VANDOOM'S MONSTER

Real Name: None

Identity/Class: Artificial being

Occupation: Rampager

Group Membership: None

Group Membership: "The Collector's collection" (Droom, Fin Fang Foom, Gargantus, Goom, Grogg, Groot, Grottu, Rommbu, Taboo, Tragg)

Affiliations: Mole Man; Ludwig Vandoom;
                     (formerly) the Collector (Elder);
a group of Skrulls

Enemies: Beast (McCoy); the Collector; Giant-Man (Pym); Hulk (Banner); Justice League; Martians; Mr. Fantastic; Thing (Grimm)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Vandoom, Van Doom's Monster (see comments)

Base of Operations: Monster Island,
                                     (formerly the Negative Zone
                                     (formerly) the Collector's zoo, beneath Canada
                                     (formerly) Transylvania

First Appearance: Tales To Astonish I#17/1 (March, 1961)

Powers/Abilities: Vandoom's Monster was an immense wax statue which came to life; it was of superhuman size, and possessed superhuman strength and endurance.  It was invulnerable to the type of conventional harm employed by most stereotypical enraged/frightened European villagers, such as torches and pitchforks, and it was seemingly immune to the effects of ultra-gamma rays employed by Martian invaders.

History: (Tales To Astonish I#17/1) - In order to bring in business at his run-down wax museum, Ludwig Vandoom constructed an immense, shaggy monster whose head rose through the roof of the museum.  It upset local villagers, who tried to stop the monster from being completed, but Vandoom was within his rights to build it on his property.  However, not long after its completion, a lightning storm raged in the Transylvanian town; the monster was struck by lightning, and came to life, tearing through the museum's frame.  It soon lumbered about, frightening the villagers who beheld it.

The villagers quickly mobilized a mob and chased the monster, although they seemed unable to harm it.  However, simultaneously, Martians invaded Earth, striking first in Transylvania at that very town.  Realizing that only the monster could save them from the Martians, Vandoom convinced his creation to help save them, and the monster attacked their forces.  They unleashed a powerful ultra-gamma ray upon it, but it was seemingly immune to its effects.  It tore through their armies, forcing them to flee Earth.  The monster had saved the planet, but had spent all its energy in doing so.  It fell down, as though it were dead.   Feeling a wave of sympathy for the creature, the villagers offered to bury the creature on their sacred mountain and help Ludwig Vandoom build a second one for his museum.  In the end, Vandoom's Monster was rebuilt in his wax museum.  The monster was the museum's star attraction, having people from around the world visit after hearing the legend of its selfless tale.
 
Still, Vandoom couldn't help but wonder what might happen should it be struck by lightning again.

(Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, either the original "dead" monster or the second one built by Vandoom was brought (back) to life.

(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (fb) - BTS) - Vandoom's Monster 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, Vandoom's Monster 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.

(Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 (fb) - BTS) - Vandoom's Monster returned to Earth, and somehow made its way to Monster Island (aka Monster Isle), where the Mole Man was more than happy to add it to his army.

(Fantastic Four I#347) - A group of Skrulls landed on Monster Island, only to be terrified by the sight of Vandoom's Monster fighting with another, unnamed monster. The Skrulls attached neural disruptors on Vandoom's Monster and all of the other creatures on the island, then sent them out into the world to lure their target De'Lila out of hiding.

(Fantastic Four I#348) - Under the control of the Skrulls, Vandoom's Monster ravaged Moscow.

(Fantastic Four I#349) - Vandoom's Monster returned to Monster Island, and was called forth by the Mole Man to destroy the Skrulls, the Fantastic Four and several other people who were present..

(Warlock and the Infinity Watch#7) - Vandoom's Monster was present on Monster Island, while the Mole Man discussed having Adam Warlock make his home there.

(Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection#1) - Vandoom's Monster (along with Tricephalous and one of the monsters from FF I#347-349) was present when the Silver Surfer visited Warlock.

(JLA/Avengers#1) - Vandoom's Monster was among the creatures of Monster Island who opposed the Justice League of America during their search for the Ultimate Nullifier.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.

Some sources have the name of the creator as Van Doom, but it is officially Vandoom now. The creature itself was called simply "Vandoom" in Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1.

A monster who looks just like Vandoom's Monster appears among the Mole Man's creatures seen in Fantastic Four I#349 and Warlock and the Infinity Watch#7.  I suppose it's possible that the monster later returned to life and went to live on Monster Island, but it might just be a look-alike mutate. (Note: This is now canon that the creature seen on Monster Island is, in fact, the Vandoom Monster).

The monster seen after the first story is in fact one of the two Vandoom creatures, either the buried one or the second one brought to life (I prefer the theory that the original woke up, dug himself out of his grave and made his way to the Island - Prime).  Also, he appeared in Sensational Spider-Man#-1 as a pawn of the demon Nightmare in Peter Parker's dream."

A few theories about the monster from Kyle Sims:

The country that was once known as Transylvania, home of Dracula and the backdrop for this story, is now known as Romania.

This story, which originally appeared in Tales To Astonish I#17, was reprinted in the trade paperback Monster Masterworks. 

Big thanks to MD Carter for allowing me to borrow images from his website, The Monsters of Jack Kirby.

A lifeless statue brought to life by lightning striking it? Maybe there's some connection to the Monsters of Bald Mountain.
--John Kaminski

by Prime Eternal

Profile edited and updated by Kyle Sims

CLARIFICATIONS:
Van Doom, the Man Who Made a Monster, should not be confused with and has no known connection to:


Ludwig Vandoom was the son of Heinrich Vandoom, a famed wax sculptor.  His wax museum in Transylvania had fallen upon hard times, so that his wife Helga was forced to take in washing and sewing.  He decided to create one massive creature to get the public's attention.  He crafted his giant monster against the protests of local citizens, and constructed it so that its head rose through the roof of the museum.  After a lightning strike brought the monster to life, Ludwig was beaten by angry villagers, who blamed him for having built the monster.  However, when Martians invaded Transylvania, Ludwig realized that only the monster could save them, and convinced his creation to attack the Martian forces.  The monster succeeded, but then collapsed, as lifeless as when it was made.  With help from the repentant villagers, Vandoom constructed a new monster in his museum, where it became an immensely popular attraction, bringing him the business he had desired. -Tales To Astonish I#17/1


Tales To Astonish I#17 (March, 1961) - Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four I#347-349 (December, 1990 - February, 1991) - Walter Simonson (writer), Arthur Adams & Gracine Tanaka (#348-349) (pencils), Art Thibert & Al Milgrom (#348-349) (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Warlock and the Infinity Watch#7 (August, 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Tom Raney (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection#1 (March, 1993) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist), Craig Anderson (editor)
JLA/Avengers#1 (September, 2003) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (artist), Tom Brevoort & Dan Raspler (editors)
Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (December, 2005) - Steve Niles (writer), Duncan Fegredo (artist), Jenny Lee & Mark Paniccia (editors)

Last updated: 11/17/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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