John Scoleri: Allow me to make one positive comment about this Human Torch tale (and don't expect that to become a regular thing). For kids unfamiliar with Greek mythology, it introduces the story of Pandora's Box. So, for educational value alone, I'll cut it some slack.
JS: Clearly he was a bad guy... as hinted at by his oft-showcased hairy knuckles. And as old as he looks, The Sorcerer has particularly dark hair. Do you think there was Grecian Formula in the crate of artifacts with Pandora's box?
The Reds are back (did I say they wouldn’t be?)! This time they are invading India. A Yankee medical mission led by Dr. Don Blake, there to treat the wounded, has the extra advantage of having the Mighty Thor close at hand. That’s exactly what’s needed to turn back the Chinese tanks with the power of the storm and create a respite in the battle. A Chinese scientist named Chen Lu, meanwhile, has built up his resistance to radioactivity over many months, and he risks all to expose himself to a massive dose that transforms him into a super-man who can harness radioactive energy at will. Shot from a submarine in a torpedo into off shore American waters, which he then melts away, Lu lands on New York City shores, where he makes it known he is there to destroy Thor. Now back in the States, Dr.Blake finishes a critical operation before he can appear as the Thunder God. Lu is able to turn aside Thor’s hammer and withstand his lighting bolts, not to mention that he informs our blond hero that any direct physical violence to his person will cause Lu to reach critical mass and explode. He hypnotizes Thor into throwing away his weapon, which luckily for the rest of us, Thor throws it far enough away that the Radioactive Man has to go searching for it. In an Earthly minute, Blake is back with us, and runs off to modify one of his x-ray devices to help locate the hammer- at the bottom of the Hudson River. He dives off a pier into the water and manages to reach the hammer and turn into Thor seconds before he blacks out. Turning Lu’s own threat against him, Thor creates a vortex that sends the radioactive man back to China, where he reaches critical mass and explodes.
JS: At least he immunized himself against radiation first. Another great power that you think a brilliant scientist might consider monetizing before going thesuper-villain route.
PE: How does Don Blake have time to mend local thugs when Thor is always off helping other countries fight the Commies?
JS: Seriously now, do these unspecified powers have no bounds?
PE: As I noted in another post, a shared Marvel Universe seems to be an idea yet to come. The Radioactive Man ("Look out, he seems to be Radio-Active! He must be... The Radio-Active Man!!!") comes to New York to defeat Thor as he seems to feel that will gain him street cred in the United States. But wouldn't he then have to tackle The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Spider-Man, etc? Short-sighted if you ask me.
JS: Yes, but not everything can have the all-seeing power of Blake's Mjolnir-finder. Just turn on the TV and get GPS coordinates where you lost your hammer.
PE: Dr. Don proves he's not only a nifty surgeon (he flies through an operation "only he could perform"), an undercover Norse God (in spandex), and an all-around good guy for crooks to have around (albeit lame), he's also got the industrial smarts of future team-mate Tony Stark. Blake comes up with the idea of how to concoct a gizmo to find his missing hammer and an hour later he's marketing it.
JS: When do you think they realized that they only had 5 panels left in which they had to confront and defeat the villain?
PE: I do like the nasty side of Thor. Evidently, he sends RA-Man to his doom with a few one-liners and a kick in the pants with not one bit of remorse.
|Damn those spoilers!|
PE: But I'm with you, in general, as far as Heck goes. He shows dashes of brilliance and hints of mediocrity but, overall, I'm more impressed with his art than I thought I'd be.
PE: The Actor? The A-Bomber? The Hider?
PE: Well, Professor Jonathan, according to The Mad Thinker, we have exactly six more issues of yellow (or gold, depending on your reprint) armor to endure. What I'm more concerned about is the caliber of villains Tin-head is facing. Lee and Heck were obviously drawing from the recycle bin that Larry Leiber had piled up next to his desk (hey, what about Desk-Man? Was that ever used?). Things will not get better for a few more issues when we finally get a peek at one of Tony Stark's more enduring foes.