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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Where Monsters Dwell #7 - Rommbu

The lead story in this issue is reprinted from TALES TO ASTONISH #19 (1961), a 13-page monster story by Kirby/Ayers. As is not atypical in these stories, the colour of the monster is changed from the original reddish-brown to green.

This story is about a geologist, John Hunter, who turned to crime and was sentenced to life in prison. On his way to jail, his train was stopped by a UFO. He escapes and hides aboard the ship as the alien, Rommbu, talks with the people.

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The people greet Rommbu in peace, but he announces he's from a warlike planet and an invasion is on the way. Now, as an aside, humanity in these stories demonstrates the worst judgment in the world. Every time there's a peaceful alien, they assume it's warlike, every time it's warlike they greet it in peace. What up with that?

Anyway, Rommbu takes off to wait for humanity's reply, and finds his stowaway. Determining that the man was indeed a criminal, he decides to trust Hunter as willing to betray humanity and demands a safe place to land so he can recharge his ship. Hunter leads him to a dormant volcano, which conveniently he knew from his geological past was about to erupt. Humanity is spared, and Hunter's brother realizes that he must have sacrificed his life.

A fun variation on a classic theme, and Rommbu's a great looking monster.

The cover is a Kirby/Ayers piece from TALES TO ASTONISH #19, slightly modified with some new bits added among the fleeing crowds, shooting cops and background buildings.

Published 1971

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