Stanley and His Monster
|Stanley and His Monster|
|First appearance||The Fox and the Crow #95 (Jan. 1966)|
|Created by||Arnold Drake and Win Mortimer|
|Alter ego||Stanley Dover|
|Team affiliations||Justice League|
|Stanley and His Monster|
|Stanley and His Monster #109 (May 1968), the debut issue, featuring several supporting characters. Cover art by Bob Oskner (penciler).|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||May – Nov 1968|
Feb. – May 1993
|Number of issues||4|
|Main character(s)||Stanley Dover|
The Beast With No Name a.k.a. S.N. Massachusetts a.k.a. Spot
Stanley and His Monster was an American comic-book humor feature and later series from DC Comics, about a boy who has a monster as his companion instead of a dog. Created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Winslow Mortimer as a backup feature in the talking animal comic The Fox and the Crow #95 (Jan. 1966), it went to its own 1960s title and a 1990s revival limited series.
The backup feature "Stanley and His Monster" appeared in DC Comics' comic The Fox and the Crow #95–108, upon which the series became Stanley and His Monster from #109–112 (May–Nov. 1968), the final issue.
The characters' next major appearance was in a 1993 four-issue mini-series, Stanley and His Monster vol. 2, by writer-artist Phil Foglio, who had previously done their origin in Secret Origins #48 (April 1990). This humorous adventure series, revealing the monster as a demon from Hell who had turned good and was cast out by Lucifer, incorporated and parodied elements of DC Comics' mature-reader Vertigo imprint in a lighthearted, general-audience fashion. Among the characters who appeared are Remiel, Duma, the Phantom Stranger, and the John Constantine-like Ambrose Bierce.
The title characters returned in 2001 as supporting players in the Green Arrow series, written by filmmaker Kevin Smith, but in a much darker tone than any previous appearance, and with Stanley by now a young teenager. They next appeared in the 2005–2006 miniseries Infinite Crisis, where, in issue #6, they are part of a gathering of supernatural characters attempting to summon the mystical spirit of vengeance, the Spectre, for aid.
The characters next appeared from April to July 2011 in Batman/Superman: Sorcerer Kings as members of a mostly magical Justice League in a dystopian future. Stanley appeared as a young adult.
Fictional character biographies
Stanley Dover is a six-year-old boy who finds his monster companion in a sewer. In a twist on monster lore, the creature – a tall, bulky, pink-furred behemoth with small tusks – proves as scared of the world as the world is of it. The monster, whom Stanley names Spot, comes home to live with the boy, with many hijinks ensuing. These occasionally include the bickering leprechaun Shaugnessy Poltroon, a gremlin named Schnitzel (sold to the Dovers as toys in issue #99), the ghost of French emperor Napoleon (introduced in issue #97) and teenaged babysitter Marcia. Comedian Jerry Lewis once visited them as well (issue #110).
The monster, unbeknownst to Stanley, is in fact a demon known as "The Beast With No Name", who had been banished from Hell by Lucifer for being "too nice" for Hell. Lucifer had hoped that frightened and bigoted humans would embitter the Beast and make him accept his destiny as a being of evil, a plan that almost succeeded. However, when the unafraid Stanley meets the monster and takes him in as his friend, the monster chooses the path of good and continues living on Earth. The first name the Beast took was "Massachusetts", because the Massachusett were the first people who were kind to him, but since the closest Stanley could struggle out was "Mathatoothis", readers were encouraged to send in a new name that Stanley could say.
Stanley's middle-class parents, Mitch and Sheila, firmly believe their child's companion to be imaginary until eventually learning otherwise. They initially want the monster gone, but after becoming aware of the creature's good nature decide that in a world of superheroes, magic, and alien invasions, having a benign demon companion for their son seems rather normal and they allow him to stay.
Years later, it is revealed that other arcane forces have played into the monster's arrival on Earth (events of this telling of the story fundamentally invalidate any earlier versions, to the extent that tying them together becomes impossible). The monster had accidentally been bonded to Stanley by Stanley's demon-worshiping grandfather, also named Stanley Dover.
Stanley and his monster also appeared in a possible future/alternate timeline as members of the Justice League. With Aquaman, Scream Queen, Klarion the Witch Boy, Traci Thirteen, Batman, and Superman, they fight to prevent an Armageddon of magical proportions.
In other media
- Stanley Dover and Spot are among many other DC characters included in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.
- "Stanley and His Monster" in Rue Morgue Magazine's Blood in Four Colours: A Graphic History of Horror Comics by Pedro Cabzuelo, Marrs Media Inc (2016), page 39
- The Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin, Facts on File (1989), pg 290
- Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols and Ideals by M. Keith Booker, ABC-CLIO (2014), pg 521
- "Man Behind the Bat (Lash)" by Jon B. Cooke, in Comic Book Artist Collection: Volume 2, TwoMorrows Publishing (2002), pg 96-101
- Title spelling as per Grand Comics Database: Stanley and His Monster
- Markstein, Don. "Stanley and His Monster". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
- Wells, John (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-1969. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 38, 215. ISBN 978-1605490557.
- Secret Origins #48 (April 1990). DC Comics.
- The Fox and the Crow #96 (March 1966). DC Comics.
- Stanley and His Monster (vol. 2) #2 (March 1993). DC Comics.
- Green Arrow Vol. 3 #9–10 (December 2001 – January 2002). DC Comics.
- "Sorcerer Kings" (Superman/Batman #81 – #84, April–July 2011). DC Comics.
- Stanley and His Monster series at the Grand Comics Database
- The Fox and the Crow at the Grand Comics Database
- Stanley & His Monster at Don Markstein's Toonopedia verified March 9, 2006