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Classification: Human mutates (1940s-1950s era)

Location/Base of Operations: Bomb crater and surrounding area, remote location, Nevada, USA

Known Members: Keith Adams, Randy Benson, Brian Stover, others

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Humans

First Appearance: Mystic I#4/4 (September, 1951)

Powers/Abilities: Devil Birds have large extended membranous wings that allow them to easily soar on the updrafts of smoky gas expelled from under a pocket of the Earth's crust at bomb site. This gas also sustains them and they require no food or drink, but must stay in the ravaged environment of the bomb site. They appear to be able to live indefinitely in their radioactive environment. Incapable of sound, they communicate basic information telepathically with an instinctual drive to create more Devil Birds by forcing humans into the transforming effects of the dark crater's gas. Their short tails may help them steer and their claws can tear at clothing and flesh. Despite their size and ungainly appearance, they can lift themselves into the air from standing.

Traits: Forced to live in a small radioactive smoke-filled environment of about two miles diameter, Devil Birds are communal and cooperative in forcing new human victims into the crater to be transformed. They consider their form to be liberating from the human existence. They are patient and enjoy soaring in the smoky gaseous air.

Type: Bilaterally symmetric human mutates with avian characteristics
Eyes: Two (on head; yellow)
Fingers: Four claws at wing "wrist" (plus fifth extended wing finger/tendon to wingtip)
Toes: Four talons (three forward plus one opposing)
Skin color: Green hide (scales?)
Average height: 8'6" (by approximation, excluding folded wings)


(Mystic I#4/4 (fb) - BTS) - In the wake of the USA testing a H-bomb in Nevada in the mid-1940s, the Earth's crust in the area fractured and pockets of dangerous gases and lava escaped, especially from the deep dark bomb crater, and combined with the radiation. People who investigated the area and fell into the smoke-filled crater transformed quickly (after a short burst of pain) into large monstrous Devil Birds. These new creatures soared in the escaping smoke, which also sustained them, and they pushed new people toward the crater to become transformed as well. Roving photographer Randy Benson journeyed to the crater and was likewise unwillingly transfigured. Concerned about his close friend's disappearance, Brian Stover set off to investigate with another friend, Keith Adams.

(Mystic I#4/4) - Stover and Adams reached the edge of the test site, where a local old man warned them of Devil Birds he had seen flying in the smoke-filled landscape and of people never returning, but the pair ignored him. Stover and Adams wore protective gear and became enveloped in the smoky gaseous environment. A mile in and the compass failed, then the pair saw the outline of Devil Bird fly nearby. Further in, the pair reached the crater's edge with smoky gas belching out and Devil Birds flying in it. One landed behind the two men and Adams ran, but Stover was drawn back to the crater's edge, where he found Benson's camera. Two Devil Birds menaced Stover and he fell backward into the crater. As Stover fell, the warm gas began to feel soothing until sudden pain made him realize he was metamorphosing. His arms became wings and he flew upward out of the crater, joining other Devil Birds soaring in the life-giving smoke. Stover recognized a fellow Devil Bird as Benson and together they pushed and grabbed Adams with their claws until Adams also fell into the smoky crater to become transformed.


Comments: Created by Basil Wolverton.

Maybe they disappeared if the devastation was cleared by a super-scientist or super-sorcerer. Or maybe the monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone destroyed them in an Untold Tale.

A truly monstrous design, combining visual bird aspects of vulture, penguin and pteranodon, plus other beasts to create a patchwork creature in a story reminiscent of a modern Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Devil Birds have no known connections to:

Keith Adams

Keith Adams was a good friend of Brian Stover and joined him on his search for his missing colleague Randy Benson. The duo traveled to Benson's last known location at the devastated lands around a detonated H-bomb that had cracked the Earth's crust. Adams and Stover ignored a local man's warning. Donning protective suits and filter masks to protect against dangerous gas trailing out from under the ground, they encountered the monstrous-looking Devil Birds in the ravaged landscape. Adams became separated from Stover, who soon fell into the bomb crater and quickly transformed into a Devil Bird after encountering the already transfigured Benson. Both Stover and Benson, as menacing Devil Birds, pushed Adams into the crater where he too would transform into a fellow Devil Bird.






--Mystic I#4/4

Brian Stover

Brian Stover was a close friend of roving photographer Randy Benson, who had disappeared near the ravaged area around a detonated H-bomb that had fractured the Earth's crust. Stover and another friend Keith Adams drove there, but ignored a local man's warning. The pair donned protective suits and filter masks to protect against dangerous gas trailing out from under the ground; they soon encountered the monstrous-looking Devil Birds in the devastated landscape. While Adams sought escape, Stover was drawn to near the bomb crater's edge where he found Benson's camera. However, Devil Birds landed and forced Stover to the edge where he fell. The gas rising from within the Earth quickly metamorphosed him into a Devil Bird. He soared upward and silently recognized the previously transformed Benson. Together, they found Adams and pushed him toward the crater's edge to change him into a fellow Devil Bird.





--Mystic I#4/4

images: (without ads)
Mystic I#4/4, p1, pan1 (main image)
   p4, pan6 (rear view, standing)
   p6, pan1 (many gliding)
   p6, pan4 (Adams)
   p2, pan7 (Stover, human form)
   p5, pan7 (Stover, Devil Bird form)

Mystic I#4/4 (September, 1951) - Basil Wolverton (writer, pencils, inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 10/31/2021
Last updated: 10/31/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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