Monday, February 27, 2017

Strange Tales #101

Hey, you know what I just realized? I don't have any Marvel books on this blog yet! Well, I think it's time to rectify that little problem... But where to start... Ah, since I'm having such a good time with the Teen Titans, why not go with Marvel's teen sensation from the 60's, the Human Torch? Yup, good idea... The Torch co-starred in Strange Tales, which I just happen to have in Marvel Essential form. Let's see what the Marvel side of the fence has to offer...

Strange Tales #101(October of... 1962, I think?)

Summary: Sweet, Jack Kirby did the art! Okay, we start off with the Torch giving us a rundown of his life... He's Johnny Storm(that's such a great name...), he lives in Glenville, Long Island with his sister Sue, who everybody in town knows is the Invisible Girl/Woman. However, nobody knows he is the Human Torch... That's weird. I thought the Fantastic Four were always known publicly... I guess in the beginning only Reed and Sue were public, while Johnny, and maybe Ben had secret identities? How odd... We also get a long retelling of the Torch and the rest of the FF getting their powers.
This is where we learn Reed was trying to kill Johnny with cancer.

From there, the scene shifts to some costumed kook staring menacingly at the site of a soon to open amusement park. The weirdo, who goes by the Destroyer(probably due to his habit of... fixing things? No, no, that's not it... Hmm, I'll have to think on it...) sends a message to the Glenville newspaper warning that he wanted construction of the amusement park to cease, or all sorts of bad business was going to go down. The newspaper editor balls the paper up and literally throws it at the wall...
This dude clearly hates his job.

Damn, even if he thinks it's a fake, shouldn't he contact the cops? He must get a lot of crank letters... Sure enough, the next day, a man testing the roller coaster is thrown off of the top. Luckily for him, Johnny is watching the test run, causes a smokey distraction and flies over to rescue the falling man.
I mainly posted this because the reaction shots of the dumb people made me laugh...

The next day, the newspaper editor gets another threatening letter and decides to take it to the owner of the amusement park... The newspaper editor really hates the cops I'm guessing... Also, that dude got a lot of page time! The amusement park owner shrugs the letter off as a coincidence. The next day, the parachute tower is being tested and begins to fall over. Luckily enough, Johnny is randomly on the scene! Again... Really, again? Oh, and once again, he wastes precious time making a distraction, AND getting changed(why the hell does he need to get changed? He's on fire!) before flying to the rescue.
"Oh, a bunch of people are falling to their deaths?  Cools, lemme get changed."

Johnny welds the tower back together(...), which ends the first chapter of this story.

Thoughts: This was a fun read, although the super long FF origin story was kind of in the way. Now, with that said, I can get down to business here... I can overlook Johnny being in the right place at the right time once in this comic, but twice?? Come on! The roller coaster test and the parachute drop test were both sabotaged, with Johnny happening to be on the spot(heh heh...) for both? That's an awfully big coincidence to ignore..... Also, that newspaper editor was a real jerk! He definitely stole the show for me in this comic so far. I just love that he refuses to take these threatening letters to the cops. I mean, okay, maybe I'll give him a bye for the first one, but the second one? If he filled in the cops, maybe they'd have somebody watching the amusement park site so Johnny didn't have to “conveniently” hang around the under construction amusement park all day...

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