By Tim Stevens
While many of the monsters that marked Marvel's early days have long since come and gone, the scaly one known as Fin Fang Foom has continued to endure.
As evidence of his continued popularity, come November 19, the enormous visitor from Maklu IV will stalk Iron Man amongst the lights of the gambling capitol of the world in the Jon Favreau-penned, Adi Granov-illustrated IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS #3.
While fans await their desire for new Foom to be sated, they will want to seek out these stories, humbly submitted as the wearer of purple shorts' greatest hits…
The Origin: IRON MAN v1 #261
Fin Fang Foom, as it turns out, only resembles a dragon. In reality, he belongs to a shape shifting race of beings from the planet Maklu IV (or Kakaranthara, depending on who you ask). Ditching their peaceful surroundings with dreams of intergalactic conquest, a group of Makluans traveled the stars with Foom acting as navigator. Happening upon Earth, the crew decided to go native, except for Foom, who they kept in a sort of suspended animation in his behemoth scaled form.
The Mandarin discovers all this and more when he rouses the dragon to use as a tool of his own dreams of world conquest.
The Dragon Seed: IRON MAN v1 #270-275
Dragons, even alien ones, do not typically play well with others. After helping the Mandarin to take over a large swath of China, Foom summoned his fellow Makluans to him to begin their long gestating plans of world domination.
Refusing to be a servant to anyone, man, beast or alien, Mandarin chose to side with Iron Man to overcome the extraterrestrial plot.
A Period of Reform: MARVEL MONSTERS: FIN FANG FOUR #1 and MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2006
Alone and tired of humiliation, Foom gave up his selfish ways and submitted to a Reed Richards-created program for the rehab of monsters. After being reduced to the size of a typical human, the scaly one took a job as a chef inside the Baxter Building and teamed with fellow reformed monsters Elektro, Gorgilla, and Googam to repel inter-dimensional threat Tim Boo Ba.
Foom again made good by saving Christmas, alongside Doctor Strange's manservant Wong, from the hordes of HYDRA.
Back to Bad: NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF HATE #1-2
The Beyond Corporation released Foom, angrier than ever and seemingly stripped of his intellect, as an instrument of punishment against their wayward team of super heroes, Nextwave. Copious amounts of destruction and discussions about why a creature of such enormous proportions would bother with shorts ensued. By the end, Foom suffered something far more humiliating than any mere loss in combat.
Check out IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS #3 on November 19 to see what the Makluan has in store for the Golden Gladiator. And relive Foom's battle with Machine Man on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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