Wednesday, September 14, 2011

January 1964: Beware of The Blob!!

Journey Into Mystery #100

“The Master Plan of Mr. Hyde”

Our Story
While the police and military vow to capture the now criminally-inclined “Thor”, Don Blake and Jane Foster celebrate her birthday by going out for an expensive dinner. Who happens to overhear their dinner plans but Mr. Hyde?!? He interrupts the long awaited romantic outing by kidnapping them both to his castle hide-out. Hyde binds Blake and activates a 24-hour time bomb to threaten Jane into accompanying him on his next mission: to steal a Polaris Submarine with Jane as his bride! Once left alone Don Blake becomes Thor and tracks his quarry to the submarine, where they renew their battle. While Thor does gain the upper hand, it is Jane Foster who aids in distracting the Thunder God long enough to let Mr. Hyde escape, thinking that Dr. Blake needs to be saved from the time-bomb. The Mighty Thor loses out again, as Odin, witnessing the battle, condemns Jane Foster as unworthy because she aided Mr. Hyde in his escape! The authorities realize it was Mr. Hyde, not Thor, behind any wrong-doing. 

“The Boyhood of Thor” chronicles the adventures of a very young Thor and Loki as they follow the Storm Giants back to their kingdom, with the stolen Apples of Iduna.

JS: For our 100th issue spectacular, let's celebrate with Don and Jane's first date!

PE: And quite a date it is! Donald and Jane (The Lame Couple?) spend their short time at the table recounting the events of the previous issue, despite the fact that they just lived them! Judging by the panel to the left, Odin agrees with most of our readers that Jane Foster can't spell Immortal, let alone become one.

JS: Let's see—Hyde's dislikes include honesty, hard workers, and success. How bad must it be to dislike success? Drat! Foiled again... just the way I like it!

PE: Is that a french fry that Hyde is popping into his mouth in the back of the car or is he about to light a joint?
JB: I’m not sure how much control Calvin Zabo has over his transformation into Mr. Hyde and back. He seems to be on a one-way transformation here.

JS: Can someone explain to me how the cops figured out that Hyde disguised himself as goldilocks last issue?
JB: Actually it's funny how Marvel superheroes and villains alike are able to create
"super" costumes and equipment, just because they have super powers.

PE: More importantly, how are we supposed to figure it out? I'm still shaking my head at the inanity of it. We see an obvious impostor robbing the bank at the exciting climax of the last issue. How do we know it's an impostor? Well, the real Thor doesn't rob banks. Aside from that, it's Thor. It stretches even my "it's just a comic book" logic to believe that Mr. Hyde has the physique and speed of the Thunder God (the figure has "blinding speed" while escaping), never mind a long blond wig.

JS: The art this issue comes across like a rush job, even for Hack... I mean Heck. Once again, we're better served by Kirby with a fun Tale of Asgard this month, with the story behind Thor earning his hammer.

X-Men #3

Our Story

Professor X detects the presence of a mutant somewhere out there nearby. He dispatches his X-teens to find the wandering soul. They find the mutant, known as The Blob (for his general...bigness) working at a carnival freak show. The X-Men politely invite The Blob back to their "Gifted Mansion" to entice him into joining the team. The Blob is having none of that, opting to go the solo route. Professor X, realizing he's made a big mistake inviting the porky youth to his super-secret hideout must erase The Blob's memory.

PE: Let's see. Team workout - check. In-team squabbling - check. Admonishment from the chief - check. Yep, this is a comic from "The House of Ideas."

JS: God forbid they had a team that got along.

PE: Now we find that not only does the entire X-Men team want to sleep with Jean Grey, the Professor's been having those kind of dreams for her as well.

JS: Ewwww! Sorry, folks, that's just plain wrong.

PE: Not only are the X-Men bad trackers, they're not really all that bright judging by the "mutants" Bobby and Hank happen on.

JS: The folks in the carnival might as well be a mutant band... they took out the X-Men pretty easily.

PE: I don't know why Iceman is so upset about The Blob's ego. He and his team display the same kind of arrogance in each issue.

PE: Professor X isn't exactly what I'd call a good host. He invites The Blob into his group but when the kid turns down the offer, X sics his teen goons on him. Who are the good guys again, Stan?

JS: They didn't do much of a 'here's what's in it for you' sale...

PE: I'd like to see the human cannonball known as Svenzaldo Zambooba get his own strip. It would be an improvement over the current Torch and Ant-Man bilge.

JS: I'll drink to that.

PE: I've let Marvel know that I've contacted PETA about Cyclops' treatment of elephants.

JS: I thought the giraffe had the best cameo.

PE: Weakness we need to keep track of: much like Johnny Storm, when Scott (aka Cyclops) lets loose with a "high-intensity power blast," he needs a bit of time off to recharge.

JS: Um... I'll let that go without further comment.

PE: Seemingly a third tier villain, The Blob has popped up dozens of times over the years in titles such as Daredevil, The Avengers, The Defenders and, of course, Bob's Big Boy. He'll be back with us before the end of 1964, I promise!

Strange Tales #116

Our Story - Human Torch

Once again, The Puppet Master uses his evil dolls to manipulate folks into doing nasty stuff. This time, his targets are The Human Torch and The Thing. PM forces the Torch to hit on Alicia just in time for Ben Grimm to show up. Benjy's the jealous type and heads will roll. Eventually, the two teammates sniff something bad in the air and patch things up long enough to tackle The Puppet Master. But don't worry, they'll be back to battling each other in Fantastic Four next month!

JS: This is a great example of a tale, that if it truly needed to be told, should have been told in the pages of FF. Could this be a sign that the Torch's days flying solo are numbered? Unfortunately, I've got half an Essential left that leads me to believe that's not the case...

PE: Stan "The Man" Lee lays the blame for this turkey right at the feet of poor Tommy and Jimmy Goodkind of Hewlett Harbor, New York, who came up with the idea for this story. Which idea?

PE: Alicia sculpts a figure of The Thing with four saggy breasts. There must be tons of these Things lying around her flat. Isn't she supposed to get better at her craft? But then Dick Ayers seems to have the same problem with his figures of The Thing. In different panels, Ben looks like an orange caveman, an orange lizard, and an orange pile of rocks.

JS: There's something unique about Ayers' interpretation of The Thing I find interesting. Until he tries to do the face, at which point his rock-style falls apart.

PE: I think Professor X should be seeking out Alicia Masters rather than The Blob this month. She's obviously psychic. She can "feel" the Torch somewhere above her (the heat, maybe?) in the midst of a battle. She manages to end up in the right place at the right time with the most tenuous of clues (she decides that it would be a good thing to head to her stepfather's place near the airport because that's where his last hideout was and runs right into the battle royale at the airport). And she's pretty hot. Professor X would dig her, I think.

PE: Marvel Uni LOL scene of the issue: Johnny Storm flies through "the innards" of a jet and out though the exhaust without harming himself or the jet! Astounding!

JS: I sure hope they invited Alicia to move into the Baxter Building, considering how they tore up her apartment.

PE: Unfortunately, the two dopes who make up one half of the fighting force known as The Fantastic Four decide to let The Puppet Master take a walk at the end of our story (with a little coaxing from the whiny Alicia - "I know he's bad but he mean's well! Golly, can't we let him go? He's learnt his lesson.") despite all the damage he's done. so I'm sure we'll see more of this bottom-of-the-barrel bad guy. I'm sure that apartment will look good as new by the next issue of the FF.

Our Story - Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange must enter the Nightmare World to uncover the reason why so many are falling into a deep sleep. There he finds the surreal surroundings ruled by Nightmare and releases the souls of the sleeping.

JS: The introduction of Nightmare bodes well for the series. Oddly enough, Nightmare thinks only Strange and his mentor have the power to combat him... where does that leave Mordo?

PE: I love all the Lovecraft-ian elements being introduced into the Dr. Strange mythos. Even though most of the Marvel titles swim in science fiction, it's only Dr. Strange that dabbles in horror and fantasy.

JS: Ditko gets to go wild in Nightmare's dreamland. Lot's of cool surreal visuals this time out.

Fantastic Four #22

Our Story

Smarting from critical protests, the Fantastic Four are searching for a spot to keep all their wonderful, albeit dangerous, toys. The answer comes via a leaflet Reed Richards receives in the mail advertising an island for sale just off New Jersey. Hopping into the fabulous amphibious u-car, the Four head off to inspect their prospective property. When they land on the island, they find the entire public harassment (and beautiful advertising leaflet) were the work of their old nemesis, The Mole Man, last seen vaporizing in a huge Monster Island explosion. But, of course, Monster Island was riddled with underground passageways so it was no problem for MM to make his escape. He's spent the last two years (Marvel time) plotting his revenge on the Four. The plan involves sinking major cities and beginning World War III, leaving the surface world to its new king, The Mole Man!

PE: So the Fantastic Four's neighbors are complaining about the team's ICBM missile, stored right there in the Baxter Building? New Yorkers will complain about anything, won't they?

JS: Clearly the investigating officer was Fred Gwynne, so does that mean his partner downstairs was in Car 54?

PE: The whole first half of this story feels like it was pulled from the pages of Not Brand Ecch! Light, silly fare about protests from Mah Jong clubs and surrealist sculptors. Unfortunately, it's not very funny.

JS: Stan decided it was time to give Sue new powers (beyond the power to choose some girly activity over crime-fighting), but I think transferring her invisibility to others was a bit of a stretch...

PE: I can see The Mole Man hiring all those New Yorkers to complain (actually, he probably didn't have to pay them) but a lovely fold-out pamphlet advertising the island? Having worked in the publishing business for years, I can tell you that a limited edition of one full color pamphlet would cost an arm and a leg. I wonder which printing shop The Mole Man frequents.

JS: Clearly, considering the worldwide construction projects he's got underway with such low cost labor, he can afford it.

PE: New weapon for The Torch: a low-intensity super-nova blast. It's a fine line between low and super.

PE: Reed Richards finds the time in the heat of battle to steal away and rewire The Mole Man's controls for his sinking devices so that the only thing that sinks is MM's island! It's amazing what this guy can do! He must carry an endless supply of wire cutters and screwdrivers.

JS: What's sad is that when you consider a city can't get around to fixing its potholes, here you've got Moley doing major construction projects around the globe simultaneously. Unfortunately for him, his minions didn't stop when they got to the home base. Oops.

PE: The Fantastic Fan Page is packed with future creators: Dave Cockrum, who helped make The X-Men title such a runaway success in the late 1970s; our old friend Roy Thomas relates how he went to the local drugstore to pick up a few comics and ended up spending a whopping $1.95 (oh, for the days!); and a possible celebrity sighting: could the Jack Harris of Wilmington, Delaware be the same Jack C. Harris who wrote quite a few DC Comics, including The Warlord, World's Finest, and Green Lantern? And who wrote the "Special Announcements" section of The Fan Page? Anyone know? I doubt if Stan spent time, better used for writing comic books, typing out these house ads. Reason I ask is that I notice that the little news tidbits are different from title to title. In this issue's announcement page, we find out that the consumer who screamed "Yecccch" over the new X-Men title (see our section on The Amazing Spider-Man #8 below) was none other than super-fan Jerry Bails.
Avengers #3

Our Story

Hulk's angry exit last issue is still weighing on the minds of the remaining Avengers. Not because they miss the Green Goliath's pithy wit but because they fear, without their restraint, he'll run amok. That's a good estimation but it always seems as though Hulk is pushed into bad situations and this episode is no different. Seems Namor, the Sub-Mariner has been looking for a partner since his brief team-up with Doctor Doom (way back in Fantastic Four #6) went south. Hulk is just the ticket. The Avengers arrive just in time to keep the duo from causing too much trouble but both anti-heroes escape to fight another day (very soon, as a matter of fact).

JS: And to think I had almost forgotten how much I didn't miss The Hulk.

PE: If I was Tony Stark and I could project myself into any superhero's bedroom, I'd zip it over to Sue Storm's pad, never mind Ben Grimm. I thought this guy was supposed to be a playboy!

JS: The recently formed Avengers attempt to outsource their job to every other super-hero outfit in town, rather than clean up their own mess. What's funny is that almost everyone else had pressing things to attend to. In Sue Storm's case, that fashion show that's sure to be the centerpiece of an upcoming issue of FF.

PE: Was I on vacation when Namor began traveling in a submarine?

JS: At this point, I have to say that I'm not looking forward to more tales of The Hulk and Namor.

PE: Hulk's "fishface" and Subby's "insolent clod" insults are pretty amusing but nothing really seems to be going on in this story. The Avengers need to find the Hulk. They find the Hulk. They fight the Hulk. The Hulk gets away. Didn't we see this last issue? The inclusion of the two anti-heroes just seems to be a way for Stan to use them somewhere without giving them their own title. Thankfully, things are about to change for this title in a big way.

The Amazing Spider-Man #8

Our Story

Exciting times for high school student Peter Parker. In his science class, a new experimental robot called "The Living Brain" will be tested in front of his class. Of course, Flash Thompson ribs the nerdy Parker for showing an interest in the green bucket of bolts. Having had quite enough of Mr. Thompson's insults, Peter agrees to a boxing bout with Flash after school. Meanwhile, the two laborers tasked with helping to move The Living Brain from place to place have some less-than-scientific plans for the genius but unwittingly short-circuit its control panel, sending it amok.

The boxing match goes well for Peter when he knocks Flash out of the ring but joy is short-lived as Parker learns of the crazed robot and must don his Spidey suit to rope the riled robot. In the end, peace is restored.

In our second story, Spidey seems to be more than a bit jealous of The Human Torch and so crashes one of Johnny Storm's shindig. A battle royale ensues, with the two youngsters seemingly fighting to a draw before Sue Storm steps in with calming words.

PE: The first story, "The Terrible Threat of The Living Brain" doesn't have much of a plot. The Brain is introduced and goes haywire. Spidey must face it and defeat it with his brain rather than brawn. It's the sub-plot with Flash Thompson that's the most enjoyable aspect of this adventure. You've, no doubt, read the earlier issues and felt the brunt of Flash's insults just as Peter has. We were (or are) Peter Parker. There was a Flash Thompson for most of us and we'd have loved to clean his clock if we had the nerve. I never got to. That's the obvious draw for fans to Spider-Man: despite his super-powers, he's still just a nerd more likely to spend late July at the San Diego Comic-Con than at a Dodgers game.

JS: Time to use my super strength to kick Flash's ass. So much for 'great responsibility.'

PE: I'll say it again but with more oomph: Steve Ditko is shifting from third into fourth and, based on the art and story here, I've got a feeling we're about to hit some of the stories the legend is built on.

JS: I hope so. There's nothing to strike fear in my heart than a tagline on the cover stating, "tribute to teenagers issue!"

PE: Is Peter's science teacher (here referred to as "Mister Warren") the same "Professor Warren" who would later play quite a large role in the Spider-Man "Clone Saga" of the mid-1970s? I know it looks nothing like the Professor Warren we get to know later on but it seems too much of a coincidence.

JS: Funny that the The Living Brain looked less like something coming out of IBM and more like something coming out of a Japanese toy factory. I kept waiting for someone to turn his key to wind him up...

PE: The second story, the generically titled "Spider-Man Tackles the Torch," feels like a Strange Tales story that must have got muscled out by a better story. Well, let me rephrase that... It exists for no other reason than to show Spidey fight the Torch for the umpteenth time. The only difference between this story and the ones that went before is the motive. Or lack thereof. Spider-Man seems to break up Johnny's party out of jealousy. Storm has all the nice cars, all the girls, all the friends. Half the time, Peter Parker can't afford to buy film for his crummy camera. This story is no better or worse than any of the standard Torch tales that run monthly in ST (complete with substandard art by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko--two powerhouses that shine solo). It's not very memorable either. I suspect that the deadline got the best of Ditko and he had to pump out a shorter (by 6 pages) story than usual and Stan had to pop in the ST tale. In the letters' page, Stan lets on that "this ish of Spider-Man was intended as a change of pace" and "next ish will find us back on the track."

JS: The premise doesn't even hold water. How does Spider-Man think he's really going to steal the Torch's girl? Date her while in costume? I'll never understand the continued animosity between Spider-Man and the FF. I have to believe that given the chance, Peter Parker would intern at the Baxter Building sweeping floors just to be near the genius that is Reed Richards.

PE: On the Spider's Web Page, in the "special announcement section," Stan Lee levels with readers about the success of the two newest titles. The Avengers "looks like a sure-fire hit" but a few dozen have commented that they'd even prefer Millie the Model over The X-Men!"

Tales of Suspense #49

Our Story

While flying to his School for Gifted Mutants, The Angel inadvertently soars over Stark Industries, where Iron Man is testing an atomic bomb (it's the Marvel Universe, folks-PE). Despite his best efforts, Iron man cannot divert the headstrong teen and The Angel is exposed to a volatile dose of nuclear radiation. This makes him a very angry bird. He quits the X-Men to join up with "the evil mutants" but they're not buying his story. Iron Man shows up just before authorities can blow the Angel out of the sky and manages to snap the X-Man out of his radioactive stupor.

PE: Enough with these silly "The Angel appears courtesy of The X-Men Magazine" tags. Who does Stan think he's fooling and why bother? This actually should have been an issue of X-Men guest-starring Iron Man. The mutant team get more panels than Shellhead. Laughably, the evil mutants don't appear in the story despite several mentions. Obviously, Stan wasn't able to gain permission from their publisher.

PE: Seriously, Iron Man's armor can protect him from the brunt of an atomic explosion? He doesn't even get a slight sunburn on his eyes and mouth? The Angel's lucky that Iron Man knows what an atomic explosion will do to you. Serious mood swings. It says so on page 467 of Atomic Explosions and Their Fallout by Professor Curtis Buzack (University of Marvel Press, 1963).

JS: Good thing Gamma radiation doesn't have such an effect, or we'd have launched the Marvel Universe with the birth of the Fiendish Four.

PE: An intriguing tidbit we learn is that The X-Men and The Avengers are "specially licensed crime-fighting organizations" and have a "secret wavelength" they can blab to each other on. But I guess The Fantastic Four aren't a member of this elite clubhouse as they're not given a call.

JS: Angel is quick to say, 'call on us anytime.' This being the same month when the Avengers' pleas for help finding the Hulk went unanswered by every other hero in the MU, X-Men included!

PE: The really bad art on this strip continues. Tony Stark does remarkable imitations of Errol Flynn, Robert Montgomery, and Desi Arnaz while Pepper appears to be in her teens here as opposed to last issue's old barfly.

JS: Is this the Same Steve Ditko that did the cool Doctor Strange story this month? I assume this is a rush job, since he avoided drawing any sort of background if he could help it.

PE: Note to future Marvel writers: Quickest cure for atomic radiation poisoning is a good dose of conscience.

JS: And Professor X breathed a sigh of relief that he wasn't a failure. The fact that he's clueless seems to weigh far less heavily upon him.

PE: Backing up the Iron Man feature this issue is "Tales of The Watcher: The Saga of The Sneepers," a cautionary tale reminiscent of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

da Vinci working on his famous portrait of Cher

Tales to Astonish #51

Our Story

Still smarting from his humiliation at the hands of The Human Top, Giant-Man hits the gym in preparation for a rematch. He and The Wasp meet up with The Top as he's fleeing from his latest crime: the whirling dervish has stolen top secret civil defense plans from the feds. Once again, The Top makes the super duo look like fools and escapes. But, unknown to The Top, Giant-Man and the feds have laid a trap. They reveal to Giant-Man that the plans The Top stole are actually outdated and obsolete. The FBI is convinced the villain will try to sell the plans to the top commie agent in New York, now under constant observation. Sure enough, the deal goes down and Giant-Man is ready for him this time. An entire section of the city is gated in and The Top can't escape!

PE: The Wasp's dialogue has now degenerated to nothing but quips about her make-up, wardrobe, hunks and the lack of romance in her life. The strong females who can think for themselves and have intelligent brains haven't shown up in this Marvel Universe yet.

JS: The Human Top proves to be unworthy of a single installment, let alone a two-parter. We get Jack Kirby doing a Bil Keane impression, as HT's movements fill a panel just like those Family Circus kids.

PE: Looks like they "filmed" the deserted streets of New York (all gated in!) on a backlot in Hollywood. Not one car parked. Not one person walking. Not even a garbage can. Is this really New York?

JS: Still, it's more background detail than we got in Tales of Suspense this month...

PE: Credibility stretches around every corner. He calls himself Giant-Man but he doesn't seem to be all that much taller than a normal man. Yet he leaps from rooftop to rooftop with ease and, in one wild scene, disrupts a crowd of Wasp-admirers with a "sonic boom" of a yell.

JS: There does appear to be a mid range Large-Man lurking inside him.

PE: Much more fun than our "main event" is the support act, this issue's science fiction tale by Larry Lieber and Matt Fox. An alien race has been watching earth on their television and discovers the perfect way to send a spy to gather information for an invasion. Their scientists develop an "electromagnetic transformer" and alter the molecular structure of one of their own, pop him into a space ship and send him on their way. Unfortunately for the aliens, the television set they were using was an old black and white Zenith so they naturally assumed the human race was green. Not the HDTV that's recommended these days for alien races. Its not long before people on the street catch wind of the alien in their midst. Nice little sf tale makes you pine for the days when this title was nothing but nice little sf tales! Beginning this issue, "The Wonderful Wasp Tells a Tale!" Until Tales to Astonish, Strange Tales and Tales of Suspense began running "double superhero features" they'd include a "main feature" (starring the spotlighted hero) and two science fiction tales. From TTA #51 through #58, the final tale each issue was introduced by The Wasp. The hook was that Janet was telling stories at a Veterans Hospital. The first tale, "Somewhere Waits a Wobbow" was a standard space tale featuring a forerunner of Han Solo and art by Larry Lieber and G. Bell (aka inker George Roussos).

JS: I think if the Wasp wants to do the vets a favor, she'll start wearing a skimpier outfit. It would make her Wobbow stories more tolerable.

Also this month

Kid Colt Outlaw #114
Marvel Tales #1
Millie the Model Annual #3
Millie the Model #118
Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos #5
Two-Gun Kid #67


Marvel's first all-reprint title (to be followed by many more in the years to come), Marvel Tales #1 began as an annual and only increased frequency with #2. The first issue featured 72 pages, reprinting Spider-Man's appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15; the first chapter (origin) of Hulk #1; "Return of the Ant-Man" from Tales to Astonish #35 (with a short coda to show Hank Pym's transformation to Giant-Man from TTA #49); a six-page section of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1; Iron Man's origin from Tales of Suspense #39 (with a short bit showing off the new armor from TOS #48); and the first tale of Thor (from Journey Into Mystery #83). All this for two bits!

Kid Colt is threatened with "The Return of The Iron Mask" (Kid Colt Outlaw #114). Because he's a model prisoner, Iron Mask (last seen in KCO #110) is allowed to work in the prison blacksmith shop (right, and Arkham would let The Penguin work in the Umbrella shop). Surprisingly, he uses the shop to craft a new set of iron duds and breaks out of prison with but one thing on his mind: talcum powder. After that, Kid Colt will pay for his part in sending him to prison. A super-sized "movie-length" barn-burner with art by Jack Keller.

Meanwhile, The Two-Gun Kid faces "The Fangs of the Fox" (Two-Gun Kid #67), an owlhoot dressed in a bandana and a furry fox mask. Not as cool a get-up as The Rattler (seen in Rawhide Kid #37 last month), but it still strikes fear into the hearts of women and very small children. When The Fox's secret identity is revealed... well, let's just say that Stan Lee was no Agatha Christie! Dick Ayers provides the art.

Nick Fury finds himself "At the Mercy of Baron Strucker" (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #5). When the super-Nazi Strucker challenges Fury to a duel, the macho meathead goes against orders to retain his pride. Strucker doesn't play fair though (what Nazi did?) and drugs Fury before the fight. After the lights go out for the Howler, the Baron photographs the fallen hero and plasters the German press with the snapshots. Released to fester in his own humiliation, Fury is quickly stripped of his stripes but a rematch with Baron Strucker enables him to regain both his dignity and his rank. I'm guessing that Sgt. Fury sales figures weren't where Martin Goodman wanted them so, in an effort to draw in the superhero fans, Stan created Baron Strucker, in effect the first Fury super-villain. Strucker would continue to pester Fury through the years, eventually joining HYDRA. As for the comic, it remains the best written and most consistently enjoyable Marvel title to me. I can see why it was Stan and Jack's pride and joy. Good news for those interested in checking these classics out: The Essential Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos will be released on November 9th, collecting the first 23 issues (and first annual). Money well spent.


  1. Reading today's post just reminds me of how these comics from the 60's just didn't age very well. An Avengers issue pitting the team against the unholy duo of Namor and the Hulk! That sounds awesome! Sign me up! Unfortunately, the final product doesn't really deliver on the action or thrills we would later see in the 1970's Marvel comics.

    Still, this month wasn't a total loss with the introduction of The Blob. Another great villain that has gotten his fat butt kicked by just about every hero in the Marvel Universe. Lol on the Big Boy reference guys. I miss those places. Don't see too many of them in the Midwest nowadays.

    I got a strong feeling that the creators were forced into turning the Human Top into an alien after D.C.'s legal team might have contacted Marvel. After all, the Flash already had a green spandex wearing villain called The Top in his rogues gallery a few years before.

    Sorry, o.t., but in case anyone is interested, the first season of Police Story was released recently on dvd. This gritty anthology series was created by novelist Joseph Wambaugh and featured guest stars such as Vic Morrow, Chuck Connors, Ralph Meeker, Kurt Russell, Darren McGavin and more! While it has aged slightly, imho, it's as good as The Wire and Hill Street Blues.

  2. Whoops! Sorry readers and fellow professors. It seems like I was reading today's post while drinking a bottle of Bushmills. That's the reason why I mistook the Top as an alien, from the picture provided in the backup story of Tales to Astonish. I still think that D.C. had grounds for a lawsuit. Even more so now.