The Japanese call critters like Godzilla "daikaiju", which means something like "giant monster". (A previous translation given to me was "sacred giant monster". I liked that version, because it reflected the awe felt by mere humans in the presence of these creatures. These aren't just large animals, to be trapped for zoos or shot and mounted as trophies -- sites like this notwithstanding. These are beings that, by their very presence, should shake humanity's conceptions of self-importance and place in the universe. But, alas, the truth turned out to be more prosaic.)
My taste in giant monsters has become rather catholic, ranging from animals living and extinct to mythology and folklore to fiction and film. Some of you may have brushed up against one product that stems from this love: my Bibliography of the Cthulhu Mythos (which is, at base, about giant monsters from outer space). Here's another: the Marvel Comics monsters of 1959-62.
Inspired by the giant monster films of the 1950s, these comics featured short stories of people fighting against titanic threats from outer space, from unexplored regions of the Earth, or from human folly. They were precursors to the Marvel super-hero comics of the early 1960s and often featured plotlines, motifs, and even names that would later turn up in, say, Spider-Man or The Fantastic Four. (The first 4 issues of the FF prominently feature giant monsters.) Apparently the monsters were fondly remembered, as they returned first in reprints a few years later, which is where I learned about them, and then as "villains" in the super-hero comics themselves.
For my part, having discovered the group of MicroHero makers, who create non-proportional versions of comics characters (what are sometimes called "super-deformed" in other contexts, usually meaning the heads are larger than the scale of the bodies), I decided to make MicroMonsters, Marvel Monsters based on the MicroHero figure templates.
In addition, the following monsters managed to have sequels in the original monster comics.
Note that the lists are often incomplete. For full info, I suggest you go to the Grand Comic Book Database. It has been my good fortune to have the help of John Kaminski, of MonsterBlog fame, in correcting some of the list info. Thanks, John.
|Abominable Snowman||Fantastic Four (referred to as having fought)|
|Blip||Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man1|
|Brute That Walks||Warlock3|
|Creature from Krogarr||Warlock3|
|Droom||Fantastic Four, Supernaturals2|
|"Fear in the Night" Monster||Warlock3|
|Fin Fang Foom||Iron Man, Thor4, The Legion of Night, It the Living Colossus, Avengers3, Hulk4, Fantastic Four, Nextwave, Hulk, Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only),|
|Gargantus||Hulk, Fantastic Four (Thing only), Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only)|
|Gigantus (originally, Goliath)||Fantastic Four, Monster Hunters, Spider-Man1, Warlock3|
|Goom||Hulk, Venus, Fantastic Four (Thing only), Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only), S.H.I.E.L.D. (Howling Commandos), Warlock3|
|Gorgilla||Dr. Druid, Monster Hunters, Fantastic Four|
|Gorgolla||It the Living Colossus, Supernaturals2|
|Grogg||Fantastic Four, Iron Man, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Howling Commandos), Hulk, Avengers (Giant-Man only), X-Men (Beast only), Supernaturals2|
|Groot||Hulk, Fantastic Four (Thing only), Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only), S.H.I.E.L.D. (Howling Commandos), Spider-Man1, Supernaturals2|
|Grottu||Fantastic Four, Monster Hunters, Hulk, Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only), Supernaturals2|
|Gruto||Fantastic Four (referred to as having fought), Supernaturals2|
|It the Living Colossus||It the Living Colossus, Hulk, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Howling Commandos)|
|Klagg||Fantastic Four (referred to as having fought)|
|Kraa||S.H.I.E.L.D. (Howling Commandos), Warlock3|
|Martian Who Walks Among Us||Warlock3|
|Molten Man-Thing||Fantastic Four, Monster Hunters|
|Orrgo||Fantastic Four (Human Torch and Thing only), Defenders, Monster Hunters (Bloodstone in flashback)|
|Rommbu||Hulk, Fantastic Four (Thing only), Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only), Supernaturals2|
|Taboo||Hulk, Fantastic Four (Thing only), Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only), Warlock3|
|Thorg (originally Thorr)||Thor3|
|Tim Boo Ba||Fantastic Four|
|Two-Headed Thing||Fantastic Four|
|Vandoom's Creature||Hulk, Fantastic Four, Giant-Man, X-Men (Beast only), Spider-Man1, Warlock3|
|Warlord Kaa||Hulk, Champions, Fantastic Four, Iron Man|
|X the Unknown||Alpha Flight, Spider-Man1, Warlock3|
|Xemnu the Living Titan (originally the Living Hulk)||Defenders, Fantastic Four (Thing only), Hulk, She-Hulk|
|Zzutak||Fantastic Four, Warlock3|
1 Appeared in a dream sequence
2 Appeared in an alternate universe
3 A monster identical in appearance but probably included as a tribute and not the same; too bad, I count it as an appearance anyway.
4 Impersonated by someone else
I've begun by making standard, human-sized versions of the monsters. Eventually, I'd like to redo them in proportional sizes, using the two Giant Male templates (and any others that may turn up in the future), but for now, this is what's available.
Site updated 9/20/06
Text and MicroHero monsters renditions © 2002-2006 Chris Jarocha-Ernst. Permission is given to use these renditions for non-commercial purposes.
The monsters themselves are, of course, the property of Marvel Comics.