Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The sanity-challenging terrors of Where Monsters Dwell #2!

Where Monsters Dwell #2, Sporr, Taboo, Dragoom
As everyone knows, the biggest disappointment in my life is that none of my experiments into things that man should never know has ever ended in total disaster. How I long to inflict Graggsloo, The Thing From The Sewage, upon mankind.

Fortunately, in my younger days, I had Where Monsters Dwell to compensate for such disappointment.

Where Monsters Dwell was one of the 1970s comics that Marvel used in order to reprint their pre-super-hero era monster tales.

Many were the terrors that were thus inflicted upon the youth of the Bronze Age.

And surely there was no finer issue of that mag than issue #2, in which three creatures of indescribable menace are unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

Where Monsters Dwell #2, DragoomIn its breathless pages, we meet Dragoom, The Flaming Invader; Taboo, The Thing From The Murky Swamp; and Sporr, The Thing That Could Not Die.

Dragoom's a giant fire creature, come to Earth to rule it, having escaped a prison on his own planet. For all his power, it has to be said Dragoom must be the stupidest alien outside of the skrulls, as he proves himself incapable of telling the difference between members of his own species and cardboard cut-outs.

Taboo is cut from a far sneakier cloth.

Allowing himself to be discovered in an Amazonian swamp, he then gives mankind a sob story in order to trick it into giving him all its scientific secrets.

Where Monsters Dwell #2, Taboo
Fortunately, mankind isn't as dense as Dragoom had been and humanity tricks Taboo with the aid of a hydrogen bomb.

Let's face it it, any trick that involves a hydrogen bomb isn't likely to end happily for its victim.

Despite this unfortunate end, Taboo did somehow manage to return to fight the Hulk many years later.

But, of course, the true star of Where Monsters Dwell #2 is Sporr, The Thing That Could Not Die.

Totally ignoring all common sense, a scientist decides to rent the Transylvanian castle in which Frankenstein did his infamous experiments.

He then proceeds to try and create giant chickens.

Outraged by his plans to create giant chickens, the locals, complete with flaming torches, storm his castle and stop him.

Where Monsters Dwell #2, Sporr
Sadly, thanks to their actions, an amoeba grows out of all control and rampages around the countryside, threatening anyone who wears lederhosen, until the scientist dispatches it in one of the quicksand pits for which Eastern Europe is famous.

A more sophisticated man than me - or indeed a less, or even equally sophisticated one - might say such tales are all a load of hokey old bunkum, knocked out on a conveyor belt.

And of course they are.

Even Stan Lee, who may or may not have scripted this issue's tales, has said so over the years.

But there's something oddly charming about it all, a hint of a more innocent age of story-telling where, seemingly, no one had the slightest grasp of either logic or science.

On top of that, such mags were a way for 1970s readers to see just how Marvel had been in the days before it'd become the powerhouse publisher we knew and loved.

But, at this point, I must make a confession.

Despite my love for them, none of the creatures in this issue is my favourite from this title.

That honour has to go to Grogg, the giant, underpant wearing, dragon from Where Monsters Dwell #27.

But that is, of course, a whole other story...


Anonymous said...

"Return of Taboo" was reprinted in Where Monsters Dwell #5. Somehow he survived the H-bomb and resumed his plan to conquer the Earth or whatever. At the end, more mud monsters landed on Earth, restrained him, and took him back to their home planet. It turned out he had escaped from a prison or mental hospital there. So help me, that is how the story ended. No, I am not on drugs.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Anon. I must admit I do admire Taboo for his persistence if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I remember that Hulk annual where he fought Taboo, Goom, Groot, and several other of those clowns, one after the other. The Hulk went through 'em like a buzz-saw. That was a good comic.

Anonymous said...

Bronze Age Babies blog reviewed that Hulk annual (#5) on Oct. 31, 2012. Very appropriate for Halloween.

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