Tentacle Tuesday: Monsters with Really Long Arms

A favourite trope of tentacular obsession in comics is populating stories with monsters boasting exceptionally long arms (sometimes more than one pair) that they can wind around stuff with ease. In other words, monsters with tentacle forelimbs. You’d have to abstain from comics altogether to never encounter that of which I speak (or stick to slice-of-life comics, I guess). A little demonstration is in order.

Here’s a trick question: what kind of being lives on planet Octo? Duh: Octo-men! The following Flip Falcon story, illustrated by Don Rico (and not “Orville Wells”, despite claims to the contrary), was printed in Fantastic Comics no. 17 (April 1941).

Fantastic Comics #17

FantasticComics17-OctoMen2

FantasticComics17-FlipFalcon
Interesting that “dog” is used as a slur even on planet Octo, despite there clearly being no canines around.
FantasticComics17-OctoMen
Nasty little brutes, aren’t they?

The Super-Tests of the Super-Pets! (scripted by Edmond Hamilton, penciled by John Forte and inked by Sheldon Moldoff) is every bit as goofy as it sounds. I actually enjoyed reading it, much to my own amazement. Anyway, while Proty II (Chameleon Boy’s pet) transforms into quite a few creatures to pass the super-test, he clearly favours tentacular forms (and who could blame him?) This was published in Adventure Comics no. 322 (July 1964).

Super Tests of the Super Pets! (Adventure Comics no. 322)-1-SheldonMoldoff

Super Tests of the Super Pets! (Adventure Comics no. 322)-2-SheldonMoldoff
How is it worse to be a jellyfish instead of some sort of blobby ectoplasm thing?

Speaking of Proty II and ectoplasm, a dozen issues later, the Legion decides to visit his home planet, which is just full of these jello-marshmallow doughboys, Protean citizens all. Part I: The Unknown Legionnaire and Part II: The Secret of Unknown Boy! (both parts scripted by Edmond Hamilton, penciled by John Forte and inked by Sheldon Moldoff) were published in Adventure Comics no. 334 (July 1965).

Adventure Comics no. 334
To terrify Proteans, whose appendages are borderline tentacles, Saturn Girl decides to conjure up a… monster with tentacles.
AdventureComics334-TheUnknownLegionnaire3
In case you didn’t believe me that Proteans have “tentacles”.
AdventureComics334-TheUnknownLegionnaire-2
The shape-shifting Proteans turn into more streamlined versions of themselves, with more pronounced tentacles. I swear, everyone is obsessed.

Next, I’d like to regale you with a fight scene illustrated by Murphy Anderson (yum!): Scourge of the Human Race!, scripted by Gardner Fox and published in Hawkman no. 15 (August-September 1966).

Hawkman15-1964-MurphyAnderson

Hawkman15-1964-MurphyAnderson3
Isn’t it a lovely last panel?

Hawkman15-1964-MurphyAnderson4

If I Can’t Be Clark Kent… Nobody Can!, published in Action Comics no. 524 (October 1981), scripted by Martin Pasko, penciled by Curt Swan and inked by Frank Chiaramonte, offers us a nice helping of tentacles.

Action Comics #524 (1981)

Action Comics #524 (1981)-2

If I should see an octopus
Lift its arms out of the sea
Or see its shadow rising up
Cross the rooftops above the streets
I’d follow those dancing limbs
To the spinning edge of the sky
Where all the boats fall off the world
Into the octopus’s eye

~ ds

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