FANTASTIC FOUR 30 / cover by Jack Kirby & Chic Stone
The FF battle a refugee from ancient eastern Europe, a guy who apparently is a cross between a sorcerer and a scientist, and has lived a long, long time. He tempts Ben with a "cure" for his condition, but it fails to work in the long-term (as so many of Reed's have as well). JACK KIRBY does story & art, his "editor" does dialogue, and CHIC STONE does inks. WOW!! This one was so good (though ye "editor" had the poor sense to actually BAD-MOUTH it once in writing), it was one of the stories Alex Toth adapted for the 1967 F.F. TV cartoon show.
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 2 / cover by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky
This is, to me, the first of 3 all-time "classic" villain origin stories of the 60's. We get to see Victor Von Doom as a boy, what made him so arrogant and full of contempt for all of humanity, his time at college, and his sojourn in the Himalayas. (Do you suppose those monks were neighbors of "The Ancient One"-- or "K'un Lun" from the IRON FIST series?) JACK KIRBY does story & art, his "editor" does dialogue, and CHIC STONE does inks. WOW!!
And that's only the beginning! This issue also has a reprint of FF #5 ("Prisoners Of Dr. Doom"), 11 brand-new pin-ups, AND...
"THE FINAL VICTORY OF DR. DOOM!"
We get to see how Doom escapes certain death in outer space, being rescued by the time-hopping Rama-Tut, who he plays mind-games with to get him out of the way (my interpretation of it, anyway). We then learn, for the first time, that Doom is actually the CURRENT absolute ruler of a tiny, postage-stamp-sized kingdom in eastern Europe-- before he tackles the FF in his country's NY Embassy. Crazy stuff!! The "mental" battle at the climax, I feel certain, inspired an almost-identical one in the Tom Baker DOCTOR WHO story, "The Brain Of Morbius". JACK KIRBY does story & art, his "editor" does dialogue, and CHIC STONE does inks. WOW!!!!!
TALES TO ASTONISH 59 / cover by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky
Following his brief appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 the month before, The HULK turns up to tackle GIANT-MAN and the wonderful WASP! Even fight or serious mis-match? DICK AYERS does story & art, his "editor" does dialogue, and Paul Reinman does inks. This serves as a lead-in to HULK getting his own series again, next month! Also in the back is the 3-page feature, "Let's Learn About Hank And Jan", from the same creative team.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 16 / cover by STEVE DITKO
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL 1 / cover by STEVE DITKO
Review (coming soon)
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 108 / cover by Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky
from the GCD: "Synopsis: Thor is called to the aid of Doctor Strange, and as Dr. Blake saves his life after a crippling mystic attack. Loki takes advantage of a misunderstanding between Thor and Odin to come to Earth and kidnap Jane Foster. Thor finds Loki and defeats him, while a grateful Doctor Strange saves Jane."
Not EXACTLY "Part 2", though in the terms of 60's TV, this would make a good 2nd half of a 2-part story. Definitely, a SEQUEL to STRANGE TALES #123, in which Loki tried to trick Dr. Strange into thinking Thor was evil. In this one, Strange finds himself on the verge of death, and DR. DON BLAKE had to save the life of his fellow FORMER surgeon!
You know, it's disgraceful nobody at the GCD thought to include a mention of how this story and the other one are connected. If this doesn't qualify as a "crossover", I don't know what does!
JACK KIRBY supplies story & art, his "editor" does dialogue, and CHIC STONE continues on inks. WOW!!
"TRAPPED BY THE TROLLS!"
from the GCD: "Synopsis: The king of the dwarfs attempts to sell an incognito Thor to the trolls as a slave, and Thor frees all of their captives and destroys their mine."
JACK KIRBY continues with this month's "Tales Of Asgard", supplying story and art, while his "editor" does dialogue and Vince Colletta does the inks.
STRANGE TALES 124 /
cover by DICK AYERS (and Steve Ditko & George Roussos)
The baddie completely redesigns his costume, as he's tired of being thought of as a clown. YEAH, RIGHT. He's just in time to see the feature go thru a major overhaul. After Reed, Sue & Ben kept turning up in NEARLY every episode from the get-go, the HUMAN TORCH "solo" series becomes an ongoing twosome, as it morphs into THE HUMAN TORCH AND THE EVER-LOVIN' THING! Somebody finally must have gotten the idea that Ben was more popular than Johnny, so from here on, he gets equal billing. The hilarity continues! DICK AYERS does story & art, his "editor" does dialogue, and Paul Reinman does inks.
TALES OF SUSPENSE 57 / cover by DON HECK
This is simply one of the greatest IRON MAN episodes of all time! Happy gets up the nerve to ask his boss's help in puttin' in a good word with Pepper, but SHE mistakes it for his asking her for a date! Not wanting to get serious with her due to his ever-present heart condition (and his secret life as an adventurer), he takes her to Coney Island... where he winds up upstaging a local carny trick-shot artist. The guy decides to become a crime-fighter, but is mistaken for a crook on his 1st outing! And then he falls into the hands of THE BLACK WIDOW... oy!
DON HECK supplies story & FULL ART (one of the best art jobs I've ever seen from him, in fact) while his "editor" does dialogue. For the only time in Heck's entire run on the series, there's NO Jack Kirby cover, but instead, one assembled by the production department using interior panels by Heck. Which does raise the question... WHO came up with HAWKEYE??? Jack Kirby-- who'd done the similar character "BULLSEYE" back in the early 50's-- or Don Heck??
THE AVENGERS 8 / cover by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers
In a bizarre follow-up to FF ANNUAL #2, Rama-Tut over-shoots the 30th Century, winds up in the savage, barbaric 40th, TAKES OVER, gets bored, and then decided to tackle the 20th, after fashioning a new name for himself. (We never do learn if "Kang" is his REAL name, or just another alias he came up with.) JACK KIRBY does story & art, supplying the book with it's longest-lasting ARCH ENEMY in the process, while his "editor" does dialogue, and Dick Ayers returns for what would become quite a lot of issues as inker.
Although he would continue working behind-the-scenes, this was the LAST issue of THE AVENGERS to feature full pencils by Kirby. He had a LOT of other fish to fry!
X-MEN 7 / cover by Jack Kirby & Chic Stone
SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #10
"ON TO OKINAWA"
DICK AYERS supplies story & art, his "editor" does dialogue & George Roussos on inks.
(Continued in October 1964)
All Text (C) Henry R. Kujawa
Artwork (C) Marvel Comics
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa