Unleash the Beasts: Groot
The famed Guardian of the Galaxy started out very different in his first appearance!
It might surprise Guardians of the Galaxy fans to know that Groot first appeared as a monstrous menace in the pages of TALES TO ASTONISH #13. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby debuted the beast in a 1960 issue which found the denizen of Planet X rampaging through a small town.
One brave man, Leslie Evans, stood in Groot’s way much to the surprise of his fellow townspeople. Earlier that night, he and his date Alice were headed home after a party when they saw the creature zap down to Earth. She wanted to go home, so he agreed and got absorbed in his work as a biologist for the next few days.
After trees and other wooden objects started going missing, Evans remembered the close encounter and headed into the woods where he soon discovered Groot absorbing the missing implements into his body! Groot then made his presence known to the wider population of the town and explained his purpose: “I am Groot, monarch of Planet X!” he bellowed. “I come to take an Earth village—your village, back to my planet! We want to study you, to experiment on you!”
He explained in further detail that he would command the trees to make a perimeter around the town, then connect roots and fly off into space back to Planet X. As Groot went about implementing his plan, Evans raced to his lab and worked tirelessly on something that would stop the invader. What could fell such a powerful being? Why specially bred termites of course!
This more monstrous version of Groot appeared alongside Goom, Diablo, Blip, Xemnu, and Taboo to fight The Hulk in the pages of INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL #5.
As you’ve probably figured out, the Groot seen here has been distanced from the being who first met up with Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon in the pages of ANNIHILATION CONQUEST – STAR-LORD. The original Groot was simply another denizen of Planet X while the one who became a founding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy proved a more rebellious youth who wanted to help others instead of kidnapping them and researching them like that first example who visited Earth.
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