Where Creatures Roam

BewareGlopBen Lee and his sister Cindy believed in monsters. They’d never seen one of course, but that didn’t matter. If there were talking raccoons and seven-foot-tall ambulatory trees in outer space, then why couldn’t there be monsters on Earth?

So it didn’t surprise them too much when a blobby monster showed up in their hometown one night. Glop was vaguely human-like in shape, but it was mostly amorphous like Silly Puddy. When it moved, it walked and oozed at the same time. It left a trail of goopy footprints wherever it went.

At first, Ben and his sister were thrilled to see Glop. “We have a real live monster in town!” Cindy whooped with glee. And Ben took pictures of it with his smartphone. “It’s amazing, unbelievable, astonishing!” he concurred.

But Glop was a monster with a ferocious agenda. The first words out of its mouth were (and I quote): “Hhhhhhhuuuuumannnsssss, yyyoouuu aaarrrrrrrrre doooooooomed!” Its voice was like a creaky door being opened slowly, mixed with the bubbling sounds of a pot of boiling water. Clearly the town of Highland Park was in grave danger.

For help, the kids send a desperate text to Kid Kaiju, the world’s #1 monster expert. Thankfully, Kaiju responds with a flurry of timely messages. He knew the origin of Glop and he knew how to stop it. Doing so, however, was going to be a huge challenge for Ben and Cindy.

Pursued by the icky monster, the brother and sister team dashed through the woods, traipsed across a graveyard and sought shelter in a haunted house. Ultimately they found themselves on the campus of Jacob Kurtzberg Middle School. Named after Jack “King of Monsters” Kirby, the school held the secret to defeating Glop.

In the end, the kids don’t totally vanquish Glop (the author wisely makes sure to keep the door open for a sequel). But with the help of Kid Kaiju, a fire-breathing dragon named Slizzik and the school’s weirdo art teacher, they found a way to temporarily halt the monster’s creeping horror.

Of the bunch, the biggest hero of the book was undoubtedly little Cindy. Her brother had a giant monster rep, but he was an ineffectual hero who shrieked in terror at the sight of a single rat. More than a few times, Cindy tricked the monster and saved her brother’s life. She even selflessly protected him from the neighborhood bully. She was more than a tagalong sidekick. She was a pint-sized Buffy Summers.

Glop was stopped but questions remained. “What was that thing?” asked Ben in the penultimate chapter. Was it the Blob? Hedorah? Slimer? Or what? Did it come from Transylvania or outer space? What the Glop?! “There are some things you’re just better off not knowing about,” said his art teacher cryptically. “And this is one of them.”

[Marvel Monsters Unleashed: Beware the Glop! / By Steve Behling / First Printing: July 2017 / ISBN: 9781368002479]