arthropods-planetx-60751-mainarthropod-creatures of Planet X

Classification: Alternate reality (Reality-60751) insectoid/Arthropodian extraterrestrial race 

Location/Base of Operations: "Planet X," unidentified star system, unidentified galaxy

Known Members: None identified

Affiliations: None known

Enemies: Ted Karson;
    apparently any other forms of life

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#10 (July, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: The arthropod-creatures are large and powerful creatures.

    Adults appear to be perhaps 25 to 35' tall at the "withers" area, or the top of their back, and perhaps 50' long. Young creatures are closer to 4" long, but they grow rapidly.

    They have a large body segment connected with to a head with compound eyes, a beak-like oral section, and long-paired antennae with larger round structures on their ends.

    They have eight segmented limbs, which each appeared to have three toes. Their bodies and limbs were covered with hair-like projections.

    They can survive without oxygen, although it does halt the growth of young members. They are also apparently able to survive exposure to fire, toxic rocket exhaust, acid, and various poisons.arthropods-planetx-60751-youths

    Their young, at least, carry some sort of slowly progressive venom and/or an infectious organism -- transmitted via bites -- that was resistant to the advanced antimicrobial therapy of that era's Earth.

    Their young, at least, can travel along radio waves, passing through solid barriers.

Traits: The creatures attack and seek to slay/destroy other beings.

    Although they readily invade starships to give them the opportunity to spread off world and affect other races

Type:  Bilaterally symmetric octopod arthropods
: Two (on head; red, compound)
: Apparently three
Skin color: Brown
Average height: Approximately 25-35' (adults)

Tales to Astonish I#10 - BTS) - Ted Karson, the first human to be sent into space (see comments), departed the Milky Way Galaxy, and arrived on a world he called "Planet X" in the 10th month of his voyage.

(Tales to Astonish I#10) - Karson considered the scenery to be both breath-taking and frightening, and then he heard some weird rumbling sounds that he soon found was coming from gigantic spider-like creatures. He could feel the hatred and the savageness of the creatures, and he estimated there to be thousands of the creatures. Karson fled back to his ship intending to flee, but he found that small but rapidly-growing forms of the creatures were already on the ship, crawling from around the door's radio control box. Finding them all over the radio control unit, Karson concluded that the young must travel on radio waves and when the waves stop, they begin to grow.

    After one of the small creatures bit him, Karson locked them in the outer compartment, figuring that they would perish from the lack of air and that he could dump them into space. After taking off, Karson used drugs to treat his broken arm but then found that lack of oxygen had not killed the creatures but merely caused them to stop growing. Karson pumped exhaust fumes, which he felt would kill any living creature, into the region in which he had confined the creatures, but it had no effect on them. arthropods-planetx-60751-trapped

(Tales to Astonish I#10 (fb) - BTS) - Karson tried poisons, acids, and fire, but the creatures seemed to be indestructible.

    Karson resolved to take the life raft to Earth after setting the ship's controls so the creatures crashed into the sun.

(Tales to Astonish I#10) - The creatures apparently began absorbing the ship's energies, and Karson realized that he no longer had enough power for his plan. Karson further discovered the the infection in his arm was not being controlled, and that even the young were carriers of a highly contagious disease that no Earth drugs could cure. He appreciated that he could never return to Earth or he would allow this dread virus (see comments) to spread among mankind.

(Tales to Astonish I#10 - BTS) - Unable to contact Earth as the creatures could travel on radio waves, Karson decided that the most he could do was to prevent the creatures from reaching Earth and to prevent anyone from ever traveling to "Planet X" again. Working inside a sealed field, Karson made a detailed report of what had happened, circled the Earth for an undetermined period without any contact, causing humanity to become paranoid that he was under some alien control, and then sent the report to Earth in a lead-lined capsule. Fearing the capsule to be a bomb, Earth's science/military blew up his rocket, killing Karson and either destroying the spider-creatures or leaving them stranded in space.

(Tales to Astonish I#10) - The capsule landed harmlessly on Earth, and its contents were eventually read, after which Karson was declared a hero.

Comments: Created by Steve Ditko and an unidentified writer.

These creatures don't look that spider-like to me...their view from the side made the body look more like that of a flea...but then they have a beak and these long antennae...and these compound eyes.
They do have eight legs and hairs on their body.

    As Ted Karson is first human being sent into outer space, that doesn't fit with NASA or anything. Outer space is just the space outside Earth's atmosphere, but it is possible that they were referring to the space outside Earth's solar system, and Karson refers to going outside Earth's galaxy. This seemed to be a future story (with common science limits with sci-fi based on the dates the stories were written).
    While dates are not given, this does not seem to be compatible with Earth-616 history.

    Karson was an astronaut, and his assessment that an arthropod bite's effects were caused by a highly contagious disease rather than venom would seem questionable...but he was using a microscope, and maybe he did find some sort of bacteria (he had a standard desktop light microscope, so he should not have been seeing viruses or other smaller organisms; but maybe it was some super-electron microscope that just looked like a light microscope) that he confirmed was resistant to the drugs he had, which "can stop any infection."

Profile by Snood.

The arthropods of Planet X (of Reality-60751) should be distinguished from:


Under unspecified means/circumstances, Ted Karson transported some of the spider-creatures of "Planet X" back to Earth, where they rampaged.

Tales to Astonish I#10/4

Note: Karson imagined what this fate would be like, and this image is from that, but, in the infinite Multiverse, every reality exists...and the reality that matches what Karson images is this one.

images: (without ads)
Tales to Astonish I#10/4, pg. 2, panel 4 (giant form, main image);
          panel 6 (young infesting Karson's ship);
       pg. 3, panel 2 (Karson trapping young in ship);
       pg. 4, panel 2 (Karson imagines the arthropods rampaging on Earth)

Tales to Astonish I#10/4 (July, 1960) "Something Lurks Inside" - unidentified writer, Steve Ditko (artist)

First posted: 09/28/2023
Last updated: 09/28/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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