Public Domain Super Heroes

Invisible Man (H.G. Wells)

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Invisible Man
Cover to Fantastic Adventures #18

Real Name


First Appearance

The Invisible Man (1897)

Original Publisher

C. Arthur Pearson

Created by

H.G. Wells


The Invisible Man was a man called Griffin, an albino and scientist who had devoted himself to discovering the secret of invisibility by researching into optic density. His research is fruitful and he managed to invent a way to make the human body's refractive index the same as air so that it absorbs and reflects no light and thus becomes invisible.


Cover to Superior Stories #1.

Griffin decided to test his theory by using the procedure on himself, but while successfully turning him invisible the results were permanent which eventually drove Griffin insane. In order to make himself visible again, Griffin wore a stolen trench coat and hat, and wrapped his head in bandages. He also covered his eyes with large dark goggles.

Griffin later recruited Thomas Marvel, an unwitting tramp, to assist him as his first visible partner. Marvel was trusted to hold on to Griffin's scientific notebooks and stolen money. However, Marvel grows afraid of the Invisible Man and flees to Port Burdock with the notebooks and the money. There he seeks asylum from the Invisible Man by having the police protect him.

After being betrayed by Marvel, Griffin pursues him to Port Burdock and runs into Dr. Arthur Kemp, an old schoolmate. He attempted to enlist Kemp's aid but was betrayed when his old schoolmate decided to go to the police. So, Griffin vowing vengeance planned to murder Kemp and begin his "Reign of Terror". However, Kemp gets the people of Port Burdock to find and mob the Invisible Man. Griffin was then cornered and killed by navy workers. His invisibility drug wears off after death, and Griffin's body became visible once again.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

Public Domain Golden Age Appearances

  • Superior Stories #1: An adaptation of the H.G. Well's novel.
  • Fantastic Adventures #18 (re-print of Superior Stories #1)

Public Domain Appearances of Modern Invisible Men

  • Four Favorites #4: Professor Aries, The Invisible Man, was a criminal who figured out the secret of invisibility and fought the Unknown Soldier.
  • Superworld Comics #1-3 :The Invisible Avenger, Buzz Allen, and his friend Will Lawrence use invisibility belts to fight crime.
  • Smash Comics #1-32 : Kent Thurston, aka Invisible Hood, was given an invisibility formula after saving the life of scientist who created it.
  • C-M-O Comics #1-2: Tom Wade fought crime as the mystery man known as the Invisible Terror using an invisibility potion created by himself and Dr. Cortell.
  • Popular Comics #53-75: Private investigator Jim Brant used a suit of transparent cellulose to fight crime as the Voice, The Invisible Detective.
  • America's Greatest Comics #1: The Invisible Man (Fawcett) was an enemy of Bulletman.


  • The first names Jack and Hawley originate from the 1933 Universal Film and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen respectively and are NOT public domain. Only the Invisible Man's last name of Griffin was revealed in the original novel.
  • Not to be coinfused with the Golden Age Timely Comics character Invisible Man who first apperaed in Mystic Comics #2 and is NOT public domain. 

See Also

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