Journey Into Mystery #71: "I Brought The Roc Back To Life!"

Journey Into Mystery #71
"I Brought The Roc Back To Life!"
August, 1961

Story: Unknown
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Dick Ayers

A tiny town in Europe became the sight of much alarm.  A giant winged
shadow fell upon the land.  It came closer -- closer -- until at last...
it hovered above the hapless people, and began to dive.  At that moment,
a train was speeding through the alps of Switzerland.  As one passenger
smokes his pipe, he hopes that his plan will be accepted so that the
planet will be saved.  The seated passenger remembers how it all began...
He had just gotten married to Anne, who was happy as the wife of an
archeologist, and who looked forward to their honeymoon in the Middle

They first traveled by plane to Cairo... where they enjoyed the romantic
view, and each other as well.  After spending a few days in Cairo, they
went out into the desert, and spent the time exploring through old ruins.
Hours later, Anne noticed that one particular sand dune was different
from the others they've seen.  It had a perfectly geometrical shape.
After getting out of the car, the archeologist begins to dig, and wonders
what enormous prize may be buried there.  Thirty minutes later, the
buried object has been unearthed.

It is a gigantic egg, one which could have only come from the Roc.  A
fictional bird from ancient legend, the Roc was supposed to have been
able to haul away elephants to feed its offspring.  This egg provides
proof that such a bird had existed.  The married couple head back for
Cairo to hire a crew.  As their jeep continued on its way toward the
city, the giant egg becomes exposed to both air and sunlight...  As the
minutes turn into hours, the sun continues to warm the colorful egg...
Soon, there are the sounds from within the enormous shell...  After
several pronounced movements, the egg is hatched, and the Roc has come
into the world once more.

Now maturing at a fantastic rate, the Roc is now able to become airborne.
WHOOSH  The archeologist and his wife are gathering their crew together
in Cairo, but Anne sees something happening at the end of the square.
John turns to see the people pointing up towards the sky, and sees the
giant Roc.  After it spies a warehouse, and senses the food within, the
giant bird dives earthward.  The warehouse is destroyed and the Roc feeds
upon the stored grain.

The grain is gone and the young bird is still growing.  As the Roc leaves
the city, the archeologist knows that they have just caused the return of
a nightmarish creature upon the world.  The bird's wings enable it to
travel at high speed, where it soon reaches the Mediterranean Sea...
BANG!  BANG!  BANG!  After opening fire upon the Roc, the sailboat's crew
are forced to jump into the water, and their craft is seized by two
powerful talons.

As the men swim for their lives, they watch the Roc fly away with their

It is at the Coast of Spain, where the Roc is seen once more, and the
humble ship is dropped.  CRASH  The people scatter and are thankful that
no one had been injured.  They see that the giant bird is now heading
inland.  The archeologist and his wife have been called to a N.A.T.O.
base, where they make their report on their monstrous discovery.  Several
armed jets are readied for the attack against the Roc.  At a bull ring in
Spain, a toreador is using his skill against an oncoming bull.  Before
the moment of truth can be realized, the audience watch as the giant bird
is about to attack.

Now fully matured, and with the wingspan of a battleship, the Roc makes
its descent upon the stadium.  The roar of jet fighters are heard
overhead, with the pilots catching sight of their enormous target.  The
giant bird is able to outfly the jet planes, whose weapons fail to stop
him.  The parachuting pilots are fortunate enough to have escaped with
their lives.  The Roc has proven mightier than modern military weapons,
and may be the mightiest creature in the world today.

Europe is now the official hunting ground of the Roc.  Citizens are
barely able to flee a bridge before it is carried off by the giant bird.
The flying monster returns to the mountains, where the remains of ships,
aircraft, and buildings have been formed into the beginnings of a giant
nest.  Anne regrets that their honeymoon has been ruined by the Roc, but
her husband suddenly realizes the answer.  A scientific conference is to
be held in Switzerland, and he must attend it at once.

After heading for the train station, John boards the train heading for
Switzerland.  While the Roc continues to pillage the countryside, the
archeologist has his chance to speak with the world's foremost
scientists.  After delivering his plan to the learned men, the nations of
the world agree to work on the project together.  Engineers, materials,
and a location are soon arranged for John Avery's project to begin.  Now
united in their sense of purpose, scientists, engineers, and construction
workers began the task at hand.  While men work on a way to rid
themselves of the Roc, the enormous terror has made its way to France.

Paying no heed to the scurrying crowds of people, the Roc lands in Paris,
and begins to tear through the cobblestones.  The passengers on an
underground subway train escape before it is pulled up  through the
tunnel, and is flown away.

After days of construction, the countdown begins... Nine...Eight...
Seven... Six... Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Zero!  BAROOM
Now, the rocket-powered spaceship made in the shape of the Roc has
levelled off at five thousand feet...  If one giant bird was bad, then
two will finish off the human race.  The original Roc has sighted the
disguised spacecraft, and follows the decoy into outer space.  The
remote-controlled craft fires off its boosters, with the chase continuing
throughout all of space and time.  The decoy will continue its flight for
untold ages to come, and the Roc will spend the rest of its life in
pursuit of it.  When his wife asks why the Roc would follow another bird,
John Avery tells Anne that she gave him the idea when she mentioned their
honeymoon.  No matter how dangerous or powerful the creature, it must
have the urge to mate, and the fake Roc will continue to lead it away
from the planet.  Now, the archeologist is free to spend time with his
own mate, and celebrate their honeymoon.  And the part of this story will
not interest you, dear readers.

This story was reprinted in Monsters On The Prowl #10 (April, 1971).

On the cover of Monsters On The Prowl #10 by Marie Severin, the
archeologist regrets his discovery, which has brought the Roc back to

The giant bird has a yellowish-greenish tinge to its plumage.

Since his wife enjoys searching through things, it makes sense that she'd
enjoy an archeological dig.

The uncovered Roc egg is as colorful as an Easter egg.

The monstrous creature goes against the grain in a warehouse, as well as
being a believer in shipping, and receiving.

A mythological Roc against the modern machinery of the military fares
rather well, leaving the pilots with a bird's-eye view of their intended

In building its nest, the towering bird believes in playing some bridge.

The inhabitants of a small village have about a windmill's chance of
getting away.

If commuters thought that their subway trains ran at a snail's pace, they
didn't know the half of it.

The Roc succeeds in worming away the city of light's main source of
public transportation.

The rocket-powered spacecraft fires off its engines from its "talons".

A Roc on the land is worth two in outer space.

With the threat to Earth ended, the archeologist is now able to get on
with his own mating game.

Steve Chung
"I Brought The Roc Back To Review!"