by Rob Richardson
Who doesnâ€™t love a Creature Feature? Iâ€™ll be honest, I loved writing Howâ€™d You Like Your Monsters?
firing up the generatorsâ€¦ It was my favourite column of last year and one that let you guys in on something that Iâ€™ve always loved; monsters.
tachyons acceleratingâ€¦ Be they ghouls, goblins or ghosts, no monster is too scary, too frightening or too sinister.
configuringâ€¦ Thereâ€™s something inherent in all of us that means we like a good scare.
broadcasting in 3..2..1.. Millions of us go to the cinema each year to stare in awe at the screen and consume hour upon hour of horror and science fiction movies.
Itâ€™s all about escapism and the fantastic. Nowhere is it more prominent than in comic books. Some of the greatest superheroes are hideous contortions of nature, cursed, bitten or mutated. Some of our most revered villains cannot look at themselves in the mirror in fear of what may look back.
While I enjoyed HYLYM? I always thought the ending was lacking somewhat so here I present to you my list of my favorite comic book monsters and where to enjoy some of their best adventures.
This is my own personal preference so please donâ€™t try and force me into a telepod with designs on transforming me into the next Seth Brundle if you disagree â€“ do feel free to comment below though and offer up your own suggestions!
Â #5: Mars Attacks!
â€śAck! Ack! Ack!â€ť Martian Ambassador, Mars Attacks! (1996)
Mars Attacks originally began as a Topps trading card set released in 1962. The cards detailed a Martian invasion, little, green men with skeletal faces and over-sized brains attacking the Earth in B-movie UFOâ€™s and other alien technology; from outrageous machines to weapons that mutated insects to enormous size.
Wallace Wood was the featured artist and his iconic creature designs rocketed the collectables to cult status.
In 1996, Tim Burton directed a movie based on the card set. While receiving mixed reviews from the critics, Burton fans loved the movie and Mar Attacks collectors thought it a brilliant realization of Woodâ€™s original vision.
Last year, IDW released an ongoing series detailing the further adventures of the Martian invaders. Issue one had a staggering 56 variant covers, each detailing a different card based upon Woodâ€™s original art.
This year sees their Mars Attacks crossover event as the Martians wreak havoc on KISS, the Transformers and even Popeye!
Mars Attacks #1
Mars Attacks Popeye
Â #4: Hellboy
â€śIf thereâ€™s trouble, all us freaks have is each other.â€ť Abe Sapien, Hellboy (2004)
Being a big, red demon whose real name Anung Un Rama means Beast of the Apocalypse should probably bring with it a host of stigma but Hellboy takes it all in his stride.
Mike Mignolaâ€™s creation has become one of the most loved creations of recent years. Rather than a menacing demonic figure, Mignola gave his monster a heart, a bad attitude and a great sense of humour. Ever the reluctant hero, Hellboy has braved supernatural threat after supernatural threat for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
Many of Hellboyâ€™s adventures have a Lovecraftian feel while others are rooted in folklore and myth. It seems Mignolaâ€™s character isnâ€™t bound to any fixed notion of religion or theology. In Hellboyâ€™s world, all manner of monster and demon exist and thatâ€™s what makes it so much fun!
San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2
Hellboy in Hell #1
#3: The Wolf Man
â€śThe wolf bit you, didnâ€™t he?â€ť Maleva, The Wolf Man (1941)
Lycanthropy has been tackled in cinema from the early ages and many of you know how I have cited The Wolf Man as one of the elements that drew me into a love of horror and genre film.
Perhaps it is the duality of the creature – the transformation from man to were-creature (most notably a wolf) â€“ that attracts me. Lon Chaney Jrâ€™s performance as the tortured Larry Talbot is sometimes difficult to watch as he comes to terms with the realization that he will become a murdering beast on the full moon.
I love the monstrousness of the creature too. Obviously far less sexual than vampires, thereâ€™s something primal about werewolves. There many origins can sometimes be as wonderful as the creature themselves. Whether it be the secret experiments conducted upon Warren Griffith that transformed him into a lycanthrope to serve with the Creature Commandos or the bizarre effects of John Jamesonâ€™s mission to the Moon that forever made him the hero Man-Wolf, you can be sure that our heroes will need more than just silver to get through to the next panelâ€¦
The Amazing Spider-Man #41
The Astounding Wolf-Man #1
â€śâ€¦itâ€™s possible that Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again.â€ť Kyohei Yamane-hakase, Godzilla (1954)
Godzilla launched a new era for Japanese film as Ishiro Hondaâ€™s allegory for the nuclear devastation on Nagasaki and Hiroshima shocked and overwhelmed every nation where it was seen.
American nuclear weapons test give rise to a mutated, dinosaur-like creature in the ocean that proceeds to destroy whatever may lie in its path. Taken at face value, Godzilla is extremely entertaining but look deeper and you can see the menace that it represents. Nuclear power is a dangerous, untamed and not fully understood force, much like Godzilla itself.
Godzilla spawned multiple sequels and remakes as well as a popular cartoon series. It also gave birth to a new genre of film; kaiju. These monster movies gave rise to Mothra, Anguirus and Rodan. Godzilla was first handled by Marvel and then made its way to Dark Horse before finally settling at the IDW publishing house where it has continued to battle both humanity and giant robot fighting lizards ever since!
Godzilla: King of the Monsters #1
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1
#1: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
â€śI LOVE BEING A TURTLE!â€ť Michaelangelo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird originally created the Turtles to pay the bills and clear some of their debts â€“ little did they anticipate the success of their mutated super team.
Four household turtles that were irrevocably altered by exposure to alien mutagen and tutored in the ways of ninjutsu by their rodent sensei, Splinter, the brothers were named after Renaissance painters. Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and (my favorite!) Raphael fight crime in the New York City nights, while also fending off attacks from aliens, dinosaurs and Oroku Saki; their fearsome archenemy who became known as The Shredder.
They rose to fame in the 1980â€™s when the animated series grabbed the hearts and imaginations of kids the world over. Multiple iterations later see the Turtles grab the small screen limelight again as Nickelodeon proves that the brothers remain as popular now as they were then.
In comics, they debuted under Mirage Studios in 1984 and were revived by Image Comics in 1996. IDW gave the Turtles yet another chance but this time had the foresight to bring back Kevin Eastman as part of the creative team. This attention and love for the product shows as the Turtles enjoy a renewed popularity and continue to thrill a whole new generation of comic book fans and children.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Mirage, May 1984)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (IDW, 2011)
Monsters, robots, dinosaurs and zombiesâ€¦well thatâ€™s where it starts. Each week Rob Richardson, ourÂ ROBotiXÂ brings you the sci-fi, horror and macabre of comics, movies and TV with theÂ eXpertComics.comÂ style. He will also be doing con coverage, movie reviews and even classic sci-fi movie reviews from the beginning of the genre to present.Â Join us here for his preview columnÂ Circuit Breakers, review piece Mega BytesÂ and also his more focused topical column ROBotiX of courseâ€¦
eXpect eXcellence. We are eXPress News on eXpertComics.com
Column : INVASION | Columnist: Rob Richardson | Twitter â€“Â @robbrichardson | Email â€“Â ROBotiX@expertcomics.com
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