Name: Professor Martinson
First Appearance: Superman (vol. 1) #4 (Spring 1940): "The Challenge of Luthor"
Number of Appearances: 1
Enemy of: Lex Luthor
Note: invented earthquake-causing machine
Professor Martinson invented an earthquake-causing machine which was stolen by the villainous Lex Luthor and used against Metropolis. Lex Luthor kidnapped Professor Martinson and tried to force the scientist to reveal the secrets of the machine to him. Professor Martinson nobly refused. Superman eventually destroyed the machine, which was too complicated for anybody but Martinson himself to build. At the end of the story, Professor Martinson was so distraught over the destruction his machine caused when it fell into the wrong hands that he committed suicide. He did this so that the knowledge behind the machine could never again be used to recreate it.
Professor Martinson's precise religious affiliation and/or ideological positions are never revealed, but it was clear that he was a deeply ethical man who put the welfare of others above his own life.
After Martinson's suicide, Clark Kent's editor George Taylor observed, "So Matinson killed himself, eh? He must have repented inventing such a terrible weapon!"
Clark Kent replied, "His secret died with him! It will never menace civilization again!"