Amorphous Anatomy – The character has the form and/or characteristics of an amorphous body. Amorphous Anatomy is also known as Formless Mimicry, and Formless Physiology. Similar to (238) Invertebrate Anatomy. However, while an invertebrate lacks a backbone, they generally have some bony parts such an exoskeleton. A character with amorphous anatomy lacks any bones in its natural state.
Literary Critique of Amorphous Anatomy
What if an amoeba was our size? That is core idea of amorphous anatomy. A giant amoeba would be pure instinct and lack even low intelligence. The amoeba would eat via absorption and do this in a mechanical and amoral manner. The amorality of this type of character is a defining characteristic. However, some examples of this character are good and evil. This is a superpower that is seen in science fiction, horror, and sword and sorcery settings. I would argue the amorphous anatomy character is a little different in different genres. The amorphous anatomy characters in science fiction are more likely to be intelligent and follow the amoeba model pretty closely. In sword and sorcery the amorphous anatomy characters are invariably not intelligent and more of a slime than an amoeba. Finally, amorphous anatomy characters in horror often absorb their victims in a grisly fashion. In a worst case scenario the victim is eaten alive and the acidic secretions of the creature kill the victim slowly, the more slowly, the more grisly!
The Formahaulti (Marvel) are a good example of science fiction version of amorphous anatomy. They are similar to an amoeba and are intelligent (OHOTMU A – Z Update #3).
Another science fiction example, Gloop and Gleep of the Herculoids (Hanna-Barbera) are made up of a protoplasmic substance that appears both flexible and durable enough to withstand laser blasts. Gloop and Gleep can communicate but not talk. Exceptional for being on the side of good.
Another amorphous anatomy hero, Proty (DC) has a protoplasmic body (DC Who’s Who #18) that allows shape shifting. Proty cannot talk but can communicate telepathically.
Glop (DC) is an amorphous life form that is in love with Wonder Girl and can even profess its love in Wonder Woman V1 #151. Again science fiction amorphous characters tend to be more intelligent than their sword and sorcery and horror counterparts.
Alex (Marvel) is an amorphous mutant that appears in Ghost Rider V3 #8.
The amorphous Batman supervillain Clayface (DC) first appears in Detective Comics V1 #298.
One way of countering an amorphous opponent is to freeze the being and break up the body into pieces as shown with Clayface (DC) in Annual Injustice – Gods Among Us – Year Two #1.
The Batman Beyond version of Clayface is Inque (DC).
Crawling Horror – Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett)
Jimmy Olsen (DC) becomes a protoplasmic Platonian in Superman’s Pal #83.
DC decides they need a little Lovecraft in their universe in Mystik U #1 (DC)
Superboy (DC) is saved by a blob by being engulfed by the blob which generally is a not a good idea when dealing with blobs in Adventure Comics V1 #266.
The Formless Foe shows up in Space Family Robinson #29 (Gold Key).
The Wasp (Marvel) fights a protozoan in Dark Avengers #184. So instead of making amoebas big you can make people small!
Tom Strong (America’s Best) deals with an intelligent space faring amorphous alien in Tom Strong #9.
The Blob (1958) was the first in the Blob movie franchise and a classic in horror cinema. The blob eats his victims by absorbing them. A good illustration of the horror potential of this power.
Beware! The Blob (1972) was the second film in the Blob franchise. As the franchise progresses so does the technical ability to show absorption in a grisly manner and the film makers exploit this ability to the full extent.
The Blob (1988) as the last film in the Blob franchise and suggests the blob is not an alien but created by the military unlike the first film in the franchise. This film is part of an ongoing disinformation operation to distract from an actual project to create a similar weapon. Grisly absorption is the focus of the DVD cover!
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia is a humorous Nintendo video game. The Blob is so established in fiction that extreme divergences are now humorous.
Another cute amorphous anatomy creature. Slime is a very cute ooze that appears in Dragon Quest.
Doughboy (Marvel) is a minion that first appears in Captain America V1 #209. Doughboy is a Jack Kirby invention, a giant in comic books, and asks the question, what if you were attacked by a giant piece of dough? The key to understanding this character is the name. Perhaps silly but an original departure from the amoeba template.
Yet more cute amorphous beings!
In Imagine Agents (Boom), Blounder makes the transition from being an imaginary friend, a figment of one’s imagination, to be an Imagine Agent!
A sword and sorcery manga title with a slime as the protagonist. A great read! The character is played straight but is obviously a subversion of the typical sword and sorcery hero in That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime V1 (Kodansha).
Durlans (DC) are shape shifters that are not exactly amorphous but their idea of heaven is being an amorphous ooze in a giant lake.
Goop is one of the alien forms the Omnitrix can recreate in Ben 10.
Larry Cohen’s The Stuff is a science fiction, horror, comedy.
Lovecraft was a big fan of amorphous creatures! Are the characters evil? Actually they are beyond human understanding but hanging around many of them causes insanity at the very least.
Abhoth (Lovecraft) – Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands
Formless Spawn (Lovecraft) – Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters
A poster of a collection of Marvel Symbiote characters from i.imgur.com.
Odo turns into bird but sleeps in a jar in his actual ooze form in Star Trek DS9 #2 (Malibu).
The Shi’ar Imperial Guard includes Stuff (Marvel). Probably the Marvel version of Proty in the DC universe.
2000 AD has a amorphous character or two but they are always one-shot characters.
Dan Dare – The 2000 AD Years V1 (2015)
Missionary Man (2000 AD #1122)
Sláine (2000 AD #692)
Tao de Moto (2000 AD #730)
“The Cosmic All” – Creepy #48
Black Ooze, the Primal Ooze and the Tar Beast are amorphous monsters that are part of the WoW universe (World of Warcraft Monster Guide). As stated before, the sword and sorcery genre tends to stray from the amoeba template and make characters that are slimes and oozes.
The D&D universe has more amorphous residents than all other imaginary universes put together. As is the WoW universe the amorphous characters tend to be slimes and oozes rather than amoeba like.
Angler Ooze – Creature Collection I
Arcane Ooze – D&D 3.5 – Monster Manual III
Argos – TSR 2140A Monstrous Manual
Cave Moth – Creature Collection I
Cave Shrike – Creature Collection I
Chaos Beast- D&D 3.5 – Monster Manual I
Chromatic Mold-Dragon Magazine Annual 1
Cold Slime – Creature Collection I
Conflagration Ooze – D&D 3.5 – Monster Manual III
Crimson Ooze – Creature Collection III. Savage Bestiary
Deadly Pudding – TSR 2140A Monstrous Manual
Flareater – TSR 2158 Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 2
Ghaunadan Slime – TSR 2158 Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 2
Ghaunadan – WTC11832 – Monsters of Faerun
Gibbering Beast – D&D 4th Edition – Monster Manual 1
Gibbering Mouther – TSR 2145 Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 1
Gray Ooze – AD&D 1st Monster Manual
Green Slime – AD&D 1st Monster Manual
Living Blasphemy – D&D 3.5 – Monster Manual III
Snowflake Ooze – D&D 3.5 – Monster Manual III
Stone Builder Ooze – Creature Collection III. Savage Bestiary
Summoning Ooze – D&D 3.5 – Monster Manual III
Undead Ooze – Creature Collection I
Yochlol Tempter – 40 Legendary Evils
Yochlol – D&D 4th Edition – Monster Manual 2
Executioner’s Hood – TSR 2016 Monster Manual II