Thursday, January 09, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 9: The Growth Machine

Speaking as we were the other day of vaguely Transylvanian, sorta-Frankensteinian doings, here's a guy who openly mocks not only science and humanity but also the basic tents of storytelling. Because if you build anything in Doctor Frankenstein's Castle, it's going to turn out astonishing! Or at least, in this case, suspenseful!

Panels from "I Created...Sporr! The Thing That Could Not Die!" in Tales of Suspense #11 (September 1960), script by Stan Lee (?), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers

This story is titled "I Created...Sporr! The Thing That Could Not Die!" and is about the guy who created Sporr, the thing that could not die. And to create Sporr, the thing that would not die, he needs some nifty KirbyTech. And here it is!

Of course, the usual posse of Atlas-Era talking-head townspeople are all riled up at the prospect. Business finance pundits suggest that these are signifiers that point to it being now economically sound to open a shop in town that sells pitchforks and flaming torches.

Let's fire up the patented Growth Machine! It's a good thing to experiment first on a tiny, weensy amoeba, tripling its size and creating a monster almost 1,500 micrometers (about one six-hundredth of an inch) wide! That thing will totally attack our dust mites and the heads of our pins!

Did I mention you should sell battering-ram logs at your pitchfork and flaming torch emporium? That would be a good sideline, this story seems to bear out. Also: don't interrupt your semi-mad scientist while he's in the middle of a delicate experiment.

Because you know what it means when a growth experiment on an amoeba runs unchecked and amok, right? Why not tell us, Atlas-era splash page?

So it's up to the man who created Sporr, the thing that would not die, to kill it. And he's baiting the trap with my favorite inducement of choice: pure, raw, unrefined, delicious crystal cane sugar! Mmmmm, I'd chase that guy with the sugar-coated...coat, anywhere!

And thus, Sporr, the thing that would not die, is quicksand! Well, this whole story gave me a sinking feeling, so I guess it's just apt and proper.

Perhaps the most suspenseful astonishing thing about Sporr, the thing that would not die, is that even though he would not die, he also would never come back, unlike many other of the Atlas monsters. Which means that somewhere on the -616, he's still at the bottom of a Transylvanian bog, struggling his way slowly, year by year, to climb out again. Hey Marvel, I've go a great idea for your next crossover saga: The Sporr War!

By the way, the giant amoeba whose name is Sporr and who would not die who appears in Thor #257 is not related to the one from TOS #11, despite the similar appearance and identical name. This one is a mutant version of the Fomalhau race of space aliens.

Later, this Sporr reformed and became one of the Thunder God's most valuable allies. In fact, he even co-starred with the Odinson for a short time in a team-up book. What, you don't remember all those issues of the comic book titled...Thor/Sporr?

1 comment:

Blam said...

Fun fact: Sporr is the mascot of The Colberr Reporr.