Real Name: Gargantus
Identity/Class: Giant monster (unrevealed origin);
active from the mid-1950s through the modern era (he was presumably active in his underwater for years if not decades or centuries before his first appearance)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Droom, Fin Fang Foom, Goom, Grogg, Groot, Grottu, Moomba, Orrgo, Rommbu, Spragg the Living Hill, Taboo, Tragg, Vandoom's Monster Xemnu the Titan, Zzutak
Enemies: Beast (Henry McCoy), Elsa Bloodstone, the Collector (Taneleer Tivan), Defenders (Hellstorm/Daimon Hellstrom, Krang, Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters), Frank, Giant-Man (Henry Pym), Hulk (Bruce Banner), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Bill Parmenter, Dan Parmenter, Thing (Ben Grimm), Thunderbolts (Deadpool/"Wade Wilson," Elektra/Elektra Natchios)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile deep beneath the ocean;
formerly Bloodstone Manor, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#80 (January, 1961)
Powers/Abilities: Gargantus is a massive amphibious humanoid with two arms (four fingers and opposable thumbs on each hand), webbed feet and a tail. Gargantus seems to thrive on both dry land and in the ocean for extended periods; it is unrevealed how much exposure to water or oxygen is necessarily to sustain its life but after too long a period away from water, Gargantus will grow faint and go to sleep. Gargantus is capable of English speech. Due to his massive size, Gargantus has tremendous superhuman strength capable of crushing steel objects in his grip. His body is not only able to withstand the pressures of the deep ocean but also to withstand damage from military jet missiles.
Height: 200' (by approximation)
Weight: 1500 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Strange Tales I#80) - In the early-to-mid 1950s, Gargantus was slumbering beneath the ocean off the eastern coast of the United States when he was disturbed by a bathysphere being operated by explorer Dan Parmenter (with his son Billy aboard). Intrigued by the bathysphere, Gargantus took hold of its cables and used them to follow its trail to the water's surface. Evidently seeing the surface for the first time, Gargantus exclaimed surprise at discovering there was life on the surface world, "where I had thought was naught but barren wasteland!" Gargantus strode to solid ground to begin an exploration of the surface. He took an interest in observing airplanes in flight and in examining an elephant from a zoo. As he strode towards New York City, the Army assembled and opened fire on him but he easily destroyed their artillery. An airstrike was called in on Gargantus but even missiles could not injure him. However, by this time, Gargantus had been away from the ocean too long and his strength rapidly diminished until he lost consciousness.
(Strange Tales I#85 (fb)) - Dan Parmenter arranged for Gargantus' body to be hurled back into the ocean. Dan vowed he would never again explore the part of the ocean where Gargantus dwelled.
(Strange Tales I#85) - By 1961, the US government funded a bathysphere commanded by Frank who went to explore the area where Gargantus had been submerged despite Bill Parmenter's many warnings about leaving him alone. Gargantus found Frank's bathysphere and began to crush it in his hand, but Bill arrived in his own bathysphere to distract Gargantus then released a black liquid to obscure Frank's bathysphere so it could ascend to the surface. Gargantus followed the two vehicles to the surface and confronted Bill. Recognizing him from their encounter years earlier, Gargantus demanded to see Bill's father Dan, but Bill revealed that Dan had died during the intervening years. Gargantus then went on another rampage in New York City, at one point smashing through a cinema which was showing a science fiction film.
Finally, Bill challenged Gargantus to battle on his "home ground" below the water. Gargantus agreed, and Bill descended underwater in his bathysphere. Bill first sunk below the area where Gargantus lived, hoping the increased pressure might harm Gargantus, but Gargantus was unfazed. Gargantus grabbed Bill's bathysphere to crush it, but at that moment, Bill sent a powerful electric charge through the bathysphere. With the power of the current amplified by the increased pressure, Gargantus was stunned and again rendered unconscious.
(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl I#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Gargantus was captured by the Collector and locked within his museum of monsters in Canada.
(Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1) - However, the Mole Man broke into the museum, hoping to liberate the monsters for his personal use. As the Collector and Mole Man fought, the monsters escaped into New York City. The superheroes the Thing and the Hulk intervened to battle the monsters, but Gargantus easily stepped on the Hulk. When Giant-Man joined the fray, he fought Gargantus and used his high school wrestling moves to pin Gargantus down and knock him unconscious. All of the escaped monsters were finally sent into the Negative Zone by Mr. Fantastic.
(Vengeance I#1) - When Gargantus went on another rampage in New York City, the Defenders battled him.
(Thunderbolts Annual II#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Elsa Bloodstone captured Gargantus and put him in a cell below Bloodstone Manor alongside other monsters including Moomba, Orrgo, Rommbu, Spragg, Xemnu the Titan and Zzutak.
(Thunderbolts Annual II#1) - When Deadpool and Elektra of the Thunderbolts invaded Bloodstone Manor to steal the Bloodstone artifact from Elsa, Elsa had the duo consigned to the cell with Gargantus and the other monsters. Deadpool and Elektra quickly escaped the cell and stole the Bloodstone, leaving a note claiming "IOU one Bloodstone and 15 monsters - Deadpool."
Comments: Created by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko (written by either Stan Lee or Larry Lieber).
Gargantus could be a Deviant mutate like some of his fellow monsters.
...or perhaps some other lost/hidden race, or maybe something weird and unusual that we've never heard of--Snood
Dan Parmenter was named in Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters, in the Gargantus entry.
Gargantus was orange in Strange Tales, colored blue everywhere else. I believe it's a mistake as the colorist on Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 probably colored him blue because in his Strange Tales appearances, he was colored blue while underwater - but that was clearly intended as a shading effect. Maybe his coloring changes depending on access to water?
Gargantus might've been killed by Deadpool and Elektra but then again, maybe not. I'm sure he'll turn up again.
Gargantus was said to be "nearly 200 feet" in his first appearance.
In Marvel Universe I#7, editor Tom Brevoort mistakenly identified Gigantus' original name as "Gargantus" rather than his actual original name, "Goliath." This led to an in-joke in X-Men Gold Annual I#1/2 where a bystander who saw Gigantus remarked, "Ya never see Gigantus and Gargantus in the same room, is all I'm sayin'--"
Profile by Prime Eternal.
Gargantus should not be confused with:
Anne was Bill's wife. When Bill was believed
to be cowardly because he would not investigate the waters where
Gargantus sank, Anne suffered from social rejection. Her friend Ethel
was the wife of Bill's friend Frank. When Frank obtained a government
grant to explore the area where Gargantus sank, Ethel bragged about
--Strange Tales I#85
Bill was the son of deep sea explorer Dan Parmenter. As a teenager, he went by "Billy." When his father Dan led a bathysphere exploration in the early-to-mid 1950s, Billy snuck aboard the bathysphere to observe his father. The bathysphere soon encountered Gargantus and their craft was used by him to follow their cables back to the surface. Billy watched with his father as Gargantus finally collapsed unconscious, being unable to continue his activities on the surface. Billy's father oversaw Gargantus' return to the ocean and vowed that he would never disturb that part of the ocean again. In turn, Billy agreed to uphold his father's promise.
Bill grew up to become an ocean researcher like
his father and took Anne as his wife. After his father's death, Bill
still refused to use his father's bathysphere to explore where
Gargantus had been sunk nor would he allow his clients to rent the
bathysphere for that purpose. Although Bill repeatedly cited the
potential danger in leading Gargantus back to the surface, many
dismissed him as being merely cowardly. When Frank obtained US
government funding to build a bathysphere to continue the exploration,
Bill attempted to warn him but Frank dismissed Bill's fears. Bill took
out his father's bathysphere to pursue Frank's vessel and arrived
underwater just in time to see Gargantus attempting to crush Frank's
bathysphere. Bill's presence distracted Gargantus and he released a
black formula from his bathysphere to help Frank's bathysphere escape.
Gargantus followed them to the surface then confronted Bill,
recognizing him from years earlier. Gargantus demanded to see Bill's
father but Bill informed him his father was dead. Gargantus again
threatened the surface world until Bill challenged Gargantus to a
battle underwater. Bill took the bathysphere deeper into the ocean,
beneath where Gargantus normally lived, yet Gargantus was still
unaffected by the difference in pressure. When Gargantus grabbed the
bathysphere, Bill released an electrical charge from his vehicle.
Enhanced by the increased underwater pressure, the electrical charge
stunned Gargantus unconscious. Bill returned to the surface, no longer
mistaken for a coward.
--Strange Tales I#80 (#85 (fb), 85,
Dan Parmenter was an underwater explorer and researcher who designed his own bathysphere.
As he was nearing his retirement age, Dan went on what he intended to be his last exploration and ventured deep beneath the ocean's surface. Dan's teenage son Billy stowed away aboard the bathysphere so that he could witness his father in action. Dan had the misfortune to encounter Gargantus deep beneath the water. Gargantus was intrigued by the bathysphere and followed its cables to the surface, thereby discovering that the surface was inhabited. Dan and Billy witnessed Gargantus go on a power-mad rampage until he finally collapsed. Dan correctly identified Gargantus' malady as being deprived from water. Dan had Gargantus returned to the ocean where he had first emerged but he sternly warned anyone against ever venturing to where Gargantus slumbered for fear that he might rise again.
Dan retired his bathysphere and as his son Bill grew up, Bill
likewise promised that he would never disturb Gargantus. Dan died
around 1960; 18 months later, Gargantus returned and was disappointed
to learn Dan had died since his last encounter.
--Strange Tales I#80 (#85 (fb),
Frank was Bill's friend. His wife Ethel was an associate of Bill's wife Anne. Frank received US government aid to build a bathysphere and investigate the ocean in the area where Gargantus sank, along with two other sailors. Frank simply thought Bill was cowardly and ignored his warnings about Gargantus.
Frank's bathysphere disturbed Gargantus, who assaulted the bathysphere
and nearly crushed it. Bill arrived in his bathysphere in time to
divert Gargantus' attention, saving Frank and his crew.
--Strange Tales I#85
images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#85, cover (main)
Strange Tales I#85, page 10, panel 5 (head)
Strange Tales I#85, page 3, panel 5 (Anne)
Strange Tales I#85, page 3, panel 7 (Bill)
Strange Tales I#80, page 2, panel 3 (Dan)
Strange Tales I#85, page 4, panel 2 (Frank)
Strange Tales I#80 (January, 1961) - either Stan Lee or Larry Lieber (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Steve Ditko (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Strange Tales I#85 (June, 1961) - either Stan Lee or Larry Lieber (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1 (December, 2005) - Steve Niles (writer), Duncan Fedredo (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Vengeance I#1 (September, 2011) - Joe Casey (writer), Nick Dragotta (artist), Tom Brennan (editor)
Thunderbolts Annual II#1 (February, 2014) - Ben acker, Ben Blacker (writers), Matteo Lolli (artist), Jordan D. White (editor)
First posted: 07/20/2021
Last updated: 07/20/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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
Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters