Membership: Two unidentified Deviant mutates (1950s era) (see comments)

Purpose: To invade and conquer the surface world

Aliases: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Doctor Druid (see comments)

Base of Operations: Temporarily near a farm somewhere in Indiana; originally from below Earth's surface (see comments)

First Appearance: Marvel Universe#4 (September, 1998) (see comments)

(Marvel Universe#4) - The past of the "Lurkers" is largely unrevealed, but near twilight on a modest Indiana farm, their subterranean transport craft bored from below the earth and burst through the ground; the farmer and his son ran off to contact the authorities. By pure luck, Doctor Druid happened to be driving by the area when he saw the two creatures emerge from the craft and begin their rampage, so he followed them.

   The monsters ran amok across the countryside; at a nearby construction site, Doctor Druid commandeered a crane with a wrecking ball, then he attempted to telepathically communicate with the creatures' primitive minds--he succeeded in temporarily halting their rampage. The crane's wrecking ball knocked both creatures into some high-voltage power lines, and they were incinerated to dust in a matter of minutes.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer) and Mike Manley (artist).

This story was presented as an opening sequence for the introduction of the Monster Hunters (which included Doctor Druid as a member), and it was later implied that both "Lurkers" (along with Grottu and the Molten Man-Thing) were mutates used in a plot instigated by Warlord Kro of the Deviants.

Both "Lurkers" were vaguely humanoid and stood perhaps 30 feet tall. One appeared to be a crustacean-like creature with pincer claws, while the other was a hairy horned mammal (...and thanks to Markus for providing the images).

But this opening sequence was actually a slightly altered ret-con of an old Doctor Droom adventure -- What Lurks Within? -- and since these creatures were never identified by any specific names, I just based this profile's designation on that 5-page story's title.

The "Lurkers" first appeared (sort of) as intelligent extraterrestrial invaders in Amazing Adventures I#4/3 (September, 1961); but in the original story, the mysterious "Lurkers" were never fully depicted in the three story-panels in which they appeared--all we ever got to see of them were their shadows on the interior wall of their spaceship, with the exception of a panel with a close-up of the pincer claws of one of the aliens.

In the original story, the "Lurkers'" spaceship landed on a farm in the American Midwest; Doctor Droom went to investigate after ordering a derrick with an iron wrecking ball to be delivered at the landing site. Suspecting that the aliens were hostile, Droom climbed aboard the derrick and began to batter the side of the spaceship with the wrecking ball. For the next part of his plan, Droom telepathically contacted the "Lurkers" within and bluffed them --- he greeted them with friendship and made them think that he was the derrick; Droom further tricked the "Lurkers" by informing them that there were millions of such machines like "himself" on Earth. Believing Earthlings were huge iron creatures of enormous strength, the "Lurkers" thought that the world's inhabitants were too powerful for them to conquer, so they abandoned their invasion plans and returned to their homeworld.

(In regards to "Dr. Droom": A regular feature running in the Amazing Adventures series, Dr. Anthony Droom would appear in issues #1-4 and #6 (June-September and November, 1961), wherein he was originally depicted as a Caucasian man whose features were mystically altered to give him an Asian appearance--he holds the distinction of being modern Marvel Comics' first continuing series character, even predating the Fantastic Four by a few months. By the 1970's, Marvel began to reprint the Doctor Droom stories, but the character's name and physical appearance were relettered, redrawn and ret-conned into Doctor Druid (presumably the name-change was done to avoid confusion with Latverian tyrant Doctor Doom), thus Dr. Droom's adventures involving the Gorlion, the Aquaticans (originally called "Atlanteans"), Zamu (originally called "Zemu"), and Krogg would be attributed to Dr. Druid instead--this particular story with the "Lurkers" was never reprinted at that time, until it was finally ret-conned into the Doctor Druid adventure seen in Marvel Universe#4).

No specific time-period was mentioned as to when Dr. Druid confronted the "Lurkers," but considering the Monster Hunters were seen in an adventure involving the First Line in 1958 (@ Marvel: The Lost Generation#2), we can assume this solo story took place prior to that time. And I have a completely speculative theory on how to reconcile the discrepancies between the original Doctor Droom stories and Doctor Druid: Since it's been established that Dr. Druid was active prior to 1958, maybe by the early-1960's he worked out a deal with the Earth-616 (mainstream Marvel Universe) versions of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to publish fictional comic book stories based on his exploits, with his name and appearance changed to the meta-fictional "Doctor Droom" so his identity would remain somewhat secret.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The "Lurkers" have no known connections to:

"Lurkers'" craft

A skull-like vehicle, it was apparently of Deviant design and construction (see comments) and used to transport the "Lurkers"; it came boring from beneath the earth and burst through the surface near a farm in Indiana.

The two "Lurkers" within exited the vehicle and went on a rampage across the countryside, until the beastly creatures were stopped by Doctor Druid.

Later, the craft was loaded aboard a flatbed trailer and confiscated by the U.S. military.

--Marvel Universe#4

(Note: In the original Doctor Droom story depicted in Amazing Adventures I#4/3, the "Lurkers" were intelligent extraterrestrials, and their vehicle was a spaceship with a "hyper-atomic" engine.)

images: (without ads)
Marvel Universe#4, p2, pan3 (crustacean-like "Lurker emerges from subterranean craft)
Marvel Universe#4, p3, pan4 (hairy horned mammal "Lurker" about to be hit by wrecking ball)
Marvel Universe#4, p3, pan3 (both "Lurkers" standing by high-voltage power lines)
Marvel Universe#4, p3, pan5 (both "Lurkers" knocked into power lines by wrecking ball)
Amazing Adventures I#4/3, p4, pan3 (shadows of "Lurkers" on interior wall of their spaceship, as Doctor Droom communicates with them telepathically)
Amazing Adventures I#4/3, p4, pan6 (close-up of one of the "Lurkers" pincer claws)
Marvel Universe#4, p1, pan1 ("Lurkers'" craft comes bursting out of the ground on farm, as seen by farmer and his son)
Amazing Adventures I#4/3, p1, pan2 ("Lurkers'" spaceship preparing to land)

Amazing Adventures I#4/3 (September, 1961) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Universe#4 (September, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Mike Manley (artist), Jim Novak (letters), Gloria Vasquez (colors), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 06/03/2018
Last updated: 06/03/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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