Classification: Terrestrial semi-humanoid race

Location/Base of Operations: Subterranea; temporarily in New York City's Times Square

Known Members: Two (unidentified)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: None

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#6/1 (November, 1959)

Powers/Abilities: The Stone Men's bodies emitted an energy field which dissolved any solid matter in their path.

Their rock-like bodies made them invulnerable to conventional human weaponry, such as artillery and flame-throwers.

Traits: With their bodies adapted to living in the the depths of the earth, where the pressures are unbelievably great, the Stone Men used their dissolving fields to walk through solid rock, just as humans walked through air. Their senses were also geared to different pitches and pressures -- compared to their solid-rock world, they perceived the surface of the planet as too light or flimsy to make any impression on them.

Having no digits on their "hands," the Stone Men's arms terminated as solid block-like bludgeons.

While on Earth's surface, the Stone Men had to continuously move about, otherwise their weight caused them to sink back down.

Type: Semi-humanoid
Eyes: Unrevealed
Fingers: None
Toes: None
Skin color: Gray
Average height: 30'

(Tales to Astonish I#6/1) - The past of the Stone Men is unrevealed (see comments), but one night, a pair of them emerged from the subterranean depths and began to roam the streets of Times Square. Upon contact, their bodies melted a pathway through any surrounding buildings they encountered.

   Fearing an invasion, the crowds of people fled in panic, but one bystander--geologist Professor George Ailen--stood and curiously observed the lumbering giants. Ailen had long believed that life existed deep within the core of the planet, and he noticed that the Stone Men seemed to be oblivious to the people and buildings, for they just wandered aimlessly about as if they were aware of nothing around them, and they made no deliberate attempt to attack or harm anyone.

   Shortly afterward, when the initial shock of the "invasion" by the Stone Men wore off, the crowd returned and watched the creatures from below with horrified fascination; then one man in the crowd recognized Ailen -- having heard Ailen's theories of life existing below earth, the man accused him of summoning the Stone Men. Upon hearing this, the crowd surrounded the "traitorous" Ailen, but the timely arrival of police and military units prevented the angry mob from committing any violence against the professor. The military began to attack the Stone Men with flame-throwers and artillery, but the two giants gave no attention to the assaults.

   When questioned by an Army general for advice on defeating the creatures, Ailen suggested that they should just retreat and leave the Stone Men alone; the professor further explained that because the Stone Men were from the dense core of the planet, their senses only perceived the surface world as a shadowy and unsubstantial void. Ailen insisted that the Stone Men were explorers, not invaders, and that they couldn't conquer what they couldn't see!

   Shortly afterward, the two giants stood still and let themselves sink back into the ground, to go back to their home, and Professor Ailen concluded that they would never return. He realized that while the Stone Men were on Earth's surface, they were unable to see, hear, or feel anything -- they only perceived it to be like an empty cavern, with no atmosphere, no substance, and thus uninhabitable.

   Ailen theorized that if humans could read the Stone Men's report of their exploration, it would say: "Earth's surface barren! Not suited to life!"

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Steve Ditko.

This profile is done with the presumption that the Stone Men are an entire race of subterranean beings, however the two depicted in the images above were the only ones ever seen.

Of course, it's also possible that these two were actually the only Stone Men -- perhaps they were really Deviant mutate laborers used for digging tunnels, but they went astray.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Stone Men have no known connections to:

Professor George Ailen has no known connections to:

Professor George Ailen

He was America's top geologist for over twenty years. After using unspecified sensitive instruments, Ailen was convinced that life existed deep within the core of the planet. For years, he tried to warn the world of the dread underground menace, which only earned him public ridicule.

But one night, Ailen was in New York's Times Square when a pair of giant Stone Men emerged from below. The lumbering behemoths caused havoc throughout the area, and Ailen was wrongfully accused of summoning the stone creatures for an invasion.

The military was called in to stop the Stone Men, but their weaponry proved ineffective against the giants. An Army general consulted Ailen for an idea to stop the creatures, and Ailen suggested that they should just be left alone, which drew the general's ire. Ailen further explained that the Stone Men weren't conquerors, but actually explorers -- since they came from the dense core of the planet, they were unable to comprehend the openness of Earth's surface, and they were unaware of the people and buildings around them.

Shortly afterward, the two Stone Men let themselves sink into the ground to go back to their home, and Professor Ailen was certain they would never return -- he reasoned that from their perspective, the Stone Men had found the surface of Earth to be barren and uninhabitable.

--Tales to Astonish I#6/1

images: (without ads)
Tales to Astonish I#6, cover (main image - Stone Men)
Tales to Astonish I#6/1, p4, pan3 (soldiers with flame-throwers attack one of the Stone Men)
Tales to Astonish I#6/1, p2, pan1 (Stone Men melting through buildings; Professor Ailen (foreground))
Tales to Astonish I#6/1, p5, pan5 (Stone Men return home)
Tales to Astonish I#6/1, p1 pan2 (Professor George Ailen)
Tales to Astonish I#6/1, p5 pan1 (as he is seized by angry Army general, Professor George Ailen explains about the nature of the Stone Men)

Tales to Astonish I#6/1 (November, 1959) - unidentified writer, Steve Ditko (pencils/inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 02/16/2023
Last updated: 02/16/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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