File 18: Tiresias Picture

Newspaper headline circa May, 1957:

"This Was the Day That Engulfed the World in Terror!"

From an interview with Dr. Mortimer Promelion:

"Tiresias, like Girtab, the Myrmidons, and 'Bobo,' was a relic from the First Age of Monsters. The massive mantis was thawed out of the arctic and ran amok, attacking Washington D.C. and New York. It was one of the most devastating kaiju incidents in the USA. Like the others, we managed to subdue it and bring it back to Area 51, telling the world it had died while we studied it in secret.

"Many of the researchers panicked when the earthquake tore through the man-made basins we had been keeping the kaiju in. Clark didn't - despite the rupture in the wall, none of the kaiju would leave. It was only when Tyrantis arose from out of the newly formed crevice in the earth that he started to feel uneasy. The dinosaur tore through the myrmidon nest with ease, much to Clark's displeasure. We both knew Bobo wouldn't stop the reptile - the spider took to Tyrantis in the same friendly manner he took to just about everything else. Yet even then Clark still kept his cool. Tiresias and Girtab still stood between Tyrantis and our facility.

"Tyrantis broke through the wall separting the two paddocks, and immediately he was set upon by Girtab. Tiresias waited behind, studying the situation. Girtab and Tyrantis managed to hold each other in a sort of stalemate, with neither gaining an upper hand over the other for a long while. When things started to turn in Tyrantis's favor, Tiresias struck. I think the mantis had grown a sense of loyalty towards his cell-mate. The two arthropods never showed great affection for each other, but their shared ambivalence was certainly a far cry from their normally aggressive behavior.

"The combined might of Tiresias and Girtab proved too much for Tyrantis to handle on his own, and Clark believed it would end there. Bobo shocked us all by joining in the fray - the most aggressive act we had seen from the spider outside of his brief encounter with the Myrmidon nest. The massive spider managed to trap Tiresias with his webbing, allowing Tyrantis to soundly beat Girtab into submission.

"Then, to Clark's horror, Tyrantis and Bobo broke down the wall to the last paddock - which left one last wall between them and Area 51..."

Character Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Team Affiliations: Area 51 Inmates, Big Bugs, First Age of Monsters Survivors
Episode Appearances: Assault on Area 51, Invasion from Beyond Space
Personality: Tiresias is a calm and quiet ambush hunter. While he prefers to sneak up on his prey, the giant insect is exceptionally skilled in combat as well, using its flexible body much like a student of kung fu. The mantis isn't as antisocial as most kaiju, but is still predatory and prone to confrontation. It has an odd friendship with Girtab, and is rarely seen far from the giant arachnid.

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And this is the last of my giant bug tributes. While the Myrmidons are a tribute to Them!, Girtab a tribute to The Black Scorpion, and Bobo sort of a tribute to Tarantula (or any other giant spider movie - there's shitloads), Tiresias is a tribute to The Deadly Mantis. I suppose you could call him a tribute to Kamacuras as well, but I was just thinking of The Deadly Mantis when I made him.

My fondness for that particular giant bug movie is mostly built out of nostalgia. When I was a kid my school library had all these old monster books from the seventies. Most of them were about fairly famous monsters, including Godzilla, King Kong, and the classic Universal beasties like the Wolf Man and Dracula. They were loaded with information. A lot of it being inaccurate, such as the "two endings of King Kong vs. Godzilla" rumor, but still, it was everything kid me wanted to read about. In addition to books on famous monsters, they had some summarizing the plots of more obscure movies. Included amongst them was The Deadly Mantis. That was one of my favorite books there. The plot sounded so epic, and the various stills from the movie and publicity shots included made it look like one of the coolest giant monster flicks ever.

I didn't actually see the movie until I was an adult, and it didn't really live up to my expectations set by the book. It's still pretty nifty, though, with some really cool props and some nice, creepy shots. Not great, but not too bad either. So from a mix of nostalgia and love of mantises in general (they're nifty buggers), Tiresias is born.

The name, by the by, is something I'm proud of. Mantis means "prophet" in Greek. A famous prophet from Greek mythology is Tiresias. Schwing. I'm kinda proud of that one - it fits Clark's Greek Theme naming so damn well.

Next: Minerva
The Wrath of Charybdis
Cuchullain
File 18: Tiresias
Tezeycamon
Omecoalt