Introduction to the Marvel Monsters MicroHeroes Site

I love giant monsters.

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.

Visit the Monsters

The monsters are laid out in a grid, with their names, epithets, and links to thumbnails of the covers of the comics in which they appeared.  (I'm slowly linking those thumbnails to larger images elsewhere on the Web.)

Before You Visit the Monsters

Where did they come from?

It occurred to me that people might appreciate seeing the covers of the various early Marvel comics with the monsters that appeared in them.  So I've put together the following lists: I've also added lists of monsters who were reprinted in the reprint books of the 1960s and 1970s. They include thumbnails of the covers and a list of the known monsters. Note that one monster, Tragg, was created specifically for these reprint books.

In addition, the following monsters managed to have sequels in the original monster comics.

I also have a list of the ones I would still like to do in MicroHero format but for which I do not have detailed references. If you have copies of the comics mentioned there, and you'd like to see these MicroMonsters, I'd appreciate your sending me either scans from the comics or links to such scans.

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.

Where are they now?

The monsters have proven to be surprisingly popular with some modern comics authors and artists.

For those who collect MicroHeroes associated with particular characters, here's a list of the monsters that have appeared in super-hero series.
 
Abominable Snowman Fantastic Four (referred to as having fought)
Blip Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man1
Brute That Walks Warlock3
Creature from Krogarr Warlock3
Cyclops Fantastic Four3
Diablo Hulk
Droom Fantastic Four, Supernaturals2
Elektro Fantastic Four
"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
Googam Fantastic Four
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
Moomba Supernaturals2
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
Rorgg Fantastic Four
Sporr Thor3
Spragg She-Hulk
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

And these monsters had sequels in a "post-modern" comic: Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell #1 (December 2005).

A note on design.

I tried to play the MicroHeroes "game" and used existing figure templates as the basis for most monsters.  A few non-humanoid monsters incorporated features from the templates (sometimes as little as a pair of eyes), but I generally tried to manipulate the templates to get the effect (which is why Grottu looks so odd -- he's made up of rearranged human arms and legs).  I did have to design certain of my own features (two-, three-, and four-fingered hands, claws, two- and three-toed feet), which I then used as accessories in various monsters.  (Interested MicroMakers can now find my Monster Template through the MicroHeroes mailing list, lilguyz.) The Blip was the most challenging in this regard, as I had to figure out how to represent zigzags in bitmap.  Spragg is an example of one entirely original; I tried using eyes from a Giant Male template but ended up drawing my own.

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.

A note on coloring.

In most cases, I have had to rely on a monster's reprinted appearance for its coloring.  In a few cases, I have managed to find the original color scheme.  Unfortunately, most Marvel monsters appear to have been orange in their original appearance. For variety's sake, when two or more schemes are available,  I have chosen the color scheme I like best (and have mixed some together).  Often, this has turned out to be the colors used in the monster's most recent appearance/reprint.  Purists beware.


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.