Strange Tales #115 (Human Torch)
Issue(s): Strange Tales #115 (Human Torch story only)
Review/plot: The introductory page lists that Sandman appears "by special arrangement with the Amazing Spider-Man Magazine". It also picks up specifically where the ASM issue left off. Spider-Man sucked up the Sandman in a vacuum cleaner (a dubious way to defeat him) and sent him to jail. In this issue, the Sandman easily escapes prison by turning into sand and flowing through his window. Clearly, the authorities were not yet prepared to incarcerate super villains.
This issue is more significant than an ordinary guest appearance, in my opinion. Guest appearances were nothing new in comic books, but this issue actually solidifies the idea that the events that happened in the Spider-Man comic took place in the same 'world' that the FF lived in.
Knowing that the Sandman has escaped, but unable to gather the whole team (Reed is working on a cure for Alicia's blindness (which seems so bizarre and yet, why shouldn't Reed put his super brain to use on something beneficial?) and Ben and Sue are filing a report based on their recent fight with the Molecule Man) Mr. Fantastic sends the Torch to look for Spidey, since Spidey has fought the Sandman before. The Torch is no fan of Spider-Man, and only makes a half-hearted attempt to look for him.
Instead he runs into the Sandman, and after a long fight, he defeats him basically by getting him wet, which turns the sand into mud.
But the water douses Johnny's flames as well, so the two wind up in a powerless hand-to-hand fight. You'd think a big thug like Sandman would have the upper hand but, Johnny's been spending long hours learning "every rough and tumble trick in the book" from the Thing, plus judo and karate lessons from Mr. Fantastic. Oh, and he still has "enough excess heat in [his] body to more than double [his] normal strength", whatever that means.
Spider-Man shows up at the end to silently gripe about the Torch horning in on his territory.
Unfortunately, no great visual displays of the Sandman's unique powers in this issue. He basically just turns to sand a couple of times.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place soon after the fight with Molecule Man in Fantastic Four #20.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #18
at the very end of the fight, for some reason, Johnny's left hand is glove-less. he had both hands covered in the earlier panels. mebbe it got sucked up by the Sandman's body (ew) when Johnny was using his "excess heat" to spin the Sandman around - i think there's a glove-less palm in the panel right before this when he throws the Sandman.
Johnny does say something about muddying his "little pink fingers", so i guess Ayers felt he needed to show those fingers? i dunno. it's just weird.
Posted by: min | March 2, 2012 8:56 AM
No No-Prizes will be awarded for coloring errors.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 2, 2012 9:26 AM
I placed this one between FF#2o and 21.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 25, 2016 8:27 PM
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