Wednesday 23 May 2012

The horrific monsters of Tales to Astonish.

As long-suffering readers of this blog'll know, I can barely set foot out of my house without encountering some giant menace to mankind. It may be a giant ant. It may be a giant amoeba. One thing's for sure; it's a whole heapful of trouble.

Sometimes I don't even have to leave the house to do it. A mere trip into my cellar is enough.

Fortunately, being stolid and resourceful as I am, I usually find some way to deal with the menace - one that means I often don't even have to remove my trilby or take my pipe from my mouth.

Amazingly, a quick glance at early issues of Tales to Astonish tells me I'm not alone in this problem.

Tales to Astonish, the ninth wonder of the world

I don't know what The Ninth Wonder of the World is but it looks so friendly and amiable that I just had to include it here.

For that matter, if that's the Ninth Wonder of the World, just what was the Eighth Wonder?
Tales to Astonish, Monstrom

Look out Man-Thing. Here comes the muddy menace of Monstrom.
Tales to Astonish, Gorgilla

It's Gorgilla, an ape so terrifying it earned an extra "G" in its name.

That's nothing. If you think Gorgilla's terrifying, wait till you meet Girgaffe and Anteglope.
Tales to Astonish, Groot

I seem to recall Groot turning up once in a Hulk story.

Here, it seems he managed to get destroyed before midnight.

Poor old Groot. It's not been a happy life for him.

And he's from Planet X, which we all know was annihilated in an early issue of The Fantastic Four.
Tales to Astonish, the Things from Easter Island

The things on Easter Island.

I always knew something was afoot with those giant heads.
Tales to Astonish, Mummex, king of mummies

Is it live or is it Mummex?
Tales to Astonish, Droom

Droom! "The Living Lizard!"

As opposed to all those dead lizards that cause so much trouble.
Tales to Astonish, The Blip

The Blip. Another foe I seem to recall coming up against the Hulk.

If I remember rightly, he had the indignity of being mistaken, by the Hulk, for Zzzax.
Tales to Astonish, Thorr

It's the Stone Men From Saturn.

Not it's not. It's Thor.

Now my head hurts.
Tales to Astonish, Gorgilla strikes again

Hooray! Gorgilla's back.

I like the cut of Gorgilla's jib. He has a certain enthusiasm about him.
Tales to Astonish, Rommbu

Rommbu. Surely the only monster ever to be named in honour of the deadly shape mankind knows as a rhombus.
Tales to Astonish, Trull the inhuman

The T. J. Eckleburg of terror strikes.
Tales to Astonish, the monster at my window

I have to admit it. Out of all the monsters we've seen so far, this is the one that would've disturbed me when I was a child.
Tales to Astonish, Titano

Titano rises from the depths.

Moomba. Why do so many of these monsters have names that sound like fun-packed dance crazes?
Tales to Astonish, the creature from Krogarr

The creature from Krogarr.

Hold on a moment. Isn't that Kraven's sometime pet Gog?

Does this mean Gog was from Krogarr?

He seems to be coming out of the TV.

So much for that woman in The Ring.


Dougie said...

Disappointed not to see Zzutak or my first-and-favourite Marvel monster, Taboo. He may sound like a drink for the ladies but he's really an animated mountain of malevolent mud.

Steve W. said...

Dougie, Zzutak appears to have originally been a Strange Tales monster:

not a Tales to Atonish one.

As does Taboo:

La Belle Esplanade said...

How many of these are Kirby? I was thinking all except for The (awesomely named) Blip but the crowd looks like his work. With Trull (or whatever the cover with the big eyes is), I'm also not entirely convinced. Please advise.


Anonymous said...

According to Mike's Amazing World of Marvel Comics, all of these covers, including Trull and the Blip, were by Kirby. Most were inked by Dick Ayers, but #10 (Titano) was inked by Steve Ditko. Each issue had at least three stories, usually one each by Kirby, Ditko, and Don Heck. Several had a fourth story by Paul Reinman. Usually, Kirby drew the cover story, except for #8 and #9 (cover by Kirby, cover story by Heck).

Anonymous said...

Maybe King Kong was the Eighth Wonder.

Bostonbill said...

I actually bought 'The Monster at my Window'. Marvel was trying to make a quick buck by reprinting their scores of monster one-shots. As there was nothing else on the stand I bought it. The inside splash page is that terrific cover all over again. The monster haunts the guy and confronts him on the roof and reveals that he is from (gasp) the 4th Dimension. But wait, the guy transforms into an even bigger monster as he was really from the (choke) 5th Dimension! And that's where it ended. You can see why they switched to heroes!

Anonymous said...

Hallo zusammen,
prima Seite, sehr lustig, aber als Kind hatte ich auch Angst vor dem "Monster vor meinem Fenster" aber ich fand es auch fucking cool!

R. W. Watkins said...

I can remember reading a reprint of 'The Monster at My Window' from No 34 in Monsters On The Prowl in the mid '70s. Yes, that monster was genuinely frightening. I do believe Jack Kirby did the art on that one. I can remember coming across a website a few years ago that featured several panels from that story, actually.

Anonymous said...

Groot, Blip, Taboo, and a couple of other monsters turned up in Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (1976). And, of course, Groot went on to co-star in Guardians of the Galaxy.

You could probably fill an entire blog post with Marvel monsters whose names were anagrams of "gorilla."