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Real Name: Phra

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Mars) (circa 1 billion years ago) (see comments)

Occupation: Hunter/scavenger, god figure

Group Membership: None (see comments)

Affiliations: Noltoi

Enemies: Chak, Gullivar Jones

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: River of the Dead, Mars

First Appearance: Mars (circa 1 billion years ago)

Powers/Abilities: Phra was a giant humanoid with a powerful tail, well adapted to swimming in Mars' deep River of the Dead. Although looking like a leather hide, he's cited as having scales. Apparently unable to speak, Phra has instinctive animal intelligence and, being venerated as a god, received live food offerings, which he would take back to his hidden lair to consume.

Height: 60' (by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Green-yellow
Hair: None


(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (fb) - BTS) - On ancient Mars, Phra was a giant creature that took up residence in a long-abandoned technological facility, now accessible only by a long underwater tunnel. Likely because of his size and accompanying strength, he became venerated as a god by various local intelligent races, like the Wing-Men and Lizardmen, as well as the more primitive Noltoi. Phra swam in the River of the Dead, which is where Martians let their respected deceased float down. The Noltoi dwelt there and would gather live captive beings, trussed up as offerings to Phra.

(Creatures on the Loose I#17/1) - The mutant Bird-Man Chak was tied up to a rack by Noltoi as an offering to Phra and was soon joined on the altar by the newly captured Earthman, the time-lost Gullivar Jones. Phra surfaced to claim them.

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1) - Phra ripped Chak and Jones free of their shackles and, taking one in each hand, swam back to his lair. Jones and Chak were somehow reshackled and Phra sat down for a snoring slumber. Jones' strength freed them of their restraints and they investigated Phra's hideaway. But Phra woke up and lunged at the two, who fought back. Jones' augmented strength helped topple the dazed giant, which smashed into machinery, triggering sparks and fires. Jones and Chak leapt into the water to escape and were soon followed by Phra, but the lair's damage led to an explosion that pushed Jones and Chak past the tunnel. Phra did not resurface with them.

(Creatures on the Loose I#19/1) - Jones recalled the dangerous Martians he had met, including Phra.

(Monsters Unleashed I#4/5) - Jones remembered his encounter with Phra.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks).

Phra is named after an earlier creation of the original author (Edwin L. Arnold) of Gullivar Jones in his first book titled "The Wonderful Adventures of Phra the Phoenician" (1890).

The ancient Martians deified Phra to the status of a god (even though Phra was not actually god-like), so I guess technically he belongs to the ancient Martian pantheon. He is invoked as a god in Creatures on the Loose I#20/1 (by Wing-Man Chak) and 21/1 (by Lizardmen).

While there was residual radiation responsible for mutating native Martian life then, Phra's class is not revealed. Phra does not seem to belong to one of the intelligent humanoid species around on ancient Mars, so was it a mutated beast or even an extraterrestrial?

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Phra has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Creatures on the Loose I#18, p4, pan6 (main image)
   cover (headshot)
   p3, pan1 (swimming underwater)

Creatures on the Loose I#17/1 (May, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (July, 1972) - George Alec Effinger & Gerry Conway (writers), Ross Andru (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#19/1 (September, 1972) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Wayne Boring & Gil Kane (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)

First posted: 04/24/2018
Last updated: 04/24/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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