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|
|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 aka S.N. Massachusetts aka 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 funny-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' funny-animal 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 including 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 (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 Massachusetts 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 (though it should be noted that 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; Dover Sr. had summoned the Beast in order to use it to grant him immortality, but he had been roped into babysitting his grandson at the time he performed the ritual and the bond was transferred to the infant instead. Discovering the bond, the grandfather locked the younger Stanley in a large glass container and torments him, both physically and by forcing him to witness horrific acts of murder, all in an attempt to bring back the monster. Eventually abandoning his original plans to search for the monster, Dover Sr. decides to transfer his soul into Green Arrow- currently resurrected by Hal Jordan as an amnesic body with no soul after the Final Night- with the goal of gaining access to the Watchtower monitoring systems to find the Beast, but Green Arrow was able to make contact with his soul in Heaven and convince the soul to return, allowing him to fight through the demons that Dover Sr. had summoned until the monster appeared to seal the door to Hell. He subsequently ate Dover Sr., later erasing the youngster's horrible memories of the act and of his imprisonment and torture to spare him from the tormented life he would otherwise endure.
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.
- Title spelling as per Grand Comics Database: Stanley and His Monster
- Secret Origins #48 (April 1990)
- The Fox and the Crow #96 (March 1966)
- Stanley and His Monster (vol. 2) #2 (March 1993)
- Green Arrow (vol. 3) #9–10 (December 2001 – January 2002)
- "Sorcerer Kings" Superman/Batman #81 – #84, April to July 2011
- 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