File 17: Girtab Picture

Headlines from various newspapers circa October 11th, 1957:



From an interview Dr. Mortimer Promelion:

"The black scorpion was originally a class M3 kaiju, but in the eighty or so years it occupied Area 51 it grew to a class M4. I am told the monster was discovered in Mexico. There were several of the creatures at first, along with several other monsters who were not captured by our forces. A mining operation had opened the subterranean cavern they had been occupying. Eventually the cavern was closed off with dynamite, and the monsters within were assumed destroyed. One escaped and wreaked a little havoc before being subdued and captured by our military. I'm not sure how true this summary is - the reports are sketchy, as most of the documents from Area 51 are. I do know that the scorpion is highly aggressive and territorial, displaying the fighting instinct so many kaiju have in abundance.

"When Clark took over the facility we had to give it a codename derived from Greek mythology. Don't ask me why - it was one of Clark's more harmless little eccentricities. After one of my colleagues un-creatively named the giant spider 'Arachne' - a name I am glad has not caught on with the public - I tried to find a more interesting moniker for our other arachnid. I chose Girtab - it's one of the stars in the constellation Scorpio, which represents the scorpion that killed Orion. Girtab even means 'scorpion' in Sumerian, so it fits all the better. It's a suitably guttural sounding name for such a vicious brute of an animal.

"Girtab is strong and incredibly creative in combat, using its body in a manner similar to a martial artist."

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: Girtab is a vicious son creature, lashing out at all potential threats to its territory. It relishes combat as so many kaiju do. While highly territorial, the arachnid has a partnership of sorts with Tiresias, as both kaiju shared the same pen in Area 51. The two will often be found sparring with one another. Girtab can be sociable at times, and isn't opposed to teaming up with other kaiju to fight larger threats.


And there's my homage to The Black Scorpion, one of the better giant bug movies of the 50's. While the absolute classic of this subgenre of a subgenre is probably Them!, I think this movie needs love too. It's an underrated classic. It's got stop motion, a subterranean pit of horrors, giant bugs, and one of the most hilarious props of all time! The scorpion puppet used for closeups is hysterically bad, looking very little like a scorpion and always used in the most narm-tastic manner possible. The stop motion is damn good, with the scorpions being incredibly active monsters, particularly when fighting. It's a nice little B-movie.

Whether Girtab here is merely an homage or a straight up cameo by the scorpion itself is left up to your interpretation. I think he's different enough to be his own monster, particularly in terms of design. But if I ever write The First Age of Monsters as a huge fanfic...

There was another influence for this fella, though. When I was a kid I read all the Random House Godzilla books, including the Marc Cerasini novels and the Scott Ciencin "junior novelizations." The second of Ciencin's novels features an original creation of his - a giant scorpion named Satsori - who teamed up with Godzilla before being shrunk back to normal scorpion size. I liked Satsori so much that I went out and bought a large scorpion to represent him when I played with my Imperial Godzilla toy. This scorpion eventually took a life of his own in my personal play time kaiju-verse - the same one that eventually bore witness to the creation of Tyrantis and Hydra. When Tyrantis got a universe of his own, a giant scorpion became one of my stock monsters. So in a way Girtab is one of my oldest creations - although unlike Tyrantis and Hydra, the idea didn't start out as purely mine.

Big thanks to Azes13 for the name inspiration.

Next: Tiresias
Continue Reading: Arachne