The Mock Turtle

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The Mock Turtle
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Deceased
Real Name: Dr. Martin Chefwick
Earliest Appearance: Early to mid-80s
Origin: Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #17
Affiliation: Collaborated with many of England’s most famous criminals, including the Headmaster of Crime, Aunt Acid, the Toff, Clever Dick, and others
Base of Operations: [as a child] Brixton, England
Range of Operations: England

Personal Data

Relationships: Rose Chefwick (mother)

name not provided (father)

Occupation: Engineer (former)


Appearances (in Publication Order): Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #17

Event Timeline


The Mock Turtle

A misguided day-dreamer, British engineer Dr. Martin Chefwick became the armored villain known as the Mock Turtle. It all derived in part from his deluded desires to impress a childhood sweetheart. Throughout his life, his naively misinterpreted social interactions would consistently betray him.



While growing up in Brixton, London in the early 1960s, young Martin Chefwick was fascinated with stories about children who were transported to magical lands – from The Wizard of Oz to The Chronicles of Narnia. The strange, lonely boy was so enamored with these stories that he actually spent hours trying to find his way to Oz, Narnia, Wonderland and other fantasy realms, presumably in an attempt to escape his otherwise dreary life. As a result of his odd behavior, the socially-inept Martin was victimized by bullies and viewed as feeble-minded by his father, who could not recognize that his son was actually extremely bright, inquisitive, and well-read.

When Martin met Lucia, his red-headed neighbor, he was immediately smitten. But his feelings for Lucia blinded him to her true personality and motives: even as children, Lucia manipulated Martin and made him an unwitting accomplish to her petty crimes. As Martin grew older and accepted that the fantasy worlds from his childhood were not real, he threw himself into science; the study of math, physics, and engineering became his new escape. Lucia continued to use Martin, gleaning whatever scientific knowledge he was willing to share in order to make her burgeoning (and still secret) criminal enterprises easier.


Unaware of Lucia’s true motives, Martin continued to pine for her romantically. In an attempt to impress Lucia, Chefwick took a job at a geological firm and spent three years creating an all-environment suit that would allow him to become a “daring adventurer” and explorer. When he learned that his firm had hired an accomplished diver to pilot his invention instead, he stole the suit. Now a fugitive, Chefwick modified the armor to embark on a life of crime as the Mock Turtle – a persona modelled after a character from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Though Chefwick joined forces with various English crimelords and clashed with superheroes such as The Lion and The Unicorn, he always viewed himself as a dashing rogue and “hi-tech Robin Hood,” primarily stealing from the rich – and giving most of his ill-gotten gains to Lucia. When Lucia offered to become the Mock Turtle’s partner, the chivalrous Chefwick refused, insisting that she remain “innocent” and “pure." Frustrated, Lucia created her own secret identity -- the Red Queen -- and began building a small criminal empire. She even obtained the advanced Chessmen armor after the villains were defeated by Samaritan, and (as Lucia) convinced the still-clueless Martin to rebuild the suits.

When the Red Queen began threatening the territory of Chefwick’s allies, Clever Dick assigned Martin the task of tracking down and defeating her. Seeking Clever Dick’s respect, and still unaware that Lucia was in fact the Red Queen, Chefwick agreed. He systematically dismantled the Red Queen’s operations and routed her forces, but when he visited Lucia to celebrate his "victory," she revealed her dual identity and attacked. Enraged that her schemes had been foiled, and tired of flirting with the naïve Chefwick, the Red Queen unleashed her enforcers – the newly-rebuilt Chessmen. She ordered them to kill the Mock Turtle and they relentlessly pursued him all over the world. Eventually, Chefwick fled to Astro City’s Kiefer Square. Assuming that the Chessmen were responsible for a recent string of neighborhood murders, ex-con Steeljack rallied the locals, who ambushed and soundly defeated the armored attackers. ("The Voice of the Turtle")

Convinced he had finally found his magical Emerald City, Chefwick resolved to stay in Kiefer Square and found a job through information broker and middle-man Donnelly Ferguson. Sadly, his new employer turned out to be the real culprit behind the neighborhood murders. Soon after, Chefwick was killed for getting too close to the truth a few weeks after his arrival on Kiefer Square. ("The Empty Shell")



Chefwick wore a heavily-modified all-environment suit boasting several special abilities, including:

Life-Support and Survival Gear: The Mock Turtle suit was originally designed for geological exploration and study in a wide range of environments, “from the stratosphere to the ocean floor.” The armor could withstand great pressure, such as those found in the ocean depths, and presumably included temperature regulation systems and a self-contained oxygen supply.

Armor: Heavy armor – resembling a turtle’s shell – protected Chefwick’s back and chest, while a series of flexible armored plates covered his arms and legs. He also wore gauntlets, boots, kneepads, and a helmet with protective lenses. The armor protected Chefwick from collisions, energy and physical attacks, and even gunfire.

Flight: Chefwick could fly by activating twin jets on the back of the Mock Turtle’s “shell.” The Mock Turtle armor was highly maneuverable in flight, could travel at high-speeds, and allowed Chefwick to cross the Atlantic and literally travel the globe.

Underwater Travel: The Mock Turtle armor was especially well-suited to underwater exploration. Chefwick could easily reach the bottom of the Thames and survive underwater for extended periods of time. The suit's rockets enabled Chefwick to travel at high speeds underwater.

Blaster Gauntlets: The Mock Turtle’s bulky gauntlets could fire bursts of energy capable of cracking open an armored truck.

Other Gear: The original suit had the ability to “conduct all kinds of experiments,” which suggests that the armor had a wide range of scanners, sensors, and other devices. The armor also included an onboard computer that tracked and recorded Chefwick’s exploits for later review.

The systems aboard the Mock Turtle’s armor could be shorted out by specific types of attacks (presumably electrical).



Chefwick spent his entire life escaping into other worlds – reading fantasy novels or studying physics and math. He desired love and respect, and attempted to use his Mock Turtle identity to achieve both. However, he was also very naïve and easily-manipulated.

Speculations, Theories

The Mock Turtle may have possessed other abilities through his armor, such as:

Enhanced Strength: The Mock Turtle armor may have had advanced hydraulics and other gear that provided Chefwick with greater-than-normal strength. He has been observed splitting a boat in half by slamming into the craft.

Enhanced Senses: It’s possible that the Mock Turtle armor’s onboard devices provided Chefwick with enhanced vision and various vision modes and amplified hearing.

Targeting Systems: A staple of most armored suits with ranged weaponry, onboard targeting systems may have provided Chefwick with increased accuracy when using his blasters.

Additional Weapons: Most of the Mock Turtle’s ranged attacks appeared to be some sort of energy blasts, but it’s possible that they were actually a variety of weapons, including mini-rockets and/or flamethrowers.