Monday, October 27, 2014

Guardian To Astonish: The Coming of Groot!

It's hard to imagine this creature will become a future Guardian of the Galaxy and sought-after action figure, but late 1960 saw the first appearance of the one and only:

Groot had far more hostile intentions toward the human race in the '60s, and clearly a more extensive vocabulary. But, what's with this bold human who's standing in his way defying him? Meet Leslie Evans, who's driving home with his judgmental wife, Alice, who has a wandering eye and not much sensitivity toward her biologist husband:

You and I know we've just seen the arrival of Groot, of course, though Alice really isn't interested in mysteries this evening. It takes a few days before the odd things happening around town pique her curiosity enough to report them to Leslie:

We're all probably hoping right now that Groot will want to stomp all over Alice at some point in this story. But let's focus on Leslie, who arrives at the forest site and discovers a monster to stagger the senses: Groot! And the mystery of the missing wooden items from town is horrifyingly, clatteringly answered:

Once the sheriff gets an earful from other witnesses, the town is quick to mobilize against the approaching monster. But when Groot faces down the townspeople, they discover that they're doomed. Doomed, I tell you:

The story of whether Groot, the monarch of Planet X, ever faced off with Kurrgo, the master of Planet X, is a thriller surely waiting to be told by an eager Marvel writer someday. Let's hope we're all still around to read it, because Groot has terrifying plans for us all:

Good grief! It's not enough that the people of this town will be abducted to another world and mercilessly experimented on by the tree people of Planet X--no, Groot plans to menace these humans for the duration of the entire trip! Assuming they survive the vacuum of space for more than a few seconds out of Earth's atmosphere, that is. On the bright side, no one will shed any tears at seeing Alice suffocate in mid-sentence.

But, look--Leslie steps forward with a plan of action!

Jeez, Leslie's plan of action apparently comes down to bailing, just when everyone is making a last stand against Groot! Leslie could have at least told them that their bullets aren't likely to hit any "vital organs" in a tree. But whatever is tried against Groot fails--and Groot begins to put his terrible plan into motion, literally:

And when things are at their most desperate--doomed, I tell you, doomed!--who do you think chimes in with her usual words of encouragement and support? Yes, Alice, who makes Emily Gilmore seem like June Cleaver by comparison:

It's to Leslie's credit that he perseveres, and soon he's ready with a shocking plan--the defeat of Groot!

We probably don't even want to know how Leslie bred an army of termites in only 24 hours--that's a lot of termite viagra. As for this story's moral, it appears to be two-fold. First, if you choose being a sheriff as your occupation, you're such a loser... and secondly, if you outsmart a menace from outer space, you'll become catnip to your girl, who will suddenly forget about your shortcomings because you're now a status symbol for her to show off:

By that grin on Leslie's face, it looks like Alice may find her new life as a lab assistant and gopher not all it was cracked up to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"...for I am Groot, overlord of all the timber in the galaxy" - surely one of the best lines ever written in the history of comicdom :)