Public Domain Super Heroes
The Futureman

Real Name

Power Nelson/Gene West

First Appearance

Prize Comics #1 (Mar 1940)

Original Publisher


Created by

Paul Norris


In the year 1982, exhausted by the second and third World Wars, civilization had been conquered by Mongols ruled by Emperor Seng I from his palace in New-New York. A young man was chosen by a group of scientists to be the test subject for a special experiment. It worked, allowing him to fight as Power Nelson against the rule of the Mongols and other enemies such as Bloor, dictator of Uranus and the extra-terrestrial ape Maytus, King of the Beasts‎‎. Nelson eventually met Zora Doone of the Interplanetary Red Cross and the planet Rada, who warned him of various threats to humanity.


Powers and Abilities

  • Power Nelson had the strength of a steam engine and the hardness of tempered steel. This made him able to make incredible leaps and highly resistant to fire and conventional firearms of his time, including the ray-guns of one extra-terrestrial army. That said, he was knocked unconscious by an air raid with nuclear bombs and in a later adventure weakened by exposure to radium but was cured (perhaps permanently) by an extra-terrestrial antidote. He appeared able to hold his breath for a long time during (for him) moderate exertion but could be rendered unconscious if the air was forced out of his lungs. He appeared to have a psychological aversion to fighting women, even the armed Amazons who served the tyrant of Uranus.
  • Power Nelson wore metallic body armor that seemed impervious to damage. Visiting a hostile planet he had brought a translator device of unknown origin that allowed him to understand any language.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Prize Comics #1-23
  • Champion Comics #9


  • In his last few stories, the writers inexplicably discarded the future setting and depicted Power Nelson as a contemporary superhero who fought Nazis in the 1940s donning an eye patch as part of a secret identity as Gene West, a radio commentator with a secretary named Lana.
  • While New-New York's rulers were referred to as Mongols, their depiction was similar to standard comic book depictions of Japanese military (down to a stylized "rising sun" crest). Emperor Seng I was basically a caricature of Emperor Hirohito.

See Also