Brewer Report: Fin Fang Foom
Friday, October 22, 2010 - 16:08
THE BREWER REPORT:
FIN FANG FOOM
Monster Island: X marks the spot
By Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
As announced at the recent New York Comic Con, Daniel Way and Jason Pearson will in February be taking Marvel’s ground-breaking Astonishing X-Men cast to Monster Island as the title’s new creative team. There, our merry mutants will encounter some of the greatest Kirby monsters of all time!
Including Fin Fang Foom!
For the uninitiated: Foom was first awakened by teenager Chan Liuchow, whose homeland was under threat from invading forces of Communist China. Liuchow goads the cosmic dragon into chasing him into the Communist camp (which Foom destroys) and then back to Foom's tomb, where the creature is returned to sleep via the use of a rare herb. Scientist Doctor Vault locates and mentally controls the dragon for use against Vault's foe, It the Living Colossus. After a brief battle, Foom resists the control and aids the Colossus against an alien invasion (intent on preserving the planet for the alien's own race to conquer at a later date) before returning to hibernation once again.
Foom is again roused from his slumber when his body is possessed by the demon “Aan Taanu.” Combating a group of occult adventurers (including an older Chan Liuchow, now a professor) known as The Legion of Night in New York, Taanu is exorcised from Foom's body, and the monster once again returns to hibernation.
It is revealed in flashback that Foom is an alien being from the world of Kakaranathara (also known as Maklu IV) in the Maklu system of the Greater Magellanic Cloud. The aliens arrive on Earth in ancient China, intending to conquer the planet. Using their natural shapeshifting powers to mimic human form, the aliens infiltrate human society to study it before beginning their conquest. The alien navigator is the exception, and acting as a reserve is placed in a tomb in a catatonic state.
The Makluan vessel is eventually found by a man who steals 10 sophisticated rings from it, and becomes the Mandarin. The Mandarin is directed to the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon by a man called Chen Hsu, who is also an alien dragon and the captain of the vessel. The Mandarin finds and wakes Fin Fang Foom, using the dragon to threaten the Chinese government. Foom helps the Mandarin take control of one-third of China, and is then revealed as an alien of Kakaranathara. With "Chen Hsu," whose true form is also revealed, the pair begin to summon their fellows, who had been disguised as humans for centuries. Realizing he has been tricked, the Mandarin joins forces with heroes Iron Man and War Machine to defeat the dragons, the battle ending with their apparent annihilation.
Although Foom's body is destroyed, the alien's spirit survives and bonds itself to a small dragon statue, which was stolen from a curio shop by teenager Billy Yuan at Foom's mental urging. Using Yuan's body as a conduit for his power, Foom summons thousands of lizards from the sewers beneath New York, merging them with Yuan's body to recreate his own form. Iron Man, however, defeats Foom with assistance from the last remnants of Yuan's mind. Due to legal complications the defeated dragon is sent to Monster Isle once again.
Fin Fang Foom is captured by the Collector and imprisoned with a subterranean collection of monsters. After being captured along with other monsters by the recently formed Fantastic Four and deposited on Monster Isle, Foom returns to China and hibernation.
With the other members of the Makluan crew dead, Foom decides to reform and becomes a follower of Buddhism. Entering into a rehabilitation program with three other monsters -- the robot Elektro, the giant ape Gorgilla and the alien Googam -- Foom is shrunk down to human size, hypnotically stripped of all powers and allowed to enter human society. Foom becomes head chef in a Chinese restaurant within the Baxter Building, and teams with the other monsters to defeat the size-changing warlord Tim Boo Ba. Foom begrudgingly also aids Wong, manservant of Dr. Strange, in defeating a force of HYDRA agents.
So how will Fin Fang Foom – and hopefully Googam, Gorgilla, It and a host of Kirby Kreatures – fare against Cyclops & Co.? We will find out in February!