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PROFESSOR STANLEY

Real Name: Stanley (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human technology-user

Occupation: Egyptologist

Group Membership: Unrevealed (but he was presumably a member of one of the many Egyptological societies and institutes that exist in the world)

Affiliations: Olivier; American Museum of Natural History in New York City

Enemies: Vincent Destine (while animating the remains of a Plastoid)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Thor: The Truth of History#1 (December, 2008)

Powers/Abilities: Professor Stanley is not known to have possessed any superhuman powers or abilities. However, he presumably had an extensive knowledge of Ancient Egypt that he gained by studying Egyptology (and/or archeology) at an unspecified university.

Height: 6' (estimated)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown

History: Many details about the life and career of Professor Stanley have not yet been revealed, including his first name and his nationality.

(Thor: The Truth of History#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stanley studied Egyptology at a college or university whose name has not yet been revealed.

(Thor: The Truth of History#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Stanley met and became friends with Olivier, a Frenchman who was also an Egyptologist.

(Wolverine Annual III#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Stanley became a professor who taught at a college or university. However, the name of this educational institution and where it was located has not been revealed.

(Thor: The Truth of History#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Stanley examined the Great Sphinx of Giza. What he saw convinced him that the Sphinx was much older than was believed by most Egyptologists.

(Wolverine Annual III#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Professor Stanley may have taken part in an excavation of the pyramid of Pharaoh Neb Maat during which mummies of some animal-headed hybrids, the offspring of matings between Egyptian gods and humans, were discovered.

(Thor: The Truth of History#1) - When Olivier joined him in visiting the Giza Plateau, Stanley told his friend, "I'm convinced the Great Sphinx predates the pyramids by thousands of years...Carved by a an earlier forgotten civilization...Its original head re-sculpted to satisfy the egotistical whim of a later pharaoh...Khufu, perhaps. You can clearly see the Sphinx head is small in proportion to the body --" Olivier interrupted Stanley, vehemently disagreeing with him and reminding him that orthodox Egyptologists agreed that all the structures of the Giza complex had been constructed around 2500 B.C. Stanley countered this, saying, "Yes, Olivier. You agree because you all accept the arbitrary chronology of Champollion and ignore any evidence that challenges your dogma." Stanley then asked Olivier, "Can you not see what is so clearly etched in the stone?" Olivier replied by mentioning that it had been his research that had definitively separated the pharaonic hieroglyphs from the graffiti of philistines and vandals to which Stanley replied, "But it's what you missed - - cutting across the engravings of Man...The pattern of natural erosion...weathered rivulets! They were clearly caused by running water --" Olivier interrupted again, insisting that that was impossible because there was no significant rainfall in Egypt. Stanley responded by saying, "Exactly my point. There has been no rainfall in Egypt for more than four thousand years!"

   Olivier disagreed, stating that no rain had ever fallen on the Sphinx and suggested that Stanley had mistaken the erosion pattern of airborne sand for that of water. Stanley replied, "You believe that because it fits your hypothesis." Olivier called Stanley's theory a fantasy that was as absurd as reports of a sphinx head on the surface of Mars. Stanley replied, "Really. What if I were to show you hieroglyphic evidence to support my theory?" but Olivier refused to even consider the possibility, stating that that evidence would be erroneous because the site had been extensively vandalized and only a real expert could determine what was of value. Stanley responded by saying, "And of course, you are the real expert." Olivier then declared that his extensive knowledge and experience carried a burden of responsibility, a responsibility to the truth, the truth of history.

(Thor: The Truth of History#1) - Stanley and Olivier then walked away from the Sphinx, with neither of them apparently even noticing a carving on the side of the Sphinx that depicted the Norse thunder god Thor standing with his hammer Mjolnir upraised as he caused rain to fall in Egypt.

 

(Daredevil Annual III#1 - BTS/Wolverine Annual III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Professor Stanley was chosen to be responsible for a number of artifacts that were part of the "Gods & Monsters" exhibit that was presented in the Egyptology wing of the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.

(Daredevil Annual III#1 - BTS) - A Plastoid robot inhabited and controlled by the spirit of Vincent Destine made its way across New York City to the American Museum of Natural History, killing at least eleven people as it did so. After demolishing several exhibits as it moved through the museum, the Plastoid was confronted by Vincent's sister, Cuckoo, and Daredevil just before it could enter the Egyptology wing. The resulting battle damaged more exhibits and ended when Daredevil hurled a harpoon that impaled the robot's right arm and penetrated the electrical junction box that was within the wall behind it. The resulting surge of electricity overloaded the Plastoid's systems, causing it to start melting before exploding and starting a fire that was soon brought under control by the New York City Fire Department.

 

 

(Wolverine Annual III#1) - Once the fire was out and the museum was determined to be structurally sound, Professor Stanley entered the museum with two firemen accompanying him. After reaching the Egyptology wing, one of the firemen reminded the professor that it was a crime scene and that he had only been allowed in to check the security on his exhibits. Since that had been done, the fireman told Stanley that he now had to leave, but Stanley replied that the artifacts were irreplaceable and beyond price, and demanded that he be allowed to rescue them. When one of the firemen commented that he had seen similar stuff in a Cairo sideshow and stated that one mummy's head had been switched with that of a dog, Professor Stanley insisted that all of the exhibits were genuine.

   As Stanley told the skeptical firemen that the old gods had mated with humans in millennia past and the Heliopolitan pantheon had fathered the hybrids, none of them noticed that the sludge that had been the Plastoid had been animated and was moving along the floor towards them. However, as Stanley was explaining that the organs of the mummified hybrids had been preserved in canopic jars like the one he was holding and that those jars contained the DNA of the gods, he noticed that the two firemen had begun to gape at something behind him. By the time Stanley had turned to see what had so shocked them, the remains of the Plastoid had risen up in a fluid wave that then engulfed the three humans and the canopic jars. Professor Stanley and the two firemen were presumably killed by the Plastoid.

(Wolverine Annual III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Vincent Destine, whose spirit was animating the Plastoid sludge, then used the preserved DNA to create clones of many of the Heliopolitan hybrids so that he could distill the essence of the Elder Gods from them for his own use.

Comments: Created by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.

   The appearances and names of Stanley and his stouter colleague, Olivier, were (presumably) inspired by the famous comedy double act, "Laurel and Hardy" (a.k.a. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy).

   I suppose it's worth mentioning that, as far as I know, nobody else seems to have noticed (or assumed) that the Egyptologist named Stanley who appeared in Thor: The Truth of History#1 and the Professor Stanley who appeared (and died) in Wolverine Annual III#1 are (or might be) the same character. To me it seemed obvious since both stories were written and drawn by Alan Davis, the pharaoh Neb-Maat appeared in both stories, and both "Stanley" characters were male Egyptologists who looked rather similar. However, since "they" do not look exactly alike, despite both having been drawn by the same art team, it's possible that Alan Davis meant these Egyptologists to be two different characters. After all, Mr. Davis has, on occasion, mistakenly referred to some characters by different names, so it could be that he happened to choose the same name for the different Egyptologists who appeared in two different stories.
   If someone knows for sure that they were meant to be different characters, let me know and I'll split this profile into two.

   I think that Alan Davis is a great artist and a very talented writer. I particularly like the Excalibur stories he wrote that wrapped up dangling plotlines left over from Chris Claremont's time on the series and his ClanDestine series and characters. However, the Thor: The Truth of History#1 one-shot that he wrote has always puzzled me. Based on postings he made on the Alan Davis Forum, Mr. Davis wanted to set a story in Egypt and use the real world Sphinx that was not the time machine that Nathaniel Richards from Earth-6311 had created in the image of the Sphinx. Mr. Davis had a problem with the idea that Nathaniel somehow originated the human-headed cat design of the Sphinx without being aware of one of the most famous icons from human history and wanted to solve that problem by suggesting that there could be two Sphinxes -- The original and Nathaniel's copy. Mr. Davis apparently also wanted to introduce a "real-world" theory that the Sphinx might actually be much older than the pyramids, an idea that was (and still is) generally dismissed as pseudoscience, pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology.

   Anyway, according to this new origin for the Sphinx that was presented as fact, the large limestone monumental sculpture now known as the Great Sphinx of Giza was originally an ancient statue carved in the form of a griffin that was one of the Elder creatures who roamed between planes long ago. However, after Thor traveled to Egypt sometime within the last 4,000 years and defeated the actual living Griffin in battle, that creature's explosive disappearance (after being struck by Thor's lightning) destroyed the beak of the Griffin statue, thereby forcing the ancient Egyptians to recarve it into a smaller human head.

   Unfortunately, while this idea makes for interesting reading, the fact remains that there were already three different origins for the Great Sphinx of Giza that existed on Earth-616 (and SIX if one counts the origins from various Atlas comics) so adding another origin onto the pile was a choice that I found rather irritating because it disrupted continuity for no good reason. It's an idea that I'd expect from certain (unnamed) writers who enjoy ignoring or disrupting established continuity.

   Aside from my dislike of this unnecessary continuity complication, the story also doesn't really make it clear what Stanley believes. On the one hand, Stanley seems to be arguing that the Sphinx must be much older than 4,000 years because the presence of erosion due to running water means that it must have been carved and exposed to the elements at some point in time when the Sahara Desert had a tropical climate and received plenty of rainfall, something that abruptly changed as recently as 6,000 years ago. This would be consistent with the Sphinx water erosion hypothesis that most Egyptologists, climatologists and geologists reject as a fringe theory.

   On the other hand, there's the fact that Stanley claimed to have found hieroglyphical evidence that supported his theory. However, since that "evidence" was never shown to we readers, it's impossible for us to evaluate how valid and/or convincing it might have been. For some time I thought that the presence of that carving of Thor on the side of the Sphinx could have indicated that the water erosion might have been caused by the rain from the storm that Thor had created but I ultimately decided that the rain from a single storm, no matter how intense, was unlikely to be mistaken for erosion caused by years of running water.

   Speaking of that image of Thor, its presence was meant to prove that the Griffin statue had been recarved into the Sphinx long after it was first created because Thor and his companions had been in Asgard's Menhir Mountains less than 4,000 years ago when they traveled through Queen Nedra's mystic gateway to the desert land of Egypt to rescue Volstagg. However, there is a massive chronological problem with this idea. Aside from the fact that Thor and his companions know of the Gods of Heliopolis even though Thor was not shown to have learned of them until Thor I#240, Alan Davis used the modern incarnation of Thor who was born less than 2,000 years ago, after the previous Asgard had been destroyed in the last Ragnarok and the new/current Asgard had been reborn. So, if this Thor could only have been living within the past 2,000 years, then the Egypt of that time had not been ruled by pharaohs for years, decades or centuries and the last giant pyramid had been built over 1,700 years earlier. This would mean that the only way in which Thor and friends could have traveled to a pharaoh-ruled Egypt where a giant pyramid was being constructed in Giza would be if the mystic gateway had transported them back in time as well as across space. The possibility of time travel would significantly undercut any usefulness that the presence of that carving of Thor might have had as "proof" of when the Griffin was recarved into the Sphinx.

Profile by Don Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Professor Stanley has no known connections to

Stanley's friend Olivier has no known connections to


Olivier

   A black-haired Frenchman (or French-speaking man) who was an Egyptologist and one of Stanley's colleagues. Many details about his life and career have not yet been revealed, including his first name, his place of birth, where he studied Egyptology and how he first met Stanley.

   When Olivier joined his friend in visiting the Giza Plateau, Stanley revealed his belief that the Great Sphinx predated the pyramids by thousands of years and had been carved by an earlier forgotten civilization. Stanley suggested that the original head of the Sphinx had been re-sculpted to satisfy the egotistical whim of a later pharaoh, possibly Khufu, and pointed out that the Sphinx head could clearly be seen to be small in proportion to the body. However, Olivier interrupted him, saying,"Non, Stanley, non! Orthodox Egyptologists agree, all the structures of the Giza complex were constructed around 2500 B.C." Stanley countered by stating that they agreed because they all accepted the arbitrary chronology of Champollion and ignored any evidence that challenged their dogma, and then asked Olivier if he could not see what was so clearly etched in the stone. Olivier replied, "Oui! Was it not my research that definitively separated the pharaonic hieroglyphs from the graffiti of philistines and vandals?" Stanley responded by stating that Olivier had missed the pattern of natural erosion that cut across the engravings of man and that those "weathered rivulets" had clearly been caused by running water. Olivier rejected this idea, saying, "Impossible, there is no significant rainfall in Egypt." Stanley replied that it was exactly his point that there had been no rainfall in Egypt for more than four thousand years!

   Olivier continued to disagree, stating, "...no rain ever fell on the Sphinx. You mistake the erosion pattern of airborne sand for that of water." Stanley claimed that Olivier believed that because it fit his hypothesis and Olivier responded, "Your theory is fantasy as absurd as reports of a sphinx head on the surface of Mars." Stanley offered to show Olivier hieroglyphic evidence that supported his theory but Olivier rejected that offer, stating, "Impossible. It would be erroneous. This site has been extensively vandalized -- Only a real expert can determine what is of value." Stanley responded by saying that, of course, Olivier was the real expert, and Olivier, apparently not noticing that his friend might have been teasing or humoring him, declared,  "My extensive knowledge and experience carry a burden of responsibility...a responsibility to the truth. The truth of history."

   Olivier and Stanley then walked away from the Sphinx, with neither of them apparently even noticing a carving on the side of the Sphinx that depicted the Norse thunder god Thor standing with his hammer Mjolnir upraised as he caused rain to fall in Egypt.

--Thor: The Truth of History#1


images:
Thor: The Truth of History#1, page 1, panel 2 (main image)
      page 34, panel 2 (Stanley, head shot)
      page 1, panel 1 (Stanley and Olivier standing together)
Wolverine Annual III#1, page 12, panels 5-6 (Professor Stanley and two firemen in the American Museum of Natural History)
      page 13, panel 1 (Stanley and the firemen being stalked by the Plastoid)
      page 13, panels 2-4 (Stanley and the firemen being killed by the Plastoid)
Thor: The Truth of History#1, page 34, panel 5 (the engraving of Thor on the side of the Sphinx)
      page 1, panel 2 (Olivier, body shot)
      page 34, panel 2 (Olivier, head shot)


Appearances:
Thor: The Truth of History#1 (December, 2008), Alan Davis (writer & penciler), Mark Farmer (inker),  Warren Simons (editor)
Wolverine Annual III#1 (October, 2012), Alan Davis (writer & penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First Posted: 06/23/2022
Last updated: 06/23/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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