Mister Smythe.

Mister Smythe was the lawyer for eccentric millionaire Reuben Hartnett, who was known for his love of practical jokes. When Hartnett died in the fall of 1942, Smythe was to be the executor of his will. Reading the will of Hartnett, he learned that those named in his will had to find his fortune, that the one who found it hidden on his property would be entitled to it entirely. Finding no limitations that prevented inheritance from anyone outside of those named in the will, Smythe decided to pose as the ghost of Hartnett and use the house's many rigged traps (originally used for practical jokes) to frighten the potential beneficiaries or kill them, hoping that it would all be blamed on the ghost of Hartnett. Those named in the will were Hartnett's sister Amanda, his nephew John Howard, his butler Jaggs, and police woman Betty Dean who once helped solve a theft of some of Hartnett's property. Unfortunately for Smythe, Dean brought along her boyfriend at the time, Namor the Sub-Mariner.

Despite this setback, Smythe carried out his plan, frightening poor Amanda, killing John with a gun rigged in a door, and almost succeeded in killing Jaggs with exploding cigars. When the Sub-Mariner found a projector and a nylon screen that made the "ghost" appear intangible, he began looking for the man behind the mask. Ultimately, Smythe managed to knock out Namor and toss him down the property well. Ironically enough, this is where the hidden fortune was located, and Namor recovered it. By this time, Smythe had Dean, Jaggs, and Amanda tied to a merry-go-round device that would spin at a lethal speed and send them smashing into the walls of the basement. Namor arrived and struck Smythe in the head with the lock box of valuables, knocking him out. Unmasking Smythe, they all learned the truth and Smythe was handed over to the authorities.[1]

His subsequent fate is unrecorded.


When posing as the ghost of his former client, Smythe wore a costume that resembled a ghostly incarnation of the late Ruben Hartnett. It glowed in the dark (likely through phosphorescent paint). He utilized a projector and a silt screen to project images of himself that looked ghostly. The Hartnett mansion was rigged with traps that could be lethal, including a door lock armed with a bullet that fired upon a key being turned in it, explosive cigars, collapsible stairs, a slide, and a merry-go-round device that could spin at high speed.

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