Here’s a discovery. Startling Comics #49 from 1948 has an early appearance of a particular bending unit from the year 3000.
The resemblance is … startling. This amazing piece of Alex Schomburg’s airbrush art might have served as inspiration for Mr. Bender Rodriguez, but can we really believe that it will survive for another thousand years? It’s made of paper for goodness sake. It’s a miracle it hasn’t disintegrated.