Without a doubt, one of the strangest monsters ever created is Fin Fang Foom. From his goofy name, to the sheer hilarity of looking at an ancient Chinese dragon who takes the time to wear sexy purple underwear to cover his giant reptilian gila-cock, one can't help but be amazed by this rarely seen, but highly underrated beast of literature.
Jack Kirby and Stan Lee are known for creating nearly every Superhero in Marvel comics, but are hardly recognized for their magnum opus, FIN FANG FOOM! When monster comics were the "in" thing back in 1961, Lee and Kirby were coming up with all kinds of amazing monsters with names that were more like sound effects like "Groot, the Monster from Planet X", "Vandoom", "Kraaa!", "ZZatak!", and "Grottu!" But FIN FANG FOOM was a stroke of genius.
That they chose to create FIN FANG FOOM before Spider-Man, The Hulk, or even The Fantastic Four just hints at how important FIN FANG FOOM is to comic book culture as a whole.
The mere mention of his name still sends chills down my spine.
FIN FANG FOOM!
Once my friend Brad dragged me to a poetry reading series in Sacramento called Word Jam. He said I should bring something to read to an open microphone event they had just for fun, and this was what I was inspired to read in front of about 80 amazed coffee suckers:
Out of my way
FIN FANG FOOM
I offer no pity
My slumber of 1,000 years
I will smash
I dance on your corpses
There is no escape from
Surprisingly I didn't get a lot of applause after reading this poetic gem, and pretty much got dirty looks from everyone there. Had these folks actually had some sort of job, personal hygiene, or clothes from this decade, I would have been a bit more depressed, but thanks to the guidance of Fin Fang Foom, I was able to prevail.
Fin Fang Foom was a step above most giant monsters like Godzilla and King Kong 'cause he'd talk to you and boast before smashing you to bits. It's bad enough when cheezy monster movie hunters spout out the awful dialogue but when the monster himself is doing it, too, it's a rare treat indeed.
"I shall crush you like an insect. For I am FIN FANG FOOM!"
"I will take hold of you as I would A WORM!"
"Fin Fang Foom shall floow you ot the ends of the earth, if need be, to SLAY you!"
"I'll SMASH YOU do you hear -- SMASH YOU!"
"BEHOLD MY POWER, MORTALS. THINK YOU TO DEFY ME NOW?!?? HA HA HA HA!
Man this guy gabbed more than Dr. Doom!
Fin Fang Foom (or Triple F has he's called in dragon wrestling circles) first appeared in Strange Tales #89, and later popped up hear and there in other comics like Tales to Astonish and a fun issue of Thor. After coming to life in the short-lived IRON MAN cartoon, he was even lucky enough to be immortalized as an action figure.
Then, while appearing in a run in IRON MAN #271-285, he was killed once and for all, never to appear in comics again.
So as you remember the great life and contributions of FIN FANG FOOM, enjoy this reprint of his first appearance, courtesy of X-Entertainment (copyright 1961 Marvel Comics). Just click each page to read, and they'll pop up in a separate window for you to enjoy.
Make sure you keep an eye out for Fin Fang Foom snatching up The Great Wall of China and cracking it like a whip while laughing. That's one bad ass dragon, there!