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Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter®of Mars



35. "BEAUTIFUL GIANT" -- Aug. 2, '42
(read novelization

P1: Under the wizard's Z-ray machine, Dejah Thoris and Woola grew quickly to tremendous height. 

P2: Like a tiny midget john Carter stood below them, seeking to attract their attention. 

P3: "At that height their ears cannot hear our puny voices!" Vovo, the wizard screamed. Jumping about delightedly. 

P4: At first, Dejah Thoris was unable to recognize the surroundings or her situation. 

P5: Finally Woola perceived the tiny moving things at his feet. 

P6: Angered by the silly actions of these infinitesimal creatures, Woola leaped out to punish them. 

P7: All scattered except Vovo, who trembled in the beast's path, unable to run in a sudden paralysis of fright. 


1. Strip #35 provides another complex set of events. At one level the reader might ask whether Vovo's experiment has gone awry -- why do the enlarged girl and calot break through the great glass dome? Did Vovo underestimate how large or how strong they would grow, by the end of his experiment? Why has Vovo made no preparations to confine and control the enlarged beings? Did Vovo inadvertently shut the calot inside the glass dome? or did he do so without proper forethought, in the passion of the moment? The novelization will allow the reader to ask these sorts of questions, but will also offer subtle evidence for other, higher level questions: What is Vovo's purpose in enlarging the girl? Or, if this is all her shared dream with Carter, what is his purpose in creating the illusion that her size has so increased? These sorts of questions must be anticipated and planned out in writing the novelization. 

2. The Sunday strip story has the princess dazed and confused -- this is understandable, given the circumstances of Dejah Thoris having been drugged and then so amazingly transformed. Woola's sudden anger is not so reasonable, however. Nor, does it make much sense that Vovo is so paralyzed by fright. The novelization must offer some better explanation for these things. 

Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst

In the aftermath of the transformation only two beings understood fully all that had happened. These were Vovo, who planned and executed the experiment and Oman who knew that the wizard's primary purpose was to couple his successes in thought control with new advances in mind expansion. The incredible giants that John Carter now saw in front of him were merely physical byproducts of Vovo's desire to create and control a multitude of super brains. The last minute inclusion of Woola in the experimental transformation, however, was a complication the wizard could not have anticipated and which Oman was totally unprepared to deal with. What results would come from the expansion of the mind of a vicious brute, only one step removed from the wilds of savage Barsoom, nobody could have possibly predicted. John Carter, however, realized that he must assert his previous mastery over the Martian watchdog immediately -- even before he could take the time to comprehend what has happened to Dejah Thoris. 

"Woola, come here!" the Earthman shouted at the top of his lungs. 

But he was like a tiny insect, seeking to attract the attention of a huge zitidar -- Woola responded neither to his vocal commands nor to his mental appeals. 

"In their transformed state they will not hear your puny attempts to communicate!" Vovo, the crazed wizard screamed. "You cannot stop them, not even with the guns of the mechano-men. These giants will crush you into dust without even recognizing you!" 

The little green man again began jumping about delightedly. His purpose in carrying out the transformation was to create a tremendous force which only he could control, but with the loss of his transmitting microphone no person could control the monster calot and the metamorphosed human female. And if he could not direct their actions, it well suited his destructive intentions that nobody could control them. 

There had been few other moments in John Carter's life when he felt so totally helpless. Nothing he might possibly do now could help the situation in any way. His only hope was that Oman would think of something -- anything -- that might keep the situation from growing any worse. 

"Oman!" he cried out, "can you use the wizard's microphone transmitter to control Woola before he does something terrible!" 

The mechanical man shook his head slowly, in the robotic approximation of the human gesture of frustration and sadness. 

"The connections Vovo inserted for communicating with Dejah Thoris after her transformation have all been ripped loose. It would take time to repair them. But worse than that, Vovo designed no means of controlling something like an expanded calot. Our only hope lies in you, Dotar Sojat. You must find a way now to establish contact with both of the giants. There is no other way, unless -- unless we use Eo's deadliest forces to subdue what is otherwise uncontrollable!" 

But there was no time for talking. Woola was no longer stupefied. The giant beast began to move and as he did his eight massive feet literally shook the ground upon which he walked. A savage fire burned in the brute's eyes. He looked down upon the moving mechano-men with the fierce rage of a tormented carnivore. Then he leaped upon the tiny things. 

The Princess of Helium opened her eyes very slowly. Nothing in her surroundings looked familiar in the least. Her ignorance and innocence was that of a hatchling when the shell first begin to break. Her first perception following the inexplicable transformation had been when her ears picked up the sound of the great glass dome rupturing and falling into pieces. From the debris of that implosion she now emerged -- stunned, disoriented and intensely curious about everything around her. 

As if by instinct the giantess reached for the expanded cape and used it to brush the glistening shards of glass from her hair and skin. Then, throwing the warm garment over her shoulders she arose from the rubble of Vovo's final experiment. At arm's length stood the bristling calot. Dejah Thoris knew at once what to call the creature and unsummoned, automatic knowing surprised her. What surprised her even more was that she felt no fear of the many-toothed monster. She intuitively understood that the "Woola" thing would not harm her. And, in the midst of much that was strange and confusing, her unsought familiarity with the beast's form and function, even his name, gave the transformed Dejah Thoris her first reliable point of reference. 

The great calot was so preoccupied with the tiny figures which now were scurrying in droves away from his tremendous claws that he did not respond to the giantess' first words: 

"Poor beast, where did you come from?" 

The enlarged Martian watchdog continued his leaping and swatting. Tens of the robots perished with his every blow and a moment later those that were not crushed to pieces had taken refuge in whatever nooks and crannies they could find. 

Probably an entire book might be written concerning the mental changes that accompanied Dejah Thoris' unexpected transformation. The Princess of Helium has provided reminiscences of only a small portion of her mind-altering experience, but from what she and others have recorded, it is evident that the gradual increase in her awareness and comprehension was something really quite wonderful. However, this great extension of her thought processes came at a price -- in the beginning she had no idea of where she was, who she was or what she should do next. 

On the floor, far below, the giantess saw the tiny creatures scattering in the wake of Woola's pounces. It was to these little things that she first turned her burgeoning powers of observation and insight. Their tiny bodies were shaped like miniature replicas of her own, though simplified and of some different substance. Their movements showed evidence of design and purpose. Truly these were creatures not totally unlike herself. 

All the little two-legged figures had scattered except for the smallest of them all -- a tiny green being, which trembled in the beast's path, unable to run on its two misshapen lower limbs. 

"A being!" the giant princess mused to herself. "What is a being? Something alive; something that responds. And what else? Something that can reason, perhaps; something intelligent, like a person..." 

"Stop, Woola -- do not harm the little thing! It is a defenseless person!" 

But the girl's warning came too late. The massive brute had already hurdled himself upon the small green figure. Entrapped in the calot's outstretched claws lay Vovo, the last Wizard of Eo. 

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