Public Domain Super Heroes


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Real Name


First Appearance

Planet Comics #73 (Winter, 1953)

Original Publisher

Fiction House

Created by

Bill Benulis

Golden Age Origin

Schmachenburg was a European dictator who nearly succeeded in conquering the world (he was pretty clearly an analog to Adolf Hitler). When his defeat was imminent, rumors spread that he committed suicide in a bunker. Unfortunately, Schmachenburg was still alive and plotting his next attempt at world domination with a loyal mad scientist named Dr. Walter Jackson. With Schmachenburg dying from an unspecified ailment, he convinced Jackson to build a powerful robot imprinted with his brain patterns. Jackson did so, creating Cerebex with the help of Dr. Brad Cummings, who believed the machine was simply a powerful computing device. When the work was completed and Jackson felt he no longer needed the weak and dying Schmachenburg, he killed the old dictator with a wrench, believing he could control Cerebex which possessed Schmachenburg's military intelligence, but had a brain 1000 times more powerful. However, Cerebex, containing Schmachenburg's memories, turned against Jackson and killed him, then escaped to conquer the world.


Cerebex wasted no time in laying siege to cities, and building an army of "Mechanoids". Cerebex and its army razed cities and assassinated world leaders. It was eventually defeated by Brad Cummings using a giant wooden robot. He was aided by Mary Smith, Schmachenburg's daughter, who had a psychic link with Cerebex, due to experiments conducted on her by her father (he originally intended to transfer his consciousness into her body).

Cerebex was about 30 feet tall when it was first built, but it had the ability to grow and upgrade itself at a fairly rapid pace. By the end of the story, it appeared to be at least 500 feet tall. It also built a small army of drone robots called "Mechanoids" internally. The Mechanoids appeared to be about 20-50 feet tall and could fly.

Cerebex generally hovered about 50 feet off the ground. It may have been capable of flying at higher altitudes and it seemed to be fast enough to get around the world in a relatively short amount of time.

Cerebex was armed with six steel tentacles (3 on each side). These tentacles were initially strong enough to crush a man to death, but soon proved capable of lifting and crushing a car, slicing through a fighter jet or cutting down a high rise building. The tentacles were always longer than its main body and fast enough to snag a jet.

In addition to its tentacles, Cerebex developed other weapons. It projected a force field which protected it from ballistic attacks, making it impervious to machine guns and missiles. It also had some form of humming magnetic weapon, possibly am EMP device, which could render other machines in its vicinity useless.

Cerebex's only weak spot was that its artificial brain, which was covered by a glass dome. Once inside the dome, it was possible to damage the massive Cerebex brain enough to put it out of commission.


Based on the design of Cerebex, it is quite easy to imagine that it may have served as an inspiration for Brainiac's Skull Ship in the Super Friends cartoons and Superman comics. It may also be a prototype for artificial intelligence conquering the planet with warrior robots, pre-dating concepts such as Skynet from the Terminator franchise.

Public Domain Comic Appearances

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