Retro Review: Tales to Astonish #13(1st Groot)

by Jason Laframboise on May 05, 2017

Written by: Stan Lee
Art by: Jack Kirby
Inking by: Dick Ayers

The story itself reads like it's a 1950's B- horror movie, but instead of giant ants or a giant Gila monster or a monstrous creeping carpet terror, we get a giant tree king from Planet X. So Groot's plan is to use the local forest to kidnap a local town and take the residents back to Planet X to experiment on them. The only thing standing between Groot and his goal is a scientist, who happens to be our narrator. The scientist defeats Groot in a laugh out loud way, but hey it's cheesy Sci-Fi. I really enjoyed the story but the the ending made the story so much better.

The art was great. Typical 50's and 60s Kirby style. Kirby's art is simply put the best for this kind of story, because if there is one thing that Jack Kirby does better then anyone else it's draw weird monsters. The use of colour to signify emotion is a highlight in the book and it is a typical period specific thing that was used a lot in early horror books.

This Groot is very different from his modern counter part. While the modern Groot while a skilled warrior when he needs to be, he is a pretty peaceful tree while the original Groot was a saber rattling monster that wanted to preform experiments on other life forms. As far as I know modern Groot doesn't seem to have the ability to control other trees. There's also there obvious visual differences the old Groot is much thicker and has that Kirby flair going for him while the newer one is much skinnier and actually seems to smile a lot. The other significant difference is that while the modern day Groot only says 3 words "I Am Groot" the first incarnation frequently monologues and has a much larger vocabulary then Groot of our day. The whole I am Groot thing is actually a very recent quirk that was added in the past few years.

It was a fun little sci-fi story. It's really what I think of when I think of pre Fantastic Four Marvel. A giant monster attacks Earth. There were lots of crazy monster books being put out at this time. I'm sure if Groot hadn't been brought back and updated this story would have just been another quirky Marvel Monster book, but now thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy we have merchandise including extremely popular baby versions of a character that originally invaded our planet. Remember that when you buy your baby Groot Funko Pop toy.

Our Score:


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