Strange Tales annual #2 (Human Torch)
Issue(s): Strange Tales annual #2 (Human Torch story only)
I wanted this story because it's the issue that establishes the top of the Statue of Liberty as Spidey and the Torch's official meeting place, which is a cool little minor historical moment.
But the original issue is out of my price range. It was reprinted in Giant-Size Spider-Man #1, but i already had a reprint of the main story from that issue, so i resisted buying it for a while, but eventually broke down and got it.
It's a pretty straightforward team-up story, with Spider-Man getting framed for a crime and deciding to go to the Human Torch for help, and they have a Misunderstanding Fight...
...and then team-up to fight the bad guy...
...who is just a simple non-powered criminal thief called the Fox.
But it's fun to see the two teen-aged super-heroes working together and bickering. They each start off thinking the other is a headline-seeking showboat (which is more true of the Torch than Spider-Man). And there's no neat wrap up where they learn to respect each other; they're still bickering as they carry the bad guy away, which is a nice touch.
The issue starts off with the Human Torch practicing in his bizarre obstacle course in his backyard in Glenville. The FF need to get a "Danger Room". Having your older sister spray you with the garden hose does not constitute training to fight super-villains.
Spidey uses super-science to cool down the Human Torch (literally) long enough to talk to him during their Misunderstanding Fight. He adds "ice cold silicone crystals" to his webbing...
...which makes the webbing strong enough to withstand a hammer blow...
...and also generates snow when the Torch is caught in it.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Giant-Size Spider-Man #1
Weirdly, Kirby draws Spider-Man like his mask is attached to his costume.
There may be a Kitby/Ditko teaming in one of the early 1960s Marvel Western books.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 3, 2011 9:31 PM
does anyone else think the Fox looks alot like the Penguin from Batman? and why are his ears pointy?
i won't dispute the super science that can make his webbing ice cold (or why, if he's such a super genius, he's not making a fortune off of these inventions he can whip up in an hour in a borrowed lab), but i wish Stan Lee had said "silcon" instead of "silicone".
Posted by: min | December 6, 2011 8:59 AM
Ditko inked Kirby a few other times actually
Posted by: ThatFartingLover | October 2, 2013 12:49 AM
Maybe he takes the ferry
Posted by: S | October 2, 2013 2:22 AM
Among other stories, Ditko inks Kirby in a 1960 story from the final issue of the war comic Battle, entitled "A Tank Knows No Mercy!" Michael (Doc) Vassallo's chronicle of the history of Atlas war comics singles out this 5-page story as one of the highlights of the pre-Silver Age era, and it's certainly worth a look. Kirby and Ditko were firing on all cylinders in this remarkable story, and it's a pity they didn't get to work together more often on superheroes.
Posted by: haydn | March 9, 2014 1:32 PM
At one point, the Torch thinks to himself that Spidey could be watching him with his "spider-vision." I know the spider-bite eventually let Peter live without glasses, but I'm wondering now why he didn't get other visual enhancements to replicate the eight eyes of a spider (unless, as I've theorized before, that is what his spider-sense is attempting to substitute for).
Posted by: TCP | June 1, 2015 3:17 PM
This is one of the silver age Marvels which I didn't have as a kid and so didn't read repeatedly growing up. Great review & thanks.
Going through the 1962 & 1963 indexes sequentially, this is the 3rd instance of Ditko inking Kirby I've encountered so far. The first two were Hulk #2 and Fantastic Four #13. Also notable for the covers only are Amazing Fantasy #15 and Fantastic Four #14.
Posted by: James Holt | August 6, 2016 7:56 PM
Just found this addition for my Ditko inking Kirby list; there is a 6 page story in Fantastic Four Annual #1, "The Fabulous Fantastic Four Meet Spider-Man." This, if I remember right, is a longer retelling of a short sequence from Spider-Man #1.
Ditko also inks Kirby on the cover of Spider-Man #1.
Posted by: James Holt | August 6, 2016 8:27 PM
I placed this one in the same place after Strange Tales#112
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 24, 2016 9:18 PM
Might this be the very first Marvel Team-Up? That is, I know Hulk encountered the Four, Spidey auditioned for them- but has anyone else ever teamed-up- oops, Namor and Dr. Doom have, by this point! Is this the first time heroes have joined forces in the Marvel Age? Henry Pym outfits Janet with her Wasp gear so she can become his partner (Jun. '63 ToS, #44). It's a matter of specific wording, I suppose. Awesome artistic team-up- trying to imagine the talents, the other way 'round! It's 1) this darn villain ! But, cool evolution of characters. R.I.P. Ditko, Kirby
Posted by: Cecil Louis Disharoon | July 8, 2018 8:23 AM
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