Tall Tales of Super-Sized Superheroes!
In part two, we jump from a Skyscraper Superman to a “Skyscraper Wonder Woman”, as Wonder Woman #122 (1961) kicks off a trio of King Kong tribute covers.
Lois Lane states the obvious on the cover of Superman #226 (1970), featuring the day “when Superman became King Kong”, thanks to the unpredictable effects of Red Kryptonite.
The final superhero reenactment of Kong’s last stand was The Bat-Creature on the cover of Batman #162 (1964). This time around, it was Robin playing the part of Fay Wray pleading for the attack to stop.
Of course, the Dynamic Duo already had plenty of experience dealing
with sudden size changes. In Detective Comics #292 (1961), an
"experimental gas" caused Batman to become "The Colossus of Gotham
City" (where there are apparently still castles with moats).
Four years earlier in Detective Comics #243 (1957), Robin once again runs interference as “The Giant Batman” appears to be too dimwitted to avoid squishing Gotham City’s panicked citizens.
Lex Luthor takes advantage of a similarly dimwitted dinosaur-size Man of Steel in Superman #302 (1976).
Sometimes size is only a matter of perspective, when the normally teeny-tiny Atom appears to be “The World’s Tallest Superhero” to a microscopic race of people on the cover of The Atom #32 (1967), naturally triggering fear and distrust (as well as a hail of tiny arrows).
“Fear” is the operative word in Justice League #44 (1966), as Green Lantern, Batman and the Flash face a “King-Size Death” (not to mention a shocking loss of dignity) from a mysterious Monster Plague.
The words “turtle” and “menace” seldom appear together, but that’s exactly what happens on the cover of Jimmy Olsen #53 (1961), as Superman’s Pal accidentally transforms himself into the “super-menace” of Giant Turtle Man! Note Superman’s casual (and vaguely sinister) “…and now I must remove you from the Earth” comment.
Another kid sidekick is super-sized on the cover of Aquaman #2 (1962), as Aqualad is both enlarged and enraged by a mysterious underwater gas.
Adventurer Adam Strange must prevent his 70 ft. duplicate from destroying the planet Rann in Mystery in Space #59 (1960). Adam saves the day after discovering his giant double is actually a robot controlled by the villainous Avanar Bar using (I kid you not) a gizmo hidden in his wig.
Years later, the Star-Spangled Avenger battled his own robot duplicate in Captain America #262 (1981). Powered by the mind of a ubiquitous Nazi scientist, the 12-foot Ameridroid possessed twice the strength, stamina and agility of Cap.
That familiar green fist on the cover of The Avengers (vol. 3) #40 (2001) isn’t the Hulk’s, but rather a super-mega-gigantic “Composite Hulk” made from the merged forms of hundreds of Hulked-out Greek villagers. Ironically, the Mega-Hulk was subdued by Bruce Banner (the original Hulk), who gained control of the creature and freed the villagers.
By this point, it’s obvious that giant status is no walk in the park.
Despite some clear advantages (an unobstructed view of movie screens, effortless slam-dunks, etc.), they’re eclipsed by many more disadvantages (the world’s collective fear and distrust, attacking fighter jets, lack of proper bathroom facilities, etc). So, the next time you pass a radioactive meteor, a cloud of volcanic gas or play around with Pym Particles, keep in mind the old saying that “bigger isn’t always better”.
Well…with the possible exception of plasma screen TV’s.