The Top 10 Marvel Monsters of Halloween
Furry Claws. Wicked Incisors. Marvel Comics has them all...
Trick or treat?
It came from beyond; scrabbling in the mire and darkness of super-natural origins. Gothic and beastly by most standards, and all we knew were panic and flight. On this hallowed occasion, we had to get away.
That can't be a cat...can it? Aw wait; that's a Marvel Comic's good guy! Green skin and mossy hair, it's bad enough they're hunted most of the time. Have you noticed they don't fit in the typical mold? They're not your grandma's typical boy scout; these guys make good look...well, scary!
Picture: He is Zarathos, the Ghost Rider and the Spirit of Vegeance.
And provided in this article, you're going to get a seat upfront -- perhaps too close -- to ten of the most horrid, unsettling, and otherwise creepy-crawling characters this side of a full moon. That's right, these are the ones you thought were wearing a mask, only to learn that the makeup doesn't come off. If you celebrate Halloween, these mottled, unknowing patrons of All Saint's Eve will appear on your doorstep, have no doubt. (They'll just be 4 feet tall with a sack.)
Bring your candy.
Marvel Monster #10: The Gargoyle - This is what happens when you make a pact with demons.
...which is what Isaac Christians did when he saw his home, the dying town of Christiansboro, fail into desolation. His only crime was that he wanted to save it. Of course, there was also the unholy crime of consorting with demons, when he agreed to serve Avarrish of The Six-Fingered Hand. The consequences were to turn this elderly man into the body of an ancient monster.
Commonly referred to as Gargoyle, Christian's first mission was in Defenders vol 1, #94 (April 1981), when he was ordered to capture Hellcat and slay them. Fortunately for them, he didn't succeed, and was later turned to work with Dr. Strange and the group as a hero of mystical capabilities.
Aside from his grisly looks, Gargoyle throws arcane energies and can spread fear. He is also equipped with hardened, leathery skin capable of deflecting most normal attacks and folded-hide wings that allow him flight. Over the course of his career, Isaac has used these "powers" for the intent of goodness. but often, he is faced with his evil origins, ever threatening to complicate his supernatural existence.
Defenders of The Earth - Sometimes a gargoyle can do good.
Originally a bad guy, Gargoyle was soon to join Dr. Stephen Strange and his team that was "not a team", known as The Defenders. The reason for the erratic terminology is because often The Defenders was said not to actually exist; many of the threats they fought were mystical in origin and never realized by the leaders of Earth. The other reason is because The Defenders were continually reforming their group and changing members.
Vol. 5 of The Defenders is imperative if you enjoy checking out Gargoyle. It also has a huge assortment of other superheroes and collects Defenders (1972) #92-106. Notably, Defenders #100 is a huge assortment of characters. Also within this big book, you'll collect Marvel Team-Up #101, #111, #116, and Captain America #268. Check it out!
Marvel Monster #9: Triton
Of many monsters, the extent of their origin is birth; they tend to come from some unexplained, nightmarish race bent on killing all of mankind. And still there are others, happening upon their disfigurement by an experiment gone wrong. Those poor beings are doomed to be a curse to themselves and the ones they encounter.
Neither of those two scenarios, though, explain Triton, the aquatic Inhuman of Attilan. His race, born as normal Homo Sapien, was actually mutated by aliens called the Kree, through a process known as Terrigenesis, Their goal was to jumpstart our cavemen into an evolutionary process for servitude and war. Later, for reasons unsaid, though, they left the Attilans, some with great power, some extraordinarily malformed.
Triton, intentionally exposed in his infancy, represents both sides of that coin. Where he is covered with green scales capable of withstanding deep oceanic pressures and cold, his gills can only extract oxygen from water, making his life unsustainable in the surface world. He is, forever, known as the creature dwelling under the waves when he is spotted; the dorsal fin cresting down his skull is unmistakeable.
The true horror of Triton's nature is that he remains estranged, even among his own race of wildly different people; although he was later equipped with a mobile breathing apparatus, he is forever a stranger -- and a monster -- in the world of humans and inhumans.
Inhumans are so...Inhuman - And here's a story that explains it all.
The Inhumans are a very popular group of superheroes for those who collect Fantastic Four memorabilia. They originally appeared in Fantastic Four #45 back in 1965, and were composed of Triton, Medusa, with long, steely strands of hair; Gorgon, with the tremor-capable hooves; Karnak, the master of finding weak points in anything he surveys; and Black Bolt, the leader and most powerful of them all.
Set in a 12 chapter storyline, the beauty of the collection is that it's composed of multiple story arcs, each tied to the various members of the Inhuman Royal Family. One of them deals mostly with Triton and does so in a deeply emotional, and almost haunting, prose. The entire graphic novel is very good and one of the most compelling representations of the Attilan people.
Marvel Monster #8: The Hulk - The Result of The Gamma Radiation Bomb
Once, a long, long time ago, he was just Bruce Banner. A scientist with credentials working for the U.S. government on military grade weapons involving radiation.
But everything turned green after the Doc was caught in the middle of a deadly gamma-ray explosion. Somehow, it didn't kill him; he didn't seem affected by the accident...that is, until nightfall. That was when we first met The Incredible Hulk.
Yes, it's true; in Incredible Hulk #1 (1962), he originally only came out at night. (As a matter of fact, he was also gray at first.) But Marvel Comics quickly changed that concept. Perhaps he looked too much like Frankenstein, nevertheless, his metamorphosis became attuned to his emotions, mostly anger. And within the seconds ticking on a clock, his skin turned an emerald hue, gaining incredible strength, becoming the over-bulked behemoth.
Endangering everyone he knows and everywhere he goes, Hulk is now one of the most destructive forces on the planet. Partially the problem is level of mental aptitude; he's usually stupid. Numerous attempts have been made to keep his intellect intact, but in the end, the monster always wins out, emerging and destroying, reigning fear on those who stand in his path.
Hulk's one endearing quality is that his subconscious is naturally bent on good will. Somewhere in his his enraged mind, he wants to help you.
Planet Hulk - Yes, it was his planet. He said so.
Often the greatest minds of Earth want to get rid of The Hulk. In the animated movie, Planet Hulk, leaders of Earth come together and do the one thing that might rid them of this powerful creature forever.
They shoot him into space.
And out there, somewhere, Hulk lands on another planet inhabited by beings. That's my intro to Planet Hulk. It's a great Hulk story that mixes in with Gladiator-style action.
Planet Hulk was actually a comic book even and series that took off and gained a lot of popularity. That's why the made this animated movie. In it, you'll understand; Hulk is on a planet where he can't do enough damage! The entire population is pushed into subjugation by an oppressive Emperor. Somehow, in the middle of all this, our favorite green guy turns out to fulfill their prophecy and become their savior.
Marvel Monster #7: Man-Thing - Whoever Knows Fear Burns At The Man-Thing's Touch
Through a combination of science and the terrible interaction of the powerful, mystical force known as The Nexus of Realities, Ted Sallis fell into the category of a creature of immense power, yet terrible curse, known as The Man-Thing (from Savage Tales #1, 1971). His failing was the experimentation over the super-soldier serum he tried to recreate; when his enemies learned of his secret research in the everglades, they burned him and his shack to the ground.
Somehow though, Ted survived, rising from the swamp. In the advent of his horrible death, the plant-like terror that rose in his was nothing human. (Later we would learn that Man-Thing is a unique creature known as a Vogornius Koth.)
Coined as The Man-Thing, Ted, or it, is rarely seen when in its natural environment; one of the qualities of this being is that it is composed of vegetation and can therefore become a part of nature. This effect gives it the unique ability to transport across vast distances, like teleportation. The other, most commonly known trait of Man-Thing is that it is draw to fear. In the grasp of Man-Thing, people who express fright and terror begin to combust and immolate, consumed entirely by the chemical fire.
Recently, Man-Thing's encounters have made him a current staple of The Raft, a super-human prison for those in trouble with the law. Because he often appears a mindless creature, Man-Thing has been indoctrinated into a swamp-like environment where he can rest.
Essential Man-Thing, Vol. 1 - Your Guide To The Man-Thing
The "Essential" series is the best way to get acquainted with some of those rare, less known, comic book characters. In this volume, you'll get a whole host of Man-Thing's strangeness, linked to the swamps and the Nexus of Realities. If you like other weirdness, Man-Thing has never failed to deliver. You'll also be witness to characters like Howard The Duck, Damian Hellstrom, and more. It's really a classic and a true mix of superhero horror!
This volume is the first known compendium of Man-Thing's basic stories. It shows off all the ones that explained what he was about, and collects Savage Tales #1; Astonishing Tales #12-13; Adv Into Fear #10-19; Man-Thing #1-14; GS Man-Thing #1-2; Monsters Unleashed #5, 8-9.
Marvel Monster #6: Tigra - Meow.
The world of horror has always been riddled with secret and supernatural races living among the human population; although they've done this for a myriad of purposes, the usual goal has been to eventually subvert, or feed, off of them like cattle. And often, this is how you found out about vampires, werewolves, and, oh yes, the cat people.
Of the unique consequences of this cat-centric theme is the origin of Marvel's most feline and feral superheroes: Tigra. With an feline, savage appearance, she fulfills a spooky role in The Avengers, plying supple feats of agility with mostly human intelligence. At the same time, she's something you'd expect to see in monster movie.
Originally, Tigra was known as Greer Grant, born a human, gaining her powers primarily through a series of experimentations; the result gave her many of powers she has today, but she still looked human. What changed for Greer was the day Dr. Tumulo saved her life by pushing her through a sorcerous process. It was then she revealed herself to be a member of the secret race of feline people living in the human world. In the end, Greer's form was altered and she became "The Tigra", a legendary champion of their species.
Striped orange with a long tail and black, tabby marks, Tigra represents the most wild and similarly inhuman-looking of superheroes to date. Her hands and feet are topped with raking claws, while her eyes carry the traditional "cat's eye" trademark. As The Tigra, Greer is said to have two souls: one is human; the other is of her adopted people.
Originally Greer first appeared in Claws of the Cat #1 (1972); she assumed her Tigra form in Giant-Sized Creatures #1 (1974).
Tigra Nemesis Build A Figure - A Rare Chance To Find Tigra
You might wonder about Tigra and her importance to the superhero genre; of all past indications, her adventures seem to generate more readers when she's part of a team-up or supergroup. To that end, she's been an Avenger for the majority of her existence, and seems to be serving as "eye candy". Due to this fractional demographic, it's usually difficult to find collector's items featuring this feline lady.
This Hasbro Action Figure is on of the "Marvel Legends" lines, of which you can find quite a few rare characters. And in this case, they immortalized Tigra in their Nemesis - Build A Figure Collection. So what you'll get is Tigra at 6" height and another part of a larger villainous character. If you manage to acquire the entire set, you'll have the entire super-villain, which is a bonus. I recommend this mostly for collectors and not for younger kids below 4 years of age. (There are small parts).
Marvel Monster #5: Sasquatch - The Beast From The Great White North
In the past, the world has whispered of him, a legendary beast that walked upright like a man, but fully a creature of the wild. His most notorious trait was that he left behind a huge footprint, embedded in the mud. The humans called him Bigfoot; in the Himalayas, his nickname was the Abominable Snowman. And if you're Native American, you reverently spoke of him as Sasquatch.
...And somehow, in the hierarchy of unexplained phenomena, Marvel Universe turned this mythical being into a superhero, possessing a young scientist, Walter Langkowski, with the powers of one of the legendary beasts. In his early years, Walter thought it was the result of his gamma radiation experiment near the Arctic Circle and the Aurora Borealis effect that caused his condition. What really happened was that his work tore a rift into the realm of The Great Beasts, allowing his body to become a host of the entity, Tanaraq.
Sasquatch (as far as monsters go) lives up to his legendary status of previous times; the only caveat with Walter is that he doesn't hide as much from the public. He stands around twelve feet in height and is as wide as two to three men with a body covered in thick, long fur and cuffs of mane along his neck, wrists, and ankles. Of the monstrous-looking good guys, the one advantage he has over the others is that he can usually turn back to his human form.
Sasquatch first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #120 (1979), and usually associates with the Canadian super-group, Alpha Flight.
Sasquatch at 6" - And The Shaman, too.
If you want to join in on the fun collecting of Comic Book Action Figures, you can pick up this really awesome edition of two of Alpha Flights members, Sasquatch and Shaman. Their biggest contribution to the comic book universe is their participation in the Canadian super-group, Alpha Flight. As the mystical beast, Dr. Walter Langkowski assumes the role of muscle and intimidating monster.
Sasquatch comes in as a 6" figure while Shaman is 5". Both of these form part of the Alpha Flight collection which is composed of Vindicator, Northstar, Aurora, Shaman, Puck, Sasquatch and Snowbird. Ideally, this is good for all ages. If you're 5, you can play; if you're 45, you can watch them grow in value as part of your collection.
Marvel Monster #4: The Beast - He's Blue, Furry, and...Smart!
Few of the superheroes of today are born with their abilities. Most often they come to their great powers by accident, technology, or skill. And everyone once in a while, with the change to a heroic life also comes the drawback of a curse that won't go away.
Such is life of Hank McCoy, a respected intellectual of biochemistry and genetic research. Although Hank was born mostly human looking, he hands and feet carried some aberrant traits. Basically, he was a mutant and they were over-sized, the condition giving him great agility and strength. Still, though, this allowed him to pass for human as he was recruited into The X-Men (Uncanny X-Men vol.1, #1, 1963).
But Hank's story didn't end with his uniqueness; if things had gone on like this, he may have been able to hide within the folds of humanity. Unfortunately for Hank, he evolved, and not in the easiest of ways. Sprouting blue fur and sharp canines and claws, Hank's eventual appearance turned him into what we know of as The Beast.
To this day, Beast remains one of the smartest scientist in the world, but has always carried the stigma of a...well, beast. He is often feared by the public, foremost for being a mutant, but almost equally for his horrible appearance.
The Beast from Toy Biz (1993-94) - Collectible from the 90's
One of the original X-Men, The Beast started off as a normal-looking, somewhat over-sized fellow until he mutated into the blue-furred creature we know of today. Here, we have Uncanny X-Men Toy Line produced in 1993-94, which showcased Beast and many of his other mutants. This is a collectible item.
:The Beast here is part of the X-Men 5 inches tall action figure line and comes with an Official Marvel Universe Trading Card. Made by the company, Toy Biz, it is no longer in production
Marvel Monster #3: The Thing - Cosmic Rays, Rocks, and All Heart
UFO Horror has invaded our media successfully for decades. In many horror movies and books (especially from the likes of authors such as H.P. Lovecraft), our most fear-inspiring monsters come from outer space; they can be strange, gibbering creatures bent on stealing our minds or ruthless aliens plotting to take over the world.
And sometimes-once in awhile-they can be homemade like Ben Grimm, The Thing.
Transformed by the effects of cosmic radiation into a gigantic, misshapen mass of hardened rock, Ben, an experienced space pilot, was caught in the deadly storm with Reed Richards and Sue and Johnny Storm. Miraculously they all survived, gaining strange, mysterious powers; unfortunately for Ben, his other-worldly form also made him a monster.
The plight and despair of The Thing is that he is lumbering, destructive creature incapable of the amenities of a normal human. Although he stands as high as anyone else, his body is composed of strange, orange, uncompromising rock formations, surrounding his frame. Only his blue eyes appear human, and the side effect of the condition is that he weighs a quarter to a half a ton.
Although The Thing in his early career often fell into depression over his inhumanity and the level of fear and panic he caused in the public eye, Reed Richards, now known as Mr. Fantastic, managed to recruit him into The Fantastic Four, where he would eventually find acceptance.
Marvel Blu-Ray Three Pack - A Double-Dose of The FF
If you've never gotten to see any of the Fantastic Four movies, you should purchase this Blu-Ray Three Pack; it comes with both FF movies and adds in the additional Daredevil film with Ben Affleck. Take a look at the price and if you divide it up, that's a pretty fair price for purchase.
Each movie stands on its own, serving as a collectible item or simply a night of superhero movie viewing. The Fantastic Four movie is an origin flick; The second film: FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer introduces you to that cosmic herald of Galactus and his wondrous powers. To finally top off the evening, you'll have the third film, Daredevil, which draws you into Hell's Kitchen with Matt Murdock, Elektra, and Bullseye.
Marvel Monster #2: Nightcrawler - Puff...in a cloud of smoke.
From a sightless perspective, there is no hero more benevolent and kind than Kurt Wagner, a devout German Catholic who often bears testament to his faith even in the most hopeless moments of crisis. Born a mutant, he is an inspiration to all people, having served the greater good of society since he was first recruited by Professor Xavier in Giant-Sized X-Men Annual #1 (May 1975). Kurt is, in all possible ways, an upstanding, model citizen.
Let's rephrase that: all except the most important one; the one that counts. That's because Kurt is a monster, demonic and horrible. To those of us settling our gaze on the wavering shadow with glowing yellow eyes, we then understand why he is best known by his hellish codename, Nightcrawler, a dweller in darkness and tenebrous places.
As far as appearance can be measured, Nightcrawler ranks worse than others, barely belonging out on a Halloween night. When seen - or almost spotted - that's when the screams begin; he is a blue-black skinned creature sporting a forked, prehensile tail, pointed ears, and hauntingly, yellow-hued orbs. Added to his agile-framed, hunched saunter, he leaps with two-toed hands and feet, using his favorite mode of transportation: teleportation. In the flash of dark smoke Nightcrawler disappears, leaving the smell of sulphur and brimstone in his wake.
Marvel Monster #1: The Ghost Rider - The Spirit of Vengeance
Born of hellfire and terrible retribution (Marvel Spotlight #5, 1972), one creature from the Marvel Universe takes no prisoners and battles for Halloween in a class of his own. In the dead of the night, only he speeds through the tormented streets on a monstrous motorcycle composed entirely of flame with an engine sputtering the screams of the dying. Those who see him look away; hoping he will pass them by, they fear the judgment of The Ghost Rider.
To his fans, Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle daredevil from the carnival circuit, is the usual incarnation of Ghost Rider. At an early age, a pact with the demon Mephisto joined his soul with a powerful entity known as Zarathos. And although he has passed the curse to others from time to time, somehow the Rider returns to him. (The human hosts of Danny Ketch, and recently a woman named Alejandra in the Marvel Fear Itself event have also been Ghost Rider.)
When it comes to being scared on a dark, chilling night, Ghost Rider fills the imagination with visions of the dead and supernatural forces; he has no equal. Aside from the Hellcycle that burns a flaming trail wherever it rides, Ghost Rider himself is a haunting figure, a skeletal being adorned in a black leather motorcycle outfit with immolated chains. The only thing missing is his helmet, for Ghost Rider's head is a flaming, grinning skull.
Thanks for dropping by. If you catch a sniff of a monster coming down the street (one from Marvel Comics), then feel free to show and tell. I know I'm interested. Your critiques are also welcome.