Monsters seem to be in at the moment. Last week I caught The Great Wall which has Matt Damon and company squaring off against a horde of reptilian creatures that swarm over China’s famous landmark. It came with the inevitable trailer for Kong: Skull Island which promises lots more bangs and explosions when it reaches us in a fortnight. But it got me thinking of a behemoth with a different twist, a gentle giant who was misunderstood by a world that feared him and was running from a threat that was potentially far more dangerous the people who were hunting him. Couldn’t Galaxus provide a different pace to monster movies?
This strange visitor from another world was created by Scott Goodall for the British comic weekly Buster (fronted by Andy Capp’s little boy) which mixed humour strips with a bizarre and memorable range of adventure features. Argentine comic artist Solano López was onboard to draw the misunderstood monster and his pals as they faced all the trials that would arise before them. The adventures of Galaxus - The Thing From Outer Space would run for eight years from 1966 to 1974. Almost ape-like, the creature was based on the yeti from the Fifties film, The Abominable Snowman. However, he wasn’t a towering vessel of unbridled rage, lashing out at everything in his path.
A timid beastie, Galaxus, his real name remained unknown, was abducted from his homeworld for slave labour. The alien “controller” would eventually make planetfall on Earth and send his slave out for recon.
However, his unwitting pawn escapes with the aid of two schoolboys, Jim and Danny Jones, and the trio go on the run, hunted by the authorities, evading alien menaces and all kinds of tribulations.
Strange super-powers were a characteristic. Vaguely telepathic Galaxus could change size. He would be either a few inches high or a towering giant. He could also adjust his body temperature to become freezing cold or exude a roasting heat. But Galaxus wasn’t a natural warrior, the urge to flee was more overwhelming than the urge to fight, even when he was massively bigger than his foes. Easily upset he would sob and wail uncontrollably.
All the elements of a good monster movie are built into Galaxus and it could offer a different kind of mayhem for our entertainment. Hopefully a print collection of Galaxus adventures will not be too far away as Rebellion plunder the Fleetway Archives, but a movie or game could capture a new audience for the timid titan.