Public Domain Super Heroes

Power Nelson

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Power Nelson, The Futureman
Power Nelson/Gene West

Real Name

Gene West

First Appearance

Prize Comics #1 (Mar 1940)

Original Publisher


Created by

Paul Norris

Golden Age Origin

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.


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.

Powers and weaknesses

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.


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.

Golden Age Appearances

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

See Also

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