A common countermeasure to the Human Torch in a number of these silver age stories thus far has been asbestos-covered things, such bullets, rooms, clothing, etc. Well in Strange Tales #111 we’re finally treated to a villain who slathers himself in the stuff and calls himself Asbestos Man, but the questions is how does one get to that point? Well, if you’re Professor Orson Kasloff you decide that you want to be the best criminal you can be, because apparently patenting and selling your products won’t make you money. Anyways, Professor Kasloff, being the smart person that he is realizes that the only way to be a successful criminal is to take on the Human Torch and thus Asbestos Man is born!
I have to admit this was an okay story by the standards of the series, but if they were going for an encore of Amazing Spider-Man #3, which sees Dr. Octopus defeat Spider-Man, they certainly didn’t hit the right notes on this one. In addition, this issue proves that doing your taxes is just plain hard, because even the smartest man in the Marvel Universe needed assistance with it. At least the artwork in this issue was pretty good and I also kind of dug Asbestos Man’s gear, outside of the net.
In addition to the Human Torch story, there’s a five page Dr. Strange story, which sees him foiling the plot of Baron Mordo, his arch nemesis, to take out the Ancient One and gain his knowledge of the black arts. At five pages long, there isn’t too much space for story development, but what was there was entertaining. In addition, the artwork of the Dr. Strange Story provides an interesting contrast to the Human Torch story. Plus astral plane battles are just cool. I hope in future issues Dr. Strange gets a little more page count.
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
- Writers: Stan Lee
- Pencilers: Dick Ayers
- Inkers: Steve Ditko
- Letterers: Terry Szenics
- Editors: Stan Lee