It – The Thing that Couldn’t Die is a scary horror comic about a shapless mass that crawls out of the swamp. It appeared in Supernatural Thrillers #1 and is based on a short story called “It” by Theodore Sturgeon, which was originally published in 1948. “It” was obviously the story that inspired Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, The Blob and just about every other muck monster, although all of the above can be seen as offshoots of two other comic book creatures that pre-dated Sturgeon’s novel: The Heap, which first appeared in Air Fighters Comics 3 and Solomon Grundy in All-American Comics 61.
Under the pine needles the fires burn, deep and smokeless in the mold. In heat and in darkness and decay there is growth. There is life and there is growth.
It grew, but it was not alive. It was never born. It existed. It walked through the woods. It grew and moved about without living.
It crawled out of its mound in the wood and lay pulsing in the sunlight for a long moment. It scrabbled painfully with its half-formed hands. It rolled and lifted itself up on its crumbling elbows. It wavered to its feet, and seized a young sapling and destroyed it, folding the slender trunk back on itself again and again, watching the useless splinters. And it snatched up a fear-frozen field creature, crushing it slowly, letting blood and pulpy flesh and fur ooze from between its fingers. And then, it began searching.
Kimbo ran through the tall grass. A rabbit shot out from its hiding place under a rock and Kimbo chased after it. The thing that lurked in the woods watched and waited for Kimbo.
As Kimbo ran past, the thing dropped a heavy twisted fist on him, sending him rolling down the slope. Kimbo struggled to his feet, shook himself and let out a deep growl.
He leaped at the monster’s throat, but his jaws closed on a mass of filth, and he fell choking and snarling at its feet. The thing leaned down and struck twice, and after the dog’s back was broken, it sat beside him and began to tear him apart.
The monster lay in the water. It neither liked nor disliked this new element. It rested on the bottom, its massive head a foot beneath the surface, and it curiously considered the facts it had garnered.
There was the little humming noise of Babe’s voice that sent the monster questing into the cave. There was the little two-legged one who sang and brought him near, and who screamed when he came. There was this new cold moving thing he had fallen into. It was washing his body away. That had never happened before. That was interesting. The monster decided to stay and observe this new thing.
The brook came laughing down from the hills and when it came to the pool by the cloven rock it found the monster there, and plucked at it. It was a thorough brook. Where it found filth, it removed filth; if there were layer on layer of foulness, then layer by foul layer it was removed.
“I am smaller,” the thing thought. “That is interesting. I could not move now. And now this part of me which thinks is going, too. It will stop in just a moment, and drift away with the rest of the body. It will stop thinking and I will stop being, and that, too, is a very interesting thing.”
So the monster melted and dirtied the water, and soon the water was clean again, washing and washing the skeleton that the monster had left. It was not very big, and there was a badly healed knot on the left arm. The sunlight flickered on the silver plate set into the pale skull, and the skeleton was very clean now. The brook laughed about it for an age.
They found the skeleton, six grim-lipped men who came to find a killer. No one had believed Babe, when she told her story days later. It had to be days later because Babe had screamed for seven hours without stopping, and had lain like a dead child for a day.
But it was through her that the skeleton was found, and so the men at the bank sent a check to the Drews for more money than they had ever dreamed about. It was old Roger Kirk, sure enough, that skeleton, though it was found five miles from where he had died and sank into the forest floor where the hot molds builded around his skeleton and emerged — a monster.
So the Drews had a new barn and fine new livestock and they hired four men. But they didn’t have Alton. And they didn’t have Kimbo. And Babe screams at night and has grown very thin.