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That’s what one calls “getting cut down to size” – Fantasy Masterpieces #9

October 24, 2010

I realize that these old things are all reprints, but they still provide me with a chance to read some of the old Marvel material that (since I’m not a huge fan of big collected editions) I might not get a chance to see otherwise. This particular issue, as can be seen from the cover, has some of the old Golden Age Human Torch, Namor and Captain America stories. I don’t have much to say about them, but the Namor story — published in 1940, during World War II but before America’s entry — was interesting to me because of this one panel:

That’s cold, fish-man.

Also reprinted are some of the non-hero shorts from the early Silver Age titles like Journey into Mystery and its brethren. One, entitled “Mosteroso!”, from Tales to Astonish #18, really caught my eye, and not just for the Steve Ditko art:

Monsteroso hatches from an egg and immediately grows to an incredible size, big enough to judo chop mountains:

He strides across the surface of his world, master of all he surveys, knowing that, should he ever encounter any other living things, they will he be nothing compared to his might. Oceans are puddles to him. He can lift islands up like we’d lift a plate off of a table. Then something happens:

The great beast is done in by the deluge. But the real twist comes when we learn the cause of Monsteroso’s undoing:

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

It’s a neat little story told succinctly in just a few pages, and as an added bonus it has an example of the falling water bit from Ditko that I’ve noted before on this very blog.

Its brevity reminds me of the extraordinarily short vignettes that Rod Serling had on his lesser Zone knockoff, The Night Gallery. They’d sometimes be as brief as a minute, but they’d often outshine the dullsville main event. Monsteroso would have fit right in.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. neill permalink
    October 24, 2010 1:52 pm

    Those early Submariner stories are full of raging misanthropy–which makes you wonder how much of that came right out of Bill Everett’s heart (much as I love his artwork). Sometimes I think the same could be said of Jack Cole.

  2. paulschambers permalink
    July 21, 2015 4:55 pm

    I read the first Subby story recently and was frankly stunned. What I made of it when I read it as a kid I can’t recall but it’s brutal stuff.

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