Strange Tales #126 (Human Torch)
Issue(s): Strange Tales #126 (Human Torch story only)
The bad guys don't even confront the heroes in this story. They have the Thing and the Torch fight each other...
...but the plan is foiled when the Thing happens to turn back into Ben Grimm, breaking the Puppet Master's control.
Then when the FF figures out what's going on, Mr. Fantastic rigs a device to cause a backlash when the Puppet Master tries to take over the Thing again.
The Puppet Master is clearly a reluctant partner here. He gets pretty stressed out every step of the way. Unlike the Thinker, who claims the Fantastic Four are only as unbeatable as the Mets.
The story ends with the Thinker a bit too enraged to look after his unconscious partner but maybe he does that after we turn the page and see what deviltry Dr. Strange is about to face (note that as is usually the case my Strange Tales entries are broken out separately).
Ayers actually had a few good panels here. I especially like the shot of the Puppet Master controlling his Thing puppet above. But this continues to be one of the lowest quality books in Marvel's super-hero line in this time, and clearly targeting a young audience.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between FF #30-31 and before FF annual #2.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Human Torch
Inbound References (1): showHuman Torch, Invisible Woman, Mad Thinker, Mr. Fantastic, Puppet Master, Thing
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