Strange Tales #108 (Human Torch)
Issue(s): Strange Tales #108 (Human Torch story only)
The paint is pretty versatile, and if i was going to nerdily qualify its powers (and you know i will), i would place them into two categories.
One, by painting a picture of something that doesn't actually exist, it can be brought into existence.
Two, by painting an existing object, the object can be changed to what has been painted.
The painter is said to have been a poor counterfeiter (He colored the "Blue Boy" green, and got put in jail the first time when Johnny Storm spotted that Abraham Lincoln's sideburns were too short on the five dollar bill he was trying to pass off), so i thought his downfall would relate to that in some way in a Strange Tales-y twist, like painting a getaway car with no bolts on the wheels or something, but he's actually defeated when the Human Torch himself uses the paint to create a double of himself that becomes the target of the painter's attacks.
His sloppy painting is what alerts the Torch that it's the same counterfeiter he put away previously, though. He paints the rest of the FF to attack the Torch but forgets to put the 4s on their uniforms.
It's always fun to see the weird power tricks that the Human Torch pulls off in these early stories, and in this one we've got flame scissors...
...and smoke ring lassos.
The Painter will return again in a few issues of Web of Spider-Man (the "Art Attack/Avant Guard" plotline), years from now.
Despite the painter's weird powers (and that awesome Tri-Gorilla), this one is a little blander than other solo Torch stories from this period. Nothing outrageously kooky (assuming you accept the painter's powers, but that's nothing too unusual for us comic book fans), but that's what makes the other ones so fun.
At this point (after the revelation in issue #106), people are not hiding the fact that they know Johnny is the Torch.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Human Torch #8
Letterer Terry Szenics(female?) also inked for Archie.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 3, 2011 9:28 PM
"And got put in jail the first time when Johnny Storm spotted that Abraham Lincoln's sideburns were too short on the five dollar bill he was trying to pass off"
So THAT'S why the Fantastic Four had that bust of Abraham Lincoln a few entries back. Research!
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 23, 2014 1:47 AM
I place this issue between FF#12 and 13. The earlier events where Johnny caught the Painter passing counterfeit money took place when Johnny was away from the FF working part time as a sales clerk in a general store. I think these events happened between FF#3 and 4 before Johnny encountered the amnesiac Sub-Mariner.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 23, 2016 8:16 PM
This issue holds a special place in my heart/memory, because the first Marvel comic I bought was a reprint of this story. Also, I'm going to take a not-so-wild swing and guess that the Painter was meant to resemble Salvador Dali, hence the funky mustache.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | March 25, 2018 10:35 PM
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