A movie that a lot of giant monster fans love, loaded with symbolism regarding the political "Troubles" of Northern Ireland and suggested by Leonard Maltin (who gave it 3 stars) for Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Lets take a look.
Did you notice that little thing? The artist signature? It's not a lie, despite the fact that this book is pretty Fugly (Gold Key often tried to produce things on the cheap, licensees were expensive after all), the art is handled by Steve Ditko!
And honestly, despite the rushed nature of the product, he still does a lot of good things with it.
For instance, the rubber fish that are 'dislodged' by the volcano that awakens Gorgo and his mother are replaced with something far better looking and monstrous.
Character design is also off from the film. He makes one of the two protagonists blonde and he makes the Archeologist more . . . stereotypical.
If you've seen the movie, you'll know the design is a bit off. But screw it, Steve Ditko! I'll take his character designs over the movie casting for at least the professor.
Oh, the plot? Well Sam Slade and Joe Ryan (seriously, though, I didn't realize Sam had a last name until this comic!) are salvagers who got their boat partially damaged by a random volcano (which woke up the monsters). The Archeologist is hiding Viking Gold to hoard for himself (Gorgo being an old totemic being to those Vikings by appearances). The two men decide to go have a look for themselves and figure out.
A sequence of silent panels of them underwater is the real highlight of this first issue, expanding on a very murky scene in the movie and adding scenes of the ocean trying to kill the divers just because.
Gorgo Eat Killer Whale!
Gorgo will spend a lot of time eating in the series, believe it or not.
Anyway, after Gorgo wrecks things on the island, the Archeologist hires the two "Heroes" to get rid of it. The apparently didn't learn the lesson of King Kong and try and capture the monster. Again, Ditko expands on the scene and gets to show things that effects of the time could not, like the monster gnawing on the bathysphere.
So they catch it, put it on display at a circus in London and then . . .
Yeah, in the Political interpretation of this movie: Gorgo is Ireland's young men and his mother is literally Mother Ireland. It may be a coincidence but Gorgo's mother, who's taken the fan nickname "Ogra" (pronounced "Oogra") smashes the Tower Bridge, London and Big Ben before rescuing her kid.
But, sadly, the attack scene in the comic isn't that grand, so here's the ending.
The only things the movie has over the comic are:
- Better climactic battle.
- A better monster design.
Yeah, you heard. It's not the same, really. Gorgo is thick black with red eyes. Why must every Silver Age giant reptile comic give it a weird solid color? (It's cheaper to ink that way, duh!)
Just compare the stuff above to this: