The first comics character of this name was the robot hero Electro, a backup-feature star in Marvel Mystery Comics, flagship title of Marvel's Golden Age predecessor, Timely Comics. Created by writer-artist Steve Dahlman, Electro appeared in Marvel Mystery #4—19 (Feb. 1940 — May 1941). His origin story described his invention by Professor Philo Zog, one of a group of twelve known as the Secret Operatives.
Electro appears, part of a cadre of heroes trapped in a secret bunker during the Battle of Berlin, seemingly for examination by nazist scientists. After the fall of the Third Reich, the eleven heroes are left in suspended animation, with no one knowing of their final fate, and Electro is cut off by the telepatic mindwaves of Philo Zog.
When, sixty years later, the Twelve are recovered and brought back to New York, in a safehouse for rehabilitation to modern times, the still unactive Electro is stored in a garage in the same safehouse, its property contended by Elizabeth Zogolowski, niece of Philo Zog, and the U.S. Government, willing to disassemble Electro for the secrets of his telepathic interface. Miss Zogolowski reveals how the telepathic bond between Philo and his creation was so strong that Philo died shortly after the war for an acute withdrawal syndrome: essentially, his mind died of solitude.
Miss Zogoloswki is able to obtain temporary custody over Electro, but lacks the wealth necessary to reclaim it's possession: the Blue Blade steps in, offering her all the needed money in exchange for using Electro in his cabaret-like show.