Mister Mind, the alien worm, appeared fully formed and in charge of the Monster Society of Evil in Captain Marvel Adventures #22 (Mar. 1943). The character is fairly recognizable today but his original Golden Age appearances were limited to the two-year serial that ran in Captain Marvel Adventures #23-46 (1943–45). Mind and the concept of the Monster Society were revived by DC in the early 1970s and again in post-Crisis continuity. Mister Mind was a central figure in 52, when he gained cosmic-level power and was instrumental in recreating the DC multiverse.
The serial's name was mentioned in an ad prior to the first story, and formally dubbed "The Monster Society of Evil" in the introduction of the second installment. After a while, the features became a bit formulaic but this monotony (which is more evident when the whole serial is read at once) was fairly well offset by the lively parade of evil freaks, and the globe-hopping intrigue. The members of his Society were recruited from among Captain Marvel's rogues, alien races, and many were monsters of Mind's own creation.
Mister Mind himself was presented as an alien, but his home world was never given a name. The planet seemed to be mobile and in Earth's solar system. Mind had also allied with/conquered the planetoid called Punkus, where the Crocodile Men lived. In an interview with, Fawcett artist C. C. Beck recalled that ...??
To defeat Captain Marvel, the best course of action was usually one of two scenarios: (1) catch him as Billy Batson and gag him or (2) distract him by endangering a civilian.
The Freak Parade Begins
The story began with young Billy Batson interviewing the Indian princess Dareena Rajabuti, who was donating jewels for the war effort. His broadcast made its way into space where the unseen Mister Mind listened in his laboartory. He has already built a "society of evil of the universe," with a network of agents ready to do his bidding. Mister Mind called upon Captain Nazi to steal the princess's jewels but finds only one, a large black pearl — which like a crystal ball, had the magical ability to project scenes and voices from anywhere. Billy uttered his magic word, "Shazam!" to become Captain Marvel and Captain Nazi fled with the Princess and her prize. She explained that the pearls must be used as a pair so they went to find its mate in India. When Cap caught up to them, he overheard Mister Mind for the first time on a radio. Mind called in more help, from Marvel's foes Sivana, Ibac, Nippo, and Mister Banjo via belt radios. Captain Marvel wrapped up the gang save for Ibac, who escaped with the pearls. (Captain Marvel Adventures #22)
Ibac escaped in a rocket ship and Cap followed him to Africa. Mister Mind instructed Ibac to deliver the pealrs to the Axis powers in north Africa to help win an important battle. There Billy Batson visited an American camp and did his regular broadcast from there. Billy caught Ibac (as his alter ego, Stinky Printwhistle) sneaking into camp and chase him into the jungle. He managed to capture Billy and gave him over to cannibals while Ibac passed the magic pearls to Nippo, in Tokyo. (#23)
Mister Mind ordered Nippo to kill the American commanding officer in Hawaii. The man's daughter realized something was amiss and worked with Cap to uncover the plot and save the officer. Meanwhile the Monster Society worked to set off a nearby volcano to bury Pearl Harbor. Cap knocked out Nippo and took back the pearls. (#24)
Mister Mind next stopped the Earth from turning! Captain Marvel uncovered the engine of this treachery, a great gyroscope deep in the earth. Cap used the wisdom of Solomon to run the machine in reverse, then the military blew it up. (#25)
Billy realized he could use the pearls to spy on Mister Mind in his lair. He discovered his nemesis stationed on a "dark unknown world" out in space, near the moon! In the fortress, Cap encountered Mind's monsters: the Goat-Man, a robot, and a human-headed octopus. Mister Mind projected his thoughts and will into these creatures. While there, Billy brushed off a stray green worm — not realizing that the worm was Mister Mind. Cap battled with these minions and believed that he had defeated Mind, but his voice returned to haunt Captain Marvel and Mister Mind fled his ruined lab for Earth; his spacecraft was too small for Cap to notice it. (#26)
Coming to Earth
Mister Mind set down near Billy's home city and built a tiny new castle, using a special ray to make lowly insects do his bidding. The insects went on to ruin buildings all over tow and unleashed more of his minions, including an alien Crocodile Man. Meanwhile Billy's friend Steamboat discovered Mind's castle and put it in their garden. When Mister Mind came out in his tiny ship, Cap finally realized that the villain was tiny, but Mind evaded his grasp. The alien worm spoke via a tiny voice box hung around his neck. He was apparently able to telepathically project his thoughts to this speaker. (#27)
When Captain Marvel thought he witnessed Mister Mind eaten by a bird, Billy broadcast that the villain was dead. Instead Mind found himself on a ship full of meat bound for Germany. This food was served to the leading Nazi, Hermann Göring, who nearly killed Mister Mind until Adolf Hitler stopped him and proclaimed Mind their ally! Mind plotted with the Nazis to stop the Earth's rotation to keep America in the dark. They used guns to propel the Earth to stop. Cap flew right into Germany and punched Hitler, but he had to retreat in order to take care of pneumonia outbreak in the U.S. On the way, he requisitioned a bunch of giant chains from a fleet of warships, hooked them into the Earth, and dragged it into rotation again. (#28)
Mind's next batch of synthetic monsters were a handful for Cap. Oliver the octopus, Ophelius the ram, and Oliphant the dragon helped their master escape to Japanese-occupied China. He meets Japanese scientists Doctors Smashi, Hashi, and Peeyu, aka the Black Dragon Society of Murder. Billy also ventured to China and confronted these men at the Great Wall. They caused the wall to levitate from electrical force, giving the Japanese forces an advantage. Cap kayoed the three of them but as he began his next broadcast, Mister Mind crept up and quickly encircled his mouth — then his whole body — with silk. (#29) NOTE: These Japanese scientists, like many people of color, were depicted in ways that are offensive today.
Dr. Smashi stayed with Mister Mind as he retreated to Australia. They were aided by Herr Phoul and the Crocodile Man called Jorrk (Mind also revealed that the Crocodile Men were from a planet called Punkus). The Society built a flying mechanical spider-copter that released a net to trap enemy planes. (#30)
Mister Mind was forced back into space, to the planetoid Punkus, where he spoke to Captain Marvel via remote phonograph. He replayed the voice of Billy saying "Shazam!" which changed him and rendered Billy vulnerable. He was loaded by robots into a rocket ship to Punkus, where the atmosphere was poisonous to aliens. (#31) Once free on Punkus, Cap was immune to the atmosphere. He disguised himself as a local and discovered the villains' space-gun, Great Big Bertha. Cap set off their munitions supply, killing Herr Phoul and Jorrk. But Mr. Mind and Dr. Smashi remained to fire a billion tons of dynamite toward Earth. (#32) When Cap stopped their projectile, Smashi was killed. Marvel stashed Mr. Mind in his belt and headed back to Earth. (#33)
The battle was far from over and Cap chased Mr. Mind and his Nazi allies through England and Scotland. (#34-35) At the castle home of Sir Wm. Cherrypit, Billy met his servant Jeepers, who was a bat-monster in disguise. (#36) Jeepers fled with Mind to his underground home, a cave system under the earth that was home to his extinct race. The caves traced a passage under the Atlantic to an underground city in habited by the Sub-Americans. These small people originally wandered into the Earth when America was founded. They were monitoring the war and feared an Axis victory. If it wa so, they had an explosive that would split the Western hemisphere from the East. (#37)
Back Home for Billy
Billy returned home to find a letter from R. Hitchblock, a New Jersey director making a movie about Mr. Mind. The real Mister Mind replaced Hitchblock's mechanical worm and sabotaged the filming. (#38) Mind's black death ray machine looked as if it were going to destroy Captain Marvel once and for all, (#39) but it was found to only disintegrate metal. (#40)
Mr. Mind decided to try another route to conquest by writing his own book, Mind Kampf. His Crocodile Men helped to print and distribute it while Evil Eye mesmerized Billy Batson and made him broadcast great things about Mind on WHIZ radio. Cap eventually turned the tables and destroyed Mind's printing office. (#41)
Once again Cap and the world thought Mister Mind was dead. Mind used the time to create a new monster with electricity. This creature, the Hydra, had an animal body with a human head, but no intellect. When Mind sliced off its head in an attempt to kill it, two heads reappeared! And when Cap knocked off those heads, a lion head was added, then later a dragon. The heads turned on themselves in vying for a hunk of meat and devouring one another! (#42)
When Mister Mind was apparently knocked into a state of amnesia, he vowed to repent and claimed feelings great shame and regret. Billy tried to help him go straight but Mind's Crocodile Men reorganized under a new leader, Herkimer. In the scuffle with Captain Marvel, the violence sent Mister Mind into a wall and restored his memories. (#43)
He wasted no time reestablishing the Monster Society, but the diminutive devil felt as though he'd lost his edge. He enrolled in a refresher course from his own, the School for Evil, where the professor taught from Methods of Murder. As a graduation requirement, Mind was paired with Archibald the satyr to terrorize a picnic (where naturally, Billy Batson was in attendance). They managed to capture Billy and parade him in front of their classmates. Once free, Captain Marvel destroyed the school completely. (#44)
Mister Mind's last good effort took him undersea, where he befriended a whale and ordered it to attack a ship. Then at his deep sea hideout, he activated another secret Monster Brigade made of giant sea creatures. (#45)
Mister Mind was finished when his last Crocodile Man and thug deserted him. Without helpers, he was fairly helpless; the fiend was finally caught and put promptly on trial. Captain Marvel served as the prosecuting attorney and accused Mind of murdering 186,744 people. Upon hearing this, even Mister Mind's own lawyer was horrified and refused to defend his client. The jury quickly found him guilty and he was sentenced to die in the the electric chair. It happened swiftly, then Mister Mind's body was interred in a museum. (#46)
At the close of the two-year serial, a small questionnaire was printed at the end of the story asking whether readers liked Mister Mind as a villain, if they were sorry to see him gone, and if they like serials in general. The results of the survey are unknown, but Mister Mind never made a reappearance in any Golden Age Captain Marvel tale.