The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (Illustrated)
by H.G. Wells on 2019-06-13
The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, first published in 1904. Wells called it "a fantasia on the change of scale in human affairs. . . . I had hit upon [the idea] while working out the possibilities of the near future in a book of speculations called Anticipations (1901)." There have been various B-movie adaptations. The novel is about a group of scientists who invent a food that accelerates the growth of children and turns them into giants when they become adults.
Bert I. Gordon adapted the work to the movies twice. First, he wrote, produced, and directed (for Embassy Pictures) Village of the Giants (1965). In this film, the substance, called simply "Goo", is developed by an 11-year-old Ron Howard. This is consumed by a gang of teenaged troublemakers (led by Beau Bridges) who become giants and take over the town, turning the tables on the knee-high adults. They are eventually defeated by other teens (led by Tommy Kirk).
The Food of the Gods was released by American International Pictures in 1976, again written, produced, and directed by Gordon. Based on a portion of the book, it reduced the tale to an 'Ecology Strikes Back' scenario, common in science fiction movies at the time. The movie was not very successful. However, it did receive a Golden Turkey Award for Worst Rodent Movie of All Time, beating such competitors as The Killer Shrews (1959), The Mole People (1956), The Nasty Rabbit (1965), and Night of the Lepus (1972).
In 1989, Gnaw: Food of the Gods, Part 2 was released, written by Richard Bennett and directed by Damian Lee. Dealing with a pack of giant lab rats wreaking havoc on a college campus, it was even further removed from the book than Gordon's attempts.
The Food of the Gods was first adapted for the comics in January 1961, for Classics Illustrated No. 160, with a painted cover by Gerald McCann, script by Alfred Sundel and interior artwork by Tony Tallarico. The giant wasps were depicted in only two panels and the rats don't appear at all.
A more dynamic and dramatic version, "told in the mighty Marvel manner," was found in Marvel Classics Comics No. 22 (1977). Writer Doug Moench greatly improved on the Classics Illustrated script while Sonny Trinidad produced new artwork.
"Deadly Muffins" in Secrets of Sinister House No. 13 (DC Comics, 1973) is an uncredited version of the story written by John Albano and drawn by Alfredo Alcala.