“Screaming down from the stratosphere. Fantastic flying monster… 17 million years old… bigger than a battleship… faster than a jet plane… making war on all mankind… PANIC from Broadway to Bombay ! Atom Age science helpless against Ice Age killer !”


1957 monster movie The Giant Claw has been called a “guilty pleasure”, and mocked for the quality of its special effects.

The bird in particular is badly made, being a marionette puppet with a strange face. The film is also riddled with stock footage making continuity an issue.


The lead actor, Jeff Morrow, confessed in an interview that no one who had worked on the film knew what the giant bird creature actually looked like until the premiere.

He watched the film in its entirety for the first time in his hometown. Hearing the audience laugh each time the monster appeared on-screen caused him to slip out early, embarrassed anyone might recognize him.


  • Other Aliases: La Carcagne (mistakenly).
  • Marital Status: N/A.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile; It comes from an anti-matter universe millions of light-years from Earth.
  • Height: 300‘ Weight: 900 tons (16APs).
  • Eyes: Lightly colored Hair: Black

“It’s like hitting a battleship with a slingshot ! It’s going after another plane, look out !”


Powers & Abilities

The bird has flown through space to reach Earth over millions of light-years. The bird has been alive for 17 million years.

The Giant claw is surrounded by a nigh-impenetrable force field. It also affords the beast invisibility to detection by even the best radar on the planet. The bird can chase down and overtake jet fighters. It has bested a legion of fighter-jets.

Giant Claw chases a plane

This beast is a visual hunter attacking any movement. It can zero in on an ejected pilot parachuting down, intercept, and snatch him in mid-flight.

The Giant Claw is immense and can easily rip a sky-scraper to shreds.


A radar test pilot, Mitch Macafee, spots a UFO (unidentified flying object). Most everyone is suspicious and doesn’t believe him.

They were still skeptical when a fighter jet goes missing. Officials are forced to take Macafee’s tale seriously when other planes and boats are attacked.

Giant Claw flies above tall buildings

A gargantuan bird was spotted again. Macafee and others figure out, based on the attacks, the bird was flying in ever increasing circles from what would be believed to be its point of origin.

It was also surmised the bird had come from outer space and had travelled millions of light-years to get to Earth.

Reign of terror

The Bird began a reign of terror. Citizens were told to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary. A squadron of fighter-jets descended on the bird and one by one were eliminated. It was then the military began to talk of using the A-bomb on the beast.

Giant Claw movie poster

Remembering the attack on a Canadian’s farm MacAfee, along with the mathematician Sally Caldwell, searched that area for the bird’s nest. Their hunch was correct.

Finding the nest they were able to destroy the egg from a distance. The Bird was outraged. Its next attack was on New York City where it attacked the United Nations building and the Empire State Building.

Macafee and his team discovered a way to weaponize mu-mesonic atoms which they believed would disrupt the bird’s force field. Using this they were able to bring down the bird’s field at great risk.

This allowed the fighter’s missiles to hit and kill the bird. It crashed down in the ocean.

“No corner of the Earth was sparred the terror of looking up into God’s blue sky and seeing, not peace and security but the feathered nightmare on wings.”


A gigantic grotesque vulture-like bird. It has a long sprout of hair from the top of its head and a maw full of crocodile-like teeth.

A French Canadian farmer mistakes the bird for La Carcagne which is alleged to be a monster of folklore that resembles a giant woman with a wolf’s head with bat-like wings and which, like the Banshee, is a harbinger of death.


Purely a beast. This bird flies through space looking for a suitable place to setup a nest and lay its eggs. It doesn’t need to eat so it attacks other life forms only to secure safety for its young.

It was certainly distraught by the loss of its egg.

Giant Claw above the city

DC Universe History

The Giant Claw probably isn’t a global menace but it could make for a powerful creature of the week.


“Grok… grok… grok… grok” (echoing and continuous screeching).

Giant Claw's head

Gen. Buskirk: “It doesn’t make sense. It’s just a bird. A big bird. Guns, cannons, rockets ! It’s just a bird !”
Lt. General Considine: “Sure just a bird. Ten million dollars worth of radar can’t track it. Enough firepower to wipe out a regiment can’t even slow it down, sure, just a bird.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

The Giant Claw

A 1929 points Character

Dex: 04 Str: 17 Bod: 11 Motivation: Build a nest, protect its young
Int: 00 Wil: 01 Min: 01 Occupation: Engine of Destruction
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 005 HP: 000

Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 05, Claws: 17, Flight: 29, Force Field: 11, Growth: 17, Invisibility: 21, Telescopic Vision: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flight is winged; however, the creature may fly through space (+/- 0).
  • Flight is limited to 11 APs in atmosphere (-1).
  • Force field is always on and (-0) and protects user only (-1).
  • Growth is always on, innate, and already factored in (-1).
  • Invisibility may be used against detection by Radar (+1).
  • Invisibility to Radar only (-2).
  • Invisibility is contingent on Forcefield (-1).
  • Invisibility is always on (-0).


Immortal, Life Support (Full).


Power Loss: The Giant Claw loses the use of Force Field if it or its Force field comes in contact with (mu-mesonic atoms); Strange Appearance.


By Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: The 1957 movie The Giant Claw.

Helper(s): Greg (for pointing me to this odd movie), Animals on Worg, Darci, Morgan Champion, Peter Piispanen, Bil Chamberlin, Cat, Unicorn Epiphany.

Writeup completed on the 20th of November, 2013.