Sunday, October 6, 2013
Monsters Of Rock!
When I stumbled across Miles the Monster, an icon and mammoth mascot for Dover International Raceway nicknamed "The Monster Mile", it immediately put me in mind of other rock monsters.
Above are two images of Miles as illustrated by Mark Wheatley. He's a raucous giant, totally fun character. To get a glimpse of his real world counterpart check out this link.
The monster which leaped to my mind when I first saw Miles was IT! The Living Colossus, one of my absolute faves from Marvel's Bronze Age monster fest.
Derived from the vintage Atlas monster from Tales of Suspense of the nearly same name, this character was bigger than life and inspired some Gil Kane's most memorable work.
In the second issue he battled the giant Gargoyles which too came from the Atlas archives to menace the world anew in the Marvel Age. These flying stone giants were defeated thankfully.
IT! lasted a mere four issues, but lingers on and on in my memory.
Another short-lived (of sorts) Marvel rock monster was Golem, who raised a ruckus in a trio of issues of the revived Strange Tales.
A classic rock monster is Igoo the Rock Ape, designed with complete skill to utter perfection by the late great Alex Toth. Igoo along with his Herculoid comrades was a total hell-raiser on the small screen and even in a few comics.
Blok became a Legion of Super-Heroes member, but not before he was part of "The League of Super-Assassins". I forget the details, but I well remember the quiet and unassuming Blok.
The Hulk battled some stone monsters from time to time. Umbu a shambling idol from the Savage Land and Godspawn in the sands of North Africa. Hulk even battled IT! for a single issue.
The Justice League faced many weird menaces, but few weirder looking than the Stone Giants who proved, for a time at least, untouchable.
Thor battled stone aliens too, most famously in debut story when the Stone Men from Saturn (not really) tried to make Earth their own.
One of the best rocky characters is the evil Grey Gargoyle who by dint of a secret formula can change himself and anything he touches into solid stone. Scary powers indeed.
One of my all-time favorite comic book covers by Bob Brown and Neal Adams features the Challs battling the "Petrified Giant", a stony threat indeed.
The Sub-Mariner even battled a monster who called himself quite appropriately "Rock". I don't remember if Rock ever appeared again.
But of course the most famous rock monster of all is Ben Grimm, the loquacious but often melancholy Thing, member of the Fantastic Four in good standing, at least most of the time. Ben is such a vibrant personality that often you forget he's made of rocks.
And those are some of the rocky monsters which came to my memory. Please let me know which ones I have forgotten. I'm sure that I have.