Both The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man take a break this time around, and instead, I opt to dive deeper into the Fantastic FourAnt-Man and Thor mythos. Looking at the lineup, I was particularly excited to see what this new Strange Tales run had to offer. Did I enjoy the solo adventures of the Human Torch, or was it just luke-warm? Find out that and more right here! But first:


 

 

Last Time on DRMU: Dean was introduced to The Mighty Thor in 2 back to back issues of Journey Into Mystery as he battled The Stone Men From Saturn and The Executioner. This was followed by leisurely jaunt into outer space to visit both the Hulk in Issue #3 of The Incredible Hulk (featuring the dastardly Ringmaster) and Dr. Doom and Namor, the Sub-Mariner in The Fantastic Four #6 . With the deep space settings of 3 of the 4 issues, it was definitely an interesting lineup, and I’m glad to have learned of yet another superhero origin story. 

 

 


Tales to Astonish #35 Tales to Astonish #35 (v1)

Title: The Return of the Ant-Man!
Date:
 September 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Ever since reading through Tales to Astonish #27, I’ve been really excited to read more about Henry Pym and his journey becoming the Ant-Man. The cover of this one looked promising!

The Russians have pretty consistently been the evil-doers in most of these early Marvel comics, and this one was no exception. Henry’s efforts to create a formula to prevent radiation poisoning has got their attention, and the Ruskies mean business. Henry Pym’s last resort is to don the mantle of Ant-Man and foil their evil schemes. Fun read overall. I was glad to have learned about the suits of unstable molecules back in Issue #6 of The Fantastic Four, which also came back into play in this issue. And whether or not you believe that these types of ants can actually make honey, I still recommend it.

I will say that, even though we’ve made countless trips into outer-space, and fought aliens of all shapes and sizes, the idea of controlling ants seems the most ridiculous to me. It’s, of course, part of the charm, but something about it just rubs me the wrong way. I’m guessing it’ll be a staple throughout the series though.

 


Journey Into Mystery #85 

Journey into Mystery #85 (v1)Title: Trapped by Loki, The God of Mischief
Date:
 October 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee, Larry Leiber
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Well, finally broke into October, and next up on the list was more Thor – and this time it looked like his brother Loki would make his inaugural appearance. Woohoo! Outside of Killgrave (Jessica Jones) and Thanos (The Avengers), Loki has been my favourite villain from the MCU – so I was excited to read this.

While no surprise, Thor’s powers went a little overboard in this issue. Seriously, spinning your hammer fast to remove anti-matter particles to turn ‘negatives’ into ‘positives’….how does that even make sense? Also, there was no mention of Loki being Thor’s brother in this…so I’m wondering if that’s something that’ll be revealed later – or perhaps in one of the future re-imagined renditions? I did think it was neat that Loki can’t use any of his powers while underwater. Might be something incorporated into the MCU at some point….maybe…..?

Overall, this one’s a must-read if you want some introduction to some key “Asgardian” characters. While Jane and Odin make their return from Journey Into Mystery #84, Heimdall, Balder and Tyr make their first appearances right here. Enjoy!

 


The Fantastic Four #7

Title: Prisoners of Kurrgo, Master of Planet XFantastic Four #7 (v1)
Date:
 October 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

On a plane-ride to Europe I had a few issues downloaded for ‘offline-reading’, and this was the first. The Fantastic Four #7 is another ‘aliens from afar’ issue, this time centering around Kurrgo and the endangered Planet X. With their planet destined to be destroyed, the Xantha (the alien residents) are forced to explore other worlds to find any beings strong enough to save them from the oncoming asteroid. The Fantastic Four fit the bill!

Campiness aside, the story was endearing in it’s own…Silver-Agey sort of way. It’s something that could be translated to some more grounded issues we have today right here on Earth, and in a way, felt timeless. There were, of course, a few plot holes, but as always, you can leave it to Reed Richards to science the shit out of anything. With everything that happens, makes you wonder if Ant-Man would have been a better solution to their problems.

And if the plot isn’t enough to reel you in, this also marks the first appearance of the famous Fantasticar MK I (aka – the Flying Bathtub).



Strange Tales 
#101 

Strange Tales #101 (v1)Title: The Human Torch
Date:
 October 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee, Larry Leiber
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Last (and perhaps least) on the list – Issue #101 of Strange Tales which takes us all the way back to Glendale, USA – the hometown of Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and Sue Storm (The Invisible Girl). Rather than the world-domination plots we’ve seen in several of the previous issues, this one’s stakes are kept to a reasonable level…sort of.

The story covers the Human Torch’s visit back home, and a local amusement park that’s being threatened by a mysterious villain known as The Destroyer. Things aren’t always what they seem though, and after receiving a challenge in the local newspaper, it’s up to Johnny to confront this dastardly henchman while keeping his identity a secret from his fellow Glendale…ians? This, despite having just attended a luxury banquet back in D.C. during The Fantastic Four #7 unmasked. Hmmm…

The asbestos-lined rooms are back, and I’ve no doubt that Cancer will be the end of our flaming hero. A clear reminder that these were early 60’s runs. Nevertheless, it was good to hear about the Storms’ hometown of Glendale, and it was nice to stay put on planet Earth for an issue. I recommend this issue, simply because it was an easy read, and it’s nice to see our Fantastic heroes branching off into other lineups.

 

 


 

That about wraps up this set of my reads. Would LOVE to hear what you guys think of these issues, or if you have any suggestions on other lineups I should read. Let’s chat about all that and more right here, or over in the Cartridge Club forums.

 

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