Comics / Back Issues

DC Comics History: Green Glob (1964 - 1967: The New Look)


By Deejay Dayton
March 22, 2020 - 05:48

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One of the more unusual series to debut during the period 1964 – 1967: the New Look, was the Green Glob. I'm really not sure why the Green Glob is even called that.  Right from the opening narration, it is referred to as a "gaseous mass," and looks like a green fog. This mysterious entity displays a vast array of powers in the fifteen stories it appears in, but remains mute, and its motivations are not as clear as they might be. I will be looking at most, though not all, of the Green Glob outings from Tales of the Unexpected. This is hardly the greatest series from the era, but good for curiosity’s sake.

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The Green Glob debuts in Tales of the Unexpected 85, in a story by George Roussos, but I have no idea who wrote it. The Green Glob floats into a store and settles on a wooden carving, which later gets purchased by a man who intends to use it as a prop when he makes up a big adventure story, which he will pretend to have taken. But as he begins relating the story, it all starts to happen.  The guy gets taken to an alien world, and winds up possessing super-powers. It's a somewhat incoherent, but visually impressive tale.  And it's not a dream.  The story makes clear that the people he was talking to saw the man vanish and then return.  At the end, terrified of his experience, he decides to stop telling lies, and leaves the wooden figure behind. The Green Glob then leaves the figure and floats away. It's not quite clear from this debut story what the Glob's powers are, though the narration points out that the Glob made the man learn a lesson, so that appears to be its motivation.

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The Green Glob returns in Tales of the Unexpected 86, and gets a logo now.  The tale follows a thief as he flees from the police, driving his car off the road to enter a valley where he plans to hide out.  The Green Glob settles on him just before this, although the man does not see or feel it. When he reaches the valley he finds an unusual pattern on the ground, one he has never seen before.  Each time he steps off the pattern he finds himself on an alien world, in an alien body.  In both cases he winds up wanted for a crime and pursued. So after coming back to the valley the second time he turns back and gives himself up to the police.  He tells them about the markings on the valley floor, but they see nothing. I ought to have mentioned before that the only other thing we know about the Green Glob is that it comes from outer space.  But this story, following the first, implies that the Glob intends to stop people from doing bad things.  Although it equates a somewhat harmless lie with full out robbery.

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The third Green Glob story appears in Tales of the Unexpected 87. This tale starts off differently than the previous two, as we follow a cop pursuing a jewel thief.  The cop has treated some pearls with "radioactivity" so that he can trail the thief, but the man vanishes into the blue anyway. The cop is left befuddled.  But the Green Glob shows up, and when the cop wishes he could be where the thief is, the Glob transports him to the alien planet where the thief has fled.  The thief is stealing pearls for the aliens in exchange for a hypnosis machine. There are some alien cops on the trail of the bad aliens as well, who pretty much save the day.  The pearls have the same hypnotic effect on the aliens that the machine has on humans.  The pair return to Earth, and the cop destroys the teleportation device. So the Green Glob acts once again to bring a thief to justice, but does so by fulfilling the policeman's wish.  A bit different than the previous tales.

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The Green Glob story in Tales of the Unexpected 88 heads in a very different direction that the earlier ones.  The Glob merges with a mask for a costume party.  The mask is being worn by a young actor, whose girlfriend wants him to quit show business and go back to med school. As the cover shows, at the party he discovers that the mask has become his real face, and his body now matches it.  In this form, he has gained tremendous mental powers, but everyone is afraid of him.  He spends his time saving lives, and not caring about what people think of his looks. And that is the message he needed to learn. When he vocalizes this to his girlfriend, he changes back into a human, losing his powers. So there is no crime, or even bad impulse that the Glob is dealing with.  Simply life choices.  The Green Glob clearly prefers people to become doctors rather than actors.

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The Green Glob story from Tales of the Unexpected 89 deals with a dying scientist.  He had built a rocket to go to Mars, but will never manage to make the trip himself.  The Green Glob floats on in, and sends the man to Mars, as well as de-aging him, so he can experience it the way he had dreamed of. The trip is dangerous, of course, or it wouldn't be worth illustrating.  At the end, the man is returned to his bed, but has some of the red sand from the planet with him, so he knows it really happened.  The guy then dies, and is found the next day by his friends, who have no idea of the trip he took. So the Green Glob is not righting any wrongs or such in this outing.  Simply fulfilling a dying wish.

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In Tales of the Unexpected 91 the nebulous entity exacts a really complex form of justice. A shady businessman leaves those he works with broke, and then takes off for a jungle safari vacation, unaware that the Green Glob has taken up residence in his backpack.  He winds up experiencing a series of visions, and the events that he sees all wind up taking place. So he takes advantage of these visions to make even more money.  But then he invests everything he has into a company based on a vision of it creating an immortality serum - a vision which was a lie.  So he winds up bankrupt. The Green Glob really wanted to play the long game with this one.

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The Green Glob gets the cover of Tales of the Unexpected 94, although you'd never know it. The story centres on a young lawyer who is called back to the town he grew up in, by men who want him to run for mayor.  The man feels that he has been away from the town for too long, and the mayor is an old friend of his now-dead father.  So he is reluctant to accept the offer.  He goes to bed that night, and the Green Glob enters his room, presumably taking control of his dream. In the dream, the boy sees the mayor and all his supporters as evil, destructive monsters.  They are openly corrupt and awful, but the townspeople allow them to keep on going, as they hold the positions of power.  This is enough to change the guy's mind, and when he wakes, he decides he will run for mayor after all. Considering that the mayor is not actually a monster in disguise or anything, the story is a very odd one.  Why does the Green Glob care so much about who becomes the mayor of this town?

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The Green Glob story from Tales of the Unexpected 97 has to do with a man with a terminal illness, who has less than a month to live. He is thinking of taking a trip, but the Green Glob merges with his passport, and sends him to a completely different dimension.  Or maybe an alien world. Whichever, he winds up having to battle shape changers in order to protect a princess.  He gets exposed to extreme heat, and extreme cold. The Green Glob returns the man to Earth, and at his next doctor's visit there is no trace of his disease.  His experience cured him.  Or did the Green Glob cure him?  It seems well within its apparently limitless powers.

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Tales of the Unexpected 100 has the Green Glob interact with a woman for a change, the only time during the run that it would do so. Brown haired Judy Brown wins an award for being the most efficient secretary, and gets to work for a millionaire for a day as the prize.  Pretty lame ass prize.  But in that one day, she discovers evidence linking the guy to smuggling.  She wishes she could do something about it.  Fortunately for her, the Green Glob happens by, and transforms her into a blonde secret agent.  Calling herself Judy Blonde, she gets on the millionaire's case, using all manner of James Bond-type gimmicks to bring him down. It makes for a really fun story, and it's kind of a shame that she chooses to transform back into herself at the end of the tale.

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The final Green Glob story, from Tales of the Unexpected 103, is written by France Herron, with art by Bernard Baily.  More than any other story, this one gives some degree of insight into how the Glob uses its powers.  It begins by coming to the aid of a photographer who is down on his luck.  The Glob endows him with great good fortune. He saves a few lives thanks to this.  But once he realizes he has become supernaturally lucky, he begins to think about how he can illegally benefit from this.  But his plans for theft never quite come off, his luck fails him. In the end, the man realizes that his good luck lasted as long as it was being used beneficially, but then disappeared when he tried to use it for greedy self-interest.  The Green Glob wants to help people, but absolutely will not aid them in anything unethical.

The Green Glob does make a return, although not until the 90s, showing up in the Angel and the Ape miniseries, where its nature gets explained.

The Green Glob: Tales of the Unexpected 85 – 98, 100, 102 - 103 (Oct/Nov 64 – Dec/Jan 66/67, April/May 67, Aug/Sept 67 – Oct/Nov 67)

Next up – Sgt. Mule!


Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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