Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marvel History 253: X-Men # 11

Issue: X-Men # 11
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Uncanny_X-Men_11


Commentary:

Stan Lee does his best Stranger in a Strange Land impersonation here, as a mysterious alien unsure of human ways comes to earth.  Hell, he even calls the guy The Stranger.

This issue also brings about the demise of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants as we know it, as Magneto and Toad are carted off into space by the Stranger, Mastermind is turned to stone, and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch leave to join the Avengers.  I guess that means we'll see some new villains next issue.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Even with his eyes shut tight, some of Cyclops' power still leaks through when he isn't wearing his visor (this will get ret-conned)
  • The slightest of flirtations occurs between Scarlet Witch and Cyclops
  • Toad's loyalty to Magneto is referenced as "touching"; heh


Favorite Panel:

Yeah.  Who wouldn't want to hang out with them.

Favorite Quote:

"Words alone are not my sole stock in trade, you jocular juvenile!" - Beast (I added this quote solely for the alliteration)

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 25

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marvel History 252: Tales to Astonish # 67

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 67
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Bob Powell and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_67


Commentary:

Just when you thought Giant Man was in love with Wasp and over his fetish for riding bugs, he tells her he's trained a bee as his new mount.  Oh, Pym...

Anyways, our two heroes battle against an alien with the power to steal the abilities and knowledge of scientists.  The alien loses, and is never heard from again.  Kind of ho hum.  One interesting factoid was that Giant Man is at his strongest at twelve feet tall.  Beyond that, most of his power is drained.

On the Hulk side of things, he escapes the Iron Curtain, only to be captured by marauders once he returns to Bruce Banner form.  Glen Talbot comes to rescue him, but the issue ends on a cliffhanger as the two are last seen plummeting to their death.  I suppose as they're not hanging on the edge of the cliff it's not really much of a cliffhanger, but you get my drift.



Favorite Panel:

King me!

Next: X-Men # 11

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Marvel History 251: Tales of Suspense # 65

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 65
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby and Don Heck
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_65


Commentary:

Stark makes some pretty hot weapons, I'll give him that.  But a man is able to sneak into his plant by riding underneath a delivery truck.  This is how his security is breached.  Yikes.

Then the perpetrator steals the Iron Man armor!  Christ on a cracker, Stark, get an ADT Security system or something.  Fortunately, all this stupidity does lead to Tony Stark having to break out his original armor in an all Iron Man showdown, and that's fun.

In Cap's story from the WWII era, he and Bucky take on a Red Skull impersonator.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Stark gets referred to as Mr. Big.  Sarah Jessica Parker is nowhere in sight.
  • The Captain America story is written in an older time comic book style reminiscent of the 1940s


Favorite Panel:

I'd like to see this panel recreated so that someone could show me that it's physically possible.

Next: Tales to Astonish # 67

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Marvel History 250: Strange Tales # 132

Issue: Strange Tales # 132
Writer: Stan Lee and Larry Ivie
Artist: Steve Ditko and Bob Powell
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_132


Commentary:

Some dude from NASA shows up to talk to the Fan Four about space.  About time I suppose, given that the Fan Four was at one time astronauts.

Alas, Johnny's got other problems, as Doris breaks up with him for being stood up one too many times.  Fair argument.  But, of course, three pages later she's trying to figure out how to get back into his life.

Thing at one point has a dialogue balloon that's just full of random letters, which appears to be one of the earliest instances I can recall of Marvel using random punctuation to replace F-bombs and such.

Anyway, Johnny has to return earth in a daring escape from a spaceship.  Fortunately, he does not turn into the Phoenix Force.

Dr. Strange's story features him battling Baron Mordo, who is channeling the powers of Dormammu.  It ends on a cliffhanger.

Quick Thoughts:
  • One of the NASA engineers gives Thing the alias of Josiah Verpoorten
  • Dr. Strange is a pretty good tipper


Favorite Panel:

Yeah, this dude doesn't look suspicious at all.

Favorite Quote: "This is a Thing-sized job!"


Next: Tales of Suspense # 65

Friday, January 27, 2012

Marvel History 249: Sgt. Fury # 18

Issue: Sgt. Fury # 18
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt. Fury 18


Commentary:

And finally, something interesting happens again in a Nick Fury comic.

So, most of the issue is the Commandos on another mission to stop Nazis, I guess.  Fury is almost as disinterested in the mission as I am, although for a different reason: He's decided he's in love with Nurse Pam, and plans on asking her to marry him.  He almost loses the engagement ring in combat, but manages to recover it.  Close call!

But alas, Fury's beloved is killed in an air raid.  As Stan says, we'll have to see how the grief changes Fury in the next issue.


Favorite Panel:

Nicely done panel sequence at the very end of the issue when Fury finds out the fate of his beloved.

Next: Strange Tales # 132

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Marvel History 248: Journey into Mystery # 116

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 116
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_116


Commentary:

Thor and Loki are thrust into the trial of the gods, because Odin is...unhappy, or something.  But wait!  Baldur believes that Loki is bringing about some trickery.  Loki?  Really?  Yes, it seems the god of tricksters has, once again, deceived his father, by playing dirty in the trial of the gods and putting the life of Thor's beloved Jane Foster into danger.

The issue ends of a cliffhanger, as Loki apparently wins the challenge.  This issue is also very much embedded in the other stories taking place in the Marvel Universe at this point.  There are shots of the Avengers meeting where they call for more members, Daredevil racing off to fight Namor, and the Frightful Four wondering if they have truly defeated the Fantastic Four.  Very typical of the Marvel Universe when Stan was in charge.

In the backup story, Thor throws a goblet at a king's crown, and somehow comes out of it the hero.  In other words, Loki is really bad at his job.

Favorite Panel:

Whaaaaat - look at Odin's bathrobe!  Never mind that, look at his SLIPPERS!

Next: Sgt. Fury # 18

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Marvel History 247: Fantastic Four # 38

Issue: Fantastic Four # 38
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_38


Commentary:

The most important development of the issue, and one of the most important in the Marvel Universe so far, is that Paste-Pot Pete comes to the realization that Paste-Pot Pete is just a horrible name.  So he starts calling himself the Trapster.  This probably isn't going to win any prizes at the super-villain awards show, but it's a small step, and I for one am proud of Pete.

Then he goes and does a thing like using remote controlled asbestos tape, and all my new found respect just goes right out the window.

Anyways, the team beats the Frightful Four, although at issue's end, we see Thing transforming back to his normal human form in a cliffhanger moment.


Quick Thoughts:

  • Medusa notes that the Wizard's evilness frightens even her
  • Invisible Woman is able to hold up a force field even after being knocked unconscious

Favorite Panel:

The power of the Wizard is put on display in a rare full page splash in the middle of the issue.

Next: Journey into Mystery # 116

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Marvel History 246: Avengers # 16

Issue: Avengers # 16
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_16


Commentary:

It's time to expand the roster.  A number of characters we've already been introduced to are joining the Avengers.  And these are some of the Avengers mainstays.

For those who think that the idea of shaking up a team's lineup every few issues is something more in touch with the modern era, keep in mind what Stan has done with the Avengers since we began.  He replaced the Hulk with Captain America after only a few issues, and now, about a year later, he's changing the team dynamic again.  And, in fact, the team is now devoid of any of its original members, as it's just Captain America, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye.

All of the characters joining the team (Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch) started out their careers as evil doers, but now they've found a home with Marvel's mightiest super team.

Iron Man gets a little tearful as he leaves the team, but we all know he'll be back again someday, just like all the other Avengers who have left the team at this time.

Next issue: The search for the Hulk!



Favorite Panel:

A hilarious and largely true caption.

Next: Fantastic Four # 38

Monday, January 23, 2012

Marvel History 245: Amazing Spider-Man # 24

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 24
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: May 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_24


Commentary:

Betty Brant is still writing to that guy Ned Leeds, and Pete doesn't like that one bit.  Really, that's the least of Parker's problems though, as the dude starts hallucinating.

Wouldn't you know it's Mysterio impersonating as a psychiatrist trying to help Spider-Man?  Of all the lousy tricks.  Ironically, Spider-Man is saved from revealing his identity by J. Jonah Jameson.  The questions of Peter's mental stability made this one a fairly enjoyable read.

Favorite Panel:

Very trippy panel.  I also thought it was cool how they placed some of the dialogue upside down.  While it might not be much, this was a little bit more experimental in style than a lot of the other rather straightforward displays of panels and dialogue.

Next: Avengers # 16

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Marvel History 244: Tales to Astonish # 66

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 66
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Bob Powell and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_66


Commentary:

The villain in Giant Man's tale is Madam Macabre, who has  loyal henchmen named Gogo and Kayla, both of whom look exactly like the creepy dude Omar (not that Omar) from the last issue of Tales of Suspense.

Apparently, Madam M. received her training at the hands of the Mandarin, and if Giant Man spent a little more time talking to Iron Man, he'd know the Mandarin is a bad dude. But alas, he is not aware of the evil of which she is capable.  Doesn't really stop Wasp and Giant Man from getting her locked up by issue's end, though.

On the green goliath side of the mag, Hulk's still fighting the communists, and the Leader still wants to team up with Hulk.  After all, according to Leader, they are the only two green skinned creatures on the earth (She-Hulk hasn't been invented yet...or Anole...or...).  Hulk's story doesn't conclude at the end of this issue either, making it more of a continuing saga at this point.  It's certainly becoming one of the longer multi-part stories Stan has put together by this point.


Favorite Panel:

Bruce Banner does his best North by Northwest interpretation.

Favorite Quote: "I need another partner like the Human Torch needs a match!" - Giant Man

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 24

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Marvel History 243: Tales of Suspense # 64

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 64
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_64


Commentary:


So, Black Widow continues to show signs of wanting to repent from her evil ways, but the Iron Curtain is relentless, threatening her parents if she doesn't defeat Iron Man.  But, of course, both she and Hawkeye are no match for our man Tony Stark.

Also, it's still clear that Pepper is in love with Stark, and not Happy Hogan.  The workplace love triangles of Stan continue.

Cap's story, set in the WWII era, features the tale of Sando and Omar (not that Omar).  Sando's a creepy Nazi spies whom Cap puts the beating on.  Omar is just a weird looking dude, and that's no crime, so he's free to go.  American Justice!

Quick Thoughts:

  • The New York World's Fair gets a reference
  • Black Widow gets a new costume (she looks like Catwoman)
  • Hawkeye has built an acid-spray arrowhead, and a boomerang arrow, and more!
  • Black Widow's new boots allow her to walk on any surface

Favorite Panel:

And you thought the proportions on female comic characters were bad these days.  Look at that waist!

Next: Tales to Astonish # 66

Friday, January 20, 2012

Marvel History 242: Strange Tales # 131

Issue: Strange Tales # 131
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Bob Powell and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_131


Commentary:

The Mad Thinker is a bit of a jackass, and being that Thing and Torch are all around noble guys, he decides he's had enough of them.  That, and the two heroes prevent him from blowing up a bridge.  His plan is more or less to fight them using a glorified bowling ball.  Guess who wins?

Meanwhile, the Doc is still fighting Baron Mordo in Hong Kong, and Mordo has the criminals of the city searching for his foe.  It's good to see Strange flash some physical prowess this issue in his handling of these miscreants.  Strange escapes Hong Kong, only to surely fight Mordo another time.


Favorite Panel:

This isn't Nam.  This is bowling.  There are rules.

Favorite Quote: "I got a real sentimental attachment to money!" - Thing

Next: Tales of Suspense # 64

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Marvel History 241: Sgt Fury # 17

Issue: Sgt Fury # 17
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt. Fury 17


Commentary:

More Howling Commandos...yay!  Right.  So, also of note, is that this issue doesn't actually have a summary at the marvel wikia, which I have linked to above.  However, I'm sure at some point a brave soul will add one, as the rest of the details are located there. So, my apologies, and I'm sure that will happen a few more times with some of the less popular marvel books I'll be reading in the coming days/weeks/months.

Anywho, this issue focuses on the team trapped in the jungle, and helping keep a member of the Nazi party alive.  Of course, the Nazi then begins to question whether he is misjudged non-Aryans.  He decides to help out the Commandos, but he's dead by the end of that panel, so that's that.

Stan promises a death next issue, so we've got that to look forward to.

Favorite Panel:

Dum Dum lays it on thick.

Next: Strange Tales # 131

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marvel History 240: Journey into Mystery # 115

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 115
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_115


Commentary:

So, Thor has flown off earth in pursuit of Jane Foster in Asgard.  He leaves the Absorbing Man behind.  This raises a good question, which is where does Thor's loyalty lay?  Is it with Asgard, with earth, with himself?  Does he owe anything to the people of our planet?

Also, Thor gives Jane Foster the "gift of forgetfullness" upon returning her to Earth.  Again, there is no question about the morality of tampering with someone's memory.  Really, I should just stop bringing it up, because it's all over the place, and no one seems to think twice about it.  Consider it "forgotten."

Just as its predecessor did, this issue ends on a cliffhanger, with Thor headed back to Asgard to fight Loki in the Trial of the Gods!

Quick Thoughts:
  • Odin is aware of Loki's trickery once more, and yet again, does nothing
  • Creel looks a lot like the Human Torch when he absorbs fire
  • Thor defeats the Absorbing Man by getting him to turn into helium; yikes
  • Loki makes friends with a Storm Giant called Ghan in the backup story
Favorite Panel:

Let it not be said that Crusher Creel is not a man of discerning taste!

Favorite Quote:

"It would require the wisdom of Odin for any mortal to say where science ends and fiction begins!" - Thor

Next: Sgt Fury # 17

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Marvel History 239: Fantastic Four # 37

Issue: Fantastic Four # 37
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_37


Commentary:

The team is in full preparation for Reed and Sue's wedding, but that doesn't mean they can't squeeze in an adventure or two.

Anyways, the Fan 4 is up against the Skrulls again, including Morrat, who looks like a Skrullian version of Clark Gable.  The Skrulls were last battled here.  The team goes to get justice for the death of poppa Storm.

So, there's some Skrulls, and some fighting, and Clark Gable Skrull takes the dirt nap.  The team makes it back to Earth in time for the wedding rehearsal, so all's well that ends well.




Favorite Panel:

I suppose that's one way to show up for a wedding rehearsal.


Next: Journey into Mystery # 115

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marvel History 238: Daredevil # 7

Issue: Daredevil # 7
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Wallace Wood
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Daredevil_7


Commentary:

Namor decides to press his claim to the surface world through due legal process.  Boy, he's a real fish out of water in the corporate world (yeah, I did it).  The dude can barely work a revolving door, but he somehow makes his way to Murdock's law offices.

Namor's arrival at the office is genuinely entertaining.  He's breaking elevators, slamming the door, and just generally making an ass of himself (as he so often does).

This issue is also the debut of Daredevil's red costume, which will become his mainstay from here on out.  His costume is one of the most static in all of comic-dom from this point on.

There's also a cool moment this issue where Namor regards Daredevil as a truly courageous hero, given his handicap, and decides that he is indeed quite noble.  It was cool to see Namor give DD his props.  All in all, this was a pretty solid issue, and a good early meeting between these two characters.

Favorite Panel:

Political maneuvering and thinking is hard to take seriously when it comes from a man riding on sea turtles.

Favorite Quote:

"The Lord of Atlantis waits for nothing!" - Namor, waiting (and then not waiting) for an elevator



Next: Fantastic Four # 37

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Marvel History 237: Avengers # 15

Issue: Avengers # 15
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_15


Commentary:

Before we get started, and lest you worry, Giant Man's still walking around in that absurd blue and red costume.

Also, Steve Rogers writes a letter to Nick Fury, who is involved in counter-espionage, thus once more tying Nick Fury back into the fold of the present day Marvel Universe (and making me feel a little less terrible about reading all those Sgt. Fury comics).  This doesn't play out this issue, so we'll have to see if it's brought back up.

Anyways, Baron Zemo is back on the attack with his usual bunch of cronies, and they really need a new color scheme.  Everyone is in shades of blue and green.  Zemo's the only one of the bunch with a little oomph in his outfit!

Alas, though, this issue is the "death" of Zemo, and when he is dead, Cap claims that at last, he has avenged (yes, avenged) the death of his former sidekick.

Of course, Cap does not deliver the killing blow to Zemo, but by the same token, he's not particularly helpful in keeping the guy alive.  There is a little more blood lust in this early Cap than there may be in future tales.  Interesting to see Steve act in such a way.

Next issue promises a shakeup to the lineup, so that should be exciting.

Favorite Panel:

I don't think you need a Sorcerer's intuition to see a man swinging on telephone poles in pursuit of your car.

Next: Daredevil # 7

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marvel History 236: Amazing Spider-Man # 23

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 23
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: April 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_23


Commentary:

So, the Green Goblin is actually having to pitch himself to take over as leader of an organized crime ring.  Interesting watching one of the future prime time villains of the Marvel Universe, and someone who will for a time take over national security, making his pitch for why he should take over a small time crime ring.

This issue is typical Spider-fare.  Fights with gangster, calls to his aunt at inopportune times, fights with Green Goblin, the works.

Quick Thoughts:
  • State U, the alma mater of Reed Richards, gets another reference
  • Ned Leeds, Betty Brant's old flame, sends her a letter
  • Eliot Ness and the other Untouchables get  a reference
Favorite Panel:

Visions of the Goblin's true insanity

Next: Avengers # 15

Friday, January 13, 2012

Marvel History 235: X-Men # 10

Issue: X-Men # 10
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack KirbyPublication Date: March 1965
Brief Summary:

http://marvel.wikia.com/Uncanny_X-Men_10

Commentary:


Big Ka-Zar and trusty pet Sabre-Tooth Tiger Zabu make their mighty Marvel debuts.  Alas, Ka-Zar is not a mutant, as Prof X can tell with his Cerebro machine.  Of course, Ka-Zar also means the Savage Land, which is one of the fantastic locations of the Marvel Universe, and the site of many X-Men related adventures to come.

Ka-Zar doesn't speak the best English, and this of course leads to a minor skirmish with the X-Men (well, that and Iceman freezing Zabu).  There's also a Jurassic Park-like episode featuring Jean and Warren.

At issue's end, Ka-Zar bids the X-Men to never return to the Savage Land.  Like that'll happen.

Quick Thoughts:

  • Jerry Lewis gets a reference
  • It's pronounced "Kay-Sar" according to Stan Lee
  • Beast quotes Isaac Asimov (although he doesn't give proper credit!)
  • The Savage Land is not named as such
Favorite Panel:

X-kimos'!

Favorite Quote:

"The South Pole is one place where I'll feel right at home!" - Iceman

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 23

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marvel History 234: Tales to Astonish # 65

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 65
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Bob Powell and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: March 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_65


Commentary:

Information on Bob Powell, the artist on the Giant Man portion of this issue, can be found here.

Anyway, Giant Man's got a new solution that lets him shrink or grow the size of things around him.  He's also got a new costume designed by lover gal Wasp, and it's amazingly even worse than his old costume.

Anyways, Hank spills his shrinking/growing solution, and it lands on a spider.  This is not the result.  So, Hank and Jan fight an enormous spider in a very Honey I Shrunk The Kids episode of Giant Man and Wasp.

In Hulk's story, he is at the hands of the communists, because Stan hasn't brought them around in a while.  Come on, you know it was time.

Favorite Panel:

The Hulk breaks free.

Favorite Quote:

"Your costume is the most atrocious thing since Castro's beard!" - Wasp

Next: X-Men # 10

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Marvel History 233: Tales of Suspense # 63

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 63
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: March 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_63


Commentary:

Well, Tony Stark's closest friends still think he's dead and not Iron Man, so it's a tough time for our armored hero.  However, Stan's decided he's had enough of Iron Man being trapped in his suit, and deus ex machina's Stark into coming up with a solution.

However, not content to leave drama out of the question, Stan now has Stark pretending that he's engaged so that Pepper will give up on him and move on to Happy.  Quite the liar this guy is.  There's some lame villain called the Phantom who shows up as well, but this story is more about the angst.

Cap's origin is told in his story, and features an appearance by a then-alive and well Bucky Barnes.  Apparently Bucky's father died in G.I. training, which is just about the only thing I learned from this story.  The rest is Cap's standard origin.  Apparently starting with next issue though all of the Captain America stories are going to be set in the World War Two era.

Favorite Panel:
A legend is born.

Favorite Quote: "If...if I fail...let me die with valor!" - Iron Man

Next: Tales to Astonish # 65

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Marvel History 232: Strange Tales # 130

Issue: Strange Tales # 130
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Bob Powell and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: March 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_130


Commentary:

It's 1965, and Beatlemania has swept over the country.  It's affected the mighty Marvel bullpen as well, as this issue features an appearance by the Fab Four.  This features Thing and Torch going to extreme heights (sometimes literally) to deliver their girlfriends to a Beatles concert on time.  Of course, they also have to recover the money that was due to the Beatles for putting on the concert, and this takes up most of the issue.  Wouldn't you know, Ben and Johnny end up missing the show?  Also, despite the Beatles being drawn in this issue, they don't actually have any lines.

Baron Mordo returns on the Dr. Strange side of things.  He's attacking Strange, and he's got help from Dormammu!  The story ends of a cliffhanger as Strange prepares to face their combined might.

Favorite Panel:

(In my Ed Sullivan Voice): 

It's the Beatles!



Next: Tales of Suspense # 63

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvel History 231: Sgt. Fury # 16

Issue: Sgt. Fury # 16
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: March 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt. Fury 16


Commentary:

Yes, Sgt. Fury marches on with war stories galore.  Dum Dum gets captured, and...there's some fighting.  In the desert.  New setting, same war.  I'm really struggling on these.  I guess war comics just aren't my scene.  Even the British colloquialisms of Percy Pinkerton can't help me.

Favorite Panel:

The most joyful grenade toss you'll see all year!


Favorite Quote: "Here's where we separate the men from the mascots!" - Nick Fury

Next: Strange Tales # 130

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Marvel History 230: Journey into Mystery # 114

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 114
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: March 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_114

Commentary:

According to the credits, this issue was written "at white heat" by Stan Lee (not that white heat), so we're already off to a good start.

Anywho, this issue marks the first appearance of the Absorbing Man, who will remain a mainstay villain in the Marvel Universe for many a year.  What I did not realize is that in his initial origin story, it is the trickery of Loki that grants him his power.  I wonder if that'll be retconned in a decade or two.

On the other end of things, Jane and Thor (or rather his alter ego) seem to be getting along swimmingly, which is a refreshing change of pace from the feelings of love left unexpressed in most of the other stories we've got running right now.  Of course, being a superhero mag and all, Thor does ditch Jane to go off and fight a super villain, but really, who could fault the man for that?  The story ends on a cliffhanger, with Thor riding to fight Loki, who has captured his lady love.

In the backup tale, Stan spins the yard of Little Red Hiding Hood, Norse-style.  The story is actually a french fairy tale originally, although there are similar elements in the Norse Poetic Edda).

Favorite Panel:

And he's not referring to the Absorbing Man's wife!

Next: Sgt. Fury # 16

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Marvel History 229: Fantastic Four # 36

Issue: Fantastic Four # 36
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: March 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_36


Commentary:

Well, Reed and Sue are now happily engaged, and well on their way to becoming the primary reason that the Fantastic Four are really considered a superhero family.

Unfortunately for them, old friends like Paste-Pot Pete, Sandman, and the Wizard don't really give a damn, and decide to team up to challenge the Fantastic Four.  They induce a woman called Medusa to join their clique, and together they form the Frightful Four.

Of course, there's a lot more to Medusa's story than meets the eye, but her back story will mostly remain a mystery for now.  The Fan 4 defeat their evil counterparts, but the baddies escape, which means they'll all be around to cause chaos sometime in the future.


Favorite Panel: Sue and Reed's hilarious engagement party.  You've got Invisible Girl serving Prof X cake, Jean Grey doing the watusi, Thor admitting some jealousy because Reed can do what he can't (get married); it's all good stuff.  It's also the kind of thing that made the early Marvel Universe such a charming place, as you never knew who'd drop in.

Favorite Quote: "First time I ever had a nightmare without eatin' pickles!" - Thing, a man with a strange subconscious

Next: Journey into Mystery # 114