Real Name: Not applicable
Identity/Class: Terrestrial lizard (species unrevealed) (see comments) (pre-modern era)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Mankind in general (including Anne and Henry Burke), Jupiterians
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Sserpo," "sign from gods," "good omen," "brother to the mountain" (as called by South Pacific natives); "The Creature Who Crushed the Earth" (in story title)
Base of Operations: Mobile worldwide
First Appearance: Amazing Adventures I#6/1 (November, 1961)
Powers/Abilities: An amphibious lizard with a semi-humanoid body and a tail, the bipedal Sserpo could walk upright; he seemed to be a vegetarian.
Originally about 6 inches tall, Sserpo's height began to continuously increase in excess of 2000 feet after he ingested a growth serum -- it is unrevealed how large he may have become if not for extraterrestrial intervention. Following his massive growth, Sserpo displayed incredible strength and invulnerability -- his epidermis was bulletproof, and he was able to withstand the blasts of atomic and hydrogen bombs; he proved to be immune to chemical attack. Although reptilian (and thus presumably cold-blooded), he was able to survive in the frozen arctic region.
Although his gargantuan bulk and weight threatened the entire planet, Sserpo was not truly a malevolent being, and he seemed rather passive -- he was merely a victim of circumstance acting on his survival instincts, and humans were too small to be of any interest to him.
(originally) 0.5' ; (after ingesting growth serum) 2000 ' + (see
(Amazing Adventures I#6/1 (fb)) - On the California coast in the 19th Century, scientist Thomas Burke was attempting to create a growth serum, but he could not find the missing ingredient needed to make the formula work. After countless failures, the frustrated scientist hurled the vial of the useless serum into the Pacific Ocean, where the currents carried it into the depths.
(Amazing Adventures I#6/1) - A century later in modern times, the vial caught the attention of a small lizard-like creature seeking food on the ocean floor. The serpentine creature seized the vial and drank the serum within as it mixed with the water. Within moments, the tiny lizard began to grow and grow -- ironically, water was the one ingredient the serum needed, and Thomas Burke had completely overlooked it.
The lizard swam to the surface, where it was sighted by a pair of South Pacific natives in a canoe. The natives saw how the lizard (which they called a "sserpo") grew before their eyes; thinking the creature was magical and would bring them luck, they captured it in their fishing net and carried it back to their home near Kautau Isle. But by the time they reached the shore, the creature had doubled in size, and continued to grow with each passing second. Within minutes, Sserpo had grown so large that he dwarfed the tallest trees, and his weight crushed the island beneath the waves. Sserpo's instincts led him to seek a larger body of land, and he began to walk toward Australia; when he arrived, Sserpo was 1000 feet tall, and each step he took caused the land to tremble (Fortunately, Sserpo avoided stepping on any buildings, as humans might avoid stepping on ant hills). The Australian air-force attacked Sserpo with missiles and drove him back into the sea.
Sserpo's growth continued, and by the time he reached Japan, he was 2000 feet tall. The Japanese air-force eventually dropped an atomic bomb near Sserpo, but the gigantic creature was merely stunned by the explosion. Sserpo staggered groggily towards the Bering Sea, causing earthquakes, tidal waves, avalanches, and flooded coastlines as he progressed. Because of the the planetary devastation the monster was unintentionally causing, military leaders of all nations of Earth met to take action, and the decision was made to hit Sserpo with a hydrogen bomb. A bomber aircraft was sent to drop its deadly cargo on the monster, but although they made a direct hit, Sserpo was left only shaken, but still alive, and still growing.
Sserpo plodded northward to the Arctic Circle, where he crushed the largest glacier with a single footstep. The world's finest scientific minds gathered together to find a solution (see comments), and they concocted an anti-growth hormone contained within large metal pellets to inject into the monster, but the pellets could not penetrate Sserpo's tough hide. Sleeping gas was next employed, but that failed as well. While still in the arctic region, Sserpo was large enough to reach into the heart of Canada, and he devoured an entire forest in one mouthful. Having acquired nourishment, the creature's nightmarish growth increased at an even faster rate, and it was predicted that within hours, Sserpo would be so huge that he would upset the entire balance of the planet, which would cause Earth to be thrown off its axis and spin off into space.
But when all hope seemed lost, radio-astronomer Henry Burke contacted the planet Jupiter; the benevolent Jupiterians sent a huge sky-hook towards Earth, which captured Sserpo and carried him away to Jupiter, where the Jupiterians would use their advanced scientific knowledge to restore the behemoth to his normal size.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (artist) and George Klein (inks).
Sserpo's final fate and current whereabouts are unrevealed.
It was unrevealed if "sserpo" was the Pacific islanders word for this variety of lizard, or if it was some mythological/legendary creature that the islanders assumed Sserpo to be.
Since no other types of lizards like Sserpo have been seen since, maybe he was actually a Deviant mutate (like the Lizard Men).
Although Sserpo's height was mentioned at one point to be 2000 feet tall, I don't want to even hazard a guess at how big he eventually got, but he was definitely large enough to be seen from space, and he could probably whoop Godzilla.
When the world's finest scientists met to prepare the anti-growth hormone, one of them stated: "Henry Burke should have been here! He is a specialist on such matters!" -- from that, I assume Henry Burke was a polymath, and besides radio-astronomy, he was also knowledgeable in the field of biochemistry. Maybe Henry Burke was the same person as the similarly named man seen HERE -- they look similar, both have blond hair; this Burke smoked a pipe, that Burke carried a cigarette lighter -- maybe after exploring the subterranean depths of the world, he decided to switch his field of interest and explore space instead.
Thomas Burke's name wasn't mentioned until the last story-panel, and his
relationship with Henry Burke was revealed as a surprise-ending.
The Jupiterians were never actually seen, so we can only speculate about them -- maybe they were Zeno's people.
This seemed to be quite a popular time for lumpy orange monsters -- this same year and month, Fantastic Four I#1 was also published, which introduced Benjamin J. Grimm, the ever-lovin' Thing.
This story was reprinted in Monsters on the Prowl I#27 (November, 1973).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Sserpo has no known connections to:
Anne, Henry, and Thomas Burke have no known connections to:
Henry Burke was the great-grandson of Thomas Burke, and he was an expert in
the field of radio-astronomy (He was also
apparently skilled in the field of biochemistry (see comments));
Anne was Henry's wife. --Amazing Adventures I#6/1
Henry transmitted radio-waves out into the universe in an attempt to communicate with other worlds; but Anne disapproved of his work, for she was concerned that he might make contact with hostile aliens.
When the ever-growing lizard creature Sserpo threatened the planet, the greatest scientists in the world gathered together to find a solution to the problem, and they requested Henry's presence; but despite Anne's pleadings that he join them to end the menace of Sserpo, Henry was more concerned with contacting the planet Jupiter.
Henry finally made contact with Jupiter, and the benevolent Jupiterians took Sserpo to their world, thus saving Earth.
Henry was unaware that the whole crisis with Sserpo that he resolved had actually been caused by his own great-grandfather's growth serum.
--Amazing Adventures I#6/1
A scientist who lived on the California coast in the 19th Century, he was
working to create a growth serum; but he was unable to discover the missing
ingredient to make the serum work. In frustration, he hurled the vial
of the failed serum into the Pacific Ocean. Ironically, the missing
ingredient was so commonplace that Thomas had completely overlooked it -- water! (It
would seem that Thomas Burke discovered some form of "Pym Particles").
A century later, the growth serum would eventually be consumed by a small lizard creature, and thus was created the menace of the ever-growing Sserpo.
Thomas' portrait was prominently hung in the home of his great-grandson Henry Burke, who would eventually contact the inhabitants of Jupiter and save Earth from the gigantic Sserpo.
--Amazing Adventures I#6/1
A seemingly benevolent race, their presence was only made known by a single voice on Henry Burke's radio and a gigantic magnetically-powered sky-hook, which captured Sserpo and carried him to Jupiter, where the Jupiterians presumably used their advanced science to return the gigantic creature to his normal size.
--Amazing Adventures I#6/1
images: (without ads)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p1, pan1 (Main Image, Sserpo)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p7, pan1 (Headshot, Sserpo surfaces by boat)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p2, pan6 (Sserpo (normal size) swims to vial containing growth serum on ocean floor)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p12, pan1 (Sserpo devours Canadian forest)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p3, pan6 (Anne (left) and Henry Burke)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p12, pan3 (Henry Burke at radio as Anne (right) looks on)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p12, pan4 (Henry Burke contacts Jupiter on radio, Anne in background)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p2, pan2 (Thomas Burke in laboratory)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p2, pan3 (Thomas Burke tosses vial of growth serum into Pacific Ocean)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p13, pan7 (Thomas Burke's portrait hanging in Henry Burke's home)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p12, pan5 (Jupiterian's voice in radio transmission, sending sky-hook towards Earth to capture Sseerpo)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p13, pan1 (Jupiterian sky-hook catches Sserpo)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1, p13, pan2 (Jupiterian sky-hook carries Sserpo away from Earth to Jupiter)
Amazing Adventures I#6/1 (November, 1961) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), George Klein (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 03/20/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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