MR VANDERBANKS

Real Name: Vanderbanks (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human (Pre-modern era - see comments)

Occupation: Banker, film financier

Group Membership: Unidentified New York bank

Affiliations: Hedy De Vine, Gregory Le Grand, Cecil Trumpetski

Enemies: Formerly Hedy De Vine

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, New York

First Appearance: Hedy De Vine#22 (August 1947)

Powers/Abilities: Vanderbanks has a stern and frightening manner, allowing him to cow even hardened Hollywood producers; however, he is susceptible to flattery from a pretty girl. He is presumably fairly wealthy, and has access to sufficient funds, perhaps not all personally his, to finance major motion pictures.

 

Height: 6' (by approximation - see comments)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair:White

 

History:
(
Hedy De Vine#22 (fb) - BTS) - Vanderbanks was a New York banker who was financing the filming of a Western at Star Studios in Hollywood, produced by Gregory Le Grand and directed by Cecil Trumpetski. To check on his investment, he traveled to Los Angeles to visit the set, and was extremely unimpressed to hear that filming had yet to start that day because the female lead, Hedy De Vine, had only just arrived for the day, three hours late. Informing Cecil that a temperamental actress could not be allowed to hold up production, he ordered the director to fire and replace her. 

(Hedy De Vine#22) - Gregory and Cecil both tried to talk him out of this, pointing out that she was their top star and that the public loved her, but Vanderbanks was adamant, rebutting that he didn't love her, so out she would go. Having just heard about Vanderbanks' demands from her agent, Gabby Dunn, Hedy came to see the banker. As she unexpectedly entered the room Cecil and Gregory reacted with dread, expecting a confrontation of epic proportions, but instead Hedy came across extremely sweet and innocent (see comments), politely asking where the important Mr. Vanderbanks was, and then reacting with shock that he was financier.

(Hedy of Hollywood#44) - Vanderbanks responded to her apparent surprise by asking "You were expecting maybe Humphrey Bogart?"

(Hedy De Vine#22) - Hedy clarified that her surprise was because the elderly financier was "so young," "handsome" and "charming" rather than "old" and "grouchy" as she had expected. Becoming flustered by this flattery from a beautiful young woman, Vanderbanks visibly warmed to her, hesitatingly telling her that it was down to living well and being young at heart, and he rounded on Cecil and Gregory, demanding that the shocked men explain to him why the "sweet, intelligent girl" before him wasn't the star of the film instead of the "never on time" Hedy De Vine. As the pair stammered nonplussed, Hedy invited Vanderbanks to sit with her at the other side of the set where it was "nice and cool - away from the noise and excitement." Letting her take his arm, he eagerly complied, though when Gabby spotted them together the agent fretted that his client must be in the process of getting fired, and when Hedy's rival actress Sandra Stile noticed them sitting together, she quietly gloated that Vanderbanks must be making Hedy's life miserable. Instead Hedy was working her charms on the increasingly smitten banker, leaning intimately close to him as she explained that sometimes a girl couldn't help being a little late for work, such as when she needed to take time out to help her mother do some shopping. As a flustered Vanderbanks agreed while wiping sweat from his brow, Hedy leaned in for the kill, caressing his cheek as she suggested he couldn't blame a girl for being late under those conditions. Totally under her spell, Vanderbanks eagerly concurred with her reasoning,

(Hedy of Hollywood#44) - saying only a cad would,...

(Hedy De Vine#22) - before remembering to finally ask her name.

(Hedy De Vine#22 - BTS) - Hedy told Vanderbanks who she was, but the revelation that the girl he had been charmed by was the same one he had been complaining about did not change his new, overly-positive opinion of her.

(Hedy De Vine#22) - Having screwed up their courage and decided to present a unified front and confront Vanderbanks on Hedy's behalf, Cecil, Gregory and Gabby came over to Hedy and Vanderbanks. Determined to say their piece before Vanderbanks dissented, Gabby first insisted that Vanderbanks couldn't fire Hedy, Cecil strengthened this to say they wouldn't let Vanderbanks fire her, and Gregory informed the banker that he would have to fire them too.

(Hedy of Hollywood#44) - Vanderbanks stated that was an idea...

(Hedy De Vine#22) - before angrily responding that of course he wasn't going to fire her, as she had convinced him that she couldn't help being late; instead he demanded that they give Hedy a raise and shorter working hours from now on. As the trio of men almost fainted at Vanderbanks' declaration, the banker bid them goodbye, adding that it had been wonderful to meet such a great lady.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer, Ed Winiarski and Christopher Rule.

   Vanderbanks appears twice, in Hedy De Vine#22's "Movie Moods" and Hedy of Hollywood#44's "Hired or Fired!" However, it is the same script redrawn from almost entirely by the same artist, though there are a few panels that might have been reused from the original version. For the purpose of this profile, I've written the history using the first version, as they are almost identical, but have noted a few points of tweaked dialogue. The main changes are cosmetic - in the first story Hedy arrived in regular clothes and changed into a cowgirl outfit before being informed of Vanderbanks' intention to fire her, in the second she arrives in a glamorous gown and remains in it throughout the story; in the first story Vanderbanks is in a striped suit and has white hair, in the second his outfit is a less formal, slightly more dressy number, and his hair is gray.

   Vanderbanks' appearances were in comics from the 1940s and 1950s; however, Hedy De Vine's tales take place around the time Patsy "Hellcat" Walker was a teen at school (Hedy was watched acting in a movie by Betty Bliss in Meet Miss Bliss#2/9, and Betty Bliss is shown to be one of Patsy's school teachers from Patsy and Hedy#58 onwards), so Vanderbank's appearance(s) is (are) presumably set only slightly before the debut of the Fantastic Four.

   Vanderbanks literally means "from the banks," which is appropriate for a character representing the financier sent by the banks.

   It's not stated in the story, but Vanderbanks' visit was presumably early in the filming process, maybe even the first day, because if a reasonable portion of the movie had already been shot it would have been pointless to fire Hedy and replace her, since the reshoots this would have necessitated would end up costing more money than her constant lateness would.

   It's also not entirely clear that Hedy's reaction to meeting Vanderbanks - not realizing who he is initially, and then laying on tons of praise - is definitely an act, and not just naivety on her part, but it seems very likely, especially as she seems to wink directly at the reader in the second-to-last panel of the story while Vanderbanks is telling everyone else how wonderful she is.

   Estimating Vanderbank's height: The top of Hedy De Vine's head comes up to just under his nose when they are walking side by side; Hedy doesn't have official handbook-derived stats, but she appears alongside Chili Storm in Marvel Valentine Special#1, and Chili has a handbook entry. Hedy and Chili seem to be more or less the same height, perhaps give or take an inch. Chili is 5'7", so I estimate Vanderbanks to be around 6'. 

    This profile was completed 12/16/2020, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Mr Vanderbanks has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)

Hedy De Vine#22, p5, pan5 (main image)
Hedy De Vine#22, p7, pan4 (headshot)
Hedy De Vine#22, p6, pan2 (walking with Hedy)
Hedy De Vine#22, p6, pan4 (sitting with Hedy)
Hedy of Hollywood#44, p6, pan4 (sitting with Hedy from redrawn repeat story, matching previously depicted panel for comparison)


Appearances:
Hedy De Vine#22 (August 1947) - writer uncredited, Ed Winiarski (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Hedy of Hollywood#44 (September 1951) -
writer uncredited, Ed Winiarski (art), Stan Lee (editor)


First Posted: 09/01/2021
Last updated: 08/28/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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