Thinking about the comics that I read in the 70s (my Golden Age), certain characters stand out more that others. Surprisingly one is the Golem from "Strange Tales" #174 (Ju'75). I don't remember how I got that issue but it left an impact on me. He had top talent in his first appearance: Len Wein (writer), John Buscema (artist) and Roy Thomas (editor).


Some background: It's amazing what can lead to other things like gateway drugs. Every Sunday afternoon, Channel 11 showed an "Abbott and Costello" movie. Since they made many, there was a large rotation. One of my favorites was "A&C Meet Frankenstein", the first Universal horror movie I ever saw. I must have took out every monster book out of the children's section of the library, reading about Frankenstein, Dracula, werewolves, mummies and scientists who insist on experimenting on themselves. So I was already familar with the Golem legend.


That issue was a minor classic of mood and artwork. The Golem himself was a large purple rock man with the requisited carved-on trunks. He looked somewhat unfinished and blocky which was actually appropiate. Purple was an unique choice but it made him stand out. The Golem was re-animated by the murder of an archeologist and charged with protecting his adult grandson, granddaughter and her fiance. A group of renegade Arab soldiers responsible for the professor's death try to kidnap the trio and are crushed by the Golem, who went immobile afterwards.


After a reprint in #175, #176 sees the Golem leave the desert on a ship and get attacked by his first, greatest and only nemesis, Kaballa the Unclean, who wants to possess him, and his elementals. #177 have them arrive in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Golem again thwarts him. And that was the last solo Golem story. Three issues seemed short to decide to cancel a series. His "cousin", It the Living Colossus

lasted longer.


So the Golem's tale ended where many features do, in Marvel Two-In-One. # 11(S'76) had Kaballa finally gain possession of the Golem. Luckily the Thing was on vacation and helps his three friends get to Golem so their influence can allow the Golem to break free. He went immobile in the middle of town and may still be there. The Golem never appeared again, as far as I can tell. He never had a page in any of the Marvel

Handbooks until the 70s special. In the back, they said the Golem was part of the monster Howling Commandos but I recently reread the six-issue series and I didn't see him there.


As a kid, I always hoped the Golem would resurface, maybe as a team's strongman or battle the Hulk or team with Spidey but alas, the Golem would only be significant in my memories!

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I have never read the Golem tales you mention, Philip, but let me point you to two other great tales of golems.

The most recent is DC's "Monolith." This was good but short lived series that I found utterly fascinating. I can't remember many of the details now, but it was definitely one of my favorites of 2004. In crowd shots during DC events, you still will see Monolith lumbering around. I would bet you can find this entire 12-issue series in the quarter bins.

Also try "Tales of the Colossus," which features a knight trapped in an golem's body. The artist, if I recall, is a Hollywood storyboarder who wrote this on his own. His art is very similar to Mignola. The link there has a different cover than the book I have, so it may not contain the origin story.
With that one it's not the whole novel, Fig, just a short passage.

A monster obvously based on the Wegener golem appeared on the cover of Tales to Astonish #7. Robotman met a robot visually modelled after the Wegener golem (but made of metal, with rivets) in a story in Star-Spangled Comics #17 (written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Ed Dobrotka). Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam can be found at Internet Archive under the heading "The Golem (1920)", and surviving bits of the 1915 film under the heading "the Golem 1915 lost film fragments".


This post displaced the thread Happy St. Patrick's Day from the home page.

I've never read the brief Golem series in Strange Tales, but I'm fairly sure I read MTIO story, as I have the first MTIO Essential.  I'm afraid it didn't leave much of an impression on me, as the plot points Philip mentioned don't ring a bell at all.

I do recall that Peter Milligan wrote a two part story with a Golem in it in his all too brief run on Detective Comics in the early 90s; I looked it up on wikipedia and it was entitled "The Golem of Gotham", in 'TEC 631 & 632.  As far as I know, none of Milligan's stories have ever been reprinted, but for Philip or anyone else interested in tracking them down, the back issues shouldn't be too expensive.  This story uses some of the same elements that Philip mentions the ST stories have.

As an aside, Milligan's short run on Detective (# 629-633, 638-640, and 643) is a delightfully trippy take on Batman.  I'm a big fan of the Alan Grant / Norm Breyfogle stories of this same era and this is even more oddball, and I mean that in a positive vein.  Highly recommended.

Milligan's Dark Knight, Dark City, exploring the secret enlightenment era history of Gotham was reprinted in one of those recent square bound 100 page spectaculars.


I read it when it first came out, but I got the recent collection, and will have to reread it before Philip gets to Return of Bruce Wayne on his Batman thread.  Maybe a worthwhile detour Philip, as it is very directly referenced by Morrison in his tale?

That's the one where the Riddler gets homicidal, right?

Afraid so. A very hackneyed 90's route to take an old-school villain down, I know. Some good ideas in it otherwise, as I recall from over 20 years ago!

/old man smiley/

The first appearance (of three) of the Golem in Strange Tales has recently been reprinted in the absolutely wonderful Marvel Firsts: The 1970s, Vol. 2.

I smell a Golem comeback! Hey, if they can bring back Night Nurse and Manphibian...

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