Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Starve a Gorilla and Save the World

Orrgo is a pretty cool looking monster. Of course, pretty much every monster Jack Kirby ever drew is cool looking. That's part of what makes the monster stories Marvel produced in the 1950s and early 1960s so much fun. Kirby or Steve Ditko drew monsters that were simply fun.

Orrgo appeared in Strange Tales #90 (November 1961), with Kirby art enhancing a story written by Stan Lee (or possibly plotted by Lee with the script by Larry Lieber). As was typical of the monster stories, this one ends with a bizarre plot twist. This one happens to be a particularly clever one.

Orrgo is from a race with omnipotent mental powers--if they think it, it happens. So when they decide we puny humans have a nice planet, Orrgo volunteers to travel to Earth alone. His mental powers will be sufficient to conquer the planet.

He appears on Earth in the middle of a circus and his confidence in his powers are immediately justified. He scans the audience to learn the language, announces he is taking over, then proceeds to defeat the army, encase Washington DC in a block of ice, levitate New York City and then hypnotize every single human being in the world. Actually, I wonder why he bothered with the other stuff and didn't instantly jump to the hypnotize everyone part. But I guess even Unconquerable Aliens need to have their fun.

Apparently, all that fun is also very tiring, because Orrgo then takes a nap. Remember that he's still hanging out at the circus. Remember also that hypnotized animal trainers are notoriously forgetful about feeding their animals. A cranky gorilla--not under control of Orrgo because the alien was tuned into human brain waves--starts looking for someone to blame after he misses dinner.

So the gorilla saves humanity because he wasn't feed properly. Take that, PETA!

It's a fun twist to a fun story. In less than a year, the Marvel Universe would have superheroes around to protect us from threats like this. But we really don't need superheroes, do we? We just need a cranky primate who knows how to throw a punch.

Next week, we join Popeye the Sailor in wondering how you fight a ghost when you can't actually punch them. It's a problem that even a cranky gorilla might not be able to solve.

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