Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 1964

(Continued from March 1964)

FANTASTIC FOUR 25  /  cover by Jack Kirby & George Roussos
This picks up almost exactly where AVENGERS #4 leaves off! JACK KIRBY supplies story & art, Lee does dialogue, and "George Bell" MURDERS the finishes yet again.

TALES TO ASTONISH 54  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers
DON HECK fills in on story & full art, while Lee does dialogue. (Or was this left hanging around from before Ayers took over full-time?) Is it safe to say that "El Toro" is one of the lamest villains Jack Kirby came up ith for GIANT-MAN to tackle? (He did the cover.)

Review  (coming soon)

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 103  /  cover by Jack Kirby & George Roussos
from the GCD: "Synopsis: Loki and Odin conspire to end Thor's infatuation with Jane Foster by sending the Enchantress to seduce him away from his mortal love; The heavy handed Executioner fouls things up and the mission is unsuccessful."

Loki has pretty much become the main recurring villain in this series by this point, there's hardly any stories now without his involvement. Talking about a guy just ASKING for it...

JACK KIRBY supplies story & art, Stan Lee does dialogue, and Chic Stone continues on inks. WOW! Although later writers & artists tended to turn her into a "generic" magical bad girl (Roy Thomas especially), under Jack Kirby, The Enchantress started out as someone really special. She also had a personal reason for allowing herself to get involved in Loki's stupid schemes, as she had a long, unrequited love for Thor, and somehow hoped to inspire him to return the attraction. NEVER happened. But this in turn also spills over to The Executioner's involvement-- as HE has the big eye for HER, and essentially wants to clobber Thor because he sees him as a romantic rival (something Thor wants nothing to do with), and wants Goldilocks out of the way. Most of this got lost over the years.

I can't let this issue go by without passing on a story. Some years back, one of my friends, who was really big into early-60's Marvel, told me Jack Kirby's version of The Enchantress was just about the ONLY female character in all of Marvel he found attractive... and he was gay! I think that says a lot for Kirby as a creator...

from the GCD: "Synopsis: Thor must reach Mirmir to tell him that Odin has decided it is time to create the human race."

JACK KIRBY, Lee & Stone do this month's "Tales Of Asgard". Apparently, this was the ONLY episode of the back-up series that Chic Stone inked.

STRANGE TALES 119  /  cover by Jack Kirby & George Roussos
DICK AYERS supplies story & full art, while Lee does dialogue. THE HUMAN TORCH tackles "The Rabble Rouser", in a story originally intended to bring back The Hate Monger, and which nevertheless (and despite lack of actual reference-- I guess the "editor" fell asleep at the switch) is a SEQUEL to FF #21 from 4 months earlier. It's weird, because the guy on Jack Kirby's cover looks a bit like Adolph Hitler, only with more hair.

TALES OF SUSPENSE 52  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman
DON HECK supplies story & full art, while Don Rico fills in on dialogue (using the psudonum "N. Korok"), while Stan Lee does NOTHING yet takes credit & pay for the story anyway. Jack Kirby introduces one of the most long-running characters in the Marvel Universe this issue, in the form of THE BLACK WIDOW!

...and finally-- long overdue...

DAREDEVIL 1  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Bill Everett
The convoluted story of this book's creation is told in great & gruesome detail at my Wayback Machine blog. Suffice to say, Jack Kirby came up with the costume, but everything else he contributed was rejected by Bill Everett, who came up with the entire format, the supporting cast, wrote the story & provided full art (or, almost, as Steve Ditko & Sol Brodsky had to chip in to get the thing done). For the first of 3 times in the 60's, Martin Goodman ordered a book created so he could reuse someone else's previously-existing title. Sheesh.

Isn't it amazing both Daredevil & The Black Widow debuted the SAME month, when, years later, they became romantically involved?

(Continued in May 1964)

All Text (C) Henry R. Kujawa
Artwork (C) Marvel Comics
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

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