Kraken in popular culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Digitally enhanced version of an illustration from the original 1870 edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by author Jules Verne

Although fictional and the subject of myth, the legend of the kraken continues to the present day, with numerous references existing in film, literature, television, and other popular culture topics.[1]


In various comics, particularly DC and Marvel Comics, multiple creatures have been named Kraken.

The Kraken from The Umbrella Academy was named so after the kraken (sea monster) as he has the ability to breathe under water.

In the Disney comic series "Tamers of Nonhuman Threats", the Kraken appears in the fifth story, "Let's Get Kraken". In this story, the Kraken has a natural enemy, the sperm whale.

The kraken is an aquatic monster that has appeared in many comics publications.[2]

A Kraken was featured in the story "The Kraken" in issue #49 of Adventures into the Unknown by ACG in 1953.[3]

Champion Comics #5 (March 1940, Harvey Comics), Monster Hunters #10 (Oct. 1977, Charlton Comics), Indiana Jones and the Sargasso Pirates #2 (Jan. 1996, Dark Horse Comics), and the Japanese comic, One Piece (ワンピース Wan Pīsu) #62 (November 15, 2010, Shueisha) all featured versions of the Kraken.

Two one-shot publications featured characters bearing the name: a villain called "Dr. Kraken" in Web-Man #1 (1993, Argosy Communications Inc.) and a hero called Diego Hargreeves with the alias "Kraken" in Umbrella Academy #1 (2007, Dark Horse Comics). 2000 AD #583, (July 1988, Fleetway Publications) also featured the debut of a character called Judge Kraken. In Japanese comics, a servant of Poseidon and one of the main antagonists of the second saga of the Saint Seiya manga series. He was called Kraken Isaac (クラーケンのアイザック, Kurāken no Aizakku) - a former childhood friend and fellow saint trainee of main character Cygnus Hyoga -, and debuted in volume 16, published in 1989 by Shueisha.

The web comic "Angry Faerie" (from July 13, 2012), featured a bodybuilder type character called the Kraken.[4]

A Kraken (dispatched by the God Poseidon) appears in the Avatar Press comic God is Dead #48.

A Kraken (depicted as a huge tentacled reptilian monstrosity) is sent to attack the heroes in Grimm Fairy Tales #123 and #124.

A Kraken appears in Broken Moon: Legends of the Deep #1 by American Gothic Press.[5]

A character called "Kid Kraken" appeared in the Dynamite Comics series The Green Hornet 66' meets The Spirit.[6]

DC Comics[edit]

Three versions appeared during the Golden Age of Comic Books: the first in Adventure Comics #56 (Nov. 1940), a second, land-based version existing on the planet Venus in Flash Comics #81 (March 1947) and a third variation capable of speech that claimed to be the actual Kraken from ancient folklore who battled the hero Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics #155 (June 1953).

Two versions appeared during the Silver Age of Comic Books: a giant octopus encountered by the Challengers of the Unknown in Showcase #12 (Jan.-Feb 1958), and the second being a giant squid summoned by the hero Aquaman in Aquaman #34 (July-Aug. 1967). Wonder Woman #247 (Sept. 1978) and #289 (March 1982) featured additional versions, and in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #75 (June 1993) the character encountered a version complete with tiara in a dream dimension. In Aquaman #1,000,000 (Nov. 1998), the eponymous hero of the title encounters one of the "Krakens of Vexjor", a race of huge tentacled reptilian sea monsters that inhabit Earth's oceans in the 853rd Century. Wonder Woman and Aquaman also encounter a young Kraken in Issue #1 (Aug. 2011, DC Comics) of the limited series Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies.

In the 2016 series DC Bombshells, King Nereus took the form of a Kraken to battle the heroines of the story. He's eventually dispatched by Aqua-Woman.[7][8]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Two types of "Krakens" appear in the world of Marvel Comics, one based on the sea monster and the second as a costumed identity used by several individuals. The former first appeared The Avengers #27 (April 1966, Marvel Comics),[9] and several variations of it have appeared in Marvel continuity since. The latter is used as the codename for a high-ranking member of HYDRA, with Daniel Whitehall and Jake Fury having assumed the identity throughout Marvel Comics' run.[10][11]



  • Alfred Tennyson 1830 irregular sonnet The Kraken,[17] which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea.
  • In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick (chapter 59)[18] the crew of the Pequod encounter a "vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length". Starbuck calls it 'The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.' Narrator Ishmael attributes this to Bishop Pontopiddan's "the great Kraken," and concludes: "By some naturalists who have vaguely heard rumors of the mysterious creature, here spoken of, it is included among the class of cuttle-fish, to which, indeed, in certain external respects it would seem to belong, but only as the Anak of the tribe."
  • In Victor Hugo's 1866 novel Toilers of the Sea, Gilliatt kills a giant octopus with a knife. "This monster is the creature that seamen call the octopus, scientists call a cephalopod, and which in legend is known as a kraken."[19]
  • Jules Verne's 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea mentions the kraken and features a group of giant squids that attack the submarine Nautilus.[20]
  • In Anatole France's 1908 novel L'île des Pingouins (chapter V),[21] Kraken is the name of a character that plays a monster, depicted as, among others, a dragon.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's novel The Call of Cthulhu, written in 1926, according to Cthulhu Mythos scholar Robert M. Price, has been inspired by Alfred Tennyson's sonnet. Both reference a huge aquatic creature sleeping for an eternity at the bottom of the ocean and destined to emerge from his slumber in an apocalyptic age.[22]
  • John Wyndham's 1953 novel The Kraken Wakes features the sonnet written by Alfred Tennyson called The Kraken (1830), which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea; the story itself refers to an invasion by sea-dwelling aliens. The title is a play on Tennyson's line "The Kraken sleepeth".[23]
  • Jack Vance's 1966 science fiction adventure novel The Blue World, based on an earlier 1964 novella The Kragen, depicts a world where natives must beware the kragen, giant, semi-intelligent squid-like predators which roam the ocean.[24]
  • In Richard Adams' 1980 novel The Girl in a Swing, the main female character is stalked by the Kraken to punish her for the crime of murder by drowning.[25]
  • Terry Brooks' 1985 novel The Wishsong of Shannara features a Kraken as a giant sea creature summoned by "dark magic" to join an assault on a Dwarf fortress.[26]
  • In the children's book Monster Mission (also known as Island of the Aunts) by Eva Ibbotson, the Kraken is a force for good who has the ability to clean and heal the oceans.[27]
  • The Kraken's appearance at the end of times is implied in the 1990s novel Good Omens by the demon Crowley “Great big bugger […] sleepeth beneath the thunders of the upper deep. Under loads of huge and unnumbered polypol — polipo — bloody great seaweeds, you know. Supposed to rise right at the end, when the sea boils”.
  • Kraken appear in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox as enormous, peaceful creatures that stay in the same spot for centuries feeding on algae, doubling as islands. They are described as being conical in shape, although there is a tubular shaped one on the coast of Ireland. In this book, Kraken shed their shells explosively, igniting a layer of methane under the old one and sending it flying. A comparison is made between the Kraken, and a barnacle (albeit one big enough to be mistaken for an island).[28]
  • In Ken MacLeod's trilogy Engines of Lights (Cosmonaut Keep, Dark Light, Engine City), the giant squids or kraken are one of the five intelligent species from Earth that colonized the Galaxy, the others being one species of saurs and three species of hominidae, including the Homo sapiens. The krakens are the most intelligent of the space colonizers, and the ones who created the technology which made interstellar travels possible,
  • In Michael Crichton's posthumous 2009 novel Pirate Latitudes the sailors call the large sea creature that terrorizes the protagonist's ship "the kraken".[29]
  • China Miéville's 2010 novel Kraken features a cult devoted to the worship of the creature.[30]
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, by George R. R. Martin, the sigil of House Greyjoy of Pyke is a golden kraken. Krakens are also said to be stirring in the wake of the War of Five Kings, drawn by blood in the waters.
  • In J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Watcher in the Water which guards the west gate of the abandoned dwarf kingdom of Moria is a kraken like creature.
  • In Dead on the Water by Hailey Edwards, a kraken is living in one of the Wink Sinks in Wink, TX.



  • The Hakken-Kraks, sea monsters that live in a pond in the vicinity of Whoville, appear in the 1977 television special Halloween Is Grinch Night and draw their name from the kraken (their heads and long necks, the only parts of their bodies ever seen, more closely resemble sea dragons).
  • The Australian television series Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell has a kraken character (Michael Ward) who emerges from a closet on the set when the character Sir Bobo Gargle (Francis Greenslade) announces his intention to 'release the kraken!' The kraken's appearance is accompanied by Toni Basil's 1981 song "Mickey".
  • The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper mentions krakens in the episodes, "Release the Kraken" and "The Date Night Variable"; in "The Hofstadter Insufficiency", Sheldon dreams of Leonard being grabbed by a kraken and pulled off the research ship he was on.
  • The television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea featured an episode called "The Village of Guilt" (1964), in which a failed experiment creates a giant octopus that terrorizes the population of a Norwegian fjord.[32]
  • In a 2015 commercial for the U.S. insurer, GEICO, a "kraken" emerges from a golf course water hazard during a televised tournament, its tentacles writhing and grasping a golfer and his caddy, as the commentators intone with characteristic understatement that the sea monster looks like a kraken.[33]
  • The kraken appears in an episode of Lost Tapes called "Kraken".
  • The sixth-season episode "A Wondrous Place" of the ABC series Once Upon a Time features a kraken, which attacks Aladdin and Jasmine. It is during this episode that Captain Nemo explains that kraken blood can open portals to other realms, which Captain Hook requires to return to Storybrooke.
  • The Kraken is featured imprisoned by magic in the deep sea, guarded by magician whales in the Season 5 episode 6 ("Oops!...I Did It Again") episode of The Magicians (American TV series), the release of which serves as a time loop plot device similar to Groundhog Day (film).
  • The Kraken makes a brief appearance in an episode of Family Guy called "Fighting Irish" when Peter Griffin thanked him for previous aid.
  • The Kraken appears in New Looney Tunes
  • The Kraken is explicitly mentioned in the Mickey Mouse episode "Wonders of the Deep," a giant squid subsequently appears and attacks Mickey and Donald while they're looking for Ludwig Von Drake.

Video games[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Under the Sea: The Kraken in Culture. Retrieved on 2011-11-21". Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  2. ^ Ventura, Varla (September 1, 2010). Beyond Bizarre: Frightening Facts and Blood-Curdling True Tales. Weiser Books. ISBN 9781609252731. Retrieved July 9, 2018 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Adventures into the Unknown". Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Broken Moon: Legends of the Deep". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Green Hornet 66' meets The Spirit". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  7. ^ DC Bombshells #11
  8. ^ DC Bombshells #12
  9. ^ Stan Lee (w), Don Heck (p), Frank Giacoia (i), The Avengers #27 (April 1966), Marvel Comics
  10. ^ Secret Warriors #2
  11. ^ Secret Warriors #11-25
  12. ^ Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008). L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès. Paris: Éditions de La Martinière. p. 351. ISBN 978-2-7324-3732-3.
  13. ^ "How 'Release the Kraken' joined the pantheon of all-time great memes". April 2, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  14. ^ Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (TV 2006).
  15. ^ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006).
  16. ^ "Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen join 'Hotel Transylvania 3' voice cast". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "The Kraken" (1830). (2005-01-11). Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  18. ^ Chapter LIX "The Squid" ..."There seems some ground to imagine that the great Kraken of Bishop Pontoppodan may ultimately resolve itself into Squid."
  19. ^ Hugo, Victor (2002). The Toilers of the Sea. Modern Library. ISBN 0375761322.
  20. ^ Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  21. ^ France, Anatole (1927). Penguin Island. ISBN 978-0-557-32451-4.
  22. ^ Robert M. Price, "The Other Name of Azathoth", introduction to The Cthulhu Cycle. Price credits Philip A. Shreffler with connecting the poem and the story.
  23. ^ The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  24. ^ The Blue World, by Jack Vance; reviewed by Joan Montserrat, at Infinity Plus; published December 13, 2003; retrieved June 5, 2018
  25. ^ The Girl in a Swing – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  26. ^ The Wishsong of Shannara (Shannara, #3) by Terry Brooks – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  27. ^ Island of the Aunts – Review, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  28. ^ Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  29. ^ Pirate Latitudes – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  30. ^ Kraken by China Miéville – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  31. ^ Ninja Sex Party (November 29, 2018), Release the Kraken - Ninja Sex Party, archived from the original on December 22, 2021, retrieved March 16, 2019
  32. ^ The Village of Guilt (1964).
  33. ^ Geico TV Commercial, "Kraken: It's What You Do". iSpotTV. August 18, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  34. ^ Age of Mythology Heaven: Norse myth units. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  35. ^ "Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part I". GameTrailers. July 15, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2008.
  36. ^ "The Kraken - Forge of Empires". InnoGames GmbH. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  37. ^ God of War 2 Guide & Walkthrough – PlayStation 2 (PS2) – IGN Archived March 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (2007-04-27). Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  38. ^ Heroes Database Heroes of Newerth. Retrieved on 2015-10-26.
  39. ^ KSP Wiki. Modding API
  40. ^ "Kid Icarus: Uprising Playtest - Pit And (3D) Punishment - Siliconera". March 19, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  41. ^ Geoff Duncan (October 26, 2006). "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Hits Retailers". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  42. ^ "One Piece: Grand Cruise VR Game Launches in West on May 22". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  43. ^ "Smite Celestial Voyage out now on Xbox One; Massive Skin Giveaway!". April 12, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  44. ^ "Smite's Celestial Voyage Patch Adds Poseidon Remodel And Egyptian Event". March 25, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  45. ^ "SMITE's Celestial Voyage Patch Coming Soon With New Event". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  46. ^ "SEGA Vintage Collection: Monster World Walkthrough - Page 3". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  47. ^ hunkydoryorder (September 23, 2012). "Wonder Boy in Monsterland - Kraken Boss - 10 sec.. No Hits Strategy". Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2018 – via YouTube.
  48. ^[bare URL image file]
  49. ^ Kraken Stamps. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  50. ^ at[permanent dead link].
  51. ^ at. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  52. ^ The Kraken® Rum Archived September 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  53. ^ "Planetary Names: Welcome". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  54. ^ Chase, Chris (December 8, 2013). "Panthers defender lists Hogwarts as alma mater during 'Sunday Night Football'". USA Today.
  55. ^ "Gaming Headsets: Razer Kraken Review". Top Ten Reviews.
  56. ^ "Argonaut Kraken". Vintage Double Hose. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  57. ^ Condor, Bob (July 23, 2020). "Say It with Us: Release the Kraken!". NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  58. ^ Jackson, Jon (November 17, 2020). "'Release the Kraken': The Right-Wing Call That's Inspiring Memes from Both Sides". Newsweek. Retrieved November 23, 2020.

External links[edit]