Brett Bryson

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A young scientist at the Chalmers Laboratories whose life becomes a horrifying nightmare when an apparent miscalculation in a hazardous radium experiment causes a “devastating explosion” that bathes him in “a weird bombardment of hurtling rays” and transforms him into an eerily “glowing figure” who is “immune to bullets” and whose very touch brings death by inflicting fatal radium burns.

Almost penniless and doomed to die within a week from the deadly effects of the “radium blast,” Bryson is receptive to a proposal by his boss, Frank Chalmers, and Chalmers’s partner, Davis, that he allow himself to be reported dead from the explosion and then secretly use his “weird powers” and remaining week of life to commit a series of lucrative robberies so as to ensure financial security for his wife following his death.

And so, in the days following Bryson’s announced death and mock funeral, Bryson, now “a weird, cloaked and hooded figure” clad in white pants and smock and with a white hood with eye-holes covering his face and head—commits a series of bizarre, sometimes murderous crimes, unaware that the laboratory explosion that doomed and deformed him was not an accident at all, but rather part of a deliberate scheme by Chalmers and Davis to get Bryson to commit crimes solely for their own enrichment.

Ultimately, however, both Bryson and Superman learn the dreadful truth behind the heinous scheme. Superman takes Davis into custody, but Bryson, his last week of life all but spent, strangles Chalmers to death with his radium grip and then collapses dead atop Chalmers’s corpse (Act No. 39, Aug 1941).

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