Real Name: Morton Marion Maximillian Muse
Identity/Class: Human or abstract entity (see comments)
Occupation: Abstract artist, lecturer, art dealer
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Danny (art student)
Enemies: Blonde Phantom (Louise Grant), Mark Mason
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Mr. Muse, Money Mad (insult by Blonde Phantom), Sir
Base of Operations: Realm of Abstract Perception (possible alien dimension), his own estate somewhere outside New York City
First Appearance: Blonde Phantom#20/4 (November, 1948)
Powers/Abilities: He had hypnotic powers with the ability to alter someone's perspective making them see things in the abstract and could control others minds simply by staring directly into their eyes. The longer his hypnotic hold on someone the more mentally compliant and unhinged his victim becomes. His hypnotic control of his victims overtime eventually fades and he must re-establish new hypnotic mental links to maintain his hold on others under his mental domination.
He carried a handgun for self defense.
He was dwarfish in appearance and was largely overweight for a man his size. He smoked cigarettes.
He was an expert in abstract art and a skilled lecturer.
Height: Unrevealed (4'; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (110 lbs.; by approximation)
(Blonde Phantom#20/4 - BTS) - The mysterious little man called Morton Marion Maximillian Muse approached Danny, a young art student from the Museum School in New York, to hire him as his helper at his private studio. Using hypnosis, the Muse mentally took over Danny's mind and forced him to paint abstract art for the Muse to take credit for and sell to art collectors.
(Blonde Phantom#20/4) - Danny attempted to seek help from Mark Mason when the hypnosis began to wear off, but the Muse appeared seemingly out of nowhere and convinced Mark that he was the boy's ward and would take him back to his retreat to be cared for. Unknown to the Muse, the Blonde Phantom (Mark's secretary, Louise) followed them home.
(Blonde Phantom#20/4) - Back at his estate, the Muse once again began to use hypnosis on Danny, but the Blonde Phantom briefly interrupted the process. The Muse pulled a gun on her, but the Blonde Phantom knocked him to the floor. He next used his hypnosis against the Blonde Phantom. The Muse, now appearing as an abstract being, accessed the dimension he called the Realm of Abstract Perception, that distorted her vision, causing her to see things in the abstract. Disoriented the Blonde Phantom stumbled outside and was mildly struck by a vehicle that she perceived as some sort of large, metallic, shrimplike thing that rendered her unconscious. The driver took her to the nearest hospital where she lay in a coma for two days.
(Blonde Phantom#20/4) - The Muse, having gathered a group of prospective art buyers as well as Mark Mason, hosted them at his estate and lectured them on abstract art. He also used hypnosis to sell Danny's paintings to them. The Blonde Phantom, having recovered by being hit by a car two days before, snuck inside to rescue Danny and was soon confronted by the Muse who vowed to hypnotise the two of them better. The Blonde Phantom, using a tube of red paint, squirted the Muse in the eyes which blinded him and prevented him from using his hypnosis on them. Screaming for a doctor the Muse was captured and soon after sent to jail.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Syd Shores.
The Muse's origins are purely speculative on my part. He may simply be a normal (albeit a dwarf) human with the ability to hypnotize others. He mentioned two things in the story that implied that he was more than what he appeared to be. 1.) In one panel he began to gloat to himself saying "Money, money, money! What fools these mortals be!" This sort of implied that perhaps he was not some normal human being. 2.) He hypnotised the Blonde Phantom and altered her perceptions, asking her if she recognized him in the Realm of Abstract Perception and that she was now subject to his will. Is this a parallel or pocket dimension that the Muse hailed from? Was he the ruler of this dimension or did he simply create it to express his abstract thoughts and odd surreal desires? Maybe he was an Elder of the Universe or simply a cosmic entity embodying the principle of Abstract thought. Perhaps he and the Perilous Painter could team up as a group calling itself the Artists Collective.
The Muse tended to say "Tut, tut, tut" a lot in the story.
He was probably based on the artists Jackson Pollock (1912 to 1956) and Pablo Picasso (1881 to 1973) who were well known abstractionist and surrealist artists at the time.
Profile by AvatarWarlord.
The Muse has no known connections to:
A possible parallel dimension accessed by the Muse via mental hypnosis where ordinary objects appear in the abstract. A person when transported there can exist in both worlds at the same time but sees objects on the Earthly plane as distorted abstract art like shapes. Visitors to this dimension are easily disoriented and slowly begin going mad the longer they remain there.
He was an art student at the Museum School in New York that was approached by the Muse to act as his helper at Muse's private studio. He was placed under hypnotic mind control and forced to paint abstract art so the Muse could sell them to art collectors and take credit for them. He tried to escape the Muse when his hypnosis began to wear off and sought help from the Mark Mason detective agency and was eventually freed from artistic servitude when the Blonde Phantom defeated the Muse. Afterwards he was sent to a psychiatric hospital to help take care of his now broken mind.
images: (without ads)
Blonde Phantom#20, p23, pan2 (main image)
Blonde Phantom#20, p24, pan2 (Abstract body)
Blonde Phantom#20, p22, pan6 (Estate)
Blonde Phantom#20, p25, pan5 (Realm of Abstract Perception)
Blonde Phantom#20, p27, pan4 (Danny)
Blonde Phantom#20/4 (November, 1948) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Syd Shores (pencils & inks)
First Posted: 06/14/2021
Last updated: 06/14/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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