FIN FANG FOOM

Real Name: Unrevealed, probably unpronouncable

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Kakaranthara/Maklu IV)

Occupation: Chef; (formerly) purveyor of destruction; guardian; starship navigator

Group Membership: Dragon Lords of Kakaranthara (Axon-Karr, Chen Hsu, Chi Chan, Wu Pong, several others); Fin Fang Four (Elektro, Googam, Gorgilla)

Affiliations: Chen Hsu, It, the Living Colossus, Mister Fantastic (Richards), Dr. Leonard Samson, Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk), Wong
                        (formerly) Aan Taanu (possessor); Beyond Reason Spiritual Fellowship; the Collector (Elder of the Universe);
"The Collector's collection" (Droom, Gargantus, Goom, Grogg, Groot, Grottu, Rommbu, Taboo, Tragg, Vandoom's Monster); the Mandarin

Enemies: Ulysses Bloodstone, Dr. Jerry Carpenter, the Collector, Granitor, Hulk (Bruce Banner), Hydra, Hydra, Iron Man (Rhodes), Iron Man (Stark), J. Jonah Jameson, Justice League (particularly Wonder Woman), Kee Kaa Kon, Legion of Night, Lo Lin Laam, Chan Liuchow, the Mandarin, the Stonians, Dr. Carl Roberts, Thor, Tiik Taak Toe, Tim Boo Ba, Dr. Vault, Billy Yuan
                   (formerly) Fantastic Four, It, the Living Colossus

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: He Whose Limbs Shatter Mountains and Whose Back Scrapes the Sky; Lord Foom; Sleeping Dragon

Base of Operations: Abcess, North Dakota (possibly, see comments);
                                     The Baxter Building, New York;
                                     (formerly) Ymir-Krul, Asgard (remains)
                                     (formerly) Monster Island, South Pacific
                                     (formerly) Asia House Curios, Seattle, Washington   
                                     (formerly) A subterranean cavern below Canada                        
                                     (formerly) The Valley of the Dragons, China
                                     (formerly) the planet Kakaranathara (aka Maklu IV), Maklu System, Greater Magellanic Cloud

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#89/1 (October , 1961)

Powers/Abilities: Fin Fang Foom possesses powers that are either natural to his race, or at least naturally attainable.  He can fly at subsonic speeds using the wings on his back.  He also possesses the shape-changing abilities of his fellow Kakaranatharans.  Fin Fang Foom can expel an acid mist resembling fire from his mouth in powerful blasts.  He has an extraordinarily long lifespan, and can communicate telepathically.  He has Superhuman Class 100 strength.  Fin Fang Foom also possesses a mastery over a fighting style similar to human martial arts.  After he was reduced to human size, he lost most of these abilities due to post-hypnotic possession, though anger could still cause him to emit his acid mist.

Weaknesses: Vurnerability to an unnamed herb which can induce slumber.

Height: 32' (including tail) 44'   Weight: 20 tons  Eyes: Red  Hair: None

History: (Iron Man I#274 (fb)) - Wishing to leave their peaceful planet of Kakaranthara, a group of conquest-bent members, including a navigator later named Fin Fang Foom on Earth, left their homeworld. 

(Iron Man I#272 (fb)) - In the times of ancient China, the ship crash landed.  When the dragon-like aliens emerged from their ship, one of their members was struck down by a native human.  The rest of the survivors fled into what would become known as the Valley of the Dragons.

(Iron Man I#274 (fb)-BTS) - Over time, the dragons learned how to change their shape to mimic humans, but not before five more were killed by men. While his captain took on the guise of Chen Hsu, and others took on roles within the Chinese communities, Foom was designated to remain in his form, and was put into a long slumber by an herbal leaf by Hsu.

(Iron Man I#263 (fb)-BTS) - At various points in time, Foom apparently emerged from his slumber to terrorize the locals. Eventually, after he went back into hibernation, a unit of guards began to patrol the doorway to his tomb, not allowing anyone to enter.

(Marvel Holiday Special 2006/2 (fb) - BTS) - In ancient Greece Foom fought the Hydra.

(Marvel Holiday Special 2006/2 (fb) - BTS) - Over the years Foom battled against dragon monsters such as Kee Kaa Kon, Lo Lin Laam, and Tiik Taak Toe.

(Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1) - At some point in the past, Foom battled Ulysses Bloodstone, though the outcome of their battle remains unknown.

(Thor II#80 (fb)-BTS) - Thor slew Fin Fang Foom, and used his bones and skull to construct the tomb of Eitri in Ymir-Krul. The tomb was subsequently destroyed by Loki.

(Strange Tales I#89 (fb) BTS) - Chan Liuchow discovered an ancient manuscript describing the legend of Fin Fang Foom.

(Strange Tales I#89) - When the communist Chinese attacked his homeland of Taiwan, Chan sought to find a way to stop them.  Making his way into the Valley of Dragons, he found the crypt believed to be Foom's, guarded by a group of men, descendants of the original guards.  Making his way past them, he entered the tomb.  Using an herb described about in the manuscript, Chan rubbed it on the dragon's lips, causing the beast to awaken.  Angrily, the monster chased after him, and Chan led him straight into the camps of the communists.  When Fin Fang Foom destroyed the invaders, Chan lured him back to his crypt, using another herb to cause the monster to fall back into his slumber.

(Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1 (fb) BTS) - The Fanastic Four battled Fin Fang Foom and, after defeating him, deposited him on Monster Island.

(Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom#1) - Foom became encased underneath the ice in Antarctica. He emerged from the ice and possessed Dr. Jerry Carpenter, member of a group of scientists studying global warming. As Carpenter he returned to the group's base and soon took the form of Dr. Carl Roberts. Bruce Banner, who had been found near death in the snow, transformed into the Hulk during a confrontation with with Dr. Howard Tonkins. Foom realized he would be a better host and tried to convince the Hulk to work with him, but the Hulk fought Foom and eventually tossed him to the moon.

(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (fb) BTS) - At some point, the Elder of the Universe known as the Collector captured Fin Fang Foom and placed him in his zoo of giant monsters below Canada.

(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1) - When the Mole Man attacked the Collector's base, all of the Elder's monsters were freed. While many went on to rampage through New York City, Fin Fang Foom was not among them. Presumably, he returned to his lair in China.

(Astonishing Tales#23) - Dr. Vault reawakened Fin Fang Foom, intending to control him to destroy whomever controlled It, the Living Colossus (so that Vault could take possession of the creation).  However, Foom quickly broke free of Vault's control, and aided It in defeating Granitor and his hordes.  After driving them off, Vault managed to once again establish dominance over the dragon.



(Astonishing Tales#24) - Foom, now under Vault's power, attacked It, and the two battled until the beast was driven into some powerlines.  Once again free of Vault, Foom stopped the fight, and to show It that he was being controlled, drew a picture of Vault's face in the dirt. Foom then began to swim home.



(Legion of Night#1) - The demon known as Aan Taanu possessed Fin Fang Foom to use as a vessel on Earth, and he/they broke free from his crypt again.

(Legion of Night#2) - As the demon-possessed dragon battled the group of supernatural beings known as the Legion of the Night (including his old foe Chan), Aan Taanu recreated himself in Foom's image within Taanu's realm. There, he impregnated the member of the Beyond Reason Spiritual Fellowship known as Hildreth.  When their demonspawn, along with Hildreth, was killed, Aan Taanu was banished fully back into his own dimension.  Without the demon controlling him, Fin Fang Foom fell/dove into the New York Harbor.

(BTS) - At some point, Foom returned to the Valley of the Dragons and returned to his slumber.

(Iron Man I#261) - The Mandarin and Chen Hsu arrived at Fin Fang Foom's crypt, and the Mandarin entered.  There, he found Foom, and used one of the ancient herbal leaves to awaken him.

(Iron Man I#262) - The Mandarin confronted Fin Fang Foom, and told him of the changes China had endured since last Foom woke.  Foom responded that he didn't care about the affairs of humans.

(Iron Man I#263) - Awake and angry, Foom emerged from his tomb, and engaged in destroying every trace of humanity he could find around him. After killing every person in the nearby vicinity, the dragon turned his attention to the Mandarin, but Chen Hsu blew a puff of smoke that knocked Foom back into his slumber.

(Iron Man I#264) - With a sleeping Foom perched against the Great Wall of China, the Mandarin met with Chinese government officials and demanded they turn the country over to him.

(Iron Man I#267) - Foom continued to sleep.

(Iron Man I#268) - Fin Fang Foom continued to sleep as the Mandarin plotted.

(Iron Man I#270) - As Foom still slept, The Mandarin realized that Iron Man had arrived in China. 

(Iron Man I#271 (fb) - After being alerted to the Mandarin's actions, James Rhodes, in the Iron Man armor, flew off to find him, only to be confronted by Fin Fang Foom.

(Iron Man I#271) - As Foom attacked Iron Man, Chen Hsu contacted another member of their disguised race, Wu Pong, and alerted him of the impending "Awakening."  Rhodes managed to bury the dragon under rubble, but Foom quickly freed himself and knocked Rhodes unconscious.

(Iron Man I#272) - Just as Foom was about to deliver the killing blow to Rhodes, Chen Hsu telepathically contacted and halted him.  As the two, and the Mandarin, loomed over their beaten foe, they were surprised by the arrival of another Iron Man (actually a remote-controlled suit piloted from afar by Tony Stark).

(Iron Man I#273) - As Stark's husk battled the giant, Hsu summoned the rest of his brethren from across the globe.  The more the two battled, the less control over the suit Stark had.  Finally, he made a decision to order the armor to retreat.  Just afterwards, the Mandarin and an awakening Rhodes were stunned to see the rest of Foom's race arrive from the sky.

(Iron Man I#274) - With his crew reassembled, Chen Hsu shed his mortal form, retaking that of his true dragon-like self.  There, the ten Dragon Lords wrecked havoc, relishing in their new-found freedom.  Several of them took human form and demanded the Mandarin hand over his rings of power, originally theirs, to them. When he refused, they reverted to their alien forms and prepared to attack him, only to be attacked themselves by Stark, now inside his Iron Man armor.

(Iron Man I#275) - Stark, Rhodes and the Mandarin, disillusioned by Hsu's deception, joined forces in their assault on the Dragon Lords.  As Hsu taunted the Mandarin regarding the human not being able to use his rings to their most powerful level, Stark realized that he could amplify them.  Grabbing on to his enemy's hands, Iron Man pulsed a large amount of energy through them, causing a near-nuclear blast that seemingly killed off the aliens.

(Iron Man III#15 (fb)/BTS) - Foom's spirit came to reside in a small dragon statue in Asia House Curios, a shop in Seattle.

(Iron Man III#15) - Billy Yuan noticed the statue lying in Asia House Curios and Treasures, but couldn't afford to buy it. Within another dimension, Fin Fang Foom sensed Yuan, and planned to draw him back to the statue.

(Iron Man III#16) - Billy Yuan noticed that the statue seemed to have grown larger since he saw it the day before.  It then began to "speak" to him, and convinced him to steal it from the store.  The statue imbued Yuan with power, turning him into a reptilian being that then went on a rampage through Seattle.  Iron Man (who had been in town on business as Tony Stark) rushed to the area, and battled the mutated man.  After Iron Man defeated him, thousands upon thousands of lizards swarmed out of the nearby storm grates, covering Yuan.  As Iron Man realized too late, this mass of reptiles merged, bringing Fin Fang Foom back to his original form.

(Iron Man III#17) - As Foom physically battled Iron Man, he also found himself in psychic confrontation with Billy Yuan, the man whose body he possessed.  The two fought for control, with Foom even threatening Billy's hospitalized sister.  That proved to be the final straw for Yuan, who managed to take full control for just one brief moment, causing the dragon to stand still and bear the brunt of Iron Man's full attack.  As Foom fell into unconsciousness, Yuan's spirit, tired from the battle, slipped into nothingness.

(Iron Man III#18) - Iron Man handed over the sleeping giant to the Navy, or rather, to Sunset Bain and Baintronics, who had subcontracted with the military to handle Foom.

(Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1 (fb) BTS) - At some point, the Fantastic Four (or another agency) again deposited Foom on Monster Island.

(JLA/Avengers#1) - Fin Fang Foom was among the creatures that confronted the dimension-hopping Justice League on Monster Isle.  He was thrown around by Wonder Woman before being left in a pile with the other now-defeated monsters.

(Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1/Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 (fb)-BTS) - Fin Fang Foom regained his form. He was again imprisoned on Monster Isle, where he continued a legal battle he had started there some time before. He also became a follower of Buddhism.

(Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1) - After a five year legal battle, Fin Fang Foom (tiring of the years of combat) and three other creatures from the Age of Monsters were granted releases from Monster Isle.  The conditions of their releases saw them reduced to human size and given jobs at the Baxter Building. This parole was vehemently denounced by J. Jonah Jameson during a televised interview in which Foom and his attorney Jennifer Walters explained the situation.  Foom became head chef at the Green Wok, located in the Baxter Building.  When his fellow monster Googam (who had been given the job of parking attendant) accidentally brought Tim Boo Ba and his warriors to Earth, Foom rounded up Gorgilla and Elektro to help stop the creature.  The four comandeered a Fantasti-Car and defeated Tim Boo Ba, becoming heroes in the process. The four attended a press conference, during which Googam tried to claim all the credit for defeating Tim Boo Ba. Fin Fang Foom dragged him out of the conference and beat him severely. After the adventure, Foom and Reed Richards played a game of chess in Central Park, discussing the future of Foom and his fellow monsters.

(Marvel Holiday Special 2006/2) - While out for a walk in New York during Christmas time, Fin Fang Foom ran into Wong, manservant of Dr. Strange, who had studied Fin Fang Foom at the monastery of Kamar-Taj, learning there of his battles against Kee Kaa Kon, Lo Lin Laam, and Tiik Taak Toe. When a band of Hydra terrorists sent a Santa Claus robot on a rampage, Fin Fang Foom reluctantly joined the fray, fighting side-by-side with Wong.

(Giant-Size Avengers II#1/9) - Foom used the legal help of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway to end the Fin Fang Four's required parole visits to Dr. Leonard Samson. His arrogance led to a fight with Googam and the other Fin Fang Four members.

(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Fin Fang Foom for Norman Osborn.

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

Every single writer after the original appearance had a seriously different idea of what Fin Fang Foom was.  Tony Isabella turned him into a Godzilla clone in his Astonishing Tales appearances, Byrne turned him into an alien (I personally HATE this retcon), and Steve Gerber gave him a more supernatural/demonic nature.  Kurt Busiek sort of successfully merged them, leaving behind the rest of the dragons but keeping his mad-on for Iron Man, and kept a slight supernatural aspect.

Foom's apparent death at the hands of Thor is fairly meaningless. He survived a small nuclear holocaust. I'm sure once Ragnarok occurred (or even before it), Foom found a way to revive himself.  Note: Since the original publication of this profile, Fin Fang Foom has indeed resurfaced. - Madison

This appearance in Thor can be thought of as either a skull of Foom from a previous defeat, having reformed earlier on than the story itself took place, or perhaps it's an alternate Foom. There's certainly enough of them floating around the multiverse.

A lot of people seem to want to discount Foom's appearances in Astonishing Tales as not the real Foom, even theorizing that it was the Midgard Serpent, who impersonated him at one point.  Their main "proof" is that FFF never talks during these appearances.  How that could make him the Midgard Serpent is beyond me, as he was even MORE verbose than FFF. Plus, he awakened in the same spot Foom originally appeared. I don't know why he couldn't talk, but it was Foom.

The Nextwave story: At first, Nextwave was stated as being non-continuity, but now it looks like it is, but skirting the edges. So how do we align what we saw here concerning Foom with what we've seen elsewhere? Well, there's a number of theories: First, he could have given up his chef job and returned to his old ways. Second, it may not even be Foom. Dirk Anger, the leader of H.A.T.E. (and Nextwave's arch-nemesis) and S.I.L.E.N.T. (the terrorist company fronting the Beyond Corporation and which had bought out H.A.T.E.) were using genetic abominations to further their end. The FFF seen in Nextwave could be one of them, an inferior clone of FFF (hence the odd speech pattern). - Thanks go to Sean McQuaid for this theory. - Madison

Sean's theory became canon in Foom's entry in OHotMU A-Z Hardcover#4.

The Valley of the Dragons has also been referred to as the Valley of the Dragon and the the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon. 

Why was he on Monster Island? Who knows. Maybe he was searching out the objects of power himself.

Byrne really screwed up, er, I mean retconned, a lot of stuff with his story.  Tying in Axon-Karr with Foom was genius, sure, but he had to go and change the name of their planet from Maklu IV to the elementary school-sounding Kakaranthara. Also, there are some inconsistencies.  When the Dragon Lords land on Earth, they all look like Fin Fang Foom, but about six or seven feet tall. By the time they reunite, they all look totally different.  And even after they revert to their original forms, Foom still towers over the rest in some scenes.

Legion of Night was published in 1991, after the first Iron Man storyline, but it fits better before it (Plus, the story had been written and actually promoted in ads well before the IM appearances).

Is Fin Fang Foom connected somehow to Grogg? He could very well be one of the missing Dragon Lords, believed dead by the others. Or, since Grogg's story was retconned by entire countries, he could even be the Earth-616 comic book version of Foom's Strange Tales adventure, as they would have no idea where he disappeared to. - This has since proven to be pretty much a non-issue. In Grogg's recent appearances, he has proven to be part of a race that was on Earth long before Foom arrived. - Madison

Fin Fang Foom reportedly attended Fred Hembeck's roast for the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four Roast#1. Millie the Model helped him with his tuxedo. I seriously doubt this was in Earth-616 continuity. (Actually, since the publication of Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1, this could entirely be in-continuity now.)

An interesting note: Phil Hester's creator-owned character Firebreather (published by Image Comics) was originally created with the intention of being Fin Fang Foom's son! At one point, Marvel had Hester working on a "Young Avengers" book (with no connection to the current book of the same name) in which AIM created clones of several Avengers to use. These teen-aged heroes would rebel and end up fighting other "young" creations, including what would become Firebreather! You can read more about it here.

Fin Fang Foom's original appearance has been reprinted several times, most notably in the Monster Masterworks tradepaperback and in Where Monsters Dwell#21

An alternate reality Foom appeared in Exiles#67-68, in which he fought the Exiles and Krakoa. This reality's (Earth-3752) nature seems to differ from that of Earth-616, given the origins of the monsters on this world.

Another alternate reality Foom appeared in Marvel Team-Up III#17. Here, he was a bit smaller than usual, and fought the "Legion of Losers" pulled through time from Earth-6215.

Major thanks to Prime Eternal, who filled out some of the blanks in the data and appearances.

Profile by Madison Carter. Updated by Markus Raymond.

Clarifications:

Fin Fang Foom has several counterparts and imposters, including:


images:
Astonishing Tales#23, page 11, panel 1 (main image - note: actually just reused image from Strange Tales I#89)
Astonishing Tales#24, page 22, panel 3
Legion of Night#2, page 18, panel 1(possessed by Aan Taanu)
Iron Man I#271, page 17, panel 1 (versus Iron Man)
Iron Man III#17, page 2-3 (vs. IM, part 2)
Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1, page 21, panel 1 (Chef)


Astonishing Tales#23-24  (April, June, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Dick Ayers & Larry Lieber (#24) (pencils), Dick Ayers (#23) & Vince Colletta (#24) (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Legion of Night#1-2 (1991) - Steve Gerber (writer), Whilce Portacio (pencils), Scott Williams (#1) & Dan Panosian (#2) (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man I#261-264 (October, 1990-January, 1991) - John Byrne (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
                   #267-268 (April-May, 1991) - John Byrne (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
                   #270-275 (July-December, 1991) - John Byrne (writer), Paul Ryan & Mark Bright (#274) (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Iron Man III#15 (April, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writers), Sean Chen, Salvador Larroca & Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Eric Cannon, Larry Stucker, Mark Morales, Harry Candelario & Scott Koblish (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#16 (May, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writers), Patrick Zircher & Anthony Williams (pencils), Andy Lanning, Larry Mahlstedt & Scott Koblish (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#17-18 (June-July, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writers), Sean Chen (pencils), Larry Stucker & Eric Cannon (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
JLA/Avengers#1 (September, 2003) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (artist), Tom Brevoort & Dan Raspler (editors)
Thor II#80 (August, 2004) - Michael Avon Oeming & Daniel Berman (writers), Andrea Di Vito (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1 (December, 2005) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (artist), John Barber (editor)
Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone (and the Monster Hunters)#1 (January, 2006)
Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (December, 2005) - Steve Niles (writer), Duncan Fegredo (artist), Jenny Lee & Mark Paniccia (editors)
Nextwave#1-2 (March-April, 2006) - Warren Ellis (writer), Stuart Immonen (penciler), Wade Von Grawbadger (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
Marvel Holiday Special 2006/2 (February, 2007) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (artist), John Barber (editor)
Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom#1 (February, 2008) - Peter David (writer), Jorge Lucas (pencils), Robert Campanella (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Giant-Size Avengers II#1 (February, 2008) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (artist), John Barber (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 08/31/06

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