Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Human Torch, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

The Johnny Storm, Human Torch series in STRANGE TALES continued.  While endlessly dismissed or derided by many Marvel fans for not being as good as FANTASTIC FOUR, or comparable to then-current SUPERBOY stories from DC, I find these a lot of fun.  At this point, Dick Ayers had taken over, writing the stories & doing full art (pencilling and inking).  What he may have lacked in pure imagination, he more than made up for with light-hearted humor.  And you know what they say-- "Tragedy is easy-- comedy is hard!"

Jack Kirby did return for 3 more special installments.  In the first, STRANGE TALES ANNUAL #2, he teamed with inker Steve Ditko on a full-length crossover between The Torch and Spider-Man!  In the second, the story spotlighted Captain America-- well, allegedly.  (heh)  For the 3rd, The Torch crossed paths with The Iceman (from X-MEN).

Dialogue on these stories was supplied by Ernie Hart (who turned out to have a tremendous sense of humor, a perfect match with Ayers' stories), Jerry Siegel (didn't I just mention SUPERBOY?), and, Stan Lee (although for the entire run, EDITOR Lee took credit and pay for the stories, which he WASN'T writing).

STRANGE TALES 111  /
art by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers   (August 1963)
"Fantasy" version  (Ralph Bakshi tribute)
STRANGE TALES 112  /
art by JACK KIRBY   (September 1963)
STRANGE TALES ANNUAL 2  /
art by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky   [September 1963]
STRANGE TALES 113  /
art by Jack Kirby & Don Heck   (October 1963)
STRANGE TALES 114  /
art by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers   (November 1963)
STRANGE TALES 115  /
art by Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko   (December 1963)
STRANGE TALES 116  /
art by Jack Kirby & George Roussos   (January 1964)
STRANGE TALES 117  /
art by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky and STEVE DITKO   (February 1964)
STRANGE TALES 118  /
art by Jack Kirby & Chic Stone and STEVE DITKO   (March 1964)
(In Progress!)
STRANGE TALES 119  /
art by Jack Kirby & George Roussos   (April 1964)   (Coming Soon!)
STRANGE TALES 120  /
art by Jack Kirby & George Roussos   (May 1964)   (Coming Soon!)

More as I go!

Artwork (C) Marvel Comics
Raw Scans supplied by Barry Pearl
Raw scans of STRANGE TALES ANNUAL #2 and STRANGE TALES #113
     from the Heritage Auctions site
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

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