Only a genius such as I, Ivan Kragoff, could have trained a gorilla to operate a space-ship! – Red Ghost
Journey Into Marvel – Part 84
Extremites, I am obsessed with space; the idea of travelling beyond the clouds, into nothingness, enthrals me. I keep Apollo 13 on repeat. Glow in the dark stars bedeck my bedroom ceiling. The ingenuity of the Space Race inspires me. I wonder what it felt like to witness the nightly news in 1963. In today’s issue we get a glimpse into what that feeling was. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 81
Extremites, I have discovered the best way to enter a story in the Strange Tales solo Human Torch issues is to expect the worse. Today, my expectations were lived up too and then some. This is the most terrible Human Torch story I have read thus far. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 75
Extremites, we take for granted, in this post Tolkien/Lewis world, the intricacy of a comprehensive fictional world.
You may have noticed that I keep using the term: “Earth – 616.” This is the name the fandom has given to the collective world that all Marvel characters exist in. As time has gone on, there are other continuities that have been created, but 616 is the main one, and the one that Journey Into Marvel concerns itself with. I believe that Earth- 616 is one of humanity’s greatest expressions of collective creativity, far more vast and comprehensive then Narnia, and with even more complexity than Middle-Earth. It all began with today’s issue. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 74
Extremites, it’s hilarious that I find myself in a loop discussing Johnny Storm’s ego. Last issue was the official moment when the Human Torch’s ego became his comeuppance. In today’s issue the two greatest egos of the Marvel Universe face off: Submariner and Johnny Storm.
A well crafted character, even one who has a large ego – maybe especially one that has a large ego — shows some vulnerability on occasion. Even a massive dick like John Constantine, Frank Castle or Bruce Wayne is shown to have some vulnerability. But Johnny Storm is just a punk kid, and to this point in the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee, and the others who have written him, paint him only as a punk kid. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 73
Extremites, Johnny Storm is a jerk. It’s official.
Since I started reading the Fantastic Four, I’ve concluded that the Four’s weakness is their egos. Whenever a villain wants to destroy the Four, all he or she need do is appeal to their arrogance. This tactic works well with Ben Grimm, sometimes Reed, but is most successful with Torch. Torch is a bully.
Carl Zante, the Acrobat — the villain of this issue — is a pretentious bonkers cartoon of a man. He has a thick Tony Stark moustache, a gaudy Cruella DeVille cigarette — complete with holder — and a beret. Honest to God, a beret. I love Lieber’s villains. They always have such panache and what they lack in depth is made up in star power.
Remember, that secret identity Johnny maintains in Glenville (Strange Tales issues) but doesn’t even mention in New York (Fantastic Four issues)? The writers put an end to that discrepancy. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 71
Extremites, ‘meta’ is an overused word. You’ve probably heard it used in front of everything from ‘humour’ to ‘phone call.’ No one knows what it means and let alone the proper time to use it.
Today, I’m using the word properly in reference to the Fantastic Four. Today’s story is the second half of Issue #11. It’s not a proper Fantastic Four story per se, more of an appendix to the earlier story. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 70
Extremites, what do you think when you hear ‘Jar Jar Binks?’
‘Child exploitation character?’
Perhaps, ‘terrible CGI?’
Whatever you think of that character — which Lucas infected his return to Star Wars with — we it was a low point in fandom.
Every fan institution has one. Marvel its fare share of Jar Jar moments. According to modern Marvelites Fantastic Four #11 is one of the worst. I hold a different opinion. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 68
Extremites, I am once again confused as to why Human Torch is considered not only a hero but one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. He’s a prideful, arrogant, and rude character that has more in common with the villains he is defending humanity from than the heroes that are watching his back.
Journey Into Marvel – Part 66
Extremites, since his first appearance, where he was upstaged by pirates, Doom has never felt like a decent threat to the Fantastic Four. Although in later years he became that way, Doom began as just another comic villain. However, it’s clear that Dr. Doom and Reed Richards have a special conflict that transcends personality clash. They personify the battle between magic and science. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 65
Extremites, the costumed villain is an absurd idea. A criminal coordinates a theme and then commits said theme into a plan of criminality. Although megalomaniac serial killers like San Francisco’s Zodiac or New York’s Son of Sam do resemble this in their crimes, most crime is faceless and brutal. Comic books embellish criminal acts and put an absurd character behind them. Strange Tales #104 has one of Silver Age Marvel’s most absurd villains at the centre of its story.
Modern Marvel readers will know the name Trapster. He’s a character that has featured in some story in each of the modern flagship line, with the exception of X-Men. In 1963, he went by the name Paste Pot Pete. Pete got his name from the fact that instead of using a fire arm he opts for a hose the shoots paste. This guy threatens people with a gigantic glue dispenser. Read the rest of this entry