Wednesday, October 19, 2011

June 1964: Mysterio!

The Amazing Spider-Man #13

Our Story

Someone is impersonating Spider-Man (and doing a very good job of it) while committing crimes around the city. Fearing he's cracking up, Spidey visits a psychiatrist before realizing that's not such a good idea if he's to retain a secret identity. He finds out very quickly that he's perfectly sane and the real culprit is a new villain with the crackerjack name of Mysterio. Using illusions and mists that put Spidey's spider-sense a-whack, Mysterio's plan is to smear the good name of our hero and put himself up on a public pedestal as the man who destroyed Spider-Man. Of course, the web-slinger has other ideas.

PE: Even though the evidence was laid out right before us, I just knew Spider-Man wasn't guilty of those robberies. Even though Stan was being sly with us in those first few pages (Peter even questions his own sanity), I had a hunch it was an impostor. You read enough of these funny books, you get a feel for them. Speaking of sanity, could Spider-Man be the first superhero to visit a shrink? Certainly he's the first Marvel hero and this was right around the time everyone starting going to psychiatrists. Can't see The Dark Knight on the couch though.

JS: I like Mysterio, He was dispatched a bit too quickly in this first appearance, but he has the makings of a cool character from the outset. Another exhibit in the argument that Spider-Man generated more top tier villains per capita than the rest of the superhero books combined.

PE: This issue continues that wonderful dichotomy of having Flash Thompson as Peter Parker's worst enemy and yet Spider-Man's biggest defender! Flash is the only kid who believes Spidey is innocent (well, other than me) and he's got the muscle to pound any detractors to the ground. All the while, he hates Peter for being a nerd and "stealing" his girl, Liz.

JS: They also begin to chip away at the relationship with Betty that was just starting to flourish.

PE: I know this is a strip about human spiders, but sometimes the reality-based concoctions in these things throw me for a loop. Spidey's airtight web-helmet that enables him to "hold (his) breath long enough to get to safety" is just one of those devices. Why would it make breathing easier?

JS: I know. It would be much easier to take one of Reed Richards' pills.

PE: Betty Brant is worried about Peter finding another girl, perhaps the pretty blonde who's been hanging around (Liz). I know Stan has been steering Peter towards Betty (and we know that he'll steer him away not too long from now) but this seems like another Don Blake-Jane Foster romance where neither is admitting anything while inside their own head admitting everything.

JS: Our old friend JJJ may have been behind this script, as apparently it was deemed necessary to give him a valid reason to hate the bug again, beyond his jealousy.

PE: How did Mysterio know about our hero's "Spider-sense"? Is this something Spidey has made known to the general public? If so, he's an idiot. It's just as big a blunder as revealing your secret identity. Somehow I think it's just another one of those things we're not meant to ponder too long.

JS: Perhaps we'd all be more forgiving if we weren't aware of the following decades of continuity.

PE: The only flaw in Mysterio's plot to conquer the world is his sidetrack to discrediting Spider-Man. As he shows very soon after meeting up with Spidey, the guy's got game. He can bring the illusions, he can mess with the Spider-sense, he's got a heck of a right cross. Why waste time and energy (and nylon spider-webbing) to smear Spider-Man's name? Just go out and rob banks like the rest of them. Takes less time and you get richer that way. Discredited or not, Mysterio should have known that sooner or later he'd have to deal with a very pissed-off Arachnid. Why give him more ammunition. Who knows? It's a big city. Maybe you draw the attention of The Wasp instead!

JS: One wonders why this tale didn't rate a multi-issue arc.

PE: Though not the greatest origin of all time (why does this successful stuntman/special effects whiz turn to a life of crime and why does he obsess about Spider-Man?), Mysterio is undeniably a great Ditko creation. He looks just like something out of one of Dr. Strange's "otherly dimensions." It's just a skeletal first appearance but still one to make an impression. We'll find out later that the stuntman's name is Quentin Beck and that he had become disillusioned with his job, turning to a life of crime to pay the bills. I have very fond memories of reading a Mysterio adventure in The Amazing Spider-Man #141-142.

Director Kevin Smith, during his controversial tenure as writer on Daredevil, had Mysterio blow his own brains out (DD Vol. 2 #7, May 1999). Completely off-topic, I think Kevin Smith's run on DD was completely successful. Say what you will but the man can tell a great story. I'd liken the old guard's hatred of this arc to that of the parents of the kids bringing home Elvis records in the 1950s.

Journey Into Mystery #105

Our Story

The Mighty Thor returns to his office (Don Blake’s) from a meeting with the Avengers. He spots his old nemesis the Cobra lurking about on a nearby building. Not having planned on being spotted, the Cobra distracts Thor with his cobra darts and cable long enough to sneak into a nearby window. The only problem is, the window is where our old friend Calvin Zabo (aka Mr. Hyde) hangs out. A struggle takes place as each villain thinks he can outwit the other, until they realize that they have a mutual enemy. You guessed it, our favourite Thunder God. Meanwhile back at the ever -exciting office of Don Blake, the good doctor is so frustrated that Jane Foster has gone on a date that he decides to lock his cane in a locker. The purpose: to see if he can go a full day without being Thor, and thus determine if he can give up his role as the son of Odin. Mr. Hyde demonstrates to the Cobra a unique invention called the reversal ray. All one need do is to point it at any unwitting victim to then see where that person has been, like a film going backward. The dynamic, ah demonic duo, lure Thor into the open by robbing a jewelry store and hitting him with the ray. They escape (Hyde leading Thor astray and turning back into Calvin Zabo) and learn that Thor came from the office of Don Blake. At this point the ray won’t show them any more, because Thor hadn’t been there a moment before, Blake had. While puzzled by this, the two realize that the doctor has some connection with the Thunder God and head to his office. They capture and bind Blake just as Jane returns from her date, which she cut short. Not wanting Jane to get hurt, Don tells Hyde to get his walking stick from the locker and strike it on the ground, as a “signal” to Thor. In the flash of the transformation, Cobra and Hyde think Blake has escaped, and wonder at Thor’s mysterious appearance. They set “plan B” into effect, setting off in different directions to lure Thor to a crowded spot where he can’t use his hammer. The spot of choice being a Heavy Machinery Show where the Cobra uses an atomic powered hoist to snatch the Thunder God’s hammer from him. Sixty seconds stand between defeat and victory for Thor (or at least a month until next issue).
In Tales of Asgard this month, the abilities of Heimdall are put to the test when King Brimer and Queen Nerda of the storm giants use the abilities of a Vanna, an invisible air creature to sneak past the Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge and determine the weaknesses of the home of the gods.

PE: Once again, we encounter great scientific minds (in this case, Dr. Calvin Zabo aka Mr. Hyde) who can create incredible machines, probably worth billions of dollars, but turn to a life of crime instead. Why? To rob a few banks. To get revenge on Thor. Some of these thugs, like The Sandman or The Mole Man, just can't help being bad. The best job they'll get is a Wal-Mart greeter. Zabo, on the other hand, could do anything he wants but squanders his brain on bad deeds. I shake my head and wonder why.

JB: Apparently, Zabo can turn to Hyde and back whenever he wants to, although this is never stated.

JS: Is anyone else getting tired of the been-there, done-that thought balloon conversations never spoken aloud between Blake and Foster? I thought they finally got over their fear of talking to one another a few months back.

PE: Zabo's latest invention is a ray beam that, when trained on its subject, can project that subject's past on the wall. Ostensibly, Mr. Hyde creates this new toy to zap Thor and find out where the Thunder God's hidey-hole is. All they really have to do is watch him land in Don Blake's window. If Jane Foster wasn't always busy moving magazines around in the waiting room, she'd catch him coming in as well. Thor's not hiding much. There's no Thor-cave under the building.

JS: So who exactly was the target audience for Zabo's latest toy? Aside from being a genealogist's best friend, I don't see much practical application.

JB: Maybe if he perfects his invention, he could see backwards in time enough to see how all the mysteries of the past really happened. Did aliens really help with the pyramids? That'd be more interesting than robbing a few banks.

Moe and Larry searching for Curly
PE: I find it hard to believe that two mid-level villains could be any threat to the Thunder God, let alone the two stooges known as Mr. Hyde and The Cobra. I did know right from the beginning of Mr. Hyde's nefarious scheme that we'd see Jane Foster in peril. I had hopes that, since she was off on her hot date, I was wrong but alas...

JS: Pulling together two third-tier villains does not a super-villain team-up make. Even combined, Cobra and Mister Hyde don't amount to a whole lot. And yet, here we have the first part of a two-part epic.

PE: Mark your calendars--an issue without Loki!

JB: Yes Pete! That evil brother is nowhere to be seen. Still, I agree that the really great villains are a little ways away.

JS: This issue's Tales of Asgard is about the time someone slipped past Heimdall. Basically a little tinkerfella is made to sneak into Asgard by a Lady Frost Giant. While we don't see his fate, I'm thinking Odin made a snack of him.

JB: In some ways the Tales Of Asgard are more interesting than the main stories. We get to learn more about the creatures and realms befitting a character like Thor. No more Larry Leiber stories though. I confess I miss them a little.

PE: These "Tales of Asgard" stories are so well done, it's hard to believe it's the same crew writing the main feature. 

Fantastic Four #27

Our Story

Namor tires of loneliness at the bottom of the sea and decides yet again that Sue Storm is the girl for him. Not wishing to hear Sue's opinion of the matter, he kidnaps her and imprisons her in his undersea kingdom. A fighting mad Reed Richards (who was just on the verge of proposing to Sue) heads out after the fishman sans Ben and Johnny. Knowing that their stretchable leader can't defeat Namor on his own, they enlist the occult powers of Doctor Strange to pinpoint the Sub-Mariner's location. Can they reach their enemy before Reed does or will they arrive just in time for the wedding?

JS: So who else thinks Sue Storm in a one-piece bathing suit wasn't actually what Reed was thinking about, so much as it was what he wanted his colleagues to think he was thinking about, lest they realize he was in fact all 'test tubes and six-syllable words"?

PE: Doctor Strange reads the mind of a fish to find out where Namor's hidden kingdom is.

JS: I was beginning to wonder if the good Doc was going to do a cameo in astral form only, until he showed up in person to use his special transport powers that apparently only work with the flesh and blood doc.

PE: Reed Richards has invented a pill that not only allows him to breath underwater without gear for an hour but also to survive the deadly pressure of walking the sea floor. I'm making notes in case this comes up some time in the future. It's an invention that should definitely be marketed.

JS: Sometimes I think they'd do better not explaining something than give it an explanation that begs so many more questions.

PE: Yet again we get the definition of romance in the Marvel Universe: she thinks, he thinks, she won't say it, he won't say it. At least we know eventually it's gotta happen but the chase around the flagpole is getting old.

JS: I think that's why they made a point of having Reed say he was going ring shopping. How much further out is that special wedding album, anyway?

PE: Doctor Strange's guest appearance smacks of an attempt to boost low Strange Tales sales. He doesn't do much other than transport the team to and from Namor's lair. As for Sub-Mariner's 26th appearance in 27 issues...yawn. He'll be back again in no time.

JS: All things being equal, it was nice to inject the good Doctor into the Marvel Universe once and for all.

Tales of Suspense #54

Our Story

Tony Stark is summoned to the Pentagon when the spy missiles he sold the military start malfunctioning. Knowing that his product is A-Grade, Stark volunteers himself a journey to Viet Nam to find out what's up. The culprit turns out to be The Mandarin, back to his evil ways. After donning his armor and doing battle with the mad genius, Iron Man's transistors are sapped and he's up a creek without a battery. The Mandarin cackles as he watches our metal hero struggle and Tony Stark ponders life without Pepper Potts.

PE: In the time-honored tradition of Donald Blake and his secret/not-so-secret love with Jane Foster, Tony Stark finally admits that there might be something more than just employee relations going on with Pepper Potts. Oh, there's not any foolin' around, mind you, it's all in the guy's head. He sends Happy Hogan off to inspect Stark factories just to keep him away from Pepper. I'm beginning to think that Stan Lee was a half-empty type guy. My proof is the really bad relationships his male characters have (think Reed Richards, Peter Parker, Hank Pym, Blake and Stark). Was this because Stan believed that his target audience didn't want the mush, they wanted the machismo? If so, why park the horse at the starting gate?

JS: As much as I bad mouth Giant Man, the one thing about that book I enjoy is the relationship with Wasp. I realize now that it must be because that relationship is novel compared to all the rest of the romances...

PE: The Mandarin is pretty much wasted in a story that spends most of its time recapping how fabulous Iron Man's powers are. Stan had mentioned (in an announcements section) that the "spotlight" titles (TOS, TTA, and Journey) would be utilizing more two-parters in the future. That's a great idea but don't give us padding on a story that can't muster interest at a one-issue length.

JS: Better a weak Mandarin tale than one of the also-ran villains, I say.

PE: In a "Tale of the Watcher," titled "Hands Off," Larry Leiber proves to me that, despite his protestations in his Alter Ego Magazine interview, his art ain't half as interesting when he's not inked by Matt Fox. Chic Stone makes Leiber's pencils look like the nondescript doodles you'd find on the back of a cereal box. Too bad, as the story is a decent one, short though it my be, about a race that has decided to jettison radioactive waste into space when its dumps are full. The Watcher must face the moral dilemma of standing still and doing nothing while the toxic turd drifts towards an inhabited planet.

Strange Tales #121

The Human Torch

Our story

The Plantman is back! Having been in hiding since his defeat at the hands of the Human Torch (Strange Tales 113), gardener Sam Smithers developed a new plant ray and a hideous costume to go along with it. Like so many other second-rate villains, he has an unhealthy obsession with Johnny Storm. His approach this time seems to center on throwing water on Johnny as often as possible to prevent him from bursting into flame. He takes a time out to rob a museum before getting back to what he really enjoys--fighting with Johnny. He even attempts to harass Johnny's girl, Doris Evans, but Johnny knocks him out without even having to flame on. The Plantman vows that he'll be back, to the everlasting disappointment of the readers.

PE: I'm not sure Stan will ever own up to these tales of the Torch as part of the Merry Marvel Age of Masterpieces. I'm running out of ways to say "bottom of the barrel" in regards to Torch and Ant-Man stories. I'd love to hear from readers who actually thought this stuff was good. There are fans for anything, right?
Jack: After a pretty good story last month involving the Iceman, this month we're right back in the trash heap with the return of a villain who never should have appeared in the first place.

JS: While Plantman is useless, the actual plants that walk around, and the creepy looking mansion, almost—ALMOST—made this issue enjoyable.

This is just embarrassing!

PE: I felt sorry for the plants that are destroyed by Johnny. They're just unwilling foils. Obviously, word didn't get around on the grapevine (pun intended) last time The Plantman used these green henchmen. They rebelled in their first appearance. Here they just lie down and wilt.

Jack: I count a total of nine panels where the Human Torch actually appears. The rest of the story has Johnny in various states of being wet.

PE: First recorded attack in the Marvel Universe with cactus needles.

Jack: The acorn attack is typical of how low this series can go.
For that haircut alone he
should be incarcerated

Dr. Strange

Our story

Dr. Strange responds to a phone call for help by traveling lickety split in his unphysical, ectoplasmic form. He discovers that Baron Mordo has tricked him and stolen his physical body while he was away from it. Since he will not be able to re-enter his body if he is outside it for 24 hours, Dr. Strange must search high and low for the bag of bones, fighting off Mordo's minions along the way. The good doctor finds his body in a wax museum, but he cannot re-enter it due to another of Mordo's spells. He tricks Mordo into another battle of their phantom selves before giving the Baron a taste of his own medicine and locking him out of his own body for 23 hours.

In an untold tale, Dr. Strange sent his ectoplasmic
form out in a fruitless search for Prince Albert in a can.
Jack: This is a pretty good story, even if the title is a bit misleading--the wax museum doesn't have much to do with what happens.

JS: Professor Jack is too kind. This might have worked as a Ditko short, but it goes on far too long for what little there is here. Is this what we have to look forward to from Dr. Strange and Baron Mordo— two duke it out in the astral plane and leave in a stalemate?

PE: It was literally talking heads there for a while as Baron Mordo explains all the rules to the Doc's ectoplasm. Let's see how long these rules last in the Marvel Age of Forgetful Writers. The rest of the story is filled with stiff dialogue and an unengaging story. "Wax Museum" didn't pull me in like some of the past Dr. Strange stories. I've an open mind still.

Tales to Astonish #56

Our Story

Hank Pym has finally decided to pop the question to Jan but, unfortunately, she's picked this moment in time to play a game of "Let's make Hank jealous" and informs the befuddled scientist that she'll be going out tonight with a socialite who's bound to propose to her. Enraged, Hank pouts and throws himself into his work. Luckily, an excited message from some of his informer ants puts Hank's mind on danger and intrigue rather than female problems. His ants inform him that there's a creepy magician in town and he may be up to no good. Not coincidentally, across town at her swanky party, Jan crosses paths with the new villain, known as The Magician (because he's a magician), and is quickly entrapped in his vacuum cane. Hot on her trail is Hank, popping pills faster than Elvis, who sets up an elaborate ruse involving two yachts, loud music, and silhouettes of dancing cardboard figures to lure The Magician out in the open. In a stunning climax aboard a sky-blue blimp (the color of which enables the vehicle to travel undetected to the naked eye), The Magician hypnotizes Giant-Man (twice as fast as a normal human being because his "eyes are so large"!) and the newly-released Wasp opens the air valve on the balloon. Jan watches in horror as the blimp falls from the sky, ostensibly killing the man she may or may not love. Fortunately for Jan (and unfortunately for Marvel University professors), Hank has survived the fall by taking a small pill and latching onto a falling piece of debris, crafting it into a paper airplane, and soaring to safety. Jan and Hank end our tale by pledging true love to each other but we all know that will be forgotten by our next adventure.

JS: Ah, Hank, that hopeless romantic. He had the jeweler engrave the ring just as he specified, "I LOVE YOU." What an original sentiment...

PE: While Hank Pym is feeling sorry for himself, he's not paying attention to his ant-communicator. We can see an exasperated ant waving his mandibles and exclaiming "Zzzzbzdbbzzzz! Vvvzzzkkack!" ("There's an emergency here! Hey, are you listening to me, Pym?").I guess I'm lost as far as what this ant-com can relate. Are the ants mentally visualizing The Magician and his building somehow or are they carting a video camera around town?

JS: That's no Magician—that's Snidely Whiplash...

PE: Jan once again demonstrates why The Avengers are nothing without her. When she attends her millionaire pal's soiree, The Magician pops up and robs all the rich snobs of their cash and jewelry. Jan excitedly explains to us that her suit is so small she's lucky enough to store it in a secret compartment of her bracelet. In the next panel, voila, Jan is The Wasp in full attire. A couple questions come to mind, if you'll pardon the digression: does she pull the suit out of the bracelet while she's big Jan or struggle with it once she's little Jan (and, ostensibly, totally nude with a really big bracelet) and how does she explain to the rest of the guests later on that she was gone but her dress remains in a heap on the floor? Anyway, back to the indispensable Wasp and why she's my favorite small winged super-heroine. Jan manages to shrink herself down, threatens the villain with bodily harm if he doesn't return what he's stolen and then gets sucked into a vacuum cleaner conveniently located inside The Magician's cane (why he'd have that, I have no idea) where she stays until she's rescued by Hank.

JS:  He's a Magician, Peter! It's a trick.

PE: Of all the Marvel titles we review, this is the one that gives us the most fodder for ridicule. It's no wonder Simon Pegg wants to direct an Ant-Man feature film. There's a treasure trove of comedic material here for the filmmaker to mine.

JS:  Actually, it was Edgar Wright directing, with potentially Simon Pegg starring... about the only thing that could make that film watchable. But it died on the vine, and so no Ant-Man in the Avengers.
PE: Dick Ayers' art this issue is horrendous. Hank Pym looks like an old man in several panels. No wonder Jan's looking for love elsewhere.

Daredevil #2

Our story

Daredevil continues his ongoing series with a battle against Spider-Man's nemesis, Electro! Plus, a brief cameo appearance by The Fantastic Four!

The story starts out with Matt Murdoch being visited at his law office by the ever-loving, blue-eyed Thing. You see, the lease is almost up at the Baxter Building, headquarters for the F.F. The Thing would like a lawyer to inspect the pad before they decide to renew. Murdoch agrees to the job, then later on goes to bust up a car theft ring where he disposes of the usual crowd of henchmen/palookas. Unbeknownst to Daredevil, the evil Electro is watching him from the shadows, as the criminal enterprise was his own. However, our villain doesn't seem too bummed out about it as he goes home to watch television at his hideout.

Coincidentally, while Electro watches the news, it is announced that the F.F. will be heading to the Nation's capital to receive a presidential medal. Electro comes up with a scheme to break into the Baxter Building in order to swipe Mr. Fantastic's scientific secrets and sell them to a hostile nation for a fortune! Needless to say, when Electro breaks in to the hero's home, he winds up brawling with Daredevil. It is here that our hero shows his resilience by coming back from a beating, and also coming back to planet Earth after Electro shoots him into outer space in a rocket.

In the end, Daredevil prevails, but unfortunately since he was so busy fighting a super-villain, his alter-ego was unable to do the inspection. This causes the grumpy Thing to take his business elsewhere.

JS: Getting shot into space on the FF's rocket didn't faze old Matt Murdock. He just navigated that puppy back down in a region where he didn't hear too many heartbeats (over the rocket engines, to be sure). And then from horse to helicopter, he's right back in front of Electro as if nothing happened. I'm willing to accept his uncanny abilities for a blind man, but when Daredevil is doing things that a person with sight couldn't possibly do...

PE: Add to that a villain with the powers of Electro running a chop shop? Something smells here.

UTW T. McMillion: Yeah, I know.....I know, you're right, John. The creators were pretty flexible and generous with what Daredevil's powers were early on in the series. Still, as Peter pointed out with issue #1, the artwork by Bill Everett and now by Joe Orlando was ahead of its time compared to their peers. I felt like I was looking at a modern day comic book as opposed to some of the other clunky drawings being dished out back then.

PE: I have to politely disagree, Professor Tom. Joe Orlando was a great artist. He just wasn't a great Daredevil artist. He was fabulous on those old ECs and he would recreate that era over at DC in the late 1960s with House of Mystery and House of Secrets, but his work here is sketchy at best. The script (ostensibly by Stan, who's credited) is awful and the patter between Foggy Nelson and Karen Page sounds like microwaved Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. The entire story line hinges on coincidence after coincidence, which wouldn't seem so bad if there weren't also the lapses in logic as deep as the Grand Canyon. If the "blind man in a spaceship" scene didn't elicit guffaws, try "blind man, with gloves, hanging from a helicopter over New York by his billy club."

Jack: Jack Davis drew one of the westerns awhile back, and now Joe Orlando shows up to take over Daredevil! EC lives!

UTW T. McMillion: Say what you will about him (I guarantee he can take it!) but Electro is one bad-ass villain. Does his outfit look kind of stupid? Yes, it does. However, no more so than if some Venice Beach body builder decided to walk into your local Arby's dressed up as Captain America or Hawkeye.

PE: The only positive thing I can say about this issue is that it got four out of five MU Professors together for the first time. Stellar!

Also this month

Modeling with Millie #31
Patsy and Hedy #94
Patsy Walker #115
Rawhide Kid #40


"By special arrangement with the publishers of Two-Gun Kid Magazine (on sale everywhere thruout (sic) the free world"), we have our first Marvel Western Team-up. "The Rawhide Kid Meets the Two-Gun Kid" (Rawhide Kid #40) finds the two gunslingers facing a grizzly bear trained to shoot rifles and rob express stages. What's really going on is served up, to anyone paying attention (or who's bought a Marvel western comic), about half way through the story. It's actually Ace Fester, tortured genius, who's crafted a bulletproof grizzly outfit to loot the stagecoaches. Why he's gone to such trouble to design a heavy and insanely hot outfit is anyone's guess. More fascinating is the "Ownership Statement" printed this issue that the magazine companies have to file (and publish once a year) with the Post Office to retain their second class mailing privileges. The numbers offered up give a good picture of how well the title was selling. In 1963 (the previous year of filing), Rawhide Kid was selling an average of 194,150 copies (against an actual published total of 331,294), this at a time that Action Comics was selling more than half a million copies per issue. That's not a fair comparison, of course, as western comics were heading downhill fast and juvenile/humor titles (such as Archie, Flintstones, and Uncle Scrooge) were the rage, but it's an indicator of where Marvel westerns were at in the grand scheme of things. Rawhide Kid was Marvel's biggest selling western at the time.


  1. Did Spidey get a Landmark Issue designation just because Mysterio is a cool villain? As I recall, Reed and Sue finally tied the knot in issue #100, so you've got a LONG way to go. I have not seen that issue in about 40 years, but if memory serves, Subby tried to interfere. As the designated Human Torch reader, I take issue with Giant Man being the comic most deserving of ridicule. And where was Professor Jim when we had the staff meeting re Daredevil? Out repairing his inflatable Jane Foster doll?

  2. Professor Jack-

    Yep, the issue of Spidey was designated a landmark issue because Mysterio has become an iconic villai who has stood the test of time, as opposed to your Torch's Plantman and Paste Pot Pete. Jealousy in the ranks of professors! I've never had to correct a professor with as many letters after his name, but here goes: you'll have to wait 16 months to see the wedding of Reed and Sue in Fantastic Four Annual #3. I can't tell you what happens until then. That would be spoiling the fun. If you read Professor Jim's 30,000 word synopsis of Journey Into Mystery #105, then you know what he was up to.

  3. So much for the old memory. I looked up FF #100 in the Marvel database and it looks like nothing much happens. At least Sue Storm got better looking as the series progressed.

  4. I have to agree with Professor Seabrook as I too was left scratching my head at the landmark issue designation for Mysterio, a good, but far from great bad guy. He looks like he has the potential with the mysterious marble head and green cloak. Still, I can't seem to recall him mixing it up with too any other villains besides Spidey.

    Regarding witch series is worse between Ant-Man/Giant-Man or the Torch: When both titles suck as bad as these two have, I guess it comes down to whomever has the super-power you would prefer. I like Giant-Man just because the character reminds me of The Amazing Colossal man, albeit a far wimpier version.

    Hard to get worked up over a guy made of flames unless maybe you are a pyro that enjoys running around, setting abandoned buildings on fire, then getting your jolly's waiting for the fire dept. to come put it out.

  5. I'm with you about Electro, Tom, he's a blast (sorry, no pun intended). I didn't appreciate that in the Daredevil movie, not only was there no Karen Page, but they gave us Elektra instead of Electro. I haven't seen the director's cut, which everyone says is better, but overall I thought they did a competent job with the film, if a little too serious for the feel I thought the comic purveyed. With all the artists who pencilled Daredevil, we can get a glimpse by the cover what a Jack Kirby version would look like. The King is still the king, but I don't see his style for Daredevil.

  6. Jack: Jane Foster blow up doll! Where can I get one?!