Archive for Human Torch

Friday Night Fights: Wallbanger!

It’s been a while since we did this, but it’s been a rough few weeks, and I think it’s definitely time we all got some serious enjoyment out of this weekend. And the best way to start off a weekend? I think we all know by now that it starts with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Today’s battle comes from February 1965’s The Amazing Spider-Man #21 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Spidey’s teamed up with the Human Torch as they track down the Beetle, but it looks like the bad guy is about the get the drop on Johnny Storm.

And I’ve just about hit the wall, too. Let’s hope I can get maximum relaxation out of this weekend, for once…

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Fast and Furious

Tiny Titans #16

Sidekick Elementary’s PE coach is Lobo, which isn’t quite as cool as having Darkseid as a lunch lady, but it comes close. Anyway, Coach Lobo has decided that the best way to get all the students in shape is to have them race all the way around the world, which really isn’t going to be fair for most of the kids. We also get to meet the Tiny Titan version of Bombshell and Mas y Menos.

In addition to that, we also get this deliriously odd panel:

Mmmm, that’s great non sequitur!

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, this is just a very, very fun comic. It’s marketed to kids, but I think it’s a good read no matter how old you are.

Marvel Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

Another in Marvel’s special comics to commemorate their 70th birthday, this one puts most of its focus on Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch, and the great rivalry they had during the Golden Age. We also get guest starring roles from Toro, the Angel, and Electro — not the Spider-Man villain, but an old robot hero from the ’40s. They’re all fighting Nazi saboteurs (of course) and a bunch of robots that burn with green flames. Once that’s over, we get treated to some reprints of classic Golden Age stories, including one with the Human Torch and another starring a guy called the Ferret, a detective whose gimmick is a trained ferret. Yeah, no kidding — pet ownership used to be enough to get you a comic book series…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The reprints at the back are pretty silly, but the main story is solid work — good script, excellent art, and I love Namor’s near-constant state of offended rage. It’s really too bad that we don’t see that version of the Sub-Mariner very much anymore.

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20th Century Analog Boys

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1910

The first part of a new chapter in the literary-themed adventure series from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill focuses on the early part of the 20th century. The current League includes former vampire victim Mina Murray, the rejuvenated Allan Quatermain (masquerading as his own son), immortal sex-changing warrior Orlando, ghost-hunting detective Thomas Carnacki, and reformed thief A.J. Raffles. They’re on the trail of a bunch of occultists, led by a fictionalized version of Aleister Crowley, who are trying to bring about the end of the world. Added on top of all this are the daughter of the late Captain Nemo, who becomes known as Pirate Jenny, and a brutal killer (who may actually be Jack the Ripper) named Jack MacHeath, who is better known as Mack the Knife. In other words, a large chunk of this story is based on Bertolt Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera” — and yes, there are characters who actually break out in song during the story. Frankly, this is extremely weird. It all ends with a terrific slaughter, but with the prophesied apocalypse seemingly scheduled for many years in the future.

Verdict: I hate to say it, but thumbs down. While Jenny was an outstanding character, and her storyarc was very satisfying, the rest of this felt like Alan Moore was thumbing his nose at me. Sure, okay, Alan, you’re vastly smarter than I am, there’s no denying it. But do ya have to rub my nose in my own intellectual inferiority?

Secret Six #9

In one of the “Battle for the Cowl” crossovers, Batman is seemingly dead, and the criminals of Gotham City are going wild. A band of kidnappers have targeted the children of wealthy citizens, but Catman and Bane both decide to help stop them — partly because both of them would like to try to take Batman’s place. And Ragdoll is tagging along, because he, disturbingly, has decided that he wants to take Robin’s place. None of the trio is much good at leaving any of the kidnappers alive, but they do manage to save the children and their families — and they all get off some excellent one-liners.

Verdict: A big thumbs up. This one is a huge amount of fun, the action is absolutely top-notch, and like I said before, the one-liners are primo. Ragdoll gets the most, especially when he discovers that everything he says ends up sounding perverted, but Bane and Catman get their share, too. This one’s definitely worth picking up, even if you’re not into the “Battle for the Cowl” storyline.

The Human Torch Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

Marvel is putting out a whole series of comics focusing on their Golden Age characters to commemorate their 70th birthday. This one, by Scott Snyder and “Atomic Robo” artist Scott Wegener, focuses on the Human Torch from the 1940s — unlike the more familiar Torch from the “Fantastic Four” comics, the Golden Age Torch was an android who was able to set himself on fire. The first story is pretty straightforward — the Torch rescues a woman from a sewer monster, but its venom means he has to discard his human-looking skin. Finding himself despised as a robot monster, the Torch has to decide whether to stay inside where his appearance won’t horrify people, or to go out and save lives anyway. The second story is a reprint from an old “Human Torch” comic, featuring the introduction of the Torch’s sidekick Toro.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a charming story, with wonderful illustrations. The reprint is a nice bonus. Definitely worth a read.

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