I've been a fan of Marvel's monsters for as long as I've been reading comics. This discussion will be divided into two "phases." Phase One will be "The Monster Age" and will focus on monsters which will cross over into Phase Two, "The Marvel Age," particularly those who have a connection with the Incredible Hulk. I'll start with...

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COLOSSUS - Tales of Suspense #14:

SYNOPSIS: The story is told from the point of view of Russian sculptor Boris Petrovski, whose brother Ivan is the head of "the dreaded iron curtain security police." Ivan pressures Boris to sculpt a 100 foot tall statue to the glory of the state.Soon after the statue has been completed, a flying saucer crash lands nearby. The alien crab creature inside phases into the statue itself for safety until a rescue party arrives, and takes control of it. 

It really intends no harm, but when attacked by the Russian army it defends itself. It digs a hole, then tunnels under the attacking forces. After it decimates them, it makes its way to the sea. Meanwhile, Ivan accuses Boris of inventing some kind of device to control the statue, but Boris concocts a story that a "voice from beyond" said that "it was time for dictatorships to be brought to task! Time for power-mad rulers to be halted!" 

The Russian Navy then attacks the Colossus and it destroys their submarines as easily as it did their tanks. Then, through sheer force of will, the crab-alien causes the giant stue to rise into the air where it defeats the Russian air force. At that point, the alien rescue party arrives and the crab creature departs unseen, leaving the statue immobile. Boris warns Ivan that the statue will come to life again "if you go on perpetuating cruelty and injustice as in the past... and seek a vengeance so terrible that your iron curtain world shall not survive."

"if you go on perpetuating cruelty and injustice as in the past... and seek a vengeance so terrible that your iron curtain world shall not survive."

I remember reading all those anti-Commie stories back in the day and thinking those platitudes were just wishful thinking, that nothing was going to change the USSR. Then the Soviet Union imploded, and I had to change my opinion!

Jeff, are you going to cover all the monsters, or just those that have been revived in some way in the modern era?

Just those that have been revived some way in the modern era.

That'll keep me busy enough... for a while, anyway. Then we'll see.

Looking forward to your comments. Jeff. I've read a lot of the Marvel monster stories over the years via reprints. In small doses, they can be quite entertaining. If nothing else, it is always fun to see the various Kirby and Ditko monstrous creations.

Thanks for the encouragement but, FYI, my selections for this discussion are all Kirby.

That makes sense - Kirby was usually the artist on the giant monster stuff. And most of those giant monsters were darn impressive.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Thanks for the encouragement but, FYI, my selections for this discussion are all Kirby.

...I was thinking this might be an announcement of something I've long spoken of wanting in the " Nest To Be Collected? " line in MSA: All the new anthology material from CHAMBER OF DARKNESS\TOWER OF SHADOWS and their retitled continuations. Foo!!!!!!! Fap.

Well, "Foo!" to you, too.

GORGOLLA - Strange Tales #74 (April 1960):

SYNOPSIS: David Hartnell is an architecture student who has been assigned by his professor to research the history of gargoyles over summer break. He throws himself into his task, and finally finds a reference to a group of Tibetian lamas who claim to know the origin of gargoyles in an obscure text. Naturally, his next step is to book passage to Tibet. (!) the lamas won't guide him there, but they point him in the right direction. He comes upon an ancient stone wall and chips away at an existing hole to make his way inside.

Once there he encounters Gorgolla, a giant gargoyle from the planet Stonus Five who came to Earth with an invasion force centuries ago. He dispatched his gargoyles across the globe to silently spy from perches atop buildings. Now that Gorgolla has been discovered, his titmetable has been accelerated and he describes what will happen as he gives the signal for his gargoyles to take over the world.

Gorgolla throws the switch, but instead of attacking the Earth, the gargoyles return to Tibet and attack Gorgolla. Over the centuries, the gargoyles, who were little more than slaves on Stonus Five, have learned love and charity over centuries of observing the human race, and now consider themselves to be humanity's protectors. Hartnell returns home and reports to his professor that he was unable to discover the origin of gargoyles in architecture.

The Doctor Who episode "Blink" and the "Weeping Angels" are reminiscent of this story.

DIABLO - Tales of Suspense #9 (May 1960):

SYNOPSIS: An adventurer hears tell of a "giant smoke demon" in the Sierra Madre Mountains and sets out to find it. He does. The creature is from another dimension and plans to colonize Earth for his own over-crowded world. He spends pages describing the havoc he will wreak upon humanity, until the adventurer tricks him with a cigarette lighter. "While he wathed, I blew out the flame! As diablo saw the smoke vanish, he figured I could do the same to him! He thought I could destroy him as I seemed to be destroying the smoke! And so, the greatest threat ever to confront Earth has been blown away... in a puff of smoke!"

Just as the Weeping Angels remind me of Gorgolla, so too does the smoke monster from Lost remind me of Diablo.

TABOO - Strange Tales #75 (June 1960):

SYNOPSIS:Adventurer/writer Lewis Conrad sets sail for Brazil, where he has never been bore, to follow the rumor of a swamp monster. As usual, the local guides refuse to lead him, so he goes on his own. Just as he is about to be attacked by an alligator, the swamp monster he was searching for, Taboo, saves him, Taboo is a space explorer who came to Earth on a mission of peace but was standed in the swamp. He asks Conrad's help to build a ship so that he may return home. 

Conrad pleads Tboo's case before the United Nations, and they amass all of Earth's scientific knowledge as a gesture of good will. As soon as Taboo receives the accumulated knowledge, he reveals his intention to use it to conquer Earth and flies off into space. Luckily, the United Nations were not so naive as Conrad, and they put an H-bomb in the information in case of betrayal.

But the story ends on this cryptic note: "And so ended the threat of Taboo! Or so we THOUGHT!! Yes... so we THOUGHT!"

The swamp monster is easier to believe than the entire earth cooperating like that.


TABOO RETURNS - Strange Tales #77 (Oct 1960):

SYNOPSIS: After the explosion, hundreds if not thousands of tiny bits od mud and muck were scattered over North and South America, each was a "separate living thing," though, and were "driven by a silent, invisible force... as though posessed by a will, a PURPOSE of its own!" All of the bits eventually reformed in New York City's Central Park, where Taboo again began his reign of destruction. Then, the ship Taboo summoned from his home planet arrived. "Welcome, my brothers! You've come just in time to join me! Together we'll create such havoc on Earth, the very galaxy will tremble!"

But his fellow creatures refuse! In fact, they have been seeking Taboo in order to take him back to their planet for treatment. One of them explains: "Mortals, our race is NOT warlike! the strong NEVER are! Only the weak, and the sick preach violence!" Then they undo all the damage taboo has caused and depart, looking forward to the day Earthmen reach the stars and the two races can meet again... in FRIENDSHIP!

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