Friday, October 04, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 4

Monster: The Tengu

Appearance: Scooby-Doo #64 - "The Dragon's Eye Part 6: Scooby-Doo Tai Kaiju Tengu" November 2002
Joe Staton: Penciller, Horacio Ottolini: Inker, Tom Orzechowski: Letterer, Paul Becton: Colorist, Digital Chameleon: Separations, Harvey Richards: Assistant Editor, Joan Hilty: Editor

The tengu is a part human-part bird creature from Japanese folklore. It comes in two varieties. The karasu tengu (seen above) has a human body with wings and a bird's head, typically that of a raven, or raptor. The second variety is the yamabushi tengu which has a man's head with an elongated nose substituting for a beak (seen below). 

These creatures would punish the vain and rich and often leave their victims wandering the forests in a state of madness known as tengu-kakushi. They are believed to be skilled martial artists who have trained a great number of samurai warriors and ninjas. Tengu are typically equipped with a ringed staff, a feathered fan that can be used to stir up a strong wind or change their nose into one more typically human, and a straw cloak of invisibility.

The story that I used the karasu tengu was one chapter of a longer story line in which the Mystery Inc. gang travels the world and tries to stop an unknown thief from stealing a number of precious jewels all cut from the same gem stone in a manner that they can be reassembled into the original stone. The story uses monsters from the customs and folklore of a number of countries including France, Russia, Italy, Syria, India, Japan  and China. Of course, this being Scooby-Doo, each of these monsters turns out to be a henchman of the thief in disguise. 

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