Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Marvel Years 03.05 - May 1963

Fantastic Four #14

Title: Sub-Mariner and the Merciless Puppet Master

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Puppet Master, Sub-Mariner

Regulars: Alicia Masters

This isn't exactly a super-villain team-up story. The Puppet Master takes control of Sub-Mariner to make him attack the Fantastic Four. What he doesn't reckon with is Sub-Mariner's love for Susan Storm, which eventually breaks the control. Love is stronger than all. After the battle we see the three participants in the tragic love triangle standing together.

This issue shows yet another new power of the Human Torch. He can fly in a spiral to create a warm air funnel that sucks people through, sucking them in and carrying them to another place. Is this scientifically possible? I have my doubts.

Amazing Spider-Man #2

Title: Duel to the Death with the Vulture

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko

Villain: Vulture

Regulars: Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Liz Allan (unnamed)

This comic contains two stories. In the first story it starts to become clearer how Peter Parker's so-called spider sense works. It warns him about danger, but it also acts as a type of radar to detect evil villains.

This story shows Peter Parker become a free lance photographer for the Daily Bugle. We also become acquainted with NOW magazine, a full colour magazine published by the Daily Bugle. It's not clear whether it's published weekly or monthly, but I assume the former. In future issues this magazine is rarely mentioned (only another twice in comics written by Stan Lee, according to the Marvel Database).

Title: The Uncanny Threat of the Terrible Tinkerer

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko

Villain: Aliens

Regulars: Flash Thompson, Liz Allan (unnamed)

According to the comic's title the main villain is called the Tinkerer, but he's actually just one member of an alien race.

This story is significant for being the first time that Spider-Man began to use his famous comic banter. While fighting with villains he continually tells jokes, as if he's not taking the fights seriously.

Tales to Astonish #43

Title: The Astonishing Ant-Man versus the Mad Master of Time

Writer: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Artist: Don Heck

Villain: Time-Master

This issue also contains two short anthology stories.

Journey into Mystery #92

Title: The Day Loki Stole Thor's Magic Hammer

Writer: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
Artist: Joe Sinnott

Regulars: Jane Foster, Odin, Heimdall

Villain: Loki

This issue contains the only appearance of the Goddess Fricka, Odin's wife. In the following stories Odin has no wife, and there's no explanation what happened to Thor's mother. In later years other authors tried to connect her with the Goddess Freyja. For me that's non-canon.

This issue also contains three short anthology stories.

Tales of Suspense #41

Title: The Stronghold of Doctor Strange

Writer: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Doctor Strange

The Doctor Strange in this comic is a scientific genius who has nothing to do with the master of the mystic arts who will first appear in Strange Tales two months from now. Or does he? If you look at the cover you'll see a strong similarity in the cape and the cowl. Did Steve Ditko deliberately imitate Jack Kirby's design? It's possible.

This issue also contains two short anthology stories.

Strange Tales #108

Title: The Painter of a Thousand Perils

Writer: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: The Painter (Wilhelm Van Vile)

The Fantastic Four do not appear in this issue. The people who attack the Human Torch are only painted replicas.

This issue also contains three short anthology stories.

Other comics published this month:

Millie the Model #114 (Stan Lee, Stan Goldberg)
Love Romances #105 (Stan Lee, various)
Kid Colt Outlaw #110 (Stan Lee, Jack Keller)
Two Gun Kid #63 (Stan Lee, Dick Ayers)
Gunsmoke Western #76 (Stan Lee, various)
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby)

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