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 developedĀ 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

Journey Into Mystery #93 (06/10/1963)

detailWar erupts between India and China and apparently India is getting their butts handed to them. Luckily for them, Dr. Blake is there lending medical aid and thus Thor soon makes an appearance to assist with taking out the incoming Chinese army. Having their advance ground to a halt due to Thor, the Chinese leadership turn to their scientists to come up with a solution. Luckily for them Chen Lu has been working with radiation and has found a way to harness its power and thus turns himself into Radioactive Man. Will Thor be able to counter this new threat?

A couple of pluses in this issue, with the first one being Thor catching a missile with his bare hand was pretty badass. The second is that Radioactive Man potentially could be a pretty interesting villain. Unfortunately, the way this issue wraps up kind of negates his potential a bit. In addition, the whole X-ray device was just horrible. In addition, another hypnotizing angle? Seriously? Talk about an overused plot device in these early issues.

In the end Journey Into Mystery #93 has potential that is never fully realized due to the mishandling of Radioactive Man. However, it’s still worth a read as it is far from the worst Thor story up to this point.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Creators:

  • Editor:
  • Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
  • Writers: Stan Lee
  • Pencilers: Jack Kirby
  • Inkers: Dick Ayers
  • Colorists:
  • Letterers: Ray Holloway

Tales to Astonish #43 (05/10/1963)

detail12Tales to Astonish #43 features another not so astonishing Ant-Man tale. After seeing the cover proclaim that Ant-Man would be facing the Mad Master of Time I was really hopefully that he would finally be getting an awesome villain, what I got was Professor Elia Weems. Professor Weems is fired from his job due to being too old and therefore decides to take revenge on the city by making a ray gun that will make everybody old unless they make him the boss of the city.

I mean really Professor Weems’ plan makes no sense to me. Why is he going after the entire city? Seems to me that if he wanted to get revenge he would go after the boss of the company or the board or something. I’m not sure how going after people who no nothing of his humiliation is going to satisfy his revenge. Also, he hardly comes off as a mad master of time and so the wait for an actual good villain continues.

If you didn’t already know, let me also tell you that these issues also have two back up stories that have nothing to do with Ant-Man or the larger Marvel Universe, really. The first of these stories, “Frankie’s Fast Ball,” is a pretty bland story about Frankie, who has a really, really fast fastball. The second story, “My Fatal Mistake,” is also a bland story, that you can see the outcome coming from a mile a way when a man seeks vengeance on the computer that replaced him. Also, it was pretty funny seeing the room sized computer while reading this on my laptop (man have computers come far)!

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Creators:

  • Editor:
  • Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
  • Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
  • Pencilers: Don Heck
  • Inkers: Don Heck
  • Colorists:
  • Letterers: Ray Holloway

 

Journey Into Mystery #89 (02/10/1963)

detail2.jpgAs you sit down and try to think of a villain for the God of Thunder to fight in his next outing what would you come up with? Well inĀ  Journey Into Mystery #89 the answer to that question is mob boss Thug Thatcher. Yes, a mob boss with the first name of Thug. Anyways, while escaping from the police Thatcher receives a bullet to the shoulder. Luckily for him the shootout occurred to right in front of Dr. Blake’s office, so his goons are able to kidnap him and force him to patch up the boss.

A couple of things about this issue. One it’s pretty funny, although I’m sure that wasn’t the intention, but with a dummy diversion, Jane on her knees polishing Thor’s “hammer,” super vocal chords, and a table cloth that apparently can capture a whole lot of people how could it not be? Still, the artwork is good and this is far from the worst Thor story. It’s worth a read if you’re not expecting too much out of it. Oh and I wish they would lose the secret identity already, as this is like the third time he’s changed right in front of a group of people.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Creators:

  • Editor:
  • Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
  • Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
  • Pencilers: Jack Kirby
  • Inkers: Dick Ayers
  • Colorists:
  • Letterers: Ray Holloway