If you thought Metamorpho was an offbeat Silver-Age hero,
Wait until you get a load of one of the most offbeat and obscure heroes that DC ever created...But first, let's take a look at some of the other cool comics I got in the lot that I bought to get this weird first appearance, all from the legendary series...Mystery In Space!!
Here we have Mystery In Space #111. Published in 1980, this is the first issue of Mystery In Space that had been published in fourteen years - that's correct, M.I.S. had a 14-year hiatus. With this issue we, see the return, along with some stellar covers by Joe Kubert.
Mystery In Space #113. Another great Kubert cover.
Mystery In Space #116. On this cover, Jim Starlin makes it pop.
Mystery In Space #117. Here, on this cover, Dave Cockrum (pencils) and Dick Giordano (inks) rock the mic.
Even with wonderful covers, and weird, fun sci-fi stories inside, Mystery in Space just couldn't hold its own. Issue #117 was its swan song.
FUN FACT: The character on the cover of Mystery In Space #117 was indeed called Cyborg, but he wasn't a part of DC canon. This comic was published in March of 1981, but in October of 1980, just five months earlier, in DC Comics Presents #26, the Cyborg we all know and love, Vic Stone, made his debut.
Now, as you may recall, we were talking about offbeat heroes. Well here is one of the most offbeat, obscure heroes you'll find in the DCU:
This is my copy of Mystery In Space #103, published in 1965. This comic features the first appearance of Ultra, The Multi-Alien, created by Dave Wood (writer) and Lee Ellis (penciller). Ultra was Ace Arn, a Earthman who crash-landed on a planet in a distant solar-stem. Ace is simultaneously attacked by four aliens with ray-guns designed to make him their obedient slave; instead, being hit by all four rays at once, he becomes a combination of the four alien species, with all the powers of each race to boot. Arn becomes Ultra, The Multi-Alien with amazing new powers: super-strength, flight and levitation, the ability to attract and repel objects, and the ability to channel electricity and generate high-voltage blasts of electricity.
Talk about far-out.
FUN FACT 1: Ultra's name is composed of the first letters of every alien that gave him his powers: the Ulla, the Laroo, the Trago and the Raagin.
FUN FACT: Ultra would soon fade into obscurity, but would be brought to light a few times thereafter:
1. Ultra was once Wizard Magazine's "Mort of the Month," a monthly article that showcased characters thought to have pretty much sucked.
2. Grant Morrison revived the character during his run on Animal Man in the late 80s.
3. During Infinite Crisis, Ultra was revived again to protect Sector 2814 from a dimensional rift.
4. Ultra makes an appearance in the TV series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and in the animated film Superman: Unbound.
FUNNY FACT: Conan O'Brien called Ultra "a f@cking mess." LOL!
For a "forgotten character" that sucked, Ultra sure does pop up quite a but doesn't he? This guy is the red-headed stepchild of comic books - Grant Morrison even had Ultra realize that he wasn't a real person, but just a comic book character under Morrison's evil control.
It just doesn't get any funnier than that.
Despite myself, I dig Ultra, and hope to see him about the DCU in the future. He would have made a great addition to the Legion of Super-Heroes. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?
For more great info about Ultra, The Multi-Alien, check out this great video by Comic Book Showcase: