Real Name: Monstrollo
Occupation: Talent agent; former movie prop
Group Membership: Monster Talent Agency
Affiliations: Charles Hudson, Rachel Tompkins, worker class of an unidentified alien race
Enemies: Roger Cashman, unidentified alien invaders, a "committee of prominent people", an unidentified senator and his wife,
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Monster from Outer Space, the Terror of Hollywood
Base of Operations: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#25 (January, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: The gigantic Monstrollo possesses an unspecified level of superhuman strength (he's seen to crush tanks, but those were movie props, so we can't draw any conclusions from that as to his actual strength). He's immune to radiation and doesn't breath, so gases do not affect him. He may be superhumanly durable, but that is based purely on his appearance - the only weapons the aliens used on him lacked any kinetic force components, and movie props are not normally resistant to guns and explosives, even if they are designed to look like they would be. He was originally an automata, remote controlled via an electronics bench; however, after being modified with alien technology, he became sentient. He now possesses a sophisticated and intelligent mind.
Weight: 5 tons (see comments)
History: (Tales of Suspense I#25) - Monstrollo was constructed over several weeks on intense labor as a working movie prop by special effects designers working for epic movie producer Charles Hudson. His creators intended for him to be the greatest man-made menace of all time, alongside whom even King Kong would look like a midget - the most awesome creature in the history of motion pictures. Once completed, the fully articulated Monstrollo could be operated via a remote control bench, moving smoothly and walking as naturally as if he were alive. However, when Hudson unveiled Monstrollo to the public, the reaction was massively negative - he was considered too huge and too frightening for children. Out in the desert, Hudson began filming regardless, but the set was stormed by a self-appointed "committee of prominent people" who demanded filming cease, and warned they would arrange a boycott if the film was completed. Hudson was mulling this over when a senator and his wife, having run out of gas near the film set, chanced to see the looming Monstrollo whilst they were walking to the nearest town. The sight of the creature moving towards them caused the senator's wife to faint, and the senator subsequently pushed for a congressional investigation. Feeling he had no choice, Hudson decided to abandon the film.
That night, after the crew had left the set, Hudson stood by Monstrollo contemplating dismantling his creation, only to have his reverie disrupted when he spotted an armada of flying saucers coming in to land. As heavily armed aliens disembarked, Hudson realized he was witnessing an invasion, and deduced that once the aliens had time to spread out with their advanced weapons mankind would find itself in a fight for survival. Hoping that he might have a chance of stopping the aliens before this could happen, Hudson activated Monstrollo and had him menacingly advance on the invaders. Thinking they were facing a giant Earth warrior, the aliens fired a gamma gun at Monstrollo, but the radiation had no effect on the unliving, inorganic robot. When poison gas proved equally ineffective, the aliens concluded that Monstrollo must be the strongest of all living creatures, and that Earth had much more powerful defenders than they had anticipated. The aliens fled, vowing to never return. Hudson dismantled his creation, but remained proud that he and Monstrollo had secretly ensured the freedom of all humanity.
(Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1) - Witnessing their masters' cowardice, the slaves who served the aliens revolted. Eventually they realized what Monstrollo really was and learned that Charles Hudson was his creator. Feeling they owed Hudson a debt, they monitored his life. Meanwhile Monstrollo's disassembled remains sat in the closed down Hudson Pictures lot, keeping Charles company as his life fell apart over the next decade. Eventually, one of another producer, Roger Cashman, stole Charles' idea for a new TV series, Mrs. President, renaming it Who Elected Her? Charles hit rock bottom. Deciding the time was now right to repay their debt, the former slaves approached Charles to aid him, using a strange ray to give true life to Monstrollo. Where he had previously been a mere automaton, now he would be the most intelligent, sophisticated monster ever to walk the Earth. Charles wondered if Monstrollo would be friend or foe, but he needn't have worried - Monstrollo became his new agent, setting up The Monster Talent Agency and intimidated Cashman into handing the stolen TV series over to Charles. Over the next year Monstrollo helped Charles restart Hudson Pictures, and ran an aggressive campaign that ensured Who Elected Her? won ten Emmys. Monstrollo became a powerhouse agent in Hollywood, even negotiating with Steven (Spielberg, presumably) to direct The Monstrollo Story.
(Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters) - Monstrollo gave more interviews than Avi Arad and authorized a biography. He attended San Diego Comic Con as a guest, giving them his abbreviated life story for his guest bio on the website. Elsa Bloodstone used this to fill out an entry for Monstrollo in her Monster Files.
Comments: Created by Jack Kirby (pencils) and Dick Ayres (inks); writer unknown.
I've listed the committe of prominent people and the senator and wife as enemies of Monstrollo because, even though they might not be considered as antagonists in the normal sense, their negative opinions of Monstrollo nearly got him dismantled. Conversely, Rachel is considered an affiliation even though Monstrollo terrified her in the only panel we see them together in, because she was the star of Charles' TV show Who Elected Her?, and Monstrollo's lobbying helped win that show ten Emmys (presumably including best actress); even if she remained scared of Monstrollo, she'd still presumably be on amicable terms with him.
Monstrollo is fifty feet tall, per his Monster Files entry which used the main image above as a way of gauging the robot's height (he appears to be around nine or ten times larger than Hudson); while filming the movie, he stood next to a replica of the Capitol Building, looming over the dome, but while the real Capitol Building's dome stands around 288 feet tall, presumably this replica was scaled down. Per his ComicCon bio in the Monster Files, he weighs only 5 tons, which is pretty light for that height - based on the square cube law, and assuming he's comparable in build to a gorilla, you'd expect closer to 130 tons. It may be that the bio was a lie - lots of Hollywood types lie about their weight, claiming to weigh less than they do - but it may also have something to do with both his construction - he was a movie prop, mostly hollow inside except where his robotics were required and presumably built of lightweight materials - and that he got animated by alien science, which might have reduced his weight to enhance his mobility.
After driving away the aliens, Hudson's account of events claims he single-handedly dismantled Monstrollo overnight; how the heck did he manage this? It took multiple people weeks to build, and it was bigger than a building, yet one man took it apart. If he'd demolished the robot, via explosives or using heavy machinery to smash it, then yes, one night would suffice, but instead he carefully disassembled it. In his original appearance his head was disproportionately large for his body, but after being reanimated he seems to have become more apelike.
Most Atlas tales are considered to have taken place around the time of publication, and so aren't subject to the sliding timescale. However, the more recent second story is set a decade later, and in the epilogue, set a year or so years after that, Monstrollo is seen using a cell phone, which suggests a relatively modern setting. Of course, in a world where movie props people can build fully working giant remote control robots, cell phones might well have been invented much sooner. To me the deciding factor is that Hollywood accepts Monstrollo as an agent; in the modern day Marvel universe, where so many heroes and creatures abound, I can accept that, but in the pre-FF days, when such beings were less frequent and the MU public less used to seeing them, I don't think even Hollywood types would cope. So I figure that the first Monstrollo tale must take place around the same time as the Fantastic Four's spaceflight (the story not only came out around the same time in the real world, but is advertised at the bottom of the final page of the Monstrollo tale), while the second story took place as stated, ten and then eleven to twelve years on, which actually fits fairly well with how long it had been within the Marvel universe since the FF's flight.
I'd love to see Monstrollo come back in a more mainstream story. Perhaps if Wonder Man ever returns to acting, or Dazzler to singing, Monstrollo can represent them!
Profile by Loki, with thanks to Snood for image scans.
Monstrollo has no known connections to
(Tales of Suspense I#25) - Charles Hudson was a visionary Hollywood producer.
(Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1) - Charles discovered Rachel Tompkins slinging malts at a soda shop and gave her a big acting break which launched her career as a major star. Meanwhile Hudson's star also continued to rise, until he was Hollywood's most famed movie producer.
(Tales of Suspense I#25) - Having just completed a Western epic, Rustler's Revenge (see comments), which those attending the previews were convinced would win an Oscar, Charles announced that his next movie would be a science fiction tale called Monstrollo. However, wanting to hold public interest by keeping them in suspense, he refused to divulge more. While press speculation mounted, behind closed doors Hudson oversaw the construction of a terrifying giant robot monster prop, fully articulated and remote controlled so that it would appear utterly lifelike. Unfortunately, when he finally revealed the finished creature, to his surprise public reaction was negative, with concerned adults deciding that he had gone too far and that children would be frightened by the monster. Despite this, he calmly went about filming his new movie, using sets out in the desert. A good proportion was filmed, but before shooting could wrap, a self-appointed "committee" brazened their way onto the set and demanded he shut the film down. Though he disagreed with their reasoning, Hudson didn't want to risk offending parents of his potential audience, leaving him with a quandary, one which he was still pondering when a senator and his wife accidentally stumbled onto the set and got terrified by Monstrollo. With the negative publicity this brought, Hudson decided to abandon the film, and, after sending his crew home, he decided to personally disassemble Monstrollo that night. Before he could start, he witnessed the arrival of an alien invasion fleet. Thinking quickly, he activated Monstrollo and turned it on the aliens, scaring them into fleeing Earth. Though his crew were sad to think of all the money and hard work wasted on building Monstrollo, Hudson was secretly proud, knowing that he and his creation had saved the entire world.
(Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1) - Despite his vow to keep the story to himself, eventually Charles had a few drinks too many while hanging out with fellow producer Roger Cashman. Shortly after this the tale hit the press, though Roger swore he hadn't repeated it. The newspapers painted Charles as a madman, destroying his reputation, and he found that no one, particularly those at the major studios such as Paramount, Universal or MGM, would give him the time of day. He had to close down his own studio, Hudson Pictures, and lay everyone off. Over the course of the years he lost almost everything, until the broken-down studio buildings and its back lot were all he still owned. He resisted selling them, deciding it was better to live in the studios where he had room rather than in a tiny apartment. His only company was the remains of the dismantled Monstrollo.
Eventually, around a decade after the Monstrollo shoot, he reached out to Rachel Tompkins, who was glad to have an opportunity to repay Charles. Since she was looking at moving into television, he pitched the concept of a show, Mrs. President, based around her playing the first female U.S. president. She went for the idea, but Charles still needed a studio to make the series; hoping her name would be enough to sell a pitch, he again tried his contacts, but only Roger Cashman, newly appointed head of Major Motion Pictures, was willing to do so. Roger shot down the concept, claiming Rachel's career was failing and that the premise sucked, then sent Charles on his way. A few months later Charles learned from the news that Roger was overseeing filming on what was expected to be the Fall's hot new TV show, Who Elected Her? starring Rachel Tompkins as the first female president. An angry Charles called Rachel, who informed him that Roger had claimed the concept had always been his idea and that Charles had merely tried to horn in on it, something she had suspected was untrue but had gone along with for the sake of her own career, and then Roger, who denied he had ever discussed such a show with Charles, telling him this was simply another of his delusions. Enraged, a frustrated Charles was ranting to the defunct Monstrollo about the betrayal when he was surprised by the arrival of a trio of aliens. Though Charles initially believed they were the invaders returned, they identified themselves as former slaves who had won their freedom thanks to Charles' actions a decade earlier. To repay that debt they brought Monstrollo to life, now intelligent and sophisticated. After enlisting the creature as his new agent, Charles confronted Roger and Rachel on the set of Who Elected Her?, wanting to discuss his involvement in the show - creative control, profit participation, etc. Though Roger was initially defiant, he swiftly changed his tune when introduced to Monstrollo. Charles became the sole producer on the show, which won ten Emmys in its first year, in part because of Monstrollo's aggressive campaigning, and the show was renewed for a second season. With his career once again rising, he reopened Hudson Pictures, a Hollywood success once more.
Comments: The name of Hudson's Western is partially obscured by a word balloon, and only "Rustle.. Reve" is visible; there appeared to be only enough space on the screen for a few more letters, so I'm ASSuming the full title was Rustler's Revenge.
--Tales of Suspense #25 (Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1
Monstrollo was a giant alien whose spaceship crashed on Earth. Staggering out of its wreckage, he soon found himself at odds with mankind. By the time he reached Washington D.C. his full strength had returned, and he battled the army as he sought to conquer the planet.
Comments: While the history above recounts the plotline of the Monstrollo movie as Hudson shot it, given the nature of the multiverse there is presumably an alternate reality where these events actually took place, hence my decision to give "Movie" Monstrollo his own sub-entry.
--Tales of Suspense I#25
"Committee of prominent people"
A group of self-appointed busybodies who decided that the Monstrollo movie should not be made. They stormed on to the set and demanding filming stop, insisting that the movie would frighten children and that they would arrange boycotts if it was released. Though Hudson thought their reasons were poor, as in his experience children enjoyed scary movies and didn't take them too seriously, he also didn't want to offend the parents, so the protest left him unsure of what to do.
--Tales of Suspense I#25
Senator and his wife
The unidentified senator and his wife ran out of gas while driving through the desert. Unaware they were near to the film set for the Monstrollo movie, the couple decided to walk to the nearest town, but then they spotted the gigantic Monstrollo ahead of them, striding along behind the sand dunes. Unaware of what the creature really was, the couple panicked, and the wife fainted. By the next day the Senator had called for a congressional investigation.
Comments: Despite some physical similarities in the way they were drawn, the senator and his wife are not the gray suited man and the blonde woman in the red dress seen as part of the "committee of prominent people," since those two individuals knew Monstrollo was only a movie prop. The senator must be a bit of a jerk, in my opinion, as he decides to waste taxpayers' money on a congressional investigation into a movie that has built a scary-looking prop just because it freaked out his hysterical wife. I can understand being peeved, but a full blown investigation? That's overreacting and then some.
--Tales of Suspense I#25
(Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1 (fb) - BTS) - The aliens were an unidentified warlike race who had enslaved the more peaceful members of their species (see Comments) and subsequently planned to conquer Earth.
(Tales of Suspense I#25) - Intent on conquest, the aliens came to Earth in an armada of saucer-shaped spaceships, landing in the desert at night so their arrival would go unnoticed. However, Charles Hudson witnessed their arrival and realized their intent as he saw the heavily-armed soldiers disembarking. When Monstrollo approached the aliens, they assumed he was an organic being and tried unsuccessfully to stop the robot with radiation and gas weapons. The failure of both these attacks convinced the aliens that Earth was defended by beings too powerful to fight, so the aliens retreated into their ships and departed, vowing never to return.
(Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1 (fb) - BTS) - The aliens' panicked retreat demonstrated to their enslaved vassals that their masters were cowardly bullies, inspiring them to rise up and conquer their enslavers. Smarter than the warmongers, the new regime eventually realized that Monstrollo had merely been a robot, and learned (presumably by monitoring Earth media and discovering the newspapers making fun of Dutton's tale) that Charles Hudson was the man who had inadvertently helped them win their freedom. Feeling indebted, the former vassals monitored Charles' life, and when he reached his lowest ebb after Roger Cashman betrayed him, they sent a trio of their number to assist the producer. Using their advanced technology, they brought Monstrollo to life.
Comments: It isn't clear whether the warlike aliens in Tales of Suspense #25 are the same species as those in WMD #1 - they look very similar, but seem to be a different color (though that might just be the panel in question), and they talk as if the warlike aliens were another species - "enslaved by the same beings who attempted to conquer your world." However, I suspect that the way the former vassals talk is more a societal thing, with the two sets of aliens being different nations or subspecies of the same species.
--Tales of Suspense I#25 (Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1
Roger Cashman was a Hollywood producer whom Charles Hudson considered a friend. After Charles drunkenly told Roger about how he and Monstrollo had thwarted an alien invasion, Roger leaked that story to the press (see Comments), destroying overnight Charles' reputation and career. A few years later, perhaps thanks to this kind of duplicity, Roger got hired as the head of Major Motion Pictures. When Charles called round the studios trying to pitch his new TV show, Mrs. President, which had movie star Rachel Tompkins attached, Roger was the only person who returned his call. He trashed Charles' concept, turning it down flat, then swiftly went behind Charles' back to Rachel, telling her the show concept was his, and that Charles had merely tried to cut himself into the deal. He signed Rachel up to the renamed show, Who Elected Her?, and a few months later filming got underway. When Charles learned of this he called Roger, who bare-facedly denied recalling any meeting between them, dismissing Charles' recollection as another delusion. Charles sneaking his way on to the set a day later to confront him didn't phase Roger either, and Roger refused to discuss things with Charles. However, Charles had anticipated this, confirming that he never expected Roger to discuss things with him, but rather with his agent...Monstrollo. Confronted with the terrifying giant, Roger signed over the show to Charles without further argument.
Comment: Roger denied leaking Charles' story to the press, and we certainly don't know for 100% fact that he did - but come on, the guy proved to be an absolute weasel, so it was almost certainly him. However, in the interests of accurately recounting the tale, it should be noted that the history above states Roger was the guilty party as a fact, when it is really only supposition. Why would he do this? While there was no obvious direct benefit for himself, it did eliminate a more successful rival, improving the chance that employers would pick him for projects Charles might otherwise have been considered for. Roger being hired as the head of a studio a few years later suggests this was a successful career plan; I imagine Charles was not the only person Roger sabotaged or stole from.
--Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1
Rachel Tompkins was slinging malts in a soda shop when she was discovered by Charles Hudson. He cast her in one of his movies, launching what proved to be a major film career. Eventually, Rachel appeared in a couple of films that tanked, and she began looking for the right property to transition from film to television. Charles, whose reputation had become mud when the press got hold of his Monstrollo story and painted him as a lunatic, was working his way through contacts and reached out to Rachel; still grateful to the man who had provided her big break, Rachel proved to be the only person who returned his calls, even telling him off for taking so long to ask for her help, and she liked his pitch for a show where she would play the first female U.S. President. However, after telling Charles the idea wouldn't fly, Roger Cashman then went to Rachel and told her the show had actually been his idea. Though she suspected Roger was lying, Rachel was mindful of her own career, and so signed to do the show without Charles, even after Charles discovered what had happened and contacted her. Charles and Monstrollo turned up on set to confront both Roger and Rachel, and Roger signed the show over to Charles. The show went on to win ten Emmys in its first season, and was renewed for a second.
Comments: It's not confirmed that Rachel stayed with the show after Charles returned; it is certainly feasible that he dropped her in retaliation for not siding with him. However, she had initially been willing to be his only friend when everyone else abandoned him, and though she was selfishly pragmatic when Roger stole the show, she didn't really betray Charles the way Roger did. Plus, it was her star name that got the show going in the first place, making her tricky to replace, so Charles' own pragmatism would have come into play.
--Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1
images: Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1/2,
Tales of Suspense I#25, p6, pan5 (Monstrollo's original appearance, as he looms over the aliens and their gamma gun)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p6, pan4 (Charles Hudson at Monstrollo's control panel)
Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1/2, p6, pan3 (Monstrollo being brought to life)
Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1/2, p10, pan2 (Monstrollo brokering a deal)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p7, pan5 (Monstrollo disassembled)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p7, pan6 (Charles Hudson)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p4, pan2 (Movie Monstrollo looms over Capitol)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p4, pan4 (Committee of prominent people)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p5, pan3 (Senator and wife)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p6, pan2 (Aliens)
Tales of Suspense I#25, p7, pan3 (Alien saucers)
Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1/2, p6, pan4 (Alien former vassals)
Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1/2, p3, pan4 (Roger Cashman)
Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1/2, p4, pan4 (Rachel Tompkins)
Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell#1 (December 2005) - Peter David (writer), Arnold Pander (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters (November 2005) - Stuart Vandal (Monstrollo entry writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Last updated: 08/30/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Back to Characters