Strange Tales #105: Flamin’ ‘Eck 14

Strange Tales #105, page 7, panel 5

Strange Tales #105, page 7, panel 5

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Larry Lieber

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Art Simek

Goodness gracious, great ball of fire!

Yeah, I fell about as good about making that joke as you do about reading it…

So, in The Wizard’s asbestos-lined dungeon cell, there are multiple nozzles releasing nerve gas. Because having  a teenager hack up his own lungs in incredible, searing pain whilst dying in front of a pube-chinned genius psychopath would possibly contravene the Comics Code Authority, Stan and/or Jack as to come up with a way to allow Johnny to survive.

So, what he does is create an impenetrable dome of fire to prevent the gas from reaching him. What I’m challenging here is not the implausibility of the flame defeating the gas – it’s very conceivable that intense heat would do something to the gas to negate its lethal qualities – but that Johnny have the intelligence to be able to make such a move in stressful conditions. As Andy has pointed out on numerous occasions, Johnny is a couple of brain cells short of an intelligence…

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #105 on our ninth episode: Episode 9 – Patriotic Pedestrians Proceeding from Planet Poppup Prefer Poorly Produced Podcasts!

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