5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Groot (Marvel Comics) (Vintage Silver Age version)

Groot the monster from Planet X

(Profile #1 - Silver Age)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Groot is a tree-like Marvel Comics space alien. He has been through various changes over the decades, especially if one takes the movie versions into account.

*This* profile is for the version of character that appears in 1960. The entry ends as the new take is introduced in 2007 with Annihilation: Conquest.


Background

  • Real Name: Presumably Groot
  • Other Aliases: Monster from Planet X, Monarch from Planet X, Master of Wood
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Planet X
  • Base Of Operations: Keystone Quadrant
  • Height: 24’ Weight: 12,000 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Gray-brown, black and white fur


Powers & Abilities

Groot is a gigantic tree-like humanoid, made of a very durable wood. He is immensely strong and can simply ignore most fires as they aren’t hot enough to make him combust. Atmospheric entry and the subsequent impact seemed to damage him, but in an easily survivable way.

Groot is particularly resilient to being hit by relatively soft objects – up to and including the fists of the Hulk (Bruce Banner). This ability seems partially based on rapidly growing roots to anchor himself and take hits.

However, if the blow is delivered using some hard objects with which a human could damage a tree, it will be more efficient. Thus, the Thing (Benjamin Grimm) could damage Groot with his rocky fists. So did the Hulk once he picked some large stones with edges to them.

Since these are nonsensical comic book physics, assume that any mean that would allow an ordinary person to damage an ordinary tree would have a better chance of harming Groot than bare hands, wooden objects, bullets, etc. would.

Groot exerts telekinetic control on wood, including the wood of Earth trees. He could :

  • telekinetically attract or repel wooden objects
  • animate trees to make them walk or grasp people
  • grow trees to impossible heights and volumes

Given enough time he could grow trees and roots from a nearby forest into a sort of net encasing an entire village. He could then telekinetically propel the whole thing into space all the way back to Planet X. Presumably the net would have been tight enough to conserve the air and heat within.

I am Groot !

When he landed on Earth, Groot was smaller. That was presumably due to damage from atmospheric entry and the impact. He then proceeded to absorb tonnes of wood and wooden objects to rebuild his size back to 24’-ish. The process left him fiercely glowing.

Given enough time and wood, Groot can grow to a height of about 125 ft., which might be his natural size. Groot could attain his 24’-ish size within a day or two of landing, but subsequent growth to 125’ seems to have taken decades. There might be a cubing or squaring function involved.

Groot rebuilds his body using wood

Groot proved vulnerable to sonic disruption weapon, which pained and disoriented him. In DC Heroes RPG terms that’s a typical example of sonic effects being treated as a Mental, rather than Physical, assault.

The Groot replica built by Xemnu could shoot barrages of sharp thorns that could allegedly shred any living being. However, since this very useful ability was never used again, our game stats do not include it. Though they were apparently deadly against organic creatures, these splinters could be blocked using an ordinary boulder.

I am Groot !

Groot seemed to have a strong reaction to the magic employed by Merlin. Groot said this thaumaturgy felt horribly wrong and was making him uneasy and angry. The sensation was strong enough to reliably allow him to locate Merlin’s HQ – as it grew as he got closer.

He was the only one to have this reaction, but since the nature of the person claiming to be Merlin remains unknown no solid conclusions can be drawn.

Groot spoke modern English, of course.


History

In 1960, Groot landed on Earth, near an isolated American village in a forest. He claimed to be a monarch. The alien then announced that he would capture the entire village and take it back to his native Planet X.

There, the scientist of his species could examine the captive humans. Groot then mocked the puny humans as they ineffectually attacked him with fire and shotguns.

However, the village was home to biologist Leslie Evans. In no small part to prove his masculinity to his nagging wife Alice, Evans publicly defied Groot and announced he would defeat him. He then ran to his den/lab, where he worked feverishly for 36 hours.

Evans then sneakily dropped large boxes close to Groot, and released the termites he had been breeding. Groot was slain by the insects. These presumably went on to help with the huge cage of wood that the alien had been building around the village.

I am Groot !

During the 1960s, the alien Collector (Taneleer Tivan of the Elders of the Universe) developed an interest in the various giant monsters that attacked the US during the previous decade. He somehow acquired a creature appearing to be the original Groot. He then took it to his specialised holding facility under Canada.

This themed zoo also included creatures who appeared to be Droom, Fin Fang Foom, Goom, Grogg, Gargantus, Grottu, Tragg, Rommbu, Taboo and the Monster of Vandoom.

Groot makes a forest come to him

At some point during the 1960s, the Mole Man randomly stumbled upon the underground zoo of the Collector. During the conflict between the two, the giant monsters fled. They ended up resurfacing in New York City, where they rampaged until the Thing (Ben Grimm) assembled a team composed of the Hulk (Bruce Banner), the Beast (Henry McCoy) and Giant-Man (Henry Pym).

The heroes defeated the giant monsters, and dumped them into the Negative Zone .

I am Groot !

In 1976, Xemnu the Living Titan researched alien invasions on Earth. He discovered that the US government had kept many intrusions a secret – the Groot incident among them.

He built living replicas of several such giant alien monsters — Groot the monster from Planet X, but also Diablo the smoke demon from the Fifth Dimension, Taboo the immortal mud creature, Goom (allegedly “power personified”), and Zzzax the electric titan. Xemnu then unleashed them against his foe the Hulk (Bruce Banner).

The Groot replica fought well, but Hulk soon learned to use stone – both to protect himself against Groot’s attacks and to give a hard edge to his blows. The lumber ringer was destroyed by the jade giant.

I am Groot !

In 2005, Groot was somehow back on Earth – and had apparently been there for several years. By that point he was 125 feet high, which might have been his normal height. Apparently he just hid in plain sight, by not moving much and looking like a giant tree.

Why he didn’t leave Earth is unrevealed. Perhaps it had been too long since his arrival and he couldn’t compute a trajectory back to Planet X.

Groot commands the distant trees to move

The S.H.I.E.L.D. Area 13 task force eventually tracked him down, then captured him using sonic weaponry and It the Living Colossus. Their goal was to press Groot into service with their army of monsters, deployed to fight other monsters.

Groot turned the offer down and remained imprisoned. That lasted until the Area 13 giant base was attacked by the forces of Merlin, who had just conquered much of the UK. Even Area 13 was overwhelmed. But S.H.I.E.L.D. arranged to funnel the invading forces into a specific sector, then released a number of non-cooperative giant prisoners, including Groot.

I am Groot !

The immense creatures stampeded out of the base, smashing Merlin’s forces and forcing them to retreat.

(This “Merlin” person is on the long list of individuals who claimed to be the enchanter of Arthurian legend. His actual nature remains undetermined.)

However, Groot realised that he would just be hunted and imprisoned again. As a result, he doubled back to offer S.H.I.E.L.D. his services after all. He took part in an assault on a transmogrified  Salisbury, and Merlin’s forces there were eliminated – though the Enchanter himself got away.

The continued activities of the Area 13 task force are unrevealed, and it seems likely that it was disbanded. It is possible that S.H.I.E.L.D. provided Groot with astrogation calculations to return to Planet X before discharging him.


Description

As often in comics, the apparent size of Groot varies from panel to panel – though it may have reflected Groot growing over time. The listed value are a loose median from his original appearance. As noted he was much taller in later appearances.


Personality

Groot is an alien agent with a gigantic ego, who loves making grandiose proclamations about his might – and bombastically introducing himself as being from Planet X.

However, it would seem that he cannot return home, and has grudgingly accepted that he must find some way to live on Earth.


Quotes

“Earthlings — hear me ! I am Groot, monarch of Planet X ! I come to take an Earth village — your village, back to my planet ! We want to study you, to experiment on you !”

“Fool — none can withstand the mighty Groot ! You are doomed ! You and your town shall perish !”

“Behold, I am Groot, the invincible ! Who dares defy me ?”

“Trees of the forest !!! I, Groot — master of all wood — command you to come to me !!”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Groot

Dex: 03 Str: 15 Bod: 14 Motivation: Unrevealed
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Unrevealed
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: Unrevealed
Init: 010 HP: 010

Powers:
Attraction/Repulsion: 16, Flash: 04, Growth: 07, Joined: 08, Plant animation: 09, Plant control: 09, Plant growth: 16, Running: 06, Skin armour: 08, Stretching: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Attraction/Repulsion only on wooden objects
  • Attraction/Repulsion can double its value (to 32 APs) with enough time to prepare and energise the wood. Each day of work will increase Groot’s Attraction/Repulsion APs by two, but only for that specific wooden structure.
  • Flash is for Steady Illumination Only
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In, but it apparently must be Recovered after planetfall
  • Groot can engage 7 more APs of Growth (which are not Factored Into any of the stats above) under unknown circumstances. One imagines that these extra APs require weeks, months or even years spent regularly absorbing wood.
  • Plant Control and Plant Growth only work on trees (ie, plants primarily made of wood)
  • Skin armour only applies vs. attacks made with substance softer than wood (even very high-BODY flesh is still considered softer than wood, because comics)

Skills:
None demonstrated

Advantages
Stabilization, and presumably one or more languages from Planet X.

Connections:
None demonstrated

Drawbacks:
Fatal Attack Vulnerability (Termites, and possible other means of rapidly destroying wood from within), Exile (Forced)


Design notes

The stats assume that Groot was building the “net” around the village area by area, as seems to be the case in the story. So he has solid APs of Plant Growth, but still has to spend time on a project involving creating an immense mass of wood as he breaks it down into more manageable bit.

The stats also assume that Attraction/Repulsion is sufficient to propel a wooden mass into orbit and fly it – say, by Repulsing it from trees on the ground, or Attracting part of the mass to create velocity.

If you want things to be more explicit, give him Flight too, albeit with various limitations as it only works on extensively prepared, robust masses of wood and one presumes that he would have had to adopt a continuous-acceleration-then-continuous deceleration approach to space flight.


Splinters

The Groot replica built by Xemnu could shoot barrages of sharp thorns that could allegedly shred any living being. However, since this very useful ability was never used again, our core game stats do not include it.

It might be Projectile Weapons: 09 with Sharpness (PW): 10, an Area of Effect (1 AP) and Accuracy (Projectile Weapons): 06 — if the thorns were indeed as deadly as advertised.

However, the Sharpness doesn’t work against metallic or mineral objects harder than wood – the Hulk could block the barrage with a large stone.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Helper(s): Dr. Peter Piispanen

Source of Character: This is for the version of character that appears in 1960. The entry ends as the new take is introduced in 2007 with Annihilation: Conquest.

Writeup completed on the 6th of January, 2014.

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