GROTTU

Real Name: Grottu

Identity/Class: Animal mutate (see comments)

Occupation: Would-be Conqueror

Group Membership: Dr. Yamane; ants everywhere; "the Collector's collection" (Droom, Fin Fang Foom, Gargantus, Goom, Grogg, Groot, Rommbu, Taboo, Tragg, Vandoom's Monster)

Affiliations: (formerly) the Collector (Elder); Deviants (apparent creators);
Fizzle, Kro (Deviant);
Myrmidon, Rorgg, Two-Headed Thing, Dr. Yamane, Yucoya-Tzin

Enemies: Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Ulysses Bloodstone (AKA Frank), the Collector; Fantastic Four, Frank Johnson, Thor, Godpack (Anak, Bellam, Blitziana, Loga, Luminor, Zephra)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: King of the Insects, Myrmidon, "Demon" (translation)

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
                                    (formerly) the Museum of the Monstrous and Strange, SoHo, New York
                                   (formerly) the Negative Zone;
                                   (formerly) the Collector's zoo, beneath Canada;                                    (formerly) Mombasa, Kenya, Africa;

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#73 (February 1960)

 

Powers: Grottu is the size of an elephant and possesses superhuman strength and durability to an uncertain degree. It can communicate and command other ants, forming a massive legion of army ants, which can devour everything in its path. Grottu also possesses sufficient mental powers to communicate with people.
In addition, Grottu can apparently survive the destruction of his physical body, transferring his mind into a suitable host and manipulating that being, under certain circumstances.
Grottu briefly possessed Myrmidon and full utilization of his powers during that time period.

Height: 25' (standing on hind legs)
Weight: 2.1 tons

History: (Stramge Tales I#73 (fb) /(Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 (fb)-BTS) - Sometime in the mid-1950s, the Deviant Kro, posing as a Soviet agent, conducted nuclear testing in a desert north of Mombasa in hopes of creating monsters to replenish his thinning ranks of Deviant mutates. Shortly thereafter, natives of Mombasa began to notice an ant, much larger then the rest. Soon, the immense ant began to lead its fellow ants: no longer did they travel blindly through the jungle--they began to seek out villages and attack and destroy them. The ant was named Grottu, which meant "Demon."

(Strange Tales I#73) - "Frank" was summoned to Africa to stop Grottu. As Grottu and his legion of army ants approached Mombasa and passed straight through the city, Frank realized that Grottu's goal was to reach the wharf and the ships that would allow it to reach the rest of the world. Frank had the natives gather a large supply of sugar from a nearby warehouse, and had it dumped on top of Grottu. The other ants were drawn to the sugar and not even Grottu's mental powers could drive them off. The ants ravenously consumed the sugar and then wandered back into the jungle, leaving Grottu dead...or so it would seem...

(Marvel Universe#4, [5-7]) - "Frank" was revealed to have been Ulysses Bloodstone. In addition, it was at least inferred that Grottu was a Deviant Mutate. That story further clarified that Frank had shot off Grottu's antennae prior to pouring the sugar on him, thus preventing Grottu from mentally communicating with the ants.

(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (fb)-BTS) - Grottu actually survived and was captured by the Collector and placed in his zoo beneath Canada.

(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1) - After an attack on the Collector by the Mole Man caused the freedom of the creatures, Grottu was among many of the specimens to go on a rampage through New York City. They were defeated by a group of heroes that included the Hulk, the Beast, the Thing and Giant-Man. Mr. Fantastic had the Thing open a portal to the Negative Zone, where the creatures were all dumped.

(Fantastic Four / Iron Man: Big in Japan #3 (fb)-BTS) - Dr. Yamane, the future curator of the Tokyo Giant Monster Museum and Expo Center, slew his father as a sacrifice to Grottu.

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#7 (fb)-BTS) - Somehow, Grottu returned from the Negative Zone.

 

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#7) - Frank Johnson amassed the remains of Grottu and several other monsters for his Museum of the Monstrous and Strange. Johnson's old enemy, Yucoya-Tzin, led his group of Aztecs to the museum, where they performed certain rituals which revived the monsters. Grottu and the other monsters, Fizzle, Rorgg, and the Two-Headed Thing were opposed by the Fantastic Four (minus Reed Richards, plus Scott Lang/Ant-Man). Grottu struggled fiercely against Ant-Man and the Invisible Woman but was then burnt to death by the Human Torch (Johnny Storm)...or so it would seem...

(FF Unl#9 (fb) - BTS) - With the destruction of its physical body, Grottu's radiation-mutated intellect didn't die, but instead gravitated to the most compatible thing in the vicinity--Ant-Man's helmet.

(FFUnl#9) - Ant-Man was mutated by energy from the High Evolutionary's Biogenetron, transforming him into Myrmidon. This mutation made him even more susceptible to Grottu's mental powers, and as he fought against the Fantastic Four (as well as Thor and the Godpack), Grottu's mind began to take over Myrmidon's. Grottu planned to resume his plot for the conquest of the Earth but combined bolts of electricity from Thor and Blitziana reversed the effects of the Biogenetron. Grottu's essence was banished from Ant-Man and his helmet, and it discorporated, finishing him off once and for all...or did it?...

(Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the Kaiju-worshiper Dr. Yamane sacrificed his father to Grottu as a shame sacrifice.

 

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Bill Everett; Utilized in the mainstream Marvel Universe first by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe.

Marvel Universe#4-7 made it clear that many of the monsters seen in the pre-Marvel era were Deviant mutates. I'm not 100% certain that this applies to Grottu. I was thinking it was still a mutated ant, rather than an actual Deviant creation--I think of their mutates as creations via genetic engineering. Moot point, I know, but I gots ta know!
Anyway, in the original stories, those darn Commies were implicated.
-- Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone... has straigtened this out. Grottu was NOT a Deviant, but rather a mutated animal. Warlord Kro had been working with a group of Soviets to secretly replenish the ranks of his Deviant mutates by creating new non-Deviant monsters.

Reconciling the Commies and the Deviants, Cary states:

Maybe Grottu was genetically engineered by Soviet puppets loaned to Warlord Kro by the renegade Eternal Druig? The latter did spend a good portion of the Cold War posing as a KGB "interrogator." And, he could easily have supplied whatever technology Kro lacked for Grottu's mutation! The nuclear fallout initially blamed for that mutation was more likely radioactive waste of some kind. (NOTE: This has been cleared up in the Marvel Monsters: From the Files... book - Madison)

Cary also theorizes that, if there was some sort of radioactive material used by the Deviants/Russians to create Grottu, that the man who would become Kraa The Unhuman may very well have also been exposed to this material, resulting in his mutation.

Grottu's name was accidentally misspelled as "Grattu" on the first page of Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1.

The Myrmidons of Greek myth were a group of people created from ants and I believe they later followed Achilles in the Trojan War.

Scott Lang/Ant-Man has an entry at the UOHotMU. The sub-entry on Myrmidon basically covers only the events of FF Unlimited#9.

The word Formic usually refers to a colorless, irritating acid found in ants, spiders, certain plants, etc., although it can also mean of or pertaining to ants themselves. Roy Thomas kept referring to Myrmidon as giving off or utilizing Formic radiation. I'm really not sure exactly he was going with this ant radiation...hmmm...suspension of disbelief or just a bunch of nonsense that might sound good on superficial inspection.

Grottu isn't the only ant plotting to conquer humanity, the ants in Menace#10 (3/54), 5th story also share his agenda.
--Gammatotem

Not that ants and Cock-a-roaches are the best of friends, but I'm thinking those with the insect motif, like Grottu, could become allied with the Cockroach Conspiracy to conquer the world.  Once those pesky humans are out of the way, the insects can fight it out for themselves.

Can't find and/or afford Strange Tales I#73? Try Where Monsters Dwell#3 (1970), or the Monster Masterworks Trade Paperback (1989).

Thanks to Prime Eternal for filling in a few holes in this profile.

Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

Myrmidon derives his name from:
The Myrmidons of Greek myth (described in comments), who now serve Pluto in Tartarus, @ Fantastic Four III#21
He has no known connection to:

The Split-Second Squad encountered by the Fantastic Four has no known connection to:


Myrmidon

Scott Lang/Ant-Man pursued a member of the Split Second Squad into the subterranean caverns below the New York subway system. Ant-Man stopped the criminal, but in the process was exposed to energies from the Biogenetron, a machine abandoned there by the High Evolutionary after the Evolutionary War. He quickly went nuts, attacked his own teammates, and created an army of giant insects to serve him. The Fantastic Four were able to track the equipment to the High Evolutionary (HE) and traveled to Wundagore to enlist his aid. He sent the Godpack (along with Thor, to watch over them) in his stead. Upon their return, he had completed his mutation into Myrmidon, and he managed to abduct Sue Richards to the HE's former base, where he attempted to mutate her into an evolved ant-human like himself. The large group of heroes tracked him down again and disrupted the process before Sue could be significantly mutated. However, Sue's brief connection to the "Formic Energy" had allowed her to recognize that the mind of Grottu was possessing and manipulating Myrmidon. When confronted with this, Grottu made its presence known. Combined bolts of electricity from Thor and Blitziana reversed the effects of the Biogenetron. Grottu's essence was banished from Ant-Man and his helmet.

Myrmidon possessed superhuman strength and durability, to a level that he was able to knock the Thing across the room with a single punch (Class 10-25 or higher?). Not only could he communicate with and control ants, as well as most other insects, but he could also enlarge them to human size. He used razor-sharp extendable jagged-edged blades on each of his wrists.
He possessed Lang's knowledge of mechanics, which enabled him to operate the High Evolutionary's machinery for his own purposes. He was also a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and his possession and manipulation by Grottu didn't help anything. He seemed to express many of the hidden angers and frustrations that Lang kept below the surface.
--Fantastic Four Unlimited#9

 

 

 

 

 

 


Appearances:
Strange Tales I#73 (February, 1960) - Jack Kirby (pencils), Bill Everett (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#7 (September, 1994) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Carmen Imperato (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#9 (March, 1995) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Marvel Universe#4 (September, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Jason Armstrong (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (December, 2005) - Steve Niles (writer), Duncan Fegredo (artist), Jenny Lee & Mark Paniccia (editors)
Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 (January, 2006)
Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan#3 (February, 2006) - Zeb Wells (writer), Seth Fisher (artist), Cory Sedlmeier (editor)


Last updated: 01/17/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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