After the Comics Code Authority loosened its grip on the comic book industry in the early 1970s, the monster craze exploded. Villains, heroes, and everything in between, here are the Top 10 Monsters in Comics.
10. Marvel Zombies
Set in an alternate universe where the world’s superhero population has been infected with a virus that turned them into zombies, Marvel Zombies was basically an excuse for Arthur Suydam to showcase his bitchin’ zombie art and recreate classic Marvel Comics covers with an undead twist. We don’t hate it. One of only two entries on this list not created in the 70s.
9. The Demon Etrigan
Superhero? Antihero? Monster for sure, the Jack Kirby-created demon from Hell has scared up adventures in DC Comics for over forty years.
8. Fin Fang Foom
Another Jack Kirby (and Stan Lee!) creation, the dragon-like Fin Fang Foom got his fun-to-say name from a 1934 movie version of the British stage musical Chu Chin Chow. And we always thought it was a homage to Jack and the Beanstalk’s “fee-fi-fo-fum” …
7. Swamp Thing / Man-Thing
DC Comics has Swamp Thing, Marvel Comics has Man-Thing, and yes, one ripped off the other. Both have had some pretty creepy stories over the years in the comics, but the tale of which came first and who stole from who may not be what you think. We’ll let Comic Vine clear that up …
6. Morbius, The Living Vampire
Part of the Spider-Man universe, Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane back in the 70’s (explaining that groovy costume), originally as a bit of a villain. But like all great Marvel villains readers begin to love too much (Venom, Sabertooth, etc.), Morbius eventually became more of an anti-hero.
Created by Frank Robbins and Neal Adams, Man-Bat (the opposite of Batman, get it?) was originally a DC Comics bad guy created in 1970 (a good decade for comic book monsters). Over time (and a million DC Universe reboots and alternate timelines), his motivations and alliances have changed, but he’s still a man who is also a bat.
4. Ghost Rider
Johnny Baze, Danny Ketch, Robbie Reyes have all been the supernatural being obsessed with fast wheels and burning skulls, but for our money Baze IS Ghost Rider. Even Nicolas Cage couldn’t ruin one of the coolest character designs ever. Fun fact: Prior to the motorcycle riding badass we all know and love today, Ghost Rider was actually a Marvel Comics cowboy character (wearing all white) that rode a horse.
The modern Marvel version of Count Dracula was created by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan in 1972. Prior to that, the Comics Code Authority had prevented publishing vampire comics. This was revised in early 1971, as long as the characters were from established literary works, and voila! Marvel had its Prince of the Night.
2. Werewolf By Night
With a name like Jack Russell, what else could this guy become? Often a team character, Werewolf (as he’s usually referred to, dropping the “By Night”) was popular enough in the 70s to get Giant Size Creatures retitled to Giant-Size Werewolf with its second issue.
Demon horns, demon tail, pages and pages of underworld monsters … Mike Mignola’s signature creation has been adapted into two live-action feature films, animated films, and video games. He’s pretty popular, and he’s the only character on this list not published by Marvel or DC (Dark Horse Comics represent!). He’s also only the second comic book creature not coming out of the boom period of the 1970s.
Honorable Mention: Hulk
Technically, he’s a monster. Gray, green, red, still a monster. He’s just not a scary monster …