INSECT MAN

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/ClassSubterranean insectoid (pre-modern era; see comments)

Occupation: Scientist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Kid Kaiju (Kei Kawade), Tabor;
temporarily Abominable Snowman, Blip, Bruttu, Crawling Creature, Creature from Krogarr, Creature from the Black Bog, Fin Fang Foom, Googam, Goom, Gorgilla, Green Thing, Klagg, Kraa, Metallo, Monsteroso, Monstro, Monstrom, Moomba, Oog, Orrgo, Pildorr, Quogg, Rommbu, Sporr, Thing that Crawled by Night, Tim Boo Ba, Ulvar, Vandoom's Monster, Zetora, Zzutak

Enemies: Leviathon Tide, Sgt. Mason

Known RelativesUnidentified son

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A subterranean city on Earth

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#24/1 (December, 1961)

Powers/Abilities: The Insect Man presumably possessed the proportional strength (presumably lifting 100 tons) and durability of an insect-like being of his size. He possessed claw-like hands with four fingers, including an opposable thumb (it is unknown how his feet look like) and could walk upright. He was very intelligent and well versed in anatomical science. Despite his obvious monstrous appearance he was very humane and didn't want to harm anyone, using tranquil-gas before operating even on a lowly creature like a human. He owned a force field gun to create force fields around smaller beings (though it was used by his son in the story).

Height: Unrevealed (50'; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (70 tons; by approximation)
Eyes: Red (compound eyes)
Hair: Orange

History:
(Tales of Suspense I#24/1) - The Insect Man found a capsule lowered to the subterranean by the U.S. Army and when Mason, the pilot of the capsule, left the capsule the Insect Man captured him. The Insect Man had never seen an insect like Mason before and was baffled by the sounds it made. He took Mason to show him to his people, who doubted the little creature was even capable of reasoning because he was so small. They couldn't understand Mason's protest because his was merely sounded like buzzing to them. The Insect Man's son asked if he could have Mason to play with and the Insect Man gladly gave him to his son.

(Tales of Suspense I#24/1 - BTS) - While his son played with Mason, the Insect Man and his colleagues decided to examine Mason to see how he was constructed for scientific reasons.

(Tales of Suspense I#24/1) - The Insect Man went home and explained to his son that he would take Mason and examine him. He promised his son to spray Mason with tranquil-gas that would paralyze him and keep him from feeling any pain. The Insect Man then took Mason to a lab and doused him with tranquil-gas, but Mason tricked the Insect Man by not inhaling the gas. When the Insect Man turned around to get his instruments, Mason jumped off the table and ran away. The Insect Man went right after him, but was unable to grab Mason before he jumped into his capsule and pressed the panic button to be pulled back to the surface.

(Tales of Suspense I#24/1 - BTS) - When the capsule was later cleaned out by a janitor one of the Insect Man's hair was mopped up and thrown into the trash because the janitor didn't recognize that it was anything special.

SECRET WARS III HAPPENED

(Monsters Unleashed II#3) - The Insect Man, or one of his kind, was summoned by Kid Kaiju to join the battle against the Leviathon Tide in San Diego, California. After the Leviathons' defeat the monsters were, including Insect Man, were teleported back to where they came from.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers.

This character was only identified as Insect Man on the cover and in the title of the story. His real name remains a mystery.

Whenever I see a subterranean species I wonder if they were created in some way mutated by the Deviants.

It is unknown if the character seen in Monster Unleashed II#3 (April, 2017) was the Insect Man from the story or another member of his kind. Maybe it was his now grown up son.

This story was published in the same year as the first appearance of the Fantastic Four, but probably still took place in the pre-modern era. The reason for this is that the main plot was about test conducted to see how the psyche of a human would be affected by solitary confinement during a flight to the Moon, which happened in the real world in 1969.

This story was first reprinted in Where Monsters Dwell#19 (January, 1973) and nowadays can be found in the Monsters Vol.2: The Marvel Monsterbus by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby (2017).

This profile was completed 08/01/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Markus Raymond.













CLARIFICATIONS:
Insect Man should not be confused with:


Sgt. Mason

Sgt. Mason was chosen for the U.S. Army's test on the effects of solitary confinement of a possible flight to the Moon on a human being's mind. He was put in a capsule with plenty of food and water to sustain him in addition to magazines and body care articles. He was instructed to press a panic button whenever he felt like he couldn't take it anymore leading to the capsule getting be pulled back up again. With Mason on board he was lowered into the deepest hole humans ever dug. The first fifteen hours Mason felt fine. After a day he began to get bored and shaved himself. After five days all the magazines were not enough for Mason and he started craving human companionship. After nine days he considered pressing the panic button when he suddenly heard a thumping noise coming from the outside. Mason opened the capsule and saw a gigantic Insect Man. He attempted to get back inside the capsule, but was captured instead. He could hear the Insect Man's thoughts and was taken to a subterranean civilization of giant bipedal bugs, who doubted him to have intelligence because he was so small. Mason tried to tell them that he had intelligence, but they couldn't understand him because he was so small and his voice sounded like buzzing to them. The Insect Man gave Mason to his son as a pet. Mason didn't know how to escape back to his own world while the son protected him from his other pet and used a force field gun on Mason to keep him safe. Mason grabbed a ring to humor the boy, but shortly after the Insect Man arrived and took Mason away to examine him to see how Mason was constructed. He promised his son it wouldn't hurt Mason because he would use tranquil-gas on him. Mason tricked the Insect Man by not inhaling the gas and only pretending to be immobile. As soon as the Insect Man looked away Mason jumped off the table and ran back to his capsule. He pressed the panic button and the capsule was pulled back to the surface. When he told his superiors about what had happened in the subterranean they didn't believe him and thought he had just gone insane due to the extreme isolation. Eventually even Mason believed that it was just his imagination playing tricks on him.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


capsule

The capsule was created by the U.S. Army to test how long a space pilot could remain in solitary confinement before he went insane. It was equipped with a panic button that could be pressed whenever the pilot felt like he couldn't take it anymore. There was plenty of food, water, magazines and body care articles on the capsule to sustain the pilot. It was lowered down into the deepest hole ever dug by humans and eventually pulled back up when Mason pressed the panic button. When it was cleaned out by a janitor an insect's hair was mopped up and thrown away with the rest of the garbage because the janitor didn't recognize that it was anything special.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


Tabor

Tabor was a human-sized mole-like creature owned by the Insect Man's son as a pet. When it tried to attack Sgt. Mason, the child protected Mason from Tabor by blocking Tabor's way with his claw. The child then created a force field around Mason to keep him protected from Tabor.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


race & city

The Insect Man's species were a subterranean civilization on Earth. They were gigantic bipedal insectoids, whose brains were so large that their mere thoughts could be picked up by humans. They were technologically and intellectually highly advanced, having created force field-generating guns and paralyzing tranquil-gas. Human voices sounded to them like buzzing.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


tranquil-gas

The Insect Man used tranquil-gas on Sgt. Mason to prevent him from feeling the examination. Sgt. Mason didn't inhale the gas though and instead held his breath while pretending to be immobile. Mason then jumped off the operating table and escaped the Insect Man, returning to his capsule, which was pulled back to the surface after he pushed the panic button.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


force field gun

The Insect Man's son used a gun to create a force field around Sgt. Mason to protect him from his other pet Tabor. After the force field was erected around Mason, the son continued to play with him.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


unidentified son

The son asked Insect Man if he could keep the little creature (Mason) to play with. Insect Man gladly handed Mason over to his son, who took him to his room as his new pet. He was pretty sure Mason was incapable of stinging him and even erected a force field around him to protect Mason from his other pet Tabor. The son held up a ring and Mason held on to it to humor him, which made the son happy. Moments later Insect Man arrived to take Mason away because it was decided to examine Mason to see how he was constructed. The son was scared that Mason would be hurt, but his father promised him to spray him with tranquil-gas to keep him from feeling any pain.

--Tales of Suspense I#24/1


images (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p1 (main)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p6, pan2 (from behind)
Monsters Unleashed II#3, p2-3, bottom center (summoned by Kid Kaiju)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, Cover (cover version)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p6, pan6 (Sgt. Mason, full body)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p2, pan6 (Sgt. Mason, head shot)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p2, pan7 (capsule)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p5, pan2 (Tabor, body shot)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p5, pan3 (Tabor, face)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p4, pan4 (Insect Man's city)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p4, pan5 (Insenct Man's people)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p6, pan4 (tranquil-gas)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p5, pan5 (force field gun)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p5, pan1 (Insect Man's son)
Tales of Suspense I#24/1, p5, pan7 (Insect Man's son, head shot)


Appearances:
Tales of Suspense I#24/1 (December, 1961) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Monsters Unleashed II#3 (April, 2017) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Gerry Alanguilan & Michael Jason Paz (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)


First Posted: 09/23/2021
Last updated: 09/22/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
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