Saturday, April 12, 2014

January 1964

(Continued from December 1963)

FANTASTIC FOUR 22  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers
"THE RETURN OF THE MOLE MAN!"
One of the best sequels from this period, and the source of the very 1st F.F. cartoon to air from Hanna-Barbera & Alex Toth. JACK KIRBY supplies story & art.  Dialogue by Lee, inks by Dick Ayers-- tragically, his LAST on the series.
     (2-5-2014)


TALES TO ASTONISH 51  /  cover by Jack Kirby & George Roussos
"SHOWDOWN WITH THE HUMAN TOP"
Jack Kirby's last of 3 episodes introducing GIANT-MAN, and featuring a real grudge match, as he tackles the single most annoying bad guy in his entire run; dialogue by Lee, inks by Ayers.
     (2-5-2014)


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 8  /  cover by STEVE DITKO
This issue features-- in the back!!-- "SPIDER-MAN TACKLES THE TORCH!"
Story & art by JACK KIRBY!!! Dialogue by Lee, inks by Steve Ditko. In a sequel to ASM #1, Spidey shows up at a garden party, gets on Johnny Storm's nerves, then leaves a "love-note" to Sue Storm. Heh.
     (2-5-2014)


JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 100  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky
"THE MASTER PLAN OF MR. HYDE!"
from the GCD: "Synopsis: Mister Hyde kidnaps Don Blake and Jane Foster and then tries to steal a submarine using Jane as a hostage. Jane stops Thor from catching Hyde because she thinks that Don is still in danger. The police realize that Hyde framed Thor for the bank robbery, but Jane's actions convince Odin that she is unworthy of immortality."

The conclusion of the first 2-parter in this series, and the final of the 3 issues with DON HECK doing full art. As always, JACK KIRBY supplied the story, Stan Lee the dialogue (while taking FULL CREDIT & PAY for Kirby's writing), and no doubt Stan Goldberg did the coloring (uncredited AS ALWAYS).

A series-within-a-series begins in "Tales Of Asgard": "The Boyhood Of Thor". This time out it's "THE STORM GIANTS".

from the GCD: "Synopsis: Thor and Loki (as children) defeat three Storm Giants and return the Golden Apples of Iduna."

JACK KIRBY continues to supply story & art! Stan Lee does dialogue (AND-- NOTHING ELSE!!!) while Paul Reinman supplies inks.
    (2-5-2014)


Meanwhile...
SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #5 has "At The Mercy Of Baron Strucker", who would become Fury's long-running nemesis in the series, and, as revealed in 1967, be a MUCH bigger part of the modern-day Marvel Universe than anyone (other than Jack Kirby or Jim Steranko) might have dreamed of.
     (2-5-2014)


STRANGE TALES 116  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman
"IN THE CLUTCHES OF THE PUPPET MASTER"
From Dick Ayers, Stan Lee & George Roussos (yes, the dreaded "George Bell" has arrived). Although Kirby did the cover, and it's a good bet Ayers WROTE the story, it's hard to say who came up with the story idea-- Ayers, or Kirby. (Or maybe the "editor" just said, "Hey, how about bringing back Howdy Doody this month?" Remember, kids-- that's NOT a "plot".)
     (2-5-2014)


TALES OF SUSPENSE 49  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko
"THE NEW IRON MAN MEETS THE ANGEL!"
Story & art by STEVE DITKO (his final of 3 episodes re-vamping IRON MAN the same way Kirby revamped ANT-MAN), dialogue by Stan Lee, inks by Paul Reinman (who was really getting around at this point). Any Kirby contribution, apart from the cover? Hard to tell. But if I had to lay odds on anyone giving ideas to Ditko, I'd bet on Kirby more than the "editor" who took credit and pay for it.
     (2-5-2014)


X-MEN 3  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky
Review  (coming soon)

THE AVENGERS 3  /  cover by Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman
"SUB-MARINER!"
This is the BIG one. The company-wide crossover kicks into HIGH GEAR, as Subby, still pissed over having to flee Manhattan in FF ANNUAL #1, seeks out THE HULK, who's already angry at his short-time team-mates, and instigates a free-for-all. JACK KIRBY does story & art, Lee does dialogue, Reinman does inks. WOW!!! What a month.
    (2-5-2014)

(Continued in February 1964)

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

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