Tuesday, February 13, 2024


Let's plunge into the depths of pop culture and explore my personal favorite Universal Monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon! The Gillman, or just the Creature, has made waves across the decades – from action figures to animation and even a trading card collaboration with Pepsi. So, grab your wet suit and let's navigate the unpredictable currents of the Creature's journey through the tides of pop culture.
1. Monster Force Action Figure (1994)


Monster Force premiered in 1994 as a 13-episode animated series, competing with shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Gargoyles. Although I can't remember ever watching it during its original run, Monster Force feels like blend the of Universal Monsters mixed with The Guardians of the Galax. That's what I look for in a series!

Monster Force also had its own line of action figures courtesy of Playmates. The collection featured seven animated characters, with the standout being the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Breaking away from the typical action figure setup, this figure came with a treasure chest, a trove, and a spring-powered grappling hook – so cool! The Creature figure is jacked to the gills, literally! I feel like he could've went toe-to-toe with Andre The Giant or Big John Studd. Imagine having a monster in your action figure arsenal with main-event potential.

2. Gil from the episode of Kim Possible "Sink or Swim" (2002)

In 2002, amid the flip phone era and questionable fashion trends, Kim Possible brought us Gil. A former childhood bully of Ron Stoppable, a friend of Kim, Gil underwent a significant transformation after accidental exposure to the toxic lake at Camp Wannaweep. Initially blaming Ron for his mutation, Gil became determined to exact revenge.

Admittedly, I might have been a bit beyond the target age for animated teen dramas in the 00’s, but my younger siblings kept me in the loop on what was happening on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Looking back, Kim Possible was a good series. It offered a diverse rogues' gallery of supervillains, including Gil. His makeover included greenish, fish-scaled skin, webbed claws, and a stylish fin, replacing his original shaggy black hair. Most importantly, he could spit toxic sludge for immobilization and melting purposes, and he even had the ability to turn others into mutants through prolonged sludge exposure!
3. The Gillman (Monster Squad, 1987)

Monster Squad is classic and a staple to watch every spooky season. As far as The Creature's look, this might be my favorite interpretation. Here, the Gillman undergoes a career shift, trading his love for serene lagoons for a more ambitious pursuit—world domination. Rather than relying on his underwater elegance to charm damsels, this revamped Gillman teams up with Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Mummy. His look is so badass, I could easily see him wearing armor and Wookie pelts, fitting in with Jabba the Hutt's crew on the sail barge.

This Gillman takes a dark turn, showing off his newfound talent for neck-snapping encounters with police officers. Our fishy friend's world-conquering aspirations hit a roadblock when he confronts Horace, a shotgun-wielding member of the squad. It appears the Gillman's grand plans didn't align with Horace's agenda, resulting in a rather unexpected gory exit from the film.

BONUS: Pepsi Universal Monsters Collector's Card (1992)


The Creature from the Black Lagoon crashed the '92 Pepsi monster party with his own collector's card. On his front, Gillman is rockin' a pink, sideways cap and I like to think of him slapping webbed hand high-fives with his fellow monsters while sipping on his Mountain Dew Pitch Black.

On the back of the card, we get some stats for The Creature. Turn-offs include dry skin, favorite jams featured "Splash, Splash," and who knew Gillman was a Miami Dolphins super fan? Finland topped the list for dream destinations and his least favorite saying? "There's plenty of fish in the lagoon," Yes, Universal Monsters roll their eyes at played out dating advice. 

As we resurface, can we all agree that the Gillman is an aquatic icon? From action figures to animation and even an a AMAZING Pepsi collaboration, the Creature has had quite a career. As we sail back to reality, keep an eye on the horizon, my friends. Who knows where the Gillman might surface next.

Stay spooky,



No comments:

Post a Comment