Real Name: Jeremy Torgan
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Joe Blair
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Man Who Caught a Mermaid" (in story title)
Base of Operations: His mansion in an unidentified coastal town, somewhere in America (see comments)
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#40/3 (November, 1955)
Powers/Abilities: The wealthy Jeremy Torgan was an older, portly man with no paranormal abilities; his assets included a mansion and a yacht, and he enjoyed fishing as a hobby.
During a fishing trip, Torgan played an elaborate prank on a friend by catching a faux mermaid--but unbeknownst to Torgan at the time, he had actually caught a real mermaid!
Height: 5' 10" (by
Weight: 280 lbs. (by approximation)
(Strange Tales I#40/3 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Jeremy Torgan is unrevealed, but he somehow accumulated vast wealth and settled in a mansion by the seashore (see comments).
(Strange Tales I#40/3 (fb) ) - At some point, two local fishermen were at sea in a rowboat, where they spotted a group of mermaids frolicking in the waves; the fishermen paddled over and cast their nets to capture them, but the mermaids dived below the surface and swam away before they could be ensnared. When the fishermen returned to shore, they wrote about their encounter with the mermaids in a notarized statement.
Some time later, Torgan invited his friend Joe Blair to stay overnight at his home, for their fishing trip the following day. Torgan related the story of the fishermen and the mermaids to Blair; but the skeptical Blair told Torgan that the story was "so much nonsense," and he thought the fishermen were only trying to pull in the tourist trade.
Blair retired for the evening, so he would be well-rested for their next day's fishing excursion; meanwhile, Torgan made a phone call to check on the preparations for a prank he was going to play on Blair--Torgan had made arrangements to have a girl, costumed as a mermaid, to be dropped off at sea by a helicopter near his yacht, while he and Blair were fishing.
The next morning, Blair and Torgan boarded Torgan's yacht, and the vessel nosed its way out to sea, where the crewmen cast the fishing net over the side. When they saw that something big was caught in the net, the crewmen pulled it up, and Joe Blair was shocked to see it was a mermaid!
But Torgan--thinking that it was just the costumed girl--nonchalantly ordered his crewmen to throw her back; when the incredulous Blair asked Torgan why he would let such an amazing discovery get away, Torgan reminded Blair that he had earlier said that mermaids were "so much nonsense." The mermaid was released, and she swam away. But even as Torgan ordered his crewmen to take the yacht back to the dock, the emotionally overwrought Blair insisted that he wanted to catch the mermaid again, and he vowed that he would return to the same spot every day by himself, and cast his own net until he caught her.
When they got back to the dock, the obsessed Blair immediately went to purchase his own rowboat.
Meanwhile, Torgan was met by the man who had arranged the prank, and he congratulated him for handling the little joke beautifully. But the man was confused, for he had actually come to inform Torgan that the costumed girl they were going to drop at sea had gotten sick at the last minute, and he couldn't get anybody to take her place--upon hearing this, the confused Torgan could only wonder who had been caught in the net...
(Strange Tales I#40/3) - And ever since that fateful day, two haggard men with haunted eyes--Joe Blair and Jeremy Torgan--spent all their waking hours at the spot in the open sea, futilely casting their nets, hoping to catch something big...(see comments)
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and John Forte.
This 4-page story never mentioned exactly where Torgan's
mansion was located, but based upon how those two fishermen were dressed,
I'll guess that in was in a northeastern state on the Atlantic seaboard of
Since the crewmen on Torgan's yacht weren't surprised by the mermaid's appearance, I'm guessing they were probably "in" on Torgan's prank.
In the last story-panel, when he was trying to recapture the mermaid, I wonder why Torgan was using a rowboat instead of his yacht--maybe he got so obsessed with catching her again that his mind snapped and he neglected his finances, and thus lost his entire fortune.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Jeremy Torgan has no known connections to:
Joe Blair has no known connections to:
The mermaid has no known connections to:
The home of multimillionaire Torgan, it was a large estate
located by the seashore.
Operated by at least two crewmen (neither identified), it was
a large watercraft owned by multimillionaire Torgan, which he used for
Silas (last name unrevealed) and his unidentified mustachioed
companion were residents of a coastal town.
An associate of multimillionaire Jeremy Torgan, Blair was
invited to spend the night at Torgan's mansion, so they could get an early
start for a fishing trip the next day.
An unidentified aquatic humanoid, she possessed a fish-like
tail instead of legs, and a human torso. She could apparently breathe both
water and air.
images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p2, pan6 (Main Image - Jeremy Torgan)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p2, pan7 (Headshot - Jeremy Torgan)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p2, pan3 (Jeremy Torgan finishes telling Joe Blair about fishermen encountering mermaids)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p4, pan6 (Jeremy Torgan learns he actually caught a mermaid)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p4, pan7 (Joe Blair and Jeremy Torgan obsessively try to recapture mermaid)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p3, pan1 (Jeremy Torgan's mansion; Blair arranging prank on telephone)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p3, pan3 (Jeremy Torgan's yacht)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p1, pan1 (fisherman sights mermaids)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p1, pan2 (fishermen row towards mermaids)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p2, pan2 (fishermen, after mermaids swim away)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p2, pan4 (Joe Blair doubts story about fishermen encountering mermaids)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p3, pan5 (Joe Blair sees captured mermaid)
Strange Tales I#40/3, p3, pan6 (mermaid captured in net; two crewmen, Joe Blair, Jeremy Torgan (background) )
Strange Tales I#40/3, p3, pan7 (mermaid captured in net; Joe Blair, Jeremy Torgan (foreground))
Strange Tales I#40/3, p4, pan2 (mermaid released from net)
Strange Tales I#40/3 (November, 1955) - unidentified writer, John Forte (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 03/29/2021
Last updated: 03/29/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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