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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Monsters on the Prowl #28 - The Escape of Monsteroso

A 13-page Kirby/Ayers reprint from AMAZING ADVENTURES #5 (1961) leads off this issue. In this one, the owner of a failing circus hears about a report of a space-ship crashing in Africa (with some rather racist comments from the news announcer mentioning it). He decides to go down and see if he can find a lead attraction for his circus out there, and finds a giant monster, apparently dead, which he ships to New York to sell to a museum, using all his showman talents to come up with the name "Monsteroso" (now we know why his circus was failing). In the museum, Monsteroso suddenly comes to life and goes through New York, including a trip through Central Park, digging from the lake to the zoo, where he examines (and puts down unharmed) several animals.



(I love those weird panels Kirby would throw in, where he had the word balloons coming out of a shot of the Earth, which in his world-view apparently had many other planets, including ringed giants, in close proximity)

As the police use try to use gas on him, he climbs the UN building and sits up there, until they manage to shoot him down with a drugged harpoon and he falls into the river. They're quite proud of their ability to defeat the alien menace. Then, in an "ironic twist" (as the caption calls it), a giant space-ship comes down and out emerge mountain sized aliens, revealing Monsteroso to be a lost curious infant.

Decent story, the plot works a lot better here than it did when it was re-cycled for one of the weakest issues of FF a few years later.

The cover is also taken from AMAZING ADVENTURES #5, a modified version of the splash page, with the added art on the right side being done by Steve Ditko.

Published 1974

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Huh. I've never noticed the world balloons/whole earth trick before. I'll keep an eye out.

I was thinking today about how Kirby (especially later) would do close, close *close* shots of peoples faces, with only the eyes and a word balloon.

It's that Kirby sense of scope, going from Microcosm to Macrocosm.

bob said...

The "world balloons" thing is pretty common in the monster stories. I think I saw it in a few early 1960s super-hero stories as well, but I'm not sure. I'll try to remember to note any I come across.

I love the extreme close-ups as well. I think early one he used them mostly for undeniably cosmic characters like Odin or the Watcher, but later seemed to use them for almost anyone.