Real Name: Merco
Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial (Mercurian)
Affiliations: Dr. Erika Penn
Enemies: Demonov, warmakers in general
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Man of Mercury, Mercury
Base of Operations: Earth;
First Appearance: Space Adventures III #44 (Charlton, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: Able to survive in space unaided, able to fly at over 50,000 mph - also able to protect someone else from the rigors of same, so long as he is carrying them. Virtually indestructible - even a direct strike from a nuclear missile doesn't bother him. Telepathic. Able to change his molecular structure from flesh to mercury and back - initally his skin was silver-coloured when he was in his metallic form, but later he retained his fleshlike appearance in both states. Able to disintegrate things simply by pointing at them. Superhuman strength.
History: Mercury Man was a scientist on the planet Mercury. War engulfed his world, and he became the only remnant of his race, luckily surviving the final nuclear salvos because he had discovered a means to transform himself into living (and nearly indestructible) mercury and coincidentally had just used it on himself. With his homeworld a desolate wasteland, he came to Earth in the hopes of preventing a similar tragedy from annihilating mankind. His reception by the U.S. military was less than welcoming, as they sought to shoot him out the sky, but immune to their attacks, he flew to Washington, where he made contact with noted scientist Dr. Penn. She informed him of the threat of Communism, so he flew around the world, destroying first the Communist weapons, then those of their opponents, forcing them to talk peace with one another. With the aid of Dr. Penn, Mercury Man regained his humanoid form, but he remained poised to return to his metallic state should the world need him.
Finding that the world remained dangerously close to annihilation due to power-mad tyrants, Mercury Man built a capsule, and carried many of the world leaders (some unwillingly) to Mercury to see for themselves what the end results would be if their disagreements could not be settled peacefully. Demonov, the worst of the dictators, refused to listen and pulled a gun; Mercury Man was immune to the bullets, but a bullet destroyed the ship, and Mercury Man was forced to leave the dictators stranded on the dead planet.
Comments: Mercury Man appeared in only two stories, in Space Adventures Volume III #44 and 45. The stories are entertainingly over-the-top in their portrayal of the evil Communists, very much a product of their era. It's interesting to note that in the second tale, when the capsule is destroyed, Mercury Man flies his friend Erika Penn home (telling her it will take a few minutes), but leaves everyone else stranded. He's clearly capable of taking at least one person at a time back to Earth, so why doesn't he simply bring them all back one at a time? I can just about understand leaving the dictators, who are all portrayed as complete nutters, but what about the U.S President (clearly intended to be JFK) or the other, peaceful, leaders? And does he really believe that abducting and stranding the leaders of various paranoid and warlike nations is going to improve the global situation, and not, more realistically, spark off the very war he is hoping to prevent?
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Mercury, Golden Age Timely hero
Mercury, member of the Space Sentinels
Mercury Mercenary, member of the Crushers
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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