Strange Tales #116 (12/10/1963)

detail.jpgUgh, yet another appearance by the horrid Puppet Master, one of the worst villains in the Marvel Universe. In this issue, the Puppet Master takes control of the Human Torch and has him battle it out with the Thing. Of course, the Thing didn’t think twice that something might be off with the Human Torch coming onto Alicia. I swear in these early issues the heroes seem to forget about villains they face. Also, apparently the Human Torch has the power to go through a jet without harming himself or the jet. Oh well, at least the art was good.

Fortunately, Dr. Strange’s tale more than makes up for the lackluster Human Torch tale. In this issue, Nightmare has developed a way to steal people’s corporeal forms while they are dreaming. It is up to Dr. Strange to travel to the Nightmare World and confront them. What follows is a pretty epic confrontation that puts the Human Torch/Puppet Master to shame. In addition, Ditko’s depiction of the Nightmare World and its denizens is fantastic. Do yourself a favor, skip the Human Torch tale and go straight to the Dr. Strange tale.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Creators:

  • Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
  • Writers: Stan Lee
  • Pencilers: Dick Ayers
  • Inkers: George Bell
  • Colourists:
  • Letterers: Ray Holloway
  • Editors: Stan Lee

Strange Tales #110 (07/10/1963)

detail.jpgStrange Tales #110 is split into two stories this time. The first one, “The Human Torch vs. the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete,” sees Paste-Pot Pete bust the Wizard out of jail so that they can team up to take out the Human Torch. The second story, “Dr. Strange Master of Black Magic,” features the one and only Dr. Strange, well except for the other one from earlier. In this issue a man is haunted in his dreams by a strange figure bound in chains. Thus he seeks out the help of Dr. Strange. Can Dr. Strange solve this mystery?

The Human Torch story in this issue is pretty poor, which is to be expected with a villain like Paste-Pot Pete. The plot, once again, is pretty flimsy, with such gems as making their headquarters the Wizard’s home because the police will never check there, even though that’s exactly where he went the last time he busted out of jail, and let’s make a trap that is ineffective against the Human Torch. While the Dr. Strange story is definitely the better of the two, and has a better villain in Nightmare, the brevity of the story prevents it from being anything special. Definitely potential there though. Also, the panels of Dr. Strange in the nightmare realm were just awesome.

Strange Tales #110 is worth a read simply for the Dr. Strange tale alone. The Human Torch tale, on the other hand, is much harder to recommend because of the flawed ending and the villains involved.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Creators:

    • Editor: Stan Lee
    • Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
    • Writers: Stan Lee, H.E. Huntley
    • Pencilers: Dick Ayers
    • Inkers: Steve Ditko
    • Colourists:
    • Letterers: John Duffy, Terry Szenics