Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weird Wednesdays: Uri Geller, Super-Hero!

Karen: Mentalists, psychics, mind readers - whatever you call them, they've been around for a very long time. But in the 70s one particular psychic took the world by storm. He was a young Israeli named Uri Geller, and his most famous feat was bending spoons, keys, any sort of small metal object, apparently through the use of his mind alone.

Geller originally claimed that he gained his power through a childhood contact with extraterrestrials; in later years, as charges of fraud mounted, Geller has back-pedaled on many of his claims, now billing himself not as a psychic but a "mystifier". Critic James Randi (aka The Amazing Randi) has been an implacable foe of Geller's for years now, claiming that all of his supposed psychic feats are simple magician's tricks.

Whatever the truth of the matter, he was popular enough in the 70s to actually co-star in a Marvel Comic!
In 1976, Geller was featured in Daredevil #133. Geller and the Man Without Fear combat the extremely lame Mind-Wave and his Think Tank - yes, a tank controlled by telepathy. It's as bad as it sounds. Writer/editor Marv Wolfman explains on the letters page of the issue that the team-up came about at the request of Stan Lee. Wolfman met Geller, who not only bent one of his keys, but 'psychically' duplicated a hidden drawing (see letters page). This was enough to convince Wolfman that he was the real deal, and so Uri became a super-hero.

The story includes Geller's origin, which doesn't specify extraterrestrials here but does mention a light in the sky (if it was good enough for St. Paul, I guess it was good enough for Uri). To my knowledge, this was Geller's one and only comic appearance, and alas, there are no Uri Geller Slurpee cups.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geller was a guest on the Tonight Show once in the 1970's. He seemed to be having trouble pulling off one of his psychic demonstrations, and nervously grumbled about host Johnny Carson's "negative vibes" or some such. Carson did not openly denounce or debunk Geller, but he looked bored. Carson performed as a stage magician early in his show business career, and I suspect he recognized Geller's sleight-of-hand tricks.

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