Real Name: Freddy Sykes
Identity/Class: Human, magical being;
formerly self-declared emperor of Earth
Group Membership: None
Enemies: The Genie
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: A swamp in the southern USA;
previously an unidentifed prison
First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#8 (March, 1960)
Powers/Abilities: Freddy has all the powers of a genie. He can perform virtually any feat imaginable, such as alter his size, fly, alter the law of gravity, alter the moon's orbit and generate soldiers or starships from thin air.
However, when he is bound by a human master, he can only perform tasks which his master commands him to do. He is otherwise trapped within his bottle. He also cannot use his power to travel outside Earth's Solar System.
Height: 5'4" (as human; by approximation); variable (as genie)
Weight: 140 lbs. (as human; by approximation); variable (as genie)
History: (Tales to Astonish I#8/3) - While in prison, Freddy Sykes spent much of his time reading fairy tales, such as those by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, but his favorite stories were the Arabian Nights. Reading stories about genies made Freddy wonder whether genies truly existed. When he was finally released from jail, Freddy decided in the future he would be a smarter criminal and to begin, he would determine once and for all whether genies were real. His research finally led him to a paper entitled "Report on Genies" which included an account saying an old man from a band of Gypsies had thrown a bottle containing a genie into a swamp in the southern United States. Freddy immediately took a train to the south and fished the bottle out of the swamp.
Freddy pulled the cork out of the bottle, causing a giant genie to emerge in a puff of smoke. The Genie informed Freddy that he would serve him forever and grant whatever Freddy wished for. Freddy asked the Genie to create a solid gold castle for him in the swamp, and the Genie complied. For his next wish, Freddy asked for a winged horse. The Genie protested that there was no such thing as a winged horse but Freddy insisted that since the Genie could grant any wish, it was within his power to create on. When the Genie created the horse, Freddy cajoled the Genie, claiming he was simply "too lazy to try." Flying through the air on the back of his winged horse, Freddy led the Genie across the Atlantic Ocean and then ordered the Genie to make all the water in the ocean disappear. The Genie protested that all the sea life would die, but Freddy insisted, and so the Genie complied.
For his next wish, Freddy asked the Genie to blot out the sun. The Genie protested again but Freddy had plans to dominate the world and wanted a show of power which would make people afraid of him. The Genie flew to the sun and created a black mist which blotted out the sun. The resulting darkness terrified people until Freddy decided they were scared enough then ordered the Genie to restore the sun.
Freddy realized that if he traded places with the Genie then he wouldn't be dependent on him and would have all of the creature's magical powers. For his final wish, he asked to change places with him. Ever obedient, the Genie complied, transforming himself into a mortal man and Freddy into a Genie. Freddy intended to use his power to wipe out the ex-Genie so that he couldn't be commanded by him, but the former Genie simply commanded Freddy to stop, freezing him in his tracks. The former Genie explained that genies have no ability to refuse the requests of their masters. Now that Freddy had accepted the curse of being a genie, he was bound by that same curse. The former Genie forced Freddy to undo his castle, winged horse and restore the ocean. The former Genie then ordered Freddy to enter the bottle and sealed it with a cork, after which the former Genie abandoned Freddy.
(Tales to Astonish I#9) - Freddy's bottle was left adrift in the same swamp where he first found the Genie. He remained there for some years until a man wandered by and found it. Curious, the man opened the bottle and looked inside but, seeing nothing, left it where it was. Freddy then emerged from the bottle, reveling in the fact that he no longer had a master to restrict his power. Flying to New York City, he surrounded the city in a magic vapor which removed the law of gravity, causing people and objects to rise from the ground. Flying to Chicago, he shrunk people down in size to menace them then went to Detroit and made animals grow larger. He used his power to draw the moon closer to the Earth, threatening to collide it into the planet, but at the last moment restored it to its normal orbit. He then conjured up an army of giant soldiers and used them to conquer every nation on Earth, declaring himself emperor of Earth.
After a few months of conquest, Freddy realized he wanted something new to conquer. He used his power to conjure starships and led them out to conquer other planets. However, as he left Earth's Solar System, the starships all disappeared. In that moment, Freddy realized his powers only worked within the Solar System. As he lost consciousness in the void of space, all of his abuses of power were undone and he found himself back at the moment where the man found his bottle. However, this time the man wandered past the bottle and did not open it, leaving Freddy trapped inside.
Comments: Created by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko (script by either Stan Lee or Larry Lieber).
Freddy had black hair in Tales to Astonish I#8, blond hair in issue I#9. Of course, it's no big deal for a genie to change his hair color.
This profile was completed 7/20/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Prime Eternal.
Freddy Sykes should not be confused with:
This genie was found inside a bottle by Freddy Sykes. He had all the powers of a genie but no free will to exercise them himself. As Freddy made his wishes, the Genie objected at several points, noting first when Freddy asked for a winged horse that such creatures did not exist in nature. He also objected to draining the Atlantic Ocean of water, thereby killing all sea life. He also objected to blotting out the sun for Freddy. However, in each case, the Genie performed these tasks as he did not have the power to refuse his master.
However, when Freddy unwisely asked to switch places with the Genie, this now made the Genie Freddy's master. The ex-Genie prevented Freddy from trying to kill him and then ordered Freddy to undo each of the wishes he had granted for him. The former Genie sent Freddy into his bottle and left him where he was to teach him a lesson. He then set out, hoping that now that he had become a mortal man, he could prove himself worthy of mortality and live a good and useful life.
--Tales to Astonish I#8/3
images: (without ads)
Tales to Astonish I#9, page 1 (main)
Tales to Astonish I#8/3, page 5, panel 6 (as human)
Tales to Astonish I#8/3, page 1, panel 1 (The Genie)
Tales to Astonish I#8/3, page 6, panel 4 (mortal Genie)
Tales to Astonish I#8/3 (March, 1960) - either Stan Lee or Larry Lieber (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Steve Ditko (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Tales to Astonish I#9 (May, 1960) - either Stan Lee or Larry Lieber (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First posted: 09/02/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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