Real Name: Victor Phillips
Identity/Class: Human mutate (Pre-modern era)
Occupation: Criminal; temporary carnival-worker
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Unidentified police detectives
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Shaggy Creature" (in story title only); "the world's greatest scientist" (as called by himself) (see comments)
Base of Operations: A traveling carnival near Wartville
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#10/4 (July, 1960)
Powers/Abilities: Phillips was a genius who was highly knowledgeable in chemistry, and possibly other branches of science. He used his talents for crime and invented illegal devices, such as "foolproof burglar tools"; he was also skilled at picking locks.
While on the run from the law, Phillips carried his "portable laboratory," a suitcase filled with various chemical mixtures.
Using a blood sample from a gorilla, Phillips created a serum to transform himself into a gorilla; he also created an antidote to change him back to human. However, the serum worked a little too well, for not only did it give him the body of a gorilla, but a gorilla's brain as well -- consequently, he was left unable to comprehend how to use the antidote, and was thus trapped in the form of an ape.
Height: Unrevealed (5'10"; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (170 lbs.; by approximation)
(Tales of Suspense I#10/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Victor Phillips is largely unrevealed, but he was a scientist who used his knowledge for criminal purposes. He eventually became wanted by the law.
(Tales of Suspense I#10/4 (fb)) - One month prior, the police raided Phillips' laboratory to arrest him, only to find that he had evaded them; but they were sure they'd track him down sooner or later.
Meanwhile, as the police were contemplating their next move, Phillips was far away, traveling aboard a train; he was confident that he'd never be caught, because he could outsmart everyone. He eventually disembarked from the locomotive at an unimpressive little town called Wartville, but he noticed a carnival a few miles outside of town, which gave him an idea.
After he trudged to the carnival, Phillips got a job as a carnival-worker -- they thought he was just a drifter who wanted to earn a few dollars. Although it appalled him to do menial labor, he thought it was worth it, because the police would never think of searching for the world renowned Professor Victor Phillips in a carnival!
However, Phillips soon decided that his job with the carnival wasn't enough protection, because the police were relentless and they'd eventually find him, so he had to come up with a way that would prevent them from finding him, even if they did come to the carnival. Then he thought of a fantastic scheme for the perfect "hiding place" in plain sight. He sneaked out to the cage of the carnival's gorilla and extracted a blood sample from the ape; then he took the blood sample back to his tent and began to experiment with it using his "portable laboratory".
And so Phillips spent his time working around the carnival by day, and working on the most incredible experiment ever attempted by night. When he was finally done, Phillips had created a serum that would transform him into a gorilla, and an antidote that would make him human again!
(Tales of Suspense I#10/4) - Three nights later, Phillips espied a pair of plain-clothes police detectives asking the carnival owner about him; the carnival owner denied employing anyone with that name (see comments), but allowed the detectives to look around anyway. Since the police had finally tracked him down, Phillips was ready to put his scheme into action, for the police would never recognize him as a gorilla!
Going back to his tent, Phillips injected himself with the serum, then he took the other syringe containing the antidote and rushed to the gorilla's cage -- he figured that when the cops passed by in a few minutes, all they'd see was a pair of gorillas, then after they left, he could take the antidote and become human again. Phillips climbed into the cage, and seconds later, as his body got hairy and larger, he burst out of his clothing, completely transformed into a grunting ape!
Moments later, the two unsuspecting detectives passed by, seeing only two typical-looking gorillas in a cage. Although they had found Phillips' "portable laboratory," and therefore knew that he'd been there, they figured he had gotten away again, so their search for him would continue.
Meanwhile, after the police left, the new gorilla in the cage picked up the antidote syringe and examined it for a few moments; but the ape couldn't even begin to understand what the strange object was. He soon let the syringe fall to the floor...then he sat down and looked about the cage...the cage which was now his home.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck.
Phillips undoubtedly used another alias when he got a job as a carnival-worker, but it was never mentioned.
This 5-page story--I am the Shaggy Creature--left the final fate of Victor Phillips unresolved, but you would think the carnies would have noticed the extra ape ("Hey! Where'd dat utter goriller come from?").
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Victor Phillips/"The Shaggy Creature" has no known connection to:
Gargantus the gorilla has no known connections to:
A traveling carnival's lone gorilla, Gargantus was quite docile, and the carnival-workers considered him to be "about as ferocious as a cow".
But unwilling to take chances, fugitive scientist Victor Phillips distracted Gargantus with a bunch of bananas while he extracted a blood sample from the ape; Phillips was on the run from the law, so he wanted to use the blood sample from Gargantus to make a serum that would transform himself into a gorilla, along with an antidote to change him back to human.
Later, Gargantus was joined in his cage by a "roommate" -- Victor Phillips, whose serum had completely transformed him into a gorilla; since Phillips now had the mind of a gorilla as well, he couldn't even begin to understand the purpose of the antidote.
--Tales of Suspense I#10/4
While on the run from the law and hiding out as a carnival-worker, fugitive scientist Victor Phillips came up with a scheme to give himself the perfect hiding place. Using a blood sample taken from Gargantus the carnival gorilla, Phillips created a serum to transform himself into a gorilla, along with an antidote to make him human again.
When a pair of police detectives came searching for him, Phillips injected himself with the serum, then carried the syringe with the antidote with him as he climbed into the cage with Gargantus. Moments later, the serum changed Phillips into a gorilla, and the unsuspecting detectives left to continue their search.
However, the serum worked a little too well, for not only did it give Phillips the body of a gorilla, but a gorilla's brain as well; consequently, the new gorilla looked at the antidote syringe, but couldn't even begin to understand what it was. The new gorilla soon let the syringe fall to the floor of the cage, where it shattered.
--Tales of Suspense I#10/4
A pair of plain-clothes police detectives, they went to a traveling carnival to search for criminal scientist Victor Phillips.
Although they found Phillips' "portable laboratory," they couldn't actually find the fugitive, so their search would continue -- they were unaware that one of the apes in the cage they walked past was Phillips, who had created a serum to transform himself into a gorilla!
--Tales of Suspense I#10/4
images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Victor Phillips, transforming into gorilla)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p3, pan3 (Headshot - Victor Phillips)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p4, pan2 (Victor Phillips, working on serum)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p5, pan4 (Victor Phillips, bursting out of his clothes, completely changing into gorilla, losing his intelligence)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p3, pan7 (Gargantus eats bananas, as Victor Phillips extracts a blood sample from him)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p4, pan5 (Victor Phillips successfully completes serum and antidote)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p5, pan6 (transformed Victor Phillips holds syringe with antidote)
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p5, pan7 (shattered antidote syringe; transformed Victor Phillips and Gargantus (background))
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p4, pan6 (plain-clothes detectives speak with carnival owner; Victor Phillips (foreground))
Tales of Suspense I#10/4, p5, pan5 (unsuspecting plain-clothes detectives walk past gorilla cage; transformed Victor Phillips and Gargantus (background))
Tales of Suspense I#10/4 (July, 1960) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Don Heck (pencils/inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters)
First posted: 09/24/2022
Last updated: 09/24/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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