“But now . . . he is a Giant Monster. Still Hungry. Still loves people.”
Colonel Don Maggert just wanted to get home to planet Earth but a vicious colony of space parasites had a different agenda and when they were done, Don was a hungry, raging giant monster.
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by Steve Niles
by Nat Jones
Graphic Novel (collection), Horror Fiction,
Horror, Giant Monsters, Space Station, Space Shuttle, Parasites, Giant Robot, Nazi Scientists, General, Army, NASA, Secret Service Agents,
Colonel Don Maggert, Astronaut on his first solo space flight but worried about his marriage at home.
Monica Maggert, Don’s wife and Paul’s lover. She seems uncertain if she wants the marriage or the NASA boy.
Paul, A NASA official and Monica’s lover.
General Gorgos, A blow hard general who reports to the president.
Dr. Scott, Official at Mission Control, in charge of the last few hours of Don’s mission.
Hector, Seventeen year old boy, brother to Korey.
Korey, Ten year old boy, brother to Hector.
Dr. Hans Fenstermacher, An old former Nazi scientist of the Third Reich and designer of the Super-Attack-Bot.
Agent Thompson, Men in black, possibly Secret Service, NSA or FBI, we don’t know.
Agent Fialkov, Men in black, possibly Secret Service, NSA or FBI, we don’t know.
Don Maggert is a space shuttle pilot who gets the assignment of a lifetime. But his marriage is falling apart, he just gave up drinking and he’s hungry for some pizza. He just wants to get home.
“I’m young, not retarded.”
Which is unfortunate as he’s attacked by a fast infiltrating parasite the destroys the shuttle and hurdles him down to earth where he lands in the ocean. What emerges is no longer solely Don Maggert and no longer capable of thinking like a human.
It encounters a shark and begins eating, which spills blood, drawing more sharks which provides a feast for the Magget-Thing.
It grows. Quickly.
When it rises out of the sea, it’s a giant, a monstrous parody of Don Maggert and it’s hungry. It finds that people make the best finger food.
However, an old military General is not going to just let this monster eat the nation out of house and home. He visits a genius forced to be reclusive at Area 51.
The scientist, a young darling of the third Reich in his youth, has a giant robot that he can use against the monster.
It’s monster against robot, but then a startling discovery is made. The goo off the skin of the monster has tremendous healing and life saving abilities.
Originally published as a two-part comic, Giant Monster holds both parts and the script for book one at the end.
This graphic novel collection is a romp. Giant Monster focuses on plot and art to tell the story. This is little character development although there is attention to setting.
Script writer Steve Niles has already proven himself adept at creating a horror story with Thirty Day of Night, Remains and Freaks of the Heartland.
Mr. Niles tells a good one here, adhering to standard giant monster movie conventions: The monster (Maggert) arrives and threatens, a new monster is created or arrives which is a greater threat (Super-Attack-Bot) and the original monster redeems itself by destroying the new monster and saving the people.
This is the basic plot of many Godzilla and Gamera movies after the first one.
The characterization is thin in this story. The characters are stock — the blustering general, the plucky kids, the cheating and conflicted wife — but despite this limitation they were used well.
“Perhaps you could explain what you’ve discovered to the less cranial endowed.”
Perhaps the most interesting characters were the men in black. They weren’t the usually storybook CIA or NSA — they had humor, grim as it was. I loved the scene where they made bets on the outcome.
The art work was actually good but it was weak in service to this story. Nate Jones had several opportunities to go all-out gross and horrific and didn’t rise to the occasion. Maggert was the monster resembled Marvel Comic’s The Thing too much. From the script, this was what the monster should have looked like:
…a mish-mash of fatty pustules and borrowed flesh along with all manner of bone and odd fleshy debris.
Even scenes of human carnage — like a man bitten in half is a little too cartoony and glossed over to have a powerful effect.
Nat’s people, particularly Dr. Hans Fenstermacher are interesting. Yes, they too are cartoony but they’re not carrying the shock value of the comic.
He excelled, however, with a masterful Nazi robot. It felt steampunky with overtones — a gaunt, skull like face, with a field helmet — that hinted at Nazi metaphors better than the swastikas that they forgot to paint over.
Giant Monster is an enjoyable romp, transforming the giant monster movies of yesteryear into a comic today.
This is a color comic of digest size.
If you enjoyed Giant Monster you should try 30 Days of Night Omnibus by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith or City of Others by Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson. You can also check out Steve Niles Omnibus for a bunch of smaller hard to find horror stories.