For the first of my Marvel Comics sculptural sketches, here’s a character from just before the Marvel Age of Comics officially began: FIN FANG FOOM!
Between the Golden Age superhero boom of the 40s and their resurgence in the Silver Age of the 60s, superheroes in the 50s were scarce. EC Comics had much success with a line of action and horror titles, but the other publishers conspired to put them out of business and created the Comics Code Authority, a restrictive censorship agency that forbade most of the horror stories in which EC specialized.
What the code permitted, along with tamer fare, were fanciful monsters. Proto-Marvel Comics, under the authorship of writer/editor Stan Lee and top artist Jack Kirby, came up with dozens of these bizarre, giant monsters, many of whom wore modest boxing trunks no matter how outlandish their anatomy. One of the best loved of these monsters was FIN FANG FOOM who appeared in STRANGE TALES #89 in 1961. Partially it was Jack Kirby’s bizarre, Jabberwocky-like dragon design that stuck him in people’s memories. Mostly it was the name.
Fin Fang Foom has appeared many times since in mainstream Marvel Comics, sometimes as the talkative giant he was originally, sometimes as a moronic brute (in NEXTWAVE he was obsessed with putting his victims in his pants), and he once filled in for the mythological Midgard Serpent kin THOR. Meant as a disposable antagonist in a short story fifty years ago, Fin Fang Foom still makes many fans smile at the mention of his name.
Please check back tomorrow, and all month long, when I present another of the Marvel Universe’s giants- So to speak.