For over ten thousand years, the Stearns have been Mr. Monsters, transferring the title from father to son. The Mr. Monster lineage is guarded by the Fluorescent Five, who act as spiritual teachers and provide the Mr. Monsters with their predecessors' knowledge. This knowledge enables them to quickly adapt to their role and learn from their predecessors' mistakes.
The current Mr. Monster, Dr. Strongfort Stearn, is the son of World War II Mr. Monster Jim Stearne and a female vampire named Lillith Weiss, daughter of Dracula.
Created circa 1947 by Fred Kelly, the character was influenced by Kelly's earlier creation, also called Doc Stearn.
Mr. Monster was rediscovered in 1971 by Michael T. Gilbert when he bumped into a coverless comic with a Mr. Monster lead story in it. That comic later turned out to be Super-Duper Comics #3, published by Canada's Bell Features Company in 1947. Loving the character, Gilbert decided to revive the character if ever given the chance.
Michael T. Gilbert:
"That chance came 12 years later. I was working on Elric for Pacific Comics (in 1983) when the editor of their new Vanguard Illustrated comic anthology invited me to create a new series for the book. I remembered that strange old character who specialized in killing monsters and decided to use it as a rough blueprint for my own original revamped version of Mr. Monster. I'd create an entirely new character from the ashes of the old! Dr. Jim Stearne was gone - replaced by Dr. Strongfort Stearn. The costume was redesigned and new supporting characters invented: a reluctant werewolf-accountant named Myron, an evil werewolf-biker named Crudlick, and most important of all, Doc Stearn's lovely assistant, Kelly Friday, named in honor of Fred Kelly."
There have been many Mr. Monsters over the course of ten thousand years. A medieval Mr. Monster was killed by the dragon Fin-Fa'ang after Mr. Monster's horse slipped on some oil. Mr. Monster's successor Sigfried Stearn, learning from his father's mistake, gave his horse spiked hooves. Not slipping this time, Siegfried chopped off Fin-Fa'ang's head.
The Depression era Mr. Monster had been killed when his son Jim Stearne was ten. Jim was adopted by his father's friend Lionel Strongfort, who raised young Jim. Believing that his father was killed because he was Mr. Monster, Jim initially refused to become Mr. Monster. Leaving his family's headquarters, Stearn Mansion, Jim moved to Canada, changed his name from 'Stearn' to 'Stearne' and became a doctor. After placing an ad for an assistent, the ad was answered by Gloria Greene. The two fell in love instantly.
Investigating the case of a woman who was placed in a death-like trance by her husband, Jim Stearne stumbled upon a book on lycanthropy. Realizing this was his goal, he dedicated his life tracking down monsters. For the next few months, Jim traveled the darkest corners of the world to learn its secrets. Soon he designed himself a costume, finally becoming the World War II Mr. Monster.
After Mr. Monster barely defeated the "Terror of Trezma", Gloria Greene decided she couldn't live in fear anymore, always dreading for the day Mr. Monster was killed himself. She met detective Joe Friday after the battle and the two became enamored. Jim took the news in a hard way. While hospitalized after a failed attempt to defeat a monster, Jim met Lillith Weiss. She was secretly a vampire who liked the sun. She was part of a plot forged by the Vortex (a cabal of demons) to break the lineage of Mr. Monsters by not letting Jim Stearne have a son. She told Jim Stearne she was sterile, believing a human and a vampire can't reproduce. Nonetheless, after several years Lillith became pregnant. Their son came three months early and was born with his umbilical cord already severed.
As a child Strongfort was already obsessed by fighting monsters, often to the disgust of his mother. Planning to stop Strongfort from becoming Mister Monster, the then vampire king Mose sent Lillith a letter, ordering her to take Strongfort to Stearn Mansion, his father's former headquarters, and kill him there. When Jim came home, he found the letter. After recovering from the shock, Jim decided he needed to become Mr. Monster again to save his son. However, vampires set his house on fire, trapping Jim inside. Contacted by the Fluorescent Five, Jim agreed to become Mr. Monster again in his prime for one hour. This agreement cost the life of one of the Fluorescent Five. After the hour, Jim's soul would be frozen in ice for eternity. Jim Stearn arrived just in time to save his son from his mother and her three vampire brothers (two of which Strongfort managed to kill himself). After Jim killed the third brother, Lillith shot Jim with a crossbow, killing him. Strongfort then took the arrow out of his father and killed his mother with it. Stepping outside the mansion, Strongfort's mind was wiped clean by the remaining members of the Fluorescent Five. They trained him in becoming Mr. Monster.
Eventually, the Fluorescent Four began regretting putting Jim's soul in a block of ice. The knowledge of the Mr. Monsters was also trapped inside and couldn't be given to Strongfort. They asked Strongfort to free his father's soul from the block of ice by shattering the ice, but Strongfort resented his father for the fact that his father had quit being Mr. Monster early in his career. Confronted by his girlfriend Kelly Friday (daughter of Joe Kelly and Gloria Greene) about his childhood, Strongfort's memories returned and he finally forgave his father for quitting being Mr. Monster, thus freeing Jim's soul from the iceblock. Jim's soul said his goodbyes to his former lover Gloria, her husband Joe Friday, their daughter Kelly and especially his son Strongfort, telling them he loved them.
In 2003, a bust was released by Bowen Designs. Only 1000 busts were made.