Flexo the Rubber Man

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #2 (April 1940).
Golden Age Appearances: Mystic Comics #2-4.
Modern Appearances: None.
Years Active: 1940-?

"After years of experimentation" Doctors Joel and Joshua Williams, brothers, created a robot which they called Flexo. The robot was "made of of live rubber, filled with a secret gas, and operated by remote control." Flexo has "the speed of a bullet, the strength of an ox, and the ability to zoom through the air like a bird."

In his first adventure Flexo helped stop Dr. Murdo, a mad scientist, from using some stolen radium for a Death Ray Machine. In his next three adventures Flexo rescued a "secret torpedo repeller" that the Drs. Williams created from the clutches of the evil spy Karl Damos; stopped the arson schemes of the evil "Iron Duke;" and helped rescue the Drs. Williams, and a super-secret explosive formula, from the country of "Teutonia."

And that was the last we saw of Flexo the Rubber Man. He's never struck me as that memorable a character, although he did have some nice Jack Binder art. He didn't speak, and so the stories had to be carried by the Drs. Williams and the villains, who were fairly stock characters. Too, the lack of costumed supervillains somewhat diminished my enjoyment of Flexo's exploits. I find him more interesting as a cultural artifact, what with the pre-war atmosphere ("Teutonia," indeed!) and the treatment of Flexo himself. We know he's intelligent; he can smile and wink, although he never speaks. But the Drs. Williams use him, essentially, as a servant. There's a dubious morality going on here, one that you wouldn't see these days (at least, not unexamined).

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