Thursday, July 19, 2012

Journey into Mystery # 122

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 122
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: November 1965

Brief Summary:


Journey into Mystery # 122


Commentary:


Absorbing Man and Thor take up where they left off in combat, and Loki watches all while plotting and scheming.  You see, Absorbing Man works for Loki, which may seem like a good deal on paper, but actually kind of blows.  Loki is promising Absorbing Man a seat as his right hand man when he, you know, takes over the universe.  Dude doesn't seem to grasp the concept of baby steps.

And in the backup tale, Thor is still on a boat...or something.  I probably shouldn't have taken a three four month hiatus from reading these and then expect to know what's going on.  Better luck next issue!

Favorite Panel:

Thor's thoughts on the paparazzi.

Next: Sgt. Fury # 24

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fantastic Four # 44

Issue: Fantastic Four # 44
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: November 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_Vol_1_44


Commentary:

We start delving into the strange origins of Madame Medusa.  She's on the run from a dude called Gorgon.  On top of that, Dragon Man (last seen here) shows up to cause a little trouble.

The arrival of Gorgon is the second appearance of a member of the race called the Inhumans, with Madame Medusa being the first, of course.  Unfortunately, Gorgon isn't exactly the coolest Inhuman around, as his power mostly qualifies him to participate in the broadway show Stomp.

The issue ends in the chaos of a three way battle, and we'll have to wait until next time to learn more about the Inhumans.

Quick Hits:
  • Reed invents an automated dish-washer mechanism; it's no ultimate nullifier, but I'll take it!
  • Lyndon B. Johnson is referenced
  • Torch considers not enrolling in college a "boner"; I don't think me means it that way
  • Reed compliments the Hulk's "phenomenal leg muscles"; there is no reference to a boner


Favorite Panel:

Like many women before and since, Madame Medusa has a soft spot in her heart for Johnny Storm

Next: Journey into Mystery # 122

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Avengers # 22

Issue: Avengers # 22
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date: November 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_Vol_1_22


Commentary:

When last we saw our heroes, they'd been framed by Power Man and the Enchantress.  This of course leads to a little bit of in-fighting, as Cap struggles to keep the Avengers quartet from tearing apart.  He fails, and the team wanders off into a few less than successful side projects.

Seems like a good opportunity for the Ringmaster (last seen here) and his Circus of Crime to strike, right?  Wrong.  There is no good time for the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime to strike.  If anything, they help to bring the Avengers back together.  Whoops.

Power Man and Enchantress are defeated, and even though the Avengers defeat them together, Cap seems to want to keep the team broken up when this ish wraps.  More next time.

Quick Hits:
  • Quicksilver catches Cap's shield in mid flight(!)
  • Hawkeye tries to get on the Ed Sullivan show
  • Scarlet Witch allegedly can't use her hex powers when her eyes are closed

Favorite Panel:

May this panel serve as a lesson to all those who ever wondered what it would be like to watch Super Mario transform into Captain America.

Next: Fantastic Four # 44

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man # 30

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 30
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: November 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_30


Commentary:

And we move into November of 1965 (feels like it was just yesterday, right kiddies?) with the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man.

So, a common thief steals all of J. Jonah Jameson's valuable documents.  Jameson blunders on this front, because he offers a $1,000 reward to anyone who returns the items to him.  So guess who lines up to cash in on that prize?  



In the romance department, Ned Nederlander (that's his name, right?) proposes to Spidey's squeeze Betty Brant!  Alas, Spidey isn't able to resolve his situation with Betty, as she claims to want a dependable kind of man who isn't always rushing off into trouble.  Our boy Peter Parker doesn't quite fit that mold, even though Betty loves him.

Oh, and Spidey fails to earn the reward money for the capture of the Cat Burglar to boot!  Life is hard, folks.  Life is hard.

Quick Hits:
  • Liz Allen has taken up a job since graduation
  • There's a solid Sophia Loren reference; that's not dated at all

Favorite Panel:

Spidey snaps a few photographs for the Daily Bugle

Next: Avengers # 22

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tales to Astonish # 72

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 72
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Gene Colan and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: October 1965
Brief Summary:

http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_Vol_1_72


Commentary:

Well, from the way the issue kicks off, it seems that Namor was in a bit of a mess when I left him last.  Of course, he's in the midst of combat with the Seaweed Man, so maybe that explains why I wasn't in quite so much of a rush to get back to him.

At one point Namor decides to continue on with his quest as opposed to rescuing Dorma, the woman he loves (who isn't Sue Storm).  Not sure I love the call there, but how it all plays out will have to wait until next issue.

In Hulk world, Bruce is wanted by the government, he's captured by the Leader, and he can't change back into human form because he'll die from the bullet lodged in his brain.  Times are tough.

Stan has really committed to telling ongoing stories, especially in the two tale per issue books like Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish.

Quick Hits:
  • The "Adam Austin" said to have drawn the Namor story is actually Gene Colan working under a pseudonym
  • Apparently you can't call a cage made of plastic a plastic cage; it's a plasti-cage!
  • Mickey Demeo provides the finishes to Jack Kirby's layouts for the Hulk story

Favorite Panel:

Even a Hulk needs his rest

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 30

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tales of Suspense # 70

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 70
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_Vol_1_70

Commentary:


Well, you know how Titanium Man rolls.  It's all "for the glory of communism" this and "red scare" that.  Iron Man fights him for the majority of the story, and the only thing really notable that occurs is that Happy Hogan seemingly kicks the bucket.  We'll see about that next time.

Stan decides to use some of the art from the prior issue, and then tells the reader that he's doing it in the captions.  That's some pair of stones on the man.  Hey, we're re-using this art, get over it.

In Cap's WWII era tale, he fights on in his quest to rescue his sidekick Bucky.  That goes rather poorly, as he finds himself tied up next to his partner.  Cap will go on to have more glorious rescue efforts, I'm sure.  File this one in the try again next time column.  The story continues next ish..
Favorite Panel:

It's important to get those calisthenics in, even while fighting Nazis.

Next: Tales to Astonish # 72

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Strange Tales # 137

Issue: Strange Tales # 137
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby and John Severin
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_Vol_1_137


Commentary:


Well, the fight against Hydra continues for Mr. Nick Fury, and you know what that means: New clothing!  Yes, despite Fury's protests that he doesn't want to end up like a Christian Dior model, he's got a new suit, new tie, hell, even a new hat.  The difference between his duds and yours are that his are designed to aid him in the never-ending fight against Hydra.

Meanwhile, the head of Hydra has a daughter who's just not down with world domination.  Disappointing, to say the least.  I mean, if your pops is gonna offer you the world, you mine as well take it, am I right?

On the Strange side of life, the good Doctor attempts to learn the secret of eternity by pulling it from the brain of the Ancient One himself.  It's Dr. Strange, so the whole thing is a rousing success, and next issue, he is due for a date with Eternity!

Quick Hits:

  • In case you were worried, Hydra has a navy!  The Hydra Undersea Assault Force (H.U.A.F.)
  • A number of other former Howling Commandos are now in the employ of SHIELD, including Dum Dum Dugan and Gabriel Jones
  • Strange swears by the Omnipotent Oshtur, which means we'll surely see her sometime down the road
  • Same likely goes for a reference to Munnopor and Raggaporr

Favorite Panel:

Fury's audition for a role in the latest Bond movie is met with mixed results.

Next: Tales of Suspense # 70

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sgt. Fury Annual # 1

Issue: Sgt. Fury Annual # 1
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt. Fury Annual # 1


Commentary:

Alright, 72 big pages of WWII Nick Fury action, woohoo!  Wait a second, this takes place during the Korean War?!?  Damn.  So it looks like our team reestablished itself when the terrible scourge of communism reared it's ugly head.  Well, fair enough.  



Turns out no matter where you set down the Howling Commandoes, they get the job done in more or less the same fashion.  However, establishing them all as living and well during the Korean War kind of takes out any of the suspense of someone else getting killed on the team in the Howling Commandos regular series.

This story provides a little background on how Fury began his rise from Sergeant to Colonel within the ranks of the CIA, as it appears that Happy Sam Sawyer is poised to retire.

Quick Hits:
  • The annual includes several fun extras, such as a pinup of the case, a display of the Howlers' base in Britain, and even combat arm and hand signals
  • The issue includes reprints of tales discussed here and here

Favorite Panel:

Happy Sam Sawyer appears forlorn as the younger men rush off into battle.

Next: Strange Tales # 137

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sgt. Fury # 23

Issue: Sgt. Fury # 23
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt. Fury # 23


Commentary:

And this issue of Sgt. Fury features derogatory slang for Japanese people.  There's some stereotyping as well, so, yikes, Stan.  Yikes.  It also features the appearance of a Mother Theresa-like figure in "Sister Theresa."  High times in the South Pacific.

The tale is somewhat elevated in it's finale when Percy Pinkerton reveals his origin!  Hint: He's British.  Apparently his brother, who we meet, was also much more successful than him in military academy.  It's nice to see Stan flesh out the back story of one of the other commandos.  Fingers crossed for 24 being an all Dum Dum issue.

Favorite Panel:

Fury seemingly stiff arming bullets

Next: Sgt. Fury Annual # 1

Monday, July 9, 2012

Journey into Mystery Annual # 1

Issue: Journey into Mystery Annual # 1
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


Journey into Mystery Annual 1


Commentary:

....Aaaaand we're back.  Nothing like a three and a half month hiatus to reignite the fires of reading every Marvel comic book!  Now where were we?  The first appearance of Hercules!?!  At this rate, I'm sure we'll be at Avengers vs. X-Men by the end of the summer.

Big Thor, with best pal Loki in tow, rides recklessly into the homeland of the Storm Giants.  After a quick tussle with them, he somehow falls through a "vast void of heavy nothingness" (sounds like the title of a Pink Floyd album) and lands in Olympus.  And, well, you know who hangs out there.

It's interesting to consider if Stan had chosen to focus on Greek myth ahead of Norse when designing some of his earlier characters.  While Hercules has seen more action of late in the Marvel Universe, he can't touch the popularity of big Thor.  Is the only reason for this the whim that Stan decided to "create" Thor before Herc?



Quick Hits:
  • This annual reprints classic Thor stories found here, here, here, and even here!
  • Herc asks Thor if he knows the meaning of fear, seemingly unaware of this whole thing
  • Zeus also makes an appearance; he's about as pimp as you'd expect


Favorite Panel:

Chill out, Little John

Favorite Quote: "My strength is the equal of my temper!" - Hercules; reminds me of a certain green goliath...



Next: Sgt Fury # 23

Friday, March 16, 2012

Journey into Mystery # 121

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 121
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_121


Commentary:

Thor goes for a rematch against the Absorbing Man.  My money is on Thor to win this one, but the issue ends on another cliffhanger after a whole lotta fightin.  At one point, Thor has the opportunity to destroy Absorbing Man when he tricks him into absorbing glass, but Thor stays his hand from slaying his opponent.  This is a kinder and gentler Thor than the one who appears in Norse legend, but Stan still prevents his heroes from ever delivering the killing blow.

In the backup tale, our team in search of Odinsword encounters an enormous storm at sea, and, well, that's about it.  Better luck next time on this story moving forward.  We'll forgive Stan and Jack since they were probably working on the annual, which is up next.



Favorite Panel:

Is it me, or does Loki look like Maleficent in this panel?  Come to think of it, he always kind of looks like her.

Next: Journey into Mystery Annual # 1

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fantastic Four Annual # 3

Issue: Fantastic Four Annual # 3
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_Annual_3


Commentary:

Okay, Reed and Sue are tying the knot, and it's kind of a big deal.  Anybody who's anybody in the Marvel Universe at this point makes an appearance.  Seriously.  Even Puppet Master.  Even Black Knight and Mandarin.  Even Red freaking Ghost.  Oh, and X-Men: 1, Mole Man: 0.

Stan does a nice job in working in pretty much every major (and most of the minor) players in the MU, and he's right to do so.  Other than origin stories and first appearances, we haven't had a whole lot of "big" events occurring so far in these early issues, but the wedding of Sue and Reed is one of them.

Quick Hits:
  • This issue reprints FF # 6 and FF # 11
  • The characters from Marvel's romance comics appear in a panel (does this mean I should have been doing posts for them!?!?)
  • Tony Stark's wedding ensemble makes him look like Eustace Tilly, the New Yorker mascot
  • Giant Man is noticeably absent from the festivities, as is Wasp and Hulk

Favorite Panel:

Sometimes I reach the end of an issue, only to discover that I haven't chosen a favorite panel.  Then there's times like this, where it's the very first page!  I hope you enjoy Doom's reading of the upcoming nuptials.

Favorite Quote:

"Only by scoring the greatest victory of all time can I wipe out the humiliation of the past!" - Dr. Doom, who is sharing a sentiment surely felt by many professional athletes.

Next: Journey into Mystery # 121

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fantastic Four # 43

Issue: Fantastic Four # 43
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_43


Commentary:

Stan finishes off the story of the Fantastic Four versus the Frightful Four.  This three parter is really just a warm up for the "Galactus Trilogy," a major epic that starts in just a few month's time.  Get excited!

In the meantime, the team puts the pounding on the Frightful Four, although Medusa escapes.  Torch has the opportunity to grab her, but for some inexplicable reason he decides to let her go.  Perhaps he has an inkling of her real identity?

Anyway, Thing and Torch rejoin the fold, and all's well that end's well.

Quick Hits:
  • Thing calls Reed a "crumb"
  • Stan builds up the Fan 4 annual with a couple panels of Doom plotting his next move
  • Thing references the upcoming wedding of Reed and Sue
Favorite Quote:

"She wasn't expecting an attack by invisible force spheres!" Invisible Woman; not sure who does expect those kinds of attacks.


Favorite Panel:

Torch is all business.

Next: Fantastic Four Annual # 3

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daredevil # 10

Issue: Daredevil # 10
Writer: Wallace Wood
Artist: Wallace Wood
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Daredevil_10


Commentary:

This story was both written and drawn by Wally Wood, a legendary comic book artist.  Wally Wood actually has a rather sad history, and I encourage everyone to read about it in the excellent piece found here.  This happens to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week.  If you know someone who is in need of support, encourage them to reach out and seek help.

Alright, no more seriousness.  I'll make fun of Mole Man next post or something.

This issue introduces us to Deborah Harris, a potential flame for Foggy, and also the Ani-Men, who don't have potential for much of anything.  The story will be continued next issue, when we find out who leads the Ani-Men.

Favorite Panel:

The Ani-Men attack, and Daredevil performs Lord of the Dance.

Next: Fantastic Four # 43

Monday, March 12, 2012

Avengers # 21

Issue: Avengers # 21
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_21


Commentary:

Hawkeye and the Cap are close to blows at the beginning of our story.  The happy days of the early Avengers are a distant memory; the team reminds me of the discord in the early Fantastic Four stories.

The Enchantress creates Power Man, and cooks up a plan to publicly disgrace the Avengers, which seems to have worked by the time this issue concludes.

Despite Thor having left the team, the Enchantress is sticking around to cause problems for our heroes.  It is strange that she focuses her energy on the Avengers and is not chasing after Odin's favorite son, as Loki does.

Quick Hits:
  • Hawkeye calls Cap "Methuselah"
  • Scarlet Witch is attracted to Cap
  • Stan thanks the readers for their patience after a segment focusing on the villains
  • The creation of Wonder Man is referenced, as Power Man is searching for the technology which created him. 

Favorite Panel:
The team plans their next move


Next: Daredevil # 10

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 2


Issue: Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 2
Writer: Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: 

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_Annual_2


Commentary:

The main feature in this annual was thought of by Steve Ditko.  Good for him!  It takes him a while to bring Spidey into the foreground, instead focusing on Dr. Strange.  When Spidey does show up, and then falls into another dimension, Ditko gets his chance to flex his inner Salvador Dali.

Dr. Strange gives the villain from this issue the Identity Crisis treatment without batting an eye.  Stan examines a lot of moral questions in his stories, but the ones surrounding mind control are not at the forefront.  We've seen Professor X use his power to mind wipe as well.  Heck, we've even seen Reed Richards turn a bunch of aliens into cows!  We'll have to see if this starts to become a faux pas as the Marvel Universe matures.

Favorite Panel:

Um, whaaaat?

Favorite Quote: "On a night like this, I feel about as useful as a second-hand tube of Dinosaur repellant!" - Spidey; who else?


Next:

Avengers # 21

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man # 29

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 29
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: October 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_29


Commentary:

Our pal Scorpion returns.  Stan describes him as one of the strongest and most dangerous menaces of all time.  I don't think that's quite appropriate.  I mean, dude has a tail.

So, he and Spidey slug it out for the better part of the issue.  Spider-Man hasn't started college yet, so hopefully that's coming within the next issue or two.

Quick Hits:
  • Ned Leeds, Betty Brant's other love interest, returns from Europe
  • Scorpion uses the word "bub"

Favorite Panel:

Spidey defends the innocent, and in the case of Jameson, the largely culpable

Next: Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 2

Friday, March 9, 2012

X-Men # 13

Issue: X-Men # 13
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Uncanny_X-Men_13


Commentary:

When last we left the X-Men, the Juggernaut had breached all of the mansion's defenses in his quest to destroy his stepbrother, Professor X.  Here, Juggs makes a proper mess of the mansion in his quest to destroy Xavier.  But, with a little help from their pal the Human Torch (see him on the cover there?) the X-Men are able to defeat big Juggs.

Of the two parter, last issue was all set up, while this issue was wall to wall action.  Juggernaut will return many times as an enemy to the X-Men, but this early story is iconic, especially given that it takes place at the mansion.

Quick Hits:
  • Jean Grey is strong enough to telepathically lift Juggernaut for a brief period
  • Juggernaut is drawn much smaller than his size in later appearances
  • Matt Murdock makes the briefest of cameos
  • This story is playable as a flashback in the video game X-Men Legends

Favorite Panel:

Juggernaut engages in an elaborate game of Dig Dug

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 29

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tales to Astonish # 71

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 71
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Gene Colan and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_Vol_1_71


Commentary:

Namor's quest for Neptune's trident continues, and it includes a brief appearance by Neptune's ghost!  I guess Stan doesn't have much of a problem mixing his Roman mythology with all of the Norse mythology that appears in Thor's adventures.

Also, all of Namor's undersea friends spend way too much time casually walking around.  You're underwater!  What are you doing that enables you to stroll around on the ocean floor?

All that will have to wait, as this story ends on a cliffhanger.  Namor against a dude made out of seaweed.  If you just can't wait till my next Tales to Astonish post to find out what happens, well, I understand.

In Hulk's tale, the Leader approaches him with offer of an alliance!  Hulk need deliberation time.



Favorite Panel:

Hulk demonstrates how a superhero handles CPR.  He's got the strongest set of lungs this side of Namor! I guess Namor doesn't really need strong lungs since he can breathe underwater.  Regardless, Hulk's a champ.

Next: X-Men # 13

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tales of Suspense # 69

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 69
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_69


Commentary:

So, Iron Man makes a new enemy in the Titanium Man.  Behind the arm of this tin man is just another fat communist who's jealous of our boy Tony Stark.  However, this particular fat communist decides to write Stark a letter about it.  Basically, he challenges Iron Man to a duel.  Iron Man accepts, but the victor won't be revealed until next issue.  It doesn't look great for Iron Man, but hey, it's just a cliffhanger.  Don't sweat it.

In Cap's world, a mad scientist prepares a means of eliminating him and Bucky.  Bucky is captured as bait, and Cap heads off to rescue his partner.  Smells like cliffhanger as well.


Favorite Panel:

Why does a mad scientist's henchman always have to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Next: Tales to Astonish # 71

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Strange Tales # 136

Issue: Strange Tales # 136
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Severin and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_136


Commentary:

Hope you love big Nick Fury, because he's appearing in more monthly mags than Spider-Man!

The Fury story features artwork from John Severin, who had a long career at Cracked magazine.  It also features Hydra just failing all over in their efforts to destroy SHIELD.

On the Strange side of life, Dormammu finally catches on that Clea has been helping Strange, and has her imprisoned.  Strange himself also has his cloak of levitation by this point, so he looks more like the Doctor we all know and love.  Alas, he's no closer to finding eternity.  Stan continues his serialization of the half issue stories of his superheroes.  He also seems to like aligning everyone with a goal.  Fury needs to destroy Hydra, Thor had the whole "trial of the Gods" saga, and the good Doctor's search for eternity marches on.

Favorite Panel:

The beauty of this panel is the many different ways in which it can amuse you.  Is it Nick Fury disappearing into the ground in a barber's chair?  How about the cute little wave he offers in goodbye?  How about the girl in the pink dress casually wielding a machine gun?  There's so many options.

Next: Tales of Suspense # 69

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sgt Fury # 22

Issue: Sgt Fury # 22
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt Fury 22


Commentary:

Dick Ayers himself makes an appearance in this one, as he is a Corporal in the US army during the time of these stories.  Unfortunately, that's about the only interesting thing that happens in this issue, and it takes up all of two panels.  Good times.

Oh, I'm being too cruel to Sgt. Fury.  This one sees him in a fight to the death against fellow officer Bull McGiveney for the amusement of some Nazis.  Of course, it's not actually to the death, and Fury and Bull help the allied forces pull off one of the greatest air strikes in history.

Favorite Panel:

To the moon, Alice!

Next: Strange Tales # 136

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Journey into Mystery # 120

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 120
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_120


Commentary:

Thor's hammer took some damage last issue, so his big play is to take the hammer to...Pittsburgh.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, not only does Pittsburgh produce steel, but they also have furnaces hot enough to heal the hammer of a Norse god.  He is also finally able to prove to Odin that Loki cheated during the trial of the gods (which started back here).

Thor tries to get back to his normal life after the trial, but he finds that the members of the Avengers have completely changed, and his nurse Jane Foster is nowhere to be found.  But before he gets anywhere with these things, he'll have to fight off the Absorbing Man, returned to earth by the ever mischievous Loki.

I also would like to point out that Odin wears a golden crown with an enormous owl symbol on it.  Just the latest in Norse god fashion.

The quest for the Odinsword continues in this issue's backup tale.

Favorite Panel:

Thor walks the rainbow bridge.

Next: Sgt Fury # 22

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fantastic Four # 42

Issue: Fantastic Four # 42
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_42


Commentary:

The team engages in a rather uninspired fight with the Frightful Four.  Torch doesn't refer to Trapster as Paste-Pot Pete.  If a guy calls himself Paste-Pot Pete, even once, you should never let him forget it.  Let that be a lesson to all you inspiring super heroes and villains.

The Frightful Four are able to brainwash Torch just as they were Thing.  Also, this story isn't wrapped up at issue's end, but will continue again.  A three-parter from Stan.

Favorite Panel:
Torch means business.

Next: Journey into Mystery # 120

Friday, March 2, 2012

Avengers # 20

Issue: Avengers # 20
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date: September 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_20


Commentary:

The Swordsman can't beat the Avengers (after all, he is just a guy with a sword going up against a bunch of super heroes), so this makes him a great candidate to become a henchman of the Mandarin, last seen here.  That doesn't go smoothly, as Swordsman then wants to fight Mandarin.  Swordsman really needs to make friends with somebody, even if it's Mole Man.

However, things aren't going much better for our heroes, as nobody respects the leadership of Captain America.  This is a far cry from Cap's reputation as Marvel's best leader.  Still, I guess it shows he's got room to grow.  Also, Quicksilver and Hawkeye aren't exactly the most stand up teammates a fella could want.  Things calm down for some strange reason when Quicksilver proves he can run faster than Hawkeye can shoot an arrow.

Things end with Swordsman in a morally ambiguous way, so we'll have to see where he crops up next, and whether or not it's on the side of the angels.

Favorite Panel:

The Swordsman is quite a fatalist.  I'm also quite curious as to what "Whit!" sounds like.

Next: Fantastic Four # 42