Kelly's Eye (Tim Kelly)

Real Name: Tim Kelly

Identity/Class: Human, transformed by magic

Occupation: Explorer

Affiliations: Professor Diamond

Enemies: Diablo

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Active worldwide

First Appearance: Knockout (I.P.C., 21 July 1962-63); Valiant (1963-71); Vulcan (1975-76); Kobra (Germany); 2000 A.D.

Powers/Abilities: The Eye makes Tim totally invulnerable. However it didn't seem to protect his clothes quite so well, and he had to be careful it didn't come loose from the chain that held it round his neck, or he would become mortal again. If Tim touched someone they too would be covered by the eye's mystic power (he once grabbed Doctor Diamond's hand to grant him temporary invulnerability to arrows fired at him.) Kelly's invulnerability is quite astounding, to the point where he can actually survives a nuclear blast at ground zero with no harmful side effects in one story (how the chain that holds the stone on him also survives is another matter). Four other men also touching the eye when the bomb goes off are likewise protected.

It appears likely that the eye would also protect Tim from gas, as he is seen to breathe underwater, as well as survive in space after his suit is burned off by an orbital laser defence weapon; in fact, he then goes on to survive re-entry - emerging from the sea, typically, with only enough of his trousers left to preserve decency! It's unclear if other non-impact related weapons could bypass the eye, but it doesn't just prevent impacts from injuring him - he is also as immovable as a brick wall when he wants. Indeed, in the aforementioned nuclear incident, he is not just uninjured, he is totally unaffected by the blast wave, the heat wave, or (apparently) the radiation, though most of his clothes are incinerated. Likewise immersion in lava can destroy his clothes, but doesn't harm Kelly.

Another power the Eye seemed to have was to grant the wearer visions of what the holder of the left Eye (see below) was doing. Whether or not the wielder of the left Eye could do the same is unknown. While in possession of the eye of Zoltec, Kelly also had a perfect shooting ability with any weapon, explicitly stating this in one story while using a bow and arrow.

According to Kelly the eye had also given him "amazing mental powers", specifically a photographic memory.

History: Having come to South America to claim a fortune left to him by his uncle, Tim Kelly is taken captive by corrupt police chief Pedro Garcia, who plans to sell him into slavery. When he saves an old native man from piranhas (I'm unclear as to this is after he escapes from Pedro or not), the Incan shows his gratitude by taking him to the Temple of Zoltec, where he finds the Eye of Everlasting Life, a mystical gem which protects its wearer from death in any shape or form. He then uses this to fight injustice around the world (and later throughout time).

(Untitled, Valiant Annual 1966.) Tim is asked by a Latin American president to be present at ground zero for a nuclear bomb test. However the presence of American bank robbers and the hidden villainous intentions of the president add complications. In the end Tim captures the robbers and overthrows the corrupt regime running the country.

Comments: Kelly's Eye was drawn by Argentinean artist Solano Lopez.

I wondered for a while if the Eye protected Kelly from things like gas or drowning. Could these things cause him harm while wearing the Eye? Gerard Coyle kindly answered this for me: "Judging by the story in an annual I had (probably Valiant 1972 or 1973), the answer is no. Kelly is back in South America investigating a lake monster. As part of this, he spends some time underwater, which doesn't cause him any problems until the Eye slips off his neck. So the Eye does give protection against drowning and probably against gas as well." Dave Morris later added "In the Valiant Space Special 1967 Tim Kelly is in space and gets his suit burned off by an orbital laser defence weapon, and he is not only able to breathe but then goes on to survive re-entry - emerging from the sea, typically, with only enough of his trousers left to preserve decency!" (said info is now incorporated into the powers above, and, thanks to Dave's generosity, can be seen here).

Tim eventually met the eccentric inventor Doctor Diamond, who had created a time machine, the "Time Clock", in which the two proceeded to adventure throughout history.

David Hay adds "I recall in one story in the Valiant Tim and Dr Diamond slipped into an alternative universe in their time machine where everything in this world is reversed. In the alternative universe they come across an alternative Tim Kelly and Dr Diamond who are villains, that Kelly having a crystal that is black that bestows similar powers. Inevitably, the two pairs of characters do battle and of course the 'good' Tim Kelly wins, but I can't recall how."

Dr Diamond

One of Kelly's opponents was Diablo, who possessed the left Eye of Zoltec, the counterpart to Tim's stone. The left Eye could be used to hypnotise men and animals, binding them to the wearer's will - only the wearer of the right Eye was immune.

Tim Kelly was briefly resurrected in an updated form in 2000 A.D. in the Universal Soldier strip. By this time, far in the future, the Eye had extended roots into him and grown into his chest. There were hints made that the Eye was of alien origin.

Since Universal Soldier was hundreds of years from now, its fair to say that the Eye must also grant longevity.

In Germany in the seventies the magazine Vulcan was published  under the title "Kobra" showcasing Mytek The Mighty, Tim Kelly, Steel Claw, The Spider and Robot Archie. Unfortunately, the stories which were published in Kobra were partially incomplete, apparently switching stories unpredictably. Finally, the magazine was discontinued, leaving German fans hanging as to the fate of their favourite characters.

Thanks to Sven Feyerabend for this information.

A version of Tim Kelly, Tom Rosetta, turned up as a victim of the Fury's superhero purge in the Captain Britain strip.

Similarly, in the Jack Staff comic, two of the characters discuss an adventurer who wore the "Valiant Stone", which made the wearer indestructible.

Many thanks to Chris "Doc TOC" Halliday for additional information on this character.

CLARIFICATIONS: None

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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