Giant-Size Creatures #1 (1974)

Oddly enough, in 1974, Marvel published a line of comics that featured giant-sized creatures, but Giant-Size Creatures wasn’t one of them. In fact, none of the comics with Giant-Size in the title actually featured giants. Giant-Size Spider-Man didn’t feature a ten-foot tall arachnid, nor did Giant-Size Fantastic Four feature a giant Ben Grimm. Not even Giant-Size Avengers featured giant-sized characters, since Hank Pym was in his Yellowjacket phase at the time. Giant-Size Man-Thing came the closest to living up to its advertising, but this was a code-sponsored comic book, so you just had to use your imagination.
The giant-sized creatures mags were all reprints of crap ’50s giant mosnter stories, the kind where a lone scientist fought a giant creature like Thorggg, Greengrocer from the Planet Goggum. All of them – even the ones with nice art by Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby – were utter and complete crap. Your mileage may vary.
The really famous Giant-Size comic is of course X-Men, and for good reason. That was the beginning of a revolution, though we didn’t know it at the time, and many great new Marvel characters were introduced in that comic.
Another Marvel character appeared during the Giant-Size era, one a bit more obscure than the X-Men. In fact, she was a c-list character, the one and only Tigra.
The first thing that strikes me about reading this comic is just how abysmal Vince Colletta was as an inker. Colletta was the worst creator of his era. His scratchy inks and rushed style rendered almost every comic he inked into a murky mess of indistinct lines, awkward composition and missing backgrounds. He had the uncanny knack of making any artist look bad, and he was especially brutal when inking less-flashy artists like Don Perlin, who illustrated this issue. The artwork in this comic is just dreadful. It looks like a kids’ coloring book, it’s so flat and dull and lifeless. Colletta apparently got lots of assignments because he was fast and never missed deadlines. Marvel used him a lot in the ’70s, when their line expanded too quickly. And his work here is as bad as you might expect.
The art does bring one thing that’s giant-size: Tigra’s hair. Look at that cover. That’s big hair, folks. But what’s a cat-like heroine in a bikini without big hair? The big hair makes her cool, a fact that later creators forgot.
As for the story, well, Tigra used to be a human super-heroine called The Cat (part of Marvel’s short lived line of women’s lib comics, and no I’m not making that up), who gets kidnapped by evil agents of the evil spy agency Hydra and brought to a land of cat people who… well, yeah, you can guess the rest, she became the bikini’d cat babe.
It’s absolutely amazing how bizarre and insular ’70s Marvels can be sometimes. They were so clearly aimed at kids that it’s hard to resist their goofy and wacky charms sometimes. But as an adult, reading some of these comics reminds me of what taking drugs was like. Who needs reality when you have Tigra the were-woman? 

One Response to “Giant-Size Creatures #1 (1974)”

  1. Unknown Says:

    Vince Colletta was one of the greatest artists in comics. That is all.

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