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Auro
Auro 2

Real Name

"Auro" Hardwich and Chester Edson

First Appearance

Planet Comics #1 (1940)

Original Publisher

Fiction House

Created by

Malcolm Kildale

Origin

Some time in the 21st century, Professor John Hardwich was flying on an interplanetary cruise ship with his wife and son. Their journey came to a tragic end when their ship was pulled off course by Jupiter's gravity and crashed. Only the professor's son survived the disaster.

A local version of the saber-toothed tiger named Tara picked up the unconscious boy and nursed him back to health and then helped him to learn how to hunt and protected him from predators as he grew older, with Jupiter's greater gravity making him superhumanly strong as he matured.

When he reached adulthood he set off to explore the planet and soon discovered a primitive tribe of hairy ape-like humanoids that were apparently Jupiter's native sentient species. Attacked, the young human was easily able to beat them back, and the leader of the brutish brown-furred Jovians dubbed him "Auro" -which meant "unconquerable" in their language.

Shortly afterward, a Terran transport ship on the Earth-Saturn run was attacked by pointy-headed Neptunians who boarded it and took it's crew as slaves. Assistant pilot Martha Gale managed to escape in an emergency "lifeboat" in hopes of getting aid, only to be pulled in by Jupiter's gravity. Luckily for her, she managed to crash not far from where Auro was at the time, and the Jovian jungle lord was more then happy to help her.

He allowed himself to be captured by Neptunian slavers, only to overpower his captors once they reached Neptune. He single-handedly defeated the Neptunian army (after all, he was even stronger on Neptune then he was on Jupiter) and forced it's despotic ruler to release the Earthlings and their ship. They arrested the ruler and took him back to Earth for trial.

Now, most would assume that Auro would use this opportunity to finally return to Earth. They would be wrong as Auro was soon the ruler of a city populated by hundreds of more human-like Jovians. He protected his people and clashed with the local warlords who sought to oppress anyone anywhere. Later, he left the city to explore Jupiter and became a roaming adventurer who lived off the land and righted wrongs he encountered along the way.

In 1965, Auro ruled all Jupiter with his consort, Dorna. Everything was going well until Dorna's power-hungry stepbrother murdered him.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Chester "Chet" Edson, a young American scientist and a factory owner from Centerville was living peacefully with his fiance, Claudia. He dedicated most of his time to building a prototype rocket ship of his own design, neglecting his factory. That proved to be a mistake. His superintendent, Nelson, was sabotaging the plant, and he decided to get rid of Chet before he could figure it out. When a blow to the head didn't kill Chet, Nelson shoved his boss into the prototype rocket ship and launched it. However, the discharge from the rocket was so strong it started a fire, burning down the lab. Nelson perished in the process. His body was assumed to be Chet's.

When the real Chet came to aboard his rocket, he discovered that it was on a collision course with Jupiter. Chet survived the ensuing crash, but his body couldn't survive for long in Jupiter's atmosphere. Dorna had her men recover his body. For reasons that are not really explained, she decided that it would be a good idea to transfer Chet's "spirit" into Auro's body.

At first, Chet was in complete control of Auro's body. In issue 43, he returned to Earth to stop Claudia from accidentally unleashing a poisonous gas stored in his lab. Dorna's scientists warned him that he wouldn't survive on Earth for more then two hours while in Auro's body. Chet managed to save the Earth and say goodbye to Claudia before the deadline, but he cut it fairly close. As the result, this body was blinded. And, as it soon became apparent, Chet was no longer in control of it. Auro's personality suddenly asserted itself. When they returned to Jupiter, scientists were able to cure Auro's blindness, but nobody seemed to wonder what happened to Chet. From that point on, the young Earthman could only influence Auro on a subconscious level.

Auro continued to fight Dorna's stepbrother's allies and other villains for the remainder of his appearances, with Chet servicing as his unrecognized advisor every step of the way.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Planet Comics #1-7, 11-29, 41-61

See Also

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