Archive for Strange Tales

Strange Tales #124: It’s… ASBESTOS!!! 30

Posted in It's... ASBESTOS!!! with tags , , , , , , , on November 2, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #124, page 10, panel 6

Strange Tales #124, page 10, panel 6

Strange Tales #124: It’s… ASBESTOS!!! 30

Written by: Smilin’ Stan Lee

Illustrated by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Inked by: Peerless P. Reinman

Lettered by: Adorable Art Simek

You can probably tell I’ve got a big grin on my face whilst creating this post. I’m a huge fan of ridiculous uses of asbestos in 1960s Fantastic Four comics, and the suggestion that Paste Pot Pete has mixed asbestos with his paste to create a fireproof, quick-setting adhesive is completely ludicrous. I mean, for a start, there’s a very good chance that the smothering effect of the paste alone renders the need for a fireproof material null and void. And let’s not talk about the logistics of mixing a fibrous substance into a viscous liquid without further reducing its viscosity.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #124 on our thirty-third episode: Bad Horse, Bad Horse, with special guest host David Walker

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_33.mp3]

Strange Tales #124: Flamin’ ‘Eck 51

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #124, page 10, panel 2

Strange Tales #124, page 10, panel 2

Strange Tales #124: Flamin’ ‘Eck 51

Written by: Smilin’ Stan Lee

Illustrated by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Inked by: Peerless P. Reinman

Lettered by: Adorable Art Simek

Ah, the infamous panel where Johnny was possessed by the Phoenix Force 13 years before its creation.

Or…

The infamous panel where Johnny inadvertently proves and disproves the theories regarding conservation of energy. Ignoring the fact that the kinetic motion of the car’s engine provides the energy to recharge the battery which is used to start the car itself, Johnny decides that he can expend his flame whilst creating new flame energy to store within him to use in the future. He’s literally creating energy out of nothing.

Sometimes, Stan’s pseudo-science hits the right level of believability. Other times, it’s pure crap.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #124 on our thirty-third episode: Bad Horse, Bad Horse, with special guest host David Walker

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_33.mp3]

Strange Tales #124: Flame On 72

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #124, page 8, panel 6

Strange Tales #124, page 8, panel 6

Strange Tales #124: Flame On 72

Written by: Smilin’ Stan Lee

Illustrated by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Inked by: Peerless P. Reinman

Lettered by: Adorable Art Simek

It’s amazing how disparate Strange Tales is from the main Fantastic Four book at this time. I’m not just talking in terms of quality – and issues like the Molecule Man and the Infant Terrible ones show that the core book can read as badly as the spinoff – but in terms of aims and context it’s as if the two book are coming from very different eras. Whilst the main book is offering fast-paced tales featuring aliens and alchemists, mutants and Avengers, packed with character and a relentless drive forward, Strange Tales seems stuck in a depressingly domestic late 1950s as depicted in pop culture that probably never quite existed.

8 pages into this story, and we’ve seen some tame, uninspired shenanigans at home (with no authoritative presence), and then Johnny’s gone bowling with girlfriend. If it hadn’t been for his signal ring (making its one and only appearance a few panels earlier), you can just imagine the two going for some malted shakes together. Where’s the genre-defining, boundary-pushing storytelling seen in the Fantastic Four? It’s certainly not to be seen here.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #124 on our thirty-third episode: Bad Horse, Bad Horse, with special guest host David Walker

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_33.mp3]

Strange Tales #124: Flamin’ ‘Eck 50

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #124, page 3, panel 1

Strange Tales #124, page 3, panel 1

Strange Tales #124: Flamin’ ‘Eck 50

Written by: Smilin’ Stan Lee

Illustrated by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Inked by: Peerless P. Reinman

Lettered by: Adorable Art Simek

As we make our way through the final 10-or-so issues of Johnny Storm’s solo adventures in Strange Tales, we’re going to see logic (not a quality seen in abundance, admittedly) become scarcer and scarcer. Here’s a good example of a panel which should never have been drawn, and which should have been picked up by anyone involved in the creative process from the penciling onwards.

Having had half of his house destroyed by The Thing’s refusal to use the front door, Johnny then decides to some on-the-spot spot-welding to repair the damage. So, he uses his intense heat and flame to repair his very obviously wooden house.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #124 on our thirty-third episode: Bad Horse, Bad Horse, with special guest host David Walker

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_33.mp3]

Strange Tales #124: Property Damage 31 / Flamin’ ‘Eck 49

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck, Property Damage with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales 124, page 1, panel 4

Strange Tales 124, page 1, panel 4

Strange Tales #124: Property Damage 31 / Flamin’ ‘Eck 49

Written by: Smilin’ Stan Lee

Illustrated by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Inked by: Peerless P. Reinman

Lettered by: Adorable Art Simek

Our streak of The Thing destroying everything in his wake continues as we return to our favourite Silver Age punching bag, Strange Tales. This opening sequence sees Ben decide to give Johnny a wake-up call by… er… lifting a side of his house off its foundations, presumably destroying the structural stability of the house. Judging by the way that rear wall doesn’t change angle, there has to be a massive gaping crack somewhere along the side of the house as well. As Andy most likely said at the time, this makes no sense. And it still doesn’t.

We’ve also got yet another flaming lasso, easily my least-favourite thing in the entirety of Strange Tales (and beyond, as evidenced by its appearance in the comic covered on this week’s episode). At least this is 1964, and we can pretty much guarantee that the walls are lined with asbestos, explaining why Johnny can throw his flame around in such a cavalier fashion.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #124 on our thirty-third episode: Bad Horse, Bad Horse, with special guest host David Walker

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_33.mp3]

 

Strange Tales #123: Flame On 69 / Flamin’ ‘Eck 48

Posted in Flame On, Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #123, page 13, panels 4-6

Strange Tales #123, page 13, panels 4-6

Strange Tales #123: Flame On 69 / Flamin’ ‘Eck 48

Written by: Stan Lee (‘Nuff Said)

Illustrated by: Carl Burgos (Who was first to draw The Torch, way back in the Golden Age of Comics)

Inked by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Lettered by: Smilin’ Sam Rosen

Our look at the debut of The Beetle concludes here. Johnny gets a ‘Flame On’ so underwhelming that I wonder if anyone involved in that panel remembered that this was a catchphrase. Sam Rosen gets some credit for using a heavier brush stroke for these words, but it barely stands out at all.

More interesting is the unusual use of flame that comes from this, as Johnny creates a ring of fire where the Beetle is burrowing away. The wheel excavates the area, exposing the villain. I’m calling it our because earlier in the story, the Beetle had no problem flying or using the asbestos on his armour to withstand the heat. Here, because there’s only one page of story left, he just decides to give up and submit to the teen hero.

Can you imagine how ineffective Zemo’s Thunderbolts would have been if he’d have recruited this version of The Beetle?

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #123 on our thirty-second episode: Now With Genuine People Personalities

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_32.mp3]

Strange Tales #123: Flamin’ ‘Eck 47

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #123, page 8, panel 7

Strange Tales #123, page 8, panel 7

Fantasticast Four #29:

Written by: Stan Lee (‘Nuff Said)

Illustrated by: Carl Burgos (Who was first to draw The Torch, way back in the Golden Age of Comics)

Inked by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers

Lettered by: Smilin’ Sam Rosen

We’re currently recording episodes covering Fantastic Four comics from 1972. Strange Tales is long-gone, and despite the wildly inconsistent quality of Stan Lee’s writing during his brief return to the title, a lot of the tropes from the early days of the Fantastic Four are no longer relevant. Whilst I may miss the ridiculous usage of asbestos, I really don’t miss the implausible uses of Johnny’s powers.

Thankfully nothing in the Air Walker saga is as insane as Johnny deciding to wrap The Beetle in a blanket made of fire to heat him up as opposed to, say, just hurling fire at him. Nice to see that the colouring appears to have been done in felt-tip as well…

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #123 on our thirty-second episode: Now With Genuine People Personalities

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_32.mp3]

We are eligible for nomination in the first UK Podcasters Award, in the Games & Hobbies category. Across the month of July, you can visit http://ukpodcasters.com/directory/podcast/the-fantasticast/ and click the nominate button. You can nominate us once per day between now and the end of the month, and we would be very grateful if you would be able to do this.

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