Forgotten Villains: Who's the Faceless Hunter?

Who's This? Forgotten Villains Week continues with the second villain on our list, the big orange guy with no face.

The facts: The Faceless Hunter known as Chun Yull appeared in three short stories in Strange Adventures #124, #142 and #153. Not fighting any DC headliner, you understand, just his own people and two Earth cops. That makes him the most popular of the Forgotten Villains after Enchantress. The Faceless Hunters have whatever powers and technology the story needs, and come from the subatomic world of Klaramar, which seems to be accessible through Saturn.
How you could have heard of him: The Faceless Hunter returned (after the Forgotten Villains appearance, of course) in a 1999 Plastic Man special, then in Young Justice #50, and fairly recently in the Geoff Johns' Green Lantern universe, hunting Lanterns. Still, that doesn't exactly tell us what his old stories were like. Hint: They were insane.
Example story: Strange Adventures #124 (January 1961)
Granted the first Faceless Hunter story doesn't feature Chun Yull very much, but it is SO crazy, it really needs to be discussed. It begins when an alien spacecraft steals the faces off Mount Rushmore.
Not just Mount Rushmore, but any stone face on Earth, like Easter Island's or Mexico's La Vanta. After a while, under the watchful eyes of South Dakota patrolmen Jim Boone and Bob Colby, the flying saucer puts them back and a faceless orange giant climbs out to meet them. This isn't Chun Yull, but Klee Pan, a good Klaramarian trying to find a stone face on Earth that acts as the key required to disarm a bomb on Saturn, set to destroy their entire, subatomic "solar system". THIS is the work of Chun Yull (in his first appearance, "Chen Yull"), a crazy criminal who soon dies of "contra-cellular collapse".
With their massive powers, the Faceless Hunters read his dying mind and get what little information they have - that the key is a stone face somewhere on Earth. But Klee Pan has searched every face on Earth and not come up with it. Can Jim and Bob help? As it turns out, these guys are really good at making intuitive leaps. When he hears that a day on Klaramar equals a million on Earth, Jim pulls out a book on astronomy from his patrol car and points to the only possible answer: The face in the moon.
Well, of course. Chun Yull obviously crafted the giant face on Earth, but it got thrown off on the rock that became the moon. Best of all, it's an entirely removable structure!

While we fly to Saturn, let's get a little background on these guys. Like, why don't they have any faces?
Yes, this is a story that throws away a reference to humanity once having a third eye as if it were common knowledge! What kind of Kool-Aid was Gardner Fox drinking? The Hunters evolved beyond the need for faces:
No vestigal organs, then. When the trio arrive on a surprisingly solid Saturn on an even more surprisingly clear day, hidden gun-mounts left by wily Chun Yull destroy the face... and all hope of disarming the bomb. Except that Jim and Bob are full of ideas.
The idea is to reconstruct the face from pictures of it, since the key is a visual one. The poor Faceless Hunter couldn't see that because he doesn't have a face and wouldn't know to reconstruct a face even though the face is actually a key and it seems to me he could have thought of reconstructing the key but whatEVER.
So he does, and after saving the day, he even puts the face back on the moon, which is nothing like the face in the actual moon, but still draws some poetry out of Bob (don't quite your day job, dude).

The next story reveals that not only Chun Yull faked his death so he could plague his people again and get revenge on humanity for his plans' failure, but that Jim and Bob had been given telepathic powers as thanks for helping Klee Pan! Over the next two adventures, they used those powers (and occasional help from their big friend) to defeat the Faceless Hunter. They even shrink down and visit Klaramar thanks to a cop-out that has Chun Yull set up a time warp connecting his home dimension to ours temporally. Now, those two guys? THEY'RE the real Forgotten Heroes. They perhaps kept the secret of their telepathy too well.

Who else? Two down, three to go!


American Hawkman said...

I LOVE these stories... kind of wish that we'd see Klee Pan pop up sometime, as a Klamarian Green Lantern or something sometime. I honestly believe these are the high point of DC's Silver Age Sci-Fi madness, with the possible exception of the Butterfly Giants, which were equally insane. Good stuff.

It's worth mentioning that non-comics readers may know Chun Yull from his take as Terrax-to-Starro's-Galactus from Brave and Bold, which is probably the character's single most convincing appearance as a major threat.

Siskoid said...

I guess I'm not there yet in my watching of BB&B. That's awesome!


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine