Issue(s): Amazing Adventures #1, Astonishing #47
Cover Date: Jun 61 / Mar 56
Title: "I Am Dr. Druid!" / "The Hypnotist!"
Stan Lee / [Unknown] - Writer
Jack Kirby / Bernie Krigstein - Penciler
[Unknown] / Bernie Krigstein - Inker
"I am the fantastic Dr. Droom!" was the original title of Amazing Adventures #1. Also contains "I Challenged... Groot! The Monster from Planet X!" from Tales To Astonish #13, but we've already read that.
Marvel's first re-occurring feature was not the Fantastic Four, it was a mystic named Dr. Droom who appeared in Amazing Adventures in a series of monster and alien stories. He was largely forgotten until the mid-70s, when Marvel was reprinting its old horror comics in Weird Wonder Tales and Creatures on the Loose. Dr. Droom reprints became a regular feature in the Weird Wonder books, except his name was changed to Dr. Druid (presumably because the name was too close to Dr. Doom).
Droom/Druid was also inserted as a Crypt Keeper style narrator in other stories that were being reprinted. Druid also got an appearance in Hulk #210-211 (Apr-May 1977), i guess to 'support' these reprints. Dr. Druid later went on to become an Avenger during Roger Stern's run and even later got his own book by Warren Ellis.
This issue is Dr. Droom's origin, which is remarkably similar to Dr. Strange's. Droom is a doctor, called upon to help an aging Tibetan lama. When he arrives, he finds himself subjected to many tests in order to reach the lama, including walking over hot coals and facing a Gorlion (half-gorilla, half-lion).
He is rewarded with mystical powers.
This reprint also contains a story about a man who goes to a hypnotist to gain confidence. He becomes a boxing champion...
...but his hypnotist decides to make a little money by canceling the hypnosis and betting against him. The boxer wins anyway, because he realizes that the courage was inside him the whole time! An unusually positive ending to a story from this time period.
Quality Rating: C
Historical Significance Rating: 4 - first Dr. Druid
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? Y - these stories were revised in the reprints to include/rename Dr. Druid
My Reprint: Weird Wonder Tales #19
The art and lettering were significantly altered for this reprinting. In the original stories, Dr. Droom looked extremely stereotypically Asian.
If I recall what I read from Comic Legends Revealed correctly, Dr. Droom/Druid became Asian looking when he got his powers. Take from that what you will...
FOOM#14(6/76) confirmed the name change to avoid confusion with Dr. Doom.
Yes, the edition of Amazing Adv #1 (on Marvel Unlimited) shows him as a nondescript bald white guy throughout the story until he holds hands with the dying lama to transform into a stereotype. "My eyes! They're becoming slanted!" is his actual word balloon. If he had a mirror, he would have commented about being recolored yellow, too. Bizzare art & script choice.