Sunday, November 7, 2010

The ORACLE in "The Strange Case of Dr. Vantoni!"

Gifted with strange, prophetic powers, Bob Paxton, alias The Oracle -- pits his strength and unusual mental abilities against crime and evil...
Bob Paxton, a young engineer, was in British Guiana as a technician with the Army Air Force. While searching the jungle for a location for a secret air strip, Bob found a rusty metal cylinder that the Nazis had intended to use as an attack on Columbia Field. A stray Nazi bullet pierced the cylinder and released a gas which knocked Bob into unconsciousness.

The doctors diagnosed Bob as semi-paralyzed, having lost his 5 senses. But while unconscious, Bob had a vision of the Nazis bombing Columbia Field. Suddenly Bob awoke and rushed to Columbia Field to avert the tragedy.

It was determined that the Nazi gas had been intended to destroy the 5 senses, but the rusting cylinder had changed its composition and gave Bob a 6th sense!!

Unfortunately, it only worked when he was unconscious. So he ended up getting knocked in the head at least once every adventure. Makes you wonder what his quality of life was like in his later years...

The Oracle debuted in STARTLING COMICS #20 (March 1943) and appeared in issues #21-25, 27, 29-32, and 35-40 (May 1943-July 1946) as well as FIGHTING YANK #11 (March 1945).

STARTLING COMICS #37 (January 1946)
story by ?; art by Henry Kiefer?


  1. I'm reminded of the old Philip Marlowe radio show. As the writers exhausted their fund of ideas, or just got lazy, the episodes involved Marlowe being knocked unconscious with increasing freqency, oftne multiple times in a given episode.

  2. Well, I'm too young to remember Philip Marlowe (lol, whatever...), but this head knocking thing is kinda crazy. I've noticed that almost all golden age heroes, no matter how powerful they are (even unaffected by bullets or fire) can be taken out by a blow to the head.
    Even Black Terror, who could lift trains, was easily taken out by a blow to the noggin. Kinda crazy.

  3. Hmm, I wonder if Bob helped inspire prophetic sleeper Dream Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes.