Characters Appearing: Human Torch (Golden Age), Namora, Sub-Mariner, Sun Girl
Human Torch Comics #32
Issue(s): Human Torch Comics #32
With no fanfare or even explanation, the Human Torch's sidekick Toro is gone, replaced by Sun Girl.
Sun Girl debuted one month earlier in her own book, which would only last three issues. But she'll remain the Human Torch's partner for four issues and also appears in other books with the Torch during this period (i.e. in the Torch's stories in Captain America Comics, Sub-Mariner Comics, and Marvel Mystery Comics). The series is cancelled (or goes on hiatus) after those four issues.
In this story, a man named Frank Donner is convicted of a murder that he says he didn't commit. He escapes and goes to a man named Pigeon, who lied about Donner at the trial. Joe Esterban, the leader of a gang that is really behind the murder also goes after Pigeon to make sure he doesn't change his story. And it's only at the bottom of page four that we first see the Torch and Sun Girl. They're already partnered up.
They stop the gangsters from getting to Donner, but the Torch feels obligated to believe that they were just trying to perform a public service in re-capturing the escaped convict.
We don't see "Now confess or I'll snap your arm like a toothpick" Sun Girl's reaction to the Torch's namby pambiness.
The gangsters later lure Donner out again, but the heroes again intervene, this time conclusively.
In the second story, Namor and Namora get in the middle of a feud between a woman who loves a gambling gangster but whose wealthy father doesn't approve of them getting married.
And for the third story we're back to a Human Torch and Sun Girl team-up.
They investigate some bizarre murders that are happening at a jazz foundation.
One thing about both the Namor and the second Torch story is that they barely qualify as super-hero stories. A tiny use of their powers at the very end that's it.
They're really more like detective stories (minus, er, the mystery, so i guess more like generic "crime" stories) that happen to feature super-heroes. That's probably not a coincidence since we're nearing the end of the original wave of Golden Age super-heroes. As noted above, this series goes on hiatus in a few issues.
The lack of fanfare around Sun Girl is also odd. It may be that the Human Torch / Sun Girl partnership started somewhere else (but i can't find it), but even if that were true, you'd think the first time they partnered up in the Torch's own book would merit some kind of recap. Roy Thomas will eventually address the transition in the 1990 Saga of the Human Torch series (again, unless he's taking this from somewhere that i haven't found), saying that Toro was called away by his parents, and Sun Girl was the Torch's secretary.
In Thomas' Saga, Sun Girl is sidelined when Toro returns ("This job calls for firepower") for the final mission that gets the Torch buried alive during the period while this book goes on hiatus (until the super-hero revival in Young Men #24).
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Based on the sequence in Saga of the Human Torch #3, Sun Girl first goes into action with the Human Torch. But the first mission depicted in Saga isn't either of the ones that we see here, so that doesn't dictate placement with regards to this issue vs. Sun Girl #1.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Bootleg
Waiting on the roof of a car to ambush its occupants seems to be becoming a Sun Girl trademark, though I have to question her method of attack this time. She's not Moon Girl.
Posted by: Mortificator | May 23, 2017 7:25 PM
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