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Bob Burke
Bobburke

Real Name

Bob Burke

First Appearance

Weird Tales of the Future #3 (Sept. 1952)

Original Publisher

Key

Created by

Basil Wolverton

Origin

Bob Burke is a "lone castaway on Mars" after he survived a spaceship crash seven years earlier. Living in the Southern desert of Mars, he fashioned a shelter from the remnants of the spaceship. Food was plentiful, but Bob was lonely. His only friend was a Martian Gwud, "an ugly but alert creature" who followed Burke around like a faithful dog.

One day after hunting with his makeshift spear, he is warned by the Gwud as he approaches his shelter. He finds what looks like a Giant Hand with eyes. The hand speaks to Burke, asking for food and shelter in exchange for helping Burke return to Earth.

Burke is suspicious, but feeds his guest anyway. The Hand tells Bob to warn the Hand of any approaching spaceships or people. One day, Burke sees a spaceship and rushes to greet it. He is disappointed to see a pair of Scowling Mercurians. They demand to know if Burke has seen a small Venusian ship, to which Bob replies truthfully that he hadn't seen any ships for 7 years.

The Mercurians head toward Burke's makeshift shelter, when the Gwud let out a warning in the way of a loud chatter. One of the Mercurian's shoot the Gwud dead with his blaster. This angers Burke into action, using his knife he rushes the Mercurian. The Mercurian fires at Burke but misses. Burke throws his knife, killing the Mercurian.

The remaining Mercurian prepares to fire at Burke, but a beam from the shelter narrowly misses the Mercurian. The Mercurian returns fire, giving Burke the opportunity to retrieve the dead Mercurian's blaster gun. He threatens the live one with it, but the creature isn't prepared to give up. A blast from Burke's shelter kills the other Mercurian.

Burke attempts to return to his shelter, but he is kept from it by constant shots. After some time, the spaceship lifts into the air and attacks Burke with the ship's "nose cannon". Burke rushes to the hut, sheltering beside it as the fire from the ship's gun nearly melted the shelter. The ship crashed into an outcropping of rock and crashed, destroyed by the impact.

Bob Burke returns to his hut, expecting to find the Giant Hand. Instead, he finds an unconscious girl. Bob takes her out of the habitat where she revives. She explains her name is Princess Teba of the Royal Venusian Family. She used her natural hypnotic abilities as a Venusian to appear as the Giant Hand creature. After the Mercurians invaded Venus, she fled Koglok who lead the invaders. Koglok had been listening to the conversation, and attempts to kill Teba. Bob Burke dove for his legs, narrowly avoiding the blast from Koglok's gun. Teba fired at Koglok and killed the Mercurian.

Teba takes Burke to where she hid her spaceship. He expresses a reluctance to leave, but Princess Teba assures him he will be happy with her on Venus.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Weird Tales of the Future #3

See Also

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