PROFESSOR LYMAN

Real Name: Lyman (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Extradimensional/alternate reality (Earth-600001) human

Occupation: Scientist

Group Membership: Formerly Mayan expedition (Carl Evans, Harold Jackson, Clinton Lyman, Cyrus Maldor, J.V. Wilson, presumably unidentified others)

Affiliations: Professor Eldon Dodge, Gregory

Enemies: Gruber, Bart Matson, Scarab (Dr. Cyrus Maldor)

Known Relatives: Clinton Lyman (brother)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California (see comments)

First Appearance: Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" (February 5th 1944)

Powers/Abilities: Professor Lyman was a scientific genius who invented a thermodynamic vibration engine which can harness light and sound waves into a force powerful enough to disintegrate any known material.

Height: 5'9" (see comments)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White

History:
(
Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" (fb) - BTS) - Professor Lyman and his brother Clinton were both skilled scientists.

(Captain America serial episode 4 "Preview of a Murder" (fb) - BTS) - Professor Eldon Dodge was Lyman's life long friend, and Lyman wrote Dodge into his will, intending he should inherit Lyman's home and its contents. Lyman also held some part-ownership of the Drummond Museum of Arts and Science.

(Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" (fb) - BTS) - When Dr. Cyrus Maldor's research uncovered the possibility of lost Mayan ruins in Central America, he organized an expedition to find them, which both Lymans took part in. Upon their return most of those involved in the expedition, both financiers and expedition members, accrued either fame or wealth or both as a result, while Maldor was made the curator of the Drummond Museum.

(Captain America serial episode 4 "Preview of a Murder" (fb) - BTS) - Lyman liked Maldor, and wrote him into his will, leaving him all his rights and interests in the Drummond, except for the Mayan crown jewels the expedition had found, which though held in the museum's custody, Lyman intended to be given to Dodge, so he could sell them to finance an expedition into the Mayan jungle to search for the lost city of Zada.

(Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" (fb) - BTS) - Unaware of the will, Maldor grew bitter at everyone else's success while he "only" received became the curator of a minor museum. Deciding the others had cheated him, he plotted to get his revenge by killing them all, intending to steal their wealth but also to gain even more power by accumulating scientific knowledge to control and destroy. To this end Maldor began distilling a will-sapping extract from the rare Cypridium orchid.

   Meanwhile Professor Lyman had invented a thermodynamic vibration engine capable of disintegrating matter, intended to be used as a mining tool. He and his assistant Gregory constructed a working model at his friend Eldon Dodge's laboratory, and the initial tests allowed Lyman to amend the plans for the device with modifications so the next version of the device would be even more powerful, capable of shattering a twenty-story building like an eggshell. Maldor learned of the invention, presumably from one of his victims, as he began to eliminate the expedition members one by one, exposing them to the extract's fumes to make them obey his orders, then forcing them to withdraw large sums from their banks and then commit suicide. To sign his crimes, Maldor gave each of his first three victims - J.V Wilson, civil engineer Carl Evans and attorney Harold Jackson - a jeweled scarab which they were found grasping after their deaths. Purple blotches around the lips and traces of a subtle, unknown poison found in the victims' bloodstreams led the press to dub the killings the "Purple Death murders" and the killer the "Scarab."

(Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death") - Terrified by this turn of events and fearing he or Maldor might be next, Lyman visited the curator at the museum. Telling the agitated scientist he needed to calm himself, Maldor offered Lyman a cigar laced with the Purple Death, and once its fumes had sapped the unsuspecting man's will, the villain taunted his victim by revealing his perfidy. Maldor then demanded to know more about the vibrator, and forced Lyman to tell him where the scientist stored his plans for the device. No longer needing Lyman, Maldor called in his henchman Gruber and told him to take the scientist elsewhere and eliminate him. 

(Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" - BTS) - Gruber took Lyman into town and had the scientist step out in front of a truck, killing him.

(Captain America serial episode 4 "Preview of a Murder" - BTS) - Maldor, Dodge and District Attorney Grant Gardner (secretly the vigilante Captain America) attended the reading of Lyman's will. Though Maldor hid it, he was enraged to learn that Dodge was inheriting the crown jewels.

Comments: Created by unspecified writers - there are seven writers credited for the serial's screenplay, but no breakdown for individual episodes, so it's difficult to identify which of them might have created Lyman. Played by Frank Reicher.

   I'm assuming that the character's height and eye color match the actor who played him.

   The serial doesn't identify what city the events take place in, but since it was filmed in the Los Angeles area, which has some fairly distinctive geography that is sometimes visible in the story, I'm ASSuming it was set there too.  

    This profile was completed 8/13/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Professor Lyman should not be confused with:

and has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" (main image, headshot, full body shot)
Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" lobbycard (accepting a cigar from Maldor)


Appearances:
Captain America serial episode 1 "The Purple Death" (February 5th 1944)


First Posted: 09/21/2021
Last updated:
09/20/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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