Strange Tales #115 (12/10/1963)

detailOnce again, this issue of Strange Tales #115 is once again split between a solo Human Torch story and a Dr. Strange tale. As has been the norm up to this point, the solo Human Torch story is wildly inconsistent and poorly written. For one, I just love how the other members of the Fantastic Four are usually too busy to actually fight villains. In Strange Tales #115, for instance, Mr. Fantastic is too busy to assist with the Sandman because of an experiment and the Thing and Invisible Woman are too busy writing a report. Seriously? Over fighting a villain? What kind of superheroes are they?

Another concern with this issue is Lee didn’t even try to come up with a creative way of having the Sandman escape, rather he was just placed in a regular prison cell. That’s just plain lazy writing. The confrontation between Sandman and the Human Torch was okay, but it’s beyond me how the bottom half of the Human Torch gets wet, but his top stays dry when the ceiling sprinklers come on. Luckily for the Human Torch he is now a judo master and is able to toss Sandman around like nothing. Really a poorly thought out story.

Luckily, the Dr. Strange tale is much better, which is the first telling of Dr. Strange’s well-known origin story. The tale opens with Dr. Strange traveling to India to seek the aide of the Ancient One in healing him. It is through the Ancient One’s peering into Dr. Strange’s mind that we learn of his past as an arrogant surgeon and the accident that damaged the nerves in his hands. It’s a very short, but effective story. Now if only the Human Torch stories could get on par with the Dr. Strange ones this series would be much better.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Creators:

  • Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
  • Writers: Stan Lee
  • Pencilers: Dick Ayers
  • Inkers: Dick Ayers
  • Colourists:
  • Letterers: Artie Simek
  • Editors: Stan Lee

 

Amazing Spider-Man #4 (09/10/1963)

detail.jpgHaving escaped from the maximum security, Island Prison, Flint Marko seeks to escape the pursing FBI by ducking into a nuclear testing site. Unfortunately for Flint, he ends up getting caught in a blast which causes him to change at a molecular level and have the ability to change his body into sand. Naturally, Flint decides to use these newfound powers to enhance his criminal activities and he now has his sites set on New York City. Will Spider-Man be able to stop him?

Amazing Spider-Man 4 is yet another solid issue in the series. Sandman is another classic villain who has an interesting power. In addition, Spider-Man continues to be one of the more relatable superheroes. I mean in this issue he has to end up sewing his own mask, jumps the gun on trying to stop some jewel thieves, which causes them to call the police on him, and having to blow off a date with Liz Allen. In addition, Ditko’s art style fits extremely well with this series and action panels are top notch. I am definitely looking forward to reading more issues in this series.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Creators:

  • Cover Artists: Steve Ditko
  • Writers: Stan Lee
  • Pencilers: Steve Ditko
  • Inkers: Steve Ditko
  • Colorists:
  • Letterers: Steve Ditko
  • Editors: Stan Lee