“From the far reaches of outer space … comes a threat to planet Earth!”—Rodak, an alien conqueror who covets the third rock from the sun, “the most beautiful of all planets,” but who bafflingly dispatches a legion of monsters (actors in rubber suits) to lay waste to it. Rodak was the recurring nemesis on Ambassador Magma, a low-budget, live-action Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers forerunner produced in Japan from 1966– 1967. Poorly dubbed into English in 1972 as Space Avenger, by the late 1970s the half-hour program was syndicated internationally as Space Giants and gobbled up by “Superstation” TBS mogul Ted Turner during the infancy of 24-hour cable-television networks. TBS aired Space Giants on weekday afternoons during the late 1970s and early 1980s to an entranced audience of eager-eyed children, sci-fi buffs, and stoners glued to afternoon TV. The “Giants” were a family of transforming super-robots (Goldar, Silvar, and Gam the Rocket Boy) residing in a volcano, brought to Earth by a wizard to repel Rodak's invasion. Hovering over the planet in a domed, bat-shaped spaceship, Rodak was served by a loyal army of Lugo Men, black-cloaked emissaries who oozed into oatmeal-like goo whenever blasted by the forces of good. Foaming with disdain for Earth's denizens (“You Earthlings are so stupid, you can't even cure the common cold!”), Rodak's glittery mask, not unlike a giant Mardi Gras head, bore only one expression, a constant grimace, and his bowl-cut hair and droopy fangs elicited chuckles. While Space Giants has not been aired domestically in decades, Rodak and company appeared in original American comic books in 1979 and 1993.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.