Well, last issue’s modern look into Black Panther was a fun trip, but now back to the Silver Age! Nothing too new this time around, just diving further into some established runs. And its a healthy spread of heroes as well. Starting off with Ant-Man, then moving onto Thor, followed by another Human Torch solo tale, and finally wrapping it up with a double-feature issue of The Incredible Hulk. The usual recipe of Commies and aliens is sure to await, but before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s a quick recap:


 

 

Last Time on DRMU: It was time to take a quick break from the Silver Age, so with his love for the Black Panther movie in early 2018, Dean decided to dive into a 6-issue digital-run called “Long Live The King“. Following various stories of T’Challa and his reign over Wakanda, there was a lot to unpack, but a great introduction into a hero that is surely a ways away from these early 60’s instalments. Dean knew, that this wouldn’t be the last time he enjoyed a Black Panther comic. 

 

 


Tales to Astonish #36 Tales to Astonish #36 (v1)

Title: The Challenge of Comrade X!
Date:
 October 1962
Writers: 
Larry Leiber
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

As if today’s news wasn’t enough, in this issue of Tales to Astonish, we read about…you guessed it….Russia! The sheer number of headlines we’ve seen just this week exceed…the number of fingers on this cover!

Intrigued by the whispers of the Ant-Man over in America, the communists dispatch their best espionage agent – Comrade X. Their job? To find and capture Ant-Man, and learn how his abilities/suit work to aide Soviet Russia in their world domination.

With all the cruel puns, ant-armies and DDT-spraying action that you can hope for, this is a pretty fun and easy read for any fan of Hank Pym’s story arch. There’s even a little Scooby-Doo-esque twist at the end to look forward to. Tales to Astonish indeed!

 


Journey Into Mystery #86 

Journey into Mystery #86 (v1)Title: On The Trail of The Tomorrow Man
Date:
 November 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee, Larry Leiber
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Woohoo, November! Felt like celebrating by diving into a bit more of Thor. It’s been a while since reading a Journey Into Mystery, and good friend and fellow Cartridge Clubber “Ryan-o-Vision” has been raving about a story-arc that I’ve been dying to read. Still haven’t been too excited about any of the thunder god’s antics, and this one didn’t do too much to change my stance. They’re good – but none of them really stand out. Also, Jane Foster is starting to get on my nerves.

Issue #86 tells the story of The Tomorrow Man. Known more formally as Zarrko, this human from a future, peaceful, Earth, is in search of something to stir up some chaos to an otherwise boring and mundane world. He returns to the 20th century with hopes of stealing a nuclear bomb…the same bomb which the mighty Thor is helping the military test. You’ll also get to enjoy some Odin cameos, as well as learn that in 300 years from now, Robots will be able to lift Mjolnir, but won’t yet be waterproof.

If you want to see what else the future of the Marvel Universe holds, Earth-616 anyways, give it a read. Warning you though, get ready for a lot of ‘c-bombs’ in this one!

 

 


Strange Tales #102

Title: Prisoner of the WizardStrange Tales #102 (v1)
Date:
 November 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee, Larry Leiber
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Hey! It’s The Wizard! I knew about this villain somehow, but I couldn’t remember where I’d seen him. Felt like this was a good chance to refresh my memory, and hopefully find a bit more about his origins. Plus, a story with the Human Torch is always a great read.

This issue is full of bizarre logic, like most of these Silver Age Marvel comics. Call me crazy, but if you were trapped inside a safe, and had an explosive powerful enough to blow open the door from the inside…I’m guessing that you, too, would be part of said explosion. Oh well, I guess that’s why they call him The Wizard. As such, he devises a plan to capture Johnny Storm once and for all. Will his plans succeed or has he underestimated the powers of the Human Torch? Psst…it’s the latter

The stakes here are a little higher than back in Strange Tales #101, so give it a read and see what you think. At the very least, you’ll get a solid introduction to this new Marvel villain.



The Incredible Hulk 
#4 

Incredible Hulk #4b (v1)Title: The Monster and the Machine / Mongu, the Gladiator from Outer Space 
Date:
 November 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Was surprised to see Issue #4 of The Incredible Hulk was a 2-parter. This is the first one I’ve come across, and I’m looking forward to more! That said, I’m kinda bored of reading about the Hulk’s origin story in every single issue now… I get it… gamma radiation turns you into a big green monster… ’nuff said.

In the first story, The Monster and the Machine, it’s pretty cool to see Hulk change his character from Rick Jones‘ mindless puppet to a more intelligent version of himself. I also loved seeing Hulk’s famous ‘thunderclap’ used for the first time. Also, worth noting that the Hulk-Jet is something I hope never makes it into the MCU… like ever….

The second story introduces us to Mongu, a supposed gladiator from another planet who wants a one-on-one brawl with earth’s mightiest being. Things aren’t always what they seem though, and throughout the twists and turns we get more of the usual antics. Surprised this wasn’t a Larry Leiber twist. Guess I gotta point the finger at good ‘ol Stan for this one.

I feel like there’s a bit of frantic change being made to make the Hulk a cooler character – with pretty drastic adjustments to his features and abilities in each issue. Hopefully, Marvel doesn’t keep changing the directions like this going forward. Seems like an idea without a course. Though this time, Hulk’s sporting some stretchy purple short-shorts…which are timeless.

 

 


 

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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