Thin Man

Real Name: Dr. Bruce Dickson

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Scientist, Nazi hunter, adventurer

Affiliations: Golden Age Olalla

Silver Age Liberty Legion, Invaders (present-day)

Enemies: Golden Age Clip Walton

Silver Age Agent Axis

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Golden Age U.S.A.; Silver Age (WWII) Times Tower, NYC; (now) mobile

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #4 (Timely, June 1940)

Powers/Abilities: The Thin Man can stretch and distort his body, moving it partially in or out of other dimensions. He can absorb impacts, even gunshots, by distorting his body. As the decades have passed, his control over this ability has grown, and now he can effectively teleport / make himself invisible by shifting the majority of his body into the other dimensions. He can also make his body slice through things like a blade.

He is a master of Kalahia's advanced science, and can build vehicles like his stratoplane, a vehicle capable of being in the air indefinitely, made from Duragen, a metal that would last a hundred years.

History: (Mystic Comics #4, ga) Bruce Dickson was a scientist and adventurer who sought to conquer Mount Kalpurthia in Tibet. When a blizzard descended on the peak, and seeking shelter, Bruce entered a glowing cave. Bruce mused that the luminescence might be cause by radium, but then discovered that the light was coming from the back of the cave...or tunnel, as it turned out to be. Following it through, he emerged into a sunny valley, and based on the beautiful buildings in it, clearly inhabited. Then Bruce passed out.

He awoke surrounded by strangely dressed people, some of whom appeared almost paper-thin. The astonished scientist was told that he was in Kalahia, a scientific haven far more advanced than the rest of the world, where they had mastered the sixth dimension and were working on the seventh. They also informed him that since he had not been "perfect" when he arrived, they had "operated on you with electronic rays," so he too could now stretch and distort his body. Bruce swiftly mastered the Kalahians' advanced science, as well as forming a relationship with Olalla, the daughter of the Chief of Elders. However he felt that he should use his knew powers and knowledge to help the rest of mankind, fighting the evil that threatened it. At first the Elders of Kalahia refused to let him leave, but with some persuasion on his and Olalla's part, the two of them were finally allowed to return to the outside world.

"Bruce Dickson, the Thin Man, left a romantic, happy valley in the majestic Mt. Kalpurthia of the towering Himalayas, to fight crime and evil in the outer world...he can make himself thin enough to go through where ordinary man cannot...and has the lithe strength of a prize-fighter! He is a super-scientist. Olalla, a pretty girl from the valley, helps him..."

The Thin Man returned in the Silver Age as one of the Liberty Legion(Marvel Premiere #29, Invaders I #6, Marvel Premiere #30, Invaders I #7) Thin Man joined several fellow heroes in forming the Liberty Legion, first to free the brainwashed hero group the Invaders, and then, having decided to stay together, to defend the American homefront against Fifth Columnists.

(Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1, Marvel Two-in-One #20) The Liberty Legion teamed up with the Thing, a time-travelling hero from the future, and battled several Nazi villains attacking New York.

(Invaders I #35-38) The Liberty Legion joined the Invaders in battling the armoured German superhuman Iron Cross.

(Invaders II #1-2) The Thin Man provided the Invaders information about the members of the Battle-Axis.

(Marvel Comics Presents #34, bts) When the war ended, Brice returned to Kalahia. He was horrified to find the inhabitants all dead, but not before they had first been horribly brutalised - Olalla included. Each corpse had been branded with a swastika. Filled with rage, the Thin Man dedicated his life to tracking down Nazis, and specifically the ones who had committed this monstrous act.

(Citizen V and the V-Battalion #1) In 1953, along with a number of other wartime heroes, the Thin Man attended the funeral of Union Jack, who had died in a car crash.

(Marvel Comics Presents #34) At some point the Thin Man learned that the destruction of Kalahia was the work of Agent Axis, who had sought to set up his own hidden kingdom when his side lost the war, then destroyed the Kalahians when they resisted. For decades Thin Man hunted for him, eventually learning he had been given sanctuary in the U.S. by the C.I.A. The Thin Man approached his old ally Captain America with his tale, and together the two travelled to New York where the now elderly Agent Axis was living. Confronted, Axis freely admitted his actions, gloating that he could not be tried since he had been given a pardon for his war crimes by the U.S. government in return for supplying them with technological information. The Thin Man immediately enveloped his prey's head, and suffocated him. Captain America viewed this as murder, and handed the Thin Man over to the authorities to face trial.

The Thin Man as a member of the new incarnation of the Invaders(Invaders III #0-on) The Thin Man was approached in prison by Dell Rusk of the U.S. Government, and asked to provide his expertise in developing counter-measures against a neo-Nazi group, Axis Mundi, which had allegedly gotten their hands on Kalahian technology. In fact, Dell Rusk was the Red Skull in disguise, and the work done by the Thin Man was actually provided to Axis Mundi. After the Red Skull's trick was exposed, the Thin Man became the driving force behind assembling a new incarnation of the Invaders, filled with fellow WWII heroes and their successors, with the aim of bringing down this new Nazi threat.

Comments: Created by Klaus Nordling. The Thin Man appears to be the first "stretching" superhero, pre-dating Plastic Man by over a year.

Many thanks to Skullogeist for providing me with a shedload of images of Thin Man from his Golden Age appearance in Mystic Comics.

Thanks to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.


Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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