Real Name: Gargantua
Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional (Otherworld) magical creation ("rock troll")
Occupation: Guardian of the path to Camelot
Group Membership: None
former servant of Gurien, Lord of Stones
Enemies: Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Maegog
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Otherworld
First Appearance: Hulk Comic#49/2 (February 6, 1980)
Powers/Abilities: Gargantua stood somewhere in the region of fifteen to twenty feet tall and possessed immense strength, allowing him to lift and throw huge boulders as if they weighed nothing. He was extremely durable, surviving a fall of hundreds of feet without a scratch, and since the centuries old Merlyn claimed to have created Gargantua in his youth, it seems Gargantua was, if not immortal, exceptionally long-lived. He may have been able to summon / create a huge hammer from the ether (see comments).
History: (Hulk Comic#54/2 (fb) - BTS) - When Merlyn was young he took the bones of a whale and fashioned himself a giant, vaguely man-like, creature. Bringing it to life, he named the being he had created Gargantua.
Centuries later, while Merlyn was absent, the fallen Walker, Gurien, Lord of the Stones, lured Gargantua into his service, promising him victory and the taste of man-flesh.
(Hulk Comic#49) - As the Black Knight flew over a chasm on his way to Camelot, he was confronted by the giant form of Gargantua, standing astride either side of the rift. The huge figure announced that he served Gurien, Lord of Stones, who had forbidden passage to all. With this he threw the enormous boulder he was holding, sending it smashing into pieces in the depths below and narrowly missing the Knight and his winged steed. The Knight swiftly spurred Valinor down and between the giant's legs, then swung round and stabbed Excalibur into Gargantua's haunch. This caused the colossus to lose his footing, and sent him screaming into the abyss. As he struck bottom, the impact shook the mountains around, causing an avalanche of stones which swept over the Knight and his horse. One struck the Knight's helm, knocking him from his mount and carrying him along with the hail of rock down to the bottom of the crevasse.
Gargantua soon found the Knight, mostly buried under the rocks. Gloating over his fallen foe, the titan raised a massive hammer above his head, and prepared to finish off the helpless figure before him.
(Hulk Comic#50/2) - Gargantua brought the hammer crashing down but it shattered above the Knight's body. Terrified by this sorcery, Gargantua cowered as the Knight awoke and threatened him with his magical might, demanding to know the way to Camelot. Though the goliath seemed cooperative, behind his back he had lifted up a slab of rock, which he suddenly hurled at the Knight, only for it to pass through leaving it's target unharmed. Gargantua cowered in abject fear, begging for his life, and the Knight sliced through a nearby tree with his blade. Fashioning the downed trunk into a massive log, he had Gargantua hold it over his shoulders and behind his head, then tied the titan's hands to it. Then with Gargantua in tow, the Black Knight set off for Camelot.
(Hulk Comic#51/2) - Arriving at the fabled castle, the Knight was met with suspicion by the defenders, who found his declaration of his heroic deeds unbelievable until Gargantua spoke up, confirming the power of the one who had vanquished him. As the Black Knight was welcomed, Gargantua was sent to the castle's strongest cell.
(Hulk Comic#54/2) - A few hours later Merlyn had reached Camelot, with the advanced forces of Necromon close behind. With the castle now besieged, the mage discussed their perilous situation with some of the defenders, and was overheard by Gargantua. Reaching out through his cell bars, the giant asked if the mage had forgotten him. Stating he had not forgotten his creation, Merlyn asked the behemoth how he came to be a prisoner, and was informed of Gargantua's alliance with Gurien. The magician then asked the chained goliath if he would redeem his blemished soul and earn his freedom. At that very moment the gates of Camelot were sundered, and enemy forces flooded in. It seemed that the castle would be overrun, but a giant shadow suddenly blocked the invaders' path. Gargantua, freed by Merlyn, ripped through the attackers, flinging them bodily aside as he made for their leader, the giant troll Maegog. Though Maegog towered over most beings, he was half Gargantua's size, and the defender lifted his foe up in a crushing bear hug. While Gargantua tried to twist Maegog's head off, the struggling villain slashed at Gargantua's wrist with his sword, freeing himself. Enraged Gargantua raised a huge hammer and charged his opponent. Maegog snatched up a bow and let fly a shaft which pierced Gargantua's throat. Even as he died, Gargantua's momentum carried him forward, and in death he still claimed victory, crushing Maegog to death beneath his corpse.
Comments: Created by Parkhouse, Neary and Stokes.
Gargantua is described in Hulk Comic#51 as a rock troll. He doesn't really
look much like the other trolls seen in the saga (such as
Gagol, Gog and
Maegog). Presumably this is either down to him being a rock troll,
or to his artificial origins.
He was magically created by Merlyn, and I would ASSume that would make his origins and composition different from other trolls. Perhaps he was just called a rock troll b/c he was a monstrous creature living amongst rocky mountains.
Gargantua makes it clear in his initial appearance that he eats human flesh (he is not a cannibal, since humans are not his species).
As was all too common in the otherwise excellent Black Knight story, there were a number of (mainly artistic) inconsistencies from issue to issue. Gargantua's size fluctuated somewhat through the saga - when he first appears he is truly immense, towering over the Knight and his horse Valinor, but while he remains huge after this, he is never quite so large again. At the end of the story in Hulk Comic#49, Gargantua was about to squash the Black Knight with a large rock, but by the start of the next issue this has transformed into a hammer. I've written it above as if it was a hammer in both issues. Given that he suddenly produces a similar hammer out of nowhere during his fight with Maegog (it's not the kind of thing the normal sized defenders of Camelot would have to hand, and his first hammer had been destroyed), he might have had the power to create these weapons out of thin air.
The power that saved the Knight from Gargantua's hammer and thrown rock in Hulk Comic#50 was a dragon stone he had recently acquired. It makes sense that Gargantua would be scared of sorcery, having been created (and presumably disciplined) by Merlyn.
Gargantua's corpse was seen lying on the bridge of Camelot at Merlyn's feet in Hulk Comic#55.
Gargantua has no known connections to
Top image: Hulk Comic#49, p6, pan1
Face shot: Hulk Comic#49, p6, pan2
Gargantua's death: Hulk Comic#54, p7, pan 7
Hulk Comics#49-51 (February 6, 1980 - February 20, 1980)
Hulk Comic#54 (12 March 1980)
Last updated: 09/24/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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