of 50,000 dollars. Outside the studio, Thomas once more met the Man of Mystery -- the stranger told him that next week, he wouldn't give Thomas the answer ahead of time, but instead he'd be there beside him, to help Thomas out during the show.
In the meantime, Thomas became arrogant and overconfident about his own abilities -- he felt that all the knowledge he had displayed on the game show had always been in him, and conceitedly believed that he had actually answered all the questions by himself.
When Thomas next appeared on Hit the Top to play for the grand-prize of 50,000 dollars, he was conducted into an isolation booth for the final question -- the Man of Mystery accompanied him, and he reminded Thomas that he wanted half the money; but the greedy Thomas refused to share the jackpot with the shadowy stranger, even as the emcee asked the final question: What was the name of the Norse god of evil, the contriver of all fraud and mischief?
As the seconds ticked by, and sweat beaded upon his brow, Thomas couldn't think of the answer, so he asked the Man of Mystery for help; but the stranger merely told Thomas that it was too late, for he had already made his choice that he wouldn't share. Then the Man of Mystery vanished, just as the emcee told Thomas that his time was up.
As a result of not answering the final question, Thomas lost all his winnings, and when he stepped out of the isolation booth, he could only wonder aloud what happened to the Man of Mystery -- the emcee assured Thomas that he had been in the booth alone.
Meanwhile, outside the TV studio, the Man of Mystery appeared and went looking for another victim, as a wicked smile played about his lips...
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Vic Carrabotta.
I think Thomas Beeres looked a little bit like Woody
This 4-page story--Man of Mystery!--was somewhat prescient of the television quiz show scandals of the 1950s, wherein the shows were rigged and contestants were given the answers in advance -- Hit the Top seems to be patterned after The $64,000 Question, one of the shows involved in the scandal.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Thomas Beeres has no known connections to:
The Man of Mystery/Loki has no known connections to:
Martha was Thomas Beere's sister, and Joe was Martha's
Broadcast live before a studio-audience on WDIX-TV, Hit the Top was a quiz-show that
questioned contestants on categories of the contestants' choosing.
Starting at 100 dollars, the winnings of the contestants progressively
increased with each question they answered correctly, and they risked
their earnings to play up to the top cash-prize of 50,000 dollars -- if
the contestants missed a question, they would lose all their winnings.
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First Posted: 06/05/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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