Archive for John Duffy

Strange Tales #110: Flamin’ ‘Eck 22

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #110, page 13, panel 4

Strange Tales #110, page 13, panel 4

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: HE Huntley (Ernie Hart)

Art: Dick Ayers

Letterer: John Duffy

Well, that was fast.

We close on a flaming lasso as Johnny apprehends the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete. Sadly, as they couldn’t be categorised, we had no way of looking at the four pages of flashback that padded out this story. Or the bit where the Wizard decided that the best thing to use to defeat a teenager whose power is to ignite himself is a concentrated blast of pure oxygen. Or the other crazy bit where he claims that he can dissolve oxygen from the atmosphere.

Don’t forget to let us know your favourite under-rated Fantastic Four stories!

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #110 on our fourteenth episode: The Return of Doctor Doom

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/Episode_14.mp3]
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Strange Tales #110: Flame On 40

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #110, page 2, panel 1

Strange Tales #110, page 2, panel 1

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: HE Huntley (Ernie Hart)

Art: Dick Ayers

Letterer: John Duffy

It’s back to Strange Tales, a place neither Andy or myself ever really want to go again. But if I can bear to trawl through these uninspiring early appearances of The Wizard and Paste Pot Pete to ensure that nary a Flame On is missed, then you can come along with me.

Ernie Hart is the man behind the pseudonym behind the script today. Best known as the creator of the Marvel Comics funny animal character Super Rabbit, this issue of Strange Tales is one of only a very small handful of Silver Age superhero comics that Ernie was involved in the creation of.

Anyway, it’s had to context this ‘Flame On’, as it is the first thing to happen in the comic. Johnny’s exercising in his backyard, as the caption tells us. Which is good, as not a single panel in the first page detailing this sequence ever manages to depict that backyard.

Don’t forget to let us know your favourite under-rated Fantastic Four stories!

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #110 on our fourteenth episode: The Return of Doctor Doom

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/Episode_14.mp3]

Strange Tales #106: It’s… ASBESTOS!!! 7

Posted in It's... ASBESTOS!!! with tags , , , , , , on July 28, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #106, page 8, panel 5

Strange Tales #106, page 8, panel 5

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Larry Lieber

Art: Dick Ayers

Lettering: John Duffy

Between the break in posting and the huge amount of content from Fantastic Four #12, it’s been quite a while since we saw an appearance from my favourite trope: Inexplicable usage of asbestos. Thankfully, today’s panel is an absolute classic.

Taking a leaf (and a visual) from Paste Pot Pete’s book, ZANTE extinguishes Johnny’s flame with a jet of liquid asbestos. Ignoring the fact that asbestos is a fibrous substance and liquidising it would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

Ah, my favourite villain and my favourite trope. Life is good!

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #106 in our tenth episode: Hulk? Smash!

Strange Tales #106: Flame On 25

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #106, page  5, panel 7

Strange Tales #106, page 5, panel 7

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Larry Lieber

Art: Dick Ayers

Lettering: John Duffy

Take a look at the page and panel reference for today’s image. Now go and see yesterday’s. Now back to today’s again. That’s right, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, and I’ve not made a mistake. Two FLAME ONs in three panels. Johnny sure has an ignition problem, and I’m sure it’s nothing to do with Stan having to cover artistic inconsistencies that saw Johnny alternate between fiery and flame-free form from panel-to-panel.

Other details to notice include Reed’s rarely-seen pipe, which would occasionally pop up in the early 1960s and in stories set during the early days of the Fantastic Four. Also take a look at Ben – his form has rarely been more ‘lumpy-oatmeal’. As Kirby’s main inker in the first couple of years on the book, Ayers played a large role in shaping the look of the Fantastic Four. It wasn’t really until after he had moved on that the Thing’s hide would move away from the organic, hide-like look to the more traditional ‘rocky-platelets’ look.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #106 in our tenth episode: Hulk? Smash!

 

Strange Tales #106: Flame On 24

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #106, page 5, panel 5

Strange Tales #106, page 5, panel 5

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Larry Lieber

Art: Dick Ayers

Lettering: John Duffy

It’s back to Strange Tales, and a particular favourite of ours. Not only is issue #106 the episode where Johnny’s pretence at having a secret identity completely falls down, but it also introduces my favourite villain of the entire run – The Acrobat, aka… ZANTE!

ZANTE makes his way into the book by convincing Johnny that he would be better off in a team with him, rather than with his family. Johnny pop round to tell Reed and Ben the news, and predictably, gets into some sort of fight. Still, it makes for a nice ignition panel from Dick Ayers – his first of many.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #106 in our tenth episode: Hulk? Smash!

Fantastic Four #2: The Humanity Of Benjamin J. Grimm 1

Posted in The Humanity Of Benjamin J. Grimm with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #1, page 19, panels 5-7

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

One of the greatest tragedies of the Fantastic Four is the lost humanity of Ben Grimm, trapped forever in a monstrous form, unable to connect with humanity on the level that he used to. Forced to wear a large mac and fedora to hide his looks (or at least until he came to accept who he was and decided to wear a fetching pair of trunks), The Thing would quickly move beyond his anger issues and become the true heart of the team.

Not that it would stop Stan and Jack from teasing him regularly with the promise of returning to his human form. In this first instance, a repeated exposure to the cosmic rays affects only Ben, causing him to lose his powers and disfigurement. This only lasts for a couple of pages before he loses his human exterior again, but this unexpected transformation launches one of the longest-running subplots in the book, that of Reed working to somehow regain the humanity of his best friend.

Fantastic Four #2, page 21, panels 4-6

I really enjoy Kirby’s layouts of the transitions, and the way they mirror each other. In both triptychs, the eyes are the key element and focus of the panels. In the first, they change from the unnaturally round eyes of The Thing to the more natural shape of Ben Grimm’s. In the second, they eyes vanish as Ben becomes The Thing again, highlighting the loss of his physical humanity.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

Fantastic Four #2: It’s A Marvel Comic 1

Posted in It's a Marvel Comic with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #2, page 18, panel 1

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

One of my favourite conceits about the Marvel universe is the way that Marvel Comics themselves exist in their own universe. The general setup is that Marvel heroes license their images and adventures to Marvel Comics, who then publish comics based on these, which are usually almost completely identical to the ones we read. There have been some wonderful stories involving this across the years, a particular favourite of mine being The Thing #7 from 1984, where Ben heads over to the Marvel bullpen to protest the poor nature of one of his issues.

So, every now and again, we’re going to see Marvel Comics in The Fantastic Four, and we’ll take a look at them as they appear.

Here, Reed brings along some comics with him when he visits the Skrull spaceship, and manages to pass them off as surveillance intelligence and, incredibly, averts an alien invasion! The art of Kirby and Ditko has arguably never been so important!

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

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