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Groot (Monsterbus p.329)

This is probably the most famous character in the book, and illustrates the difference between a novel and superhero story. The original Groot story is like a novel: the characters change. In superhero stories they do not change. They may appear to change, but all change is then reversed, so there's no reason to care.

When Groot was brought into superhero comics he had to lose any elements that would make him or others change: he lost his deadly aggression, his overwhelming power, his need to attract wood, his role as ruler of the planet, and so on, while gaining conventional superpowers for conventional "nothing really changes" stories.

As for this story, it has the hallmark of a Kirby story: real world science. It got me thinking about termite biology!

At first I thought termites could never cause so much damage so quickly, but a little research showed that how much damage termites do is a simple function of the size and maturity of the colony. Kirby made clear that this man was a biologist, a specialist, and that obtaining the necessary termites took time. He had to find just the right termites and in sufficiently large quantities. Termites prefer the softest wood available, yet Groot's wood was hard enough to be effectively bullet proof. However, Groot could move slowly, so there must be soft joints somewhere, and cracks in the wood to allow movement. Termites are tiny enough to enter those cracks. The termites do not need to consume Groot's entire mass, any more than a human disease needs to consume the human: they simply follow the path of least resistance, the soft parts, the parts he most needs to function. he would probably be immobilised due to shock at an early stage, just as a human might be immobilised by a  serious disease even though the disease affects just tiny parts of the body.

This is classic Kirby: it makes the reader think. And it has a serious message: boring specialisms really matter. And often small things can defeat big things.