Thursday, 25 January 2018

Marvel Years 02.12 - December 1962

Fantastic Four #9

Title(s): The End of the Fantastic Four
Sub-Mariner gives the Orders
The Fury of Mr. Fantastic
The Flame of Battle
Vengeance is ours

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Sub-Mariner

Regulars: Alicia Masters

This is a single story split into five parts that have been given individual titles.

On the cover the Thing asks, "Heroes one minute, bums the next. How did it happen to us?" No, it's nothing to do with Sub-Mariner who's standing at the side gloating. It was because of Reed Richards' stupidity.

I thought Reed Richards is supposed to be one of the most brilliant people on Earth. I'm no financial expert, but even I know that you shouldn't invest all your money in shares.

The stress is really getting to Reed. He says he can get money by selling the building. He's forgotten that he doesn't own the building, he's only renting the top five floors. Poor guy.

Luckily the Fantastic Four are offered film roles by a new film company, SM Studios. Does that sound kinky to you? Will it be a film showing Susan Storm whipping her three teammates? I'd pay money to go and see a film like that.

I'm sorry to say that SM doesn't stand for sado-masochism, it's the abbreviation of Sub-Mariner's name. He's bought the film studio as a means to bring the Fantastic Four under his control and marry Susan Storm.

When the Sub-Mariner (falsely) thinks the male members of the Fantastic Four have been eliminated he proposes to Susan Storm again, as he first did in issue #4. She turns him down, but listen to her exact words. She suggests that she might have accepted his proposal if he had proposed to her without first attacking her teammates.

When her teammates return she defends Sub-Mariner from their joint attack. She tells them, "It's three against one. You've never ganged up on anyone before". It seems like the sight of Sub-Mariner standing in his tight swimming trunks has flustered her and made her lose her memory. The Fantastic Four have ganged up on their enemies in almost every comic so far, whether it was Doctor Doom, the Puppet Master or Sub-Mariner himself.

This picture illustrates an unfortunate problem in prude 1960's America. Male nipples were considered indecent, so Sub-Mariner was always drawn without nipples. I don't think this changed until the 1970's.

Tales to Astonish #38

Title: Betrayed by the Ants

Writer: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Egghead

The issue also contains two short anthology stories.

Journey into Mystery #87

Title: Prisoner of the Reds

Writer: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Artist: Jack Kirby

Regulars: Jane Foster

Villain: Communists

I've noticed that foreign countries aren't named in Marvel comics. The enemies in this issue are "The Reds". It's obvious from the artwork that it takes place in Russia, but the country isn't named explicitly in the text. My guess is that Stan Lee wanted to tell his readers that Communism is always the enemy, whether it's abroad or in America.

This is a new power attributed to Thor. I don't remember it ever being shown again. By rubbing his hands against the head of his hammer he can create blinding sparks.

The issue also contains two short anthology stories.

Strange Tales #103

Title(s): Prisoner of the 5th Dimension
Trapped in Another World
The End of Zemu

Writer: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Artist: Jack Kirby

Regulars: Reed Richards

Villain: Zemu

This is a single story split into two parts that have been given individual titles. The issue also contains three short anthology stories.

The Human Torch is shown to have two new powers in this issue.

1. He can create a smoke screen (page 10)

2. He can create a tornado by flying in a circle.

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