At long last, the wild rumpus can start now that Spike Jonze's "Where The Wild Things Are" is hitting movie theaters this weekend. Adapted from the beloved Maurice Sendak children's novel, "Wild Things" focuses on young Max, an imaginative boy that travels to a far land filled with menacing looking monsters—but at their core, these creatures are a lot friendlier than their gruff exteriors would have you believe.
In comic books, there is no shortage of similar characters that are ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside—or, at the very least, characters that are misunderstood simply because of their appearance.
As a testament to this, here's a list of five of the most misinterpreted monsters in the comic book world.
BARTLEBY THE RAT CREATURE ("Bone"): There are plenty of interesting looking creatures in the world of Jeff Smith's "Bone," not the least of which are the Bones themselves — but it's the stupid, stupid rat creature that is often the most misunderstood, particularly in the case of young Bartleby.
Bartleby gets a bad reputation because his fellow rat creatures have an insatiable appetite, sometimes just for quiche but often for innocent flesh. But baby Bartleby's friendship with Smiley Bone and the others is a clear signal that not all rat creatures — indeed, not all monsters — are stupid or dangerous... just a little scary looking.
GARY HAMPTON ("The Astounding Wolf-Man"): Billionaire entrepreneur Gary Hampton never asked to become a werewolf, but when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade — which is exactly what he did by becoming the heroic Astounding Wolf-Man in Robert Kirkman's soon-to-conclude Image Comics series.
Sadly for Gary, his wife was murdered at the hands of a wrathful vampire, with the world at large believing Gary responsible for the slaying. Now, Gary isn't just a hideous werewolf — he's also a fugitive for a crime he didn't commit. He'll have to work extra hard not only to clear his name and get vengeance, but also to convince the world that not all werewolves are necessarily frightening creatures.
HANK MCCOY ("X-Men"): Throughout the entirety of mutantkind — which, admittedly, is rather small in current Marvel continuity — there is nobody more mistaken on looks alone than Hank McCoy, better known by his X-Men codename, Beast. McCoy's blue coat of fur and feline features hide the mind of a scientist and the heart of a poet, though the majority of humanity can only see the menacing visage that stands before them.
Although he's already done plenty of good deeds due to his role on the X-Men roster, just imagine what Beast's scientific brain could do for humanity given universal acceptance — something that is, unfortunately, unlikely to ever see light of day.
HELLBOY ("Hellboy"): Mike Mignola's big red devil-like creature has a couple of stigmas to overcome. For one, Hellboy is an absolute menace to behold—but more than that, he's a literal monster from Hell. That kind of family history definitely comes with some baggage.
While you certainly would never want to be on the business end of Hellboy's Right Hand of Doom, the demonic creature is nonetheless a sympathetic character due to his desire to fit in. Plus, Hellboy is a big fan of monster-hunting, so you know he's got mankind's best interests at heart.
JOHN 'PROOF' PRUFROCK ("Proof"): Like Hellboy, the gargantuan sasquatch known as Proof has the unfortunate distinction of monster status despite his role as a monster investigator. But Proof is much more along the lines of Hank McCoy when it comes to the simple pleasures in life — a good book, some nice clothes and a relaxing day on the porch.
Luckily, Proof has kept his existence a secret from mankind thanks to his agency's control over tabloid newspapers — but even the initial reactions of his human partner Ginger Brown prove that that Proof's got a long way to go before he can fully step out in the public eye.
Who are some of your favorite misunderstood monsters in comic books? Let us know your picks in the comments section!