Real Name: Thomas Beeres

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Probably unemployed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Man of Mystery

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: Martha and Joe (sister and brother-in-law; last names unrevealed)

Aliases: None

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)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black

(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 Allen.

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 and Joe

Martha was Thomas Beere's sister, and Joe was Martha's husband.   

For years, Martha and Joe generously supported the hard-luck Thomas, and allowed him to live in their home; but although he seemed grateful, Thomas secretly resented their help, because it made him feel like a poor, cheap, unwanted relative.

When Thomas was invited to be a contestant on the TV quiz-show Hit the Top, Martha and Joe were happy for him, because he had the chance to win some money of his own. As Thomas left for the TV studio, Martha and Joe wished him good luck, and told him they'd be watching him on television.

After Thomas' first successful night on the quiz-show, Martha and Joe congratulated him. But the seemingly-humble Thomas was now a changed man -- he arrogantly told them off and said he wouldn't share any of his winnings with them. Thomas further informed Martha and Joe that he didn't need them anymore, because he had a new friend, who was all the help he needed.

Martha and Joe were unaware that Thomas' "new friend" was the Man of Mystery, who had been secretly providing Thomas with answers to the quiz-show's questions. 
--Mystic I#50/1

Hit the Top emcee

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.

Hit the Top was sponsored by Mello Candy Bars, and the program was hosted by a smarmy master-of-ceremonies (name unrevealed).

The emcee welcomed contestant Thomas Beeres to the show, and Beeres chose the MYTHOLOGY category. The emcee began asking Beeres a series of questions, and Beeres seemed to be an expert on mythology, because he answered every one correctly and progressively increased his winnings -- the emcee was unaware that Beeres had been given the answers beforehand by the Man of Mystery (whom only Beeres could see and hear)..

When the time came for the final question worth 50,000 dollars, Beeres went into an isolation booth, accompanied by the Man of Mystery. But when Beeres reneged on his deal and refused to share his winnings with the shadowy stranger, the Man of Mystery vanished just as the emcee asked the grand-prize question: What was the name of the Norse god of evil?

Since Beeres was unable to think of the answer on his own, he lost all his accumulated winnings.

Afterward, Beeres wondered aloud where the Man of Mystery was --  figuring the stress of the competition had been too much for the losing contestant, the emcee assured Beeres that he had been alone in the booth. 

(Comment:  The emcee's name was never mentioned, but I'll suggest "Wink Trebek" or "Alex Martindale". And although Beeres lost at winning the grand-prize, he probably got a consolation-prize -- a year's supply of Mello Candy Bars!)

--Mystic I#50/1

A shadowy figure clad in black, the Man of Mystery could only be seen and heard by Thomas Beeres. He encouraged Beeres to become a contestant on Hit the Top, a TV quiz-show. He told Beeres to chose the MYTHOLOGY category, and provided him with answers to the questions.

But when Beeres refused to share his winnings with him, the Man of Mystery vanished in a puff of smoke, so Beeres was unable to answer the final question--What was the name of the Norse god of evil?--and consequently lost all his winnings.

Outside the the TV studio, the Man of Mystery appeared and went looking for another victim, as a wicked smile played about his lips...

(Comment: This character was unidentified [...until the final panel], and he was only referred to as "Man of Mystery" in the story's title,
And assuming this was actually the real Loki [...and not just some evil entity like Mephisto masquerading as the god of mischief], then his appearance here would predate his first modern appearance in Journey into Mystery I#85/1.)

--Mystic I#50/1

images: (without ads)
Mystic I#50/1, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Thomas Beeres, by placard for Hit the Top)
Mystic I#50/1, p1, pan2 (Headshot - Thomas Beeres)
Mystic I#50/1, p4, pan2 (Thomas Beeres in Hit the Top isolation booth; Man of Mystery (background))
Mystic I#50/1, p4, pan5 (Thomas Beeres (left), after failing to answer final question and losing all his winnings; Hit the Top emcee)
Mystic I#50/1, p1, pan3 (Joe and Martha)
Mystic I#50/1, p3, pan1 (Joe and Martha congratulate Thomas Beeres)
Mystic I#50/1, p2, pan5 (Hit the Top emcee)
Mystic I#50/1, p2, pan4 (Hit the Top emcee questions Thomas Beeres about mythology)
Mystic I#50/1, p3, pan6 (Thomas Beeres (left); Hit the Top emcee)
Mystic I#50/1, p1, pan1 (Man of Mystery (rear view) speaks to Thomas Beeres)
Mystic I#50/1, p2, pan2 (Man of Mystery tells Thomas Beeres (background) to choose the category of MYTHOLOGY)
Mystic I#50/1, p4, pan6 (Man of Mystery reveals his true identity)

Mystic I#50/1 (August, 1956) - unidentified writer, Vic Carrabotta (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 06/05/2022
Last updated: 06/05/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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