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Book Information:Cover Date: Feb 1963
On September 28Th you got my review of Strange Tales #102: Prisoner of the Wizard. It was the worst review I have given to date! As promised then, Today, we have the wizards return, is the 2nd story featuring our evil genius any better?
I will save you time of even reading my review, by saying No, it’s not now. but for those whom really wish to know why this Strange Tale was not a burning sensation, I welcome you to read my review just the same! I will try to give my review a little more quality then was given to this tale.
The wizard imprisoned behind bars devises a plan to earn the wardens trust and gain access to everything he needs to plan his escape from prison. Upon his successful escape he returns to his home, and sets up a trap for the torch. Then he uses the Television media to send out his challenge.
The Torch quickly accepts, even though his sister Sue Storm tries to stop him. after she realises that Johnny Storm ignored her and went off anyway to face the wizard she contacts the remaining members of the Fantastic Four.
Mr. Fantastic and The Thing deny her plea for assistance stating that “Johnny has to grow up and stand on his own two feet sometime! The Thing and I won’t interfere in this!” Thus leaving The Human Torch with only the help of his sister Invisible Girl.
The Frame above,
The Frame above, is not the first downfall of the issue, but by far its the biggest. It burst my believable, it is a poor excuse just to keep it from becoming a Fantastic Four story. The Fantastic Four are a Team that has helped each other plenty of times, and even early in the stories when The Human Torch went off on his own, they tried to find him, See Fantastic Four #4.
Smart But Stupid
The wizard is supposed to be smart, he makes fancy gadgets and everything else. Yet in all his planning and thinking. He does not account for the clearest facts about his Nemesis. and The Human Torch easily is toying with him over this.
Sue storm is an effective super hero in her own right, she knows how to use her powers to her advantage and has proven to be more than just a tag along. Yet sometimes; they let her fall into being little more than a woman in need of rescue! and sometimes like this one, it is just too much. I know this is Johnny’s story, but give the girl a break!
Oh how I wonder, how such great artist can put out a work like this one. I feel the wizards appearance changed form being a sinister looking and crazy to just looking wacky and silly. Perhaps quite appropriate for the story, as he acts and looks more like a Jester or clown then a wizard to be reckoned with.
The art as a whole was at a low quality, and left me feeling unimpressed. detail was not paid much mind throughout the issue, and it seems like ways where just found to ignore useful detail as much and as often as they could. The art of this issue left me truly disappointed.
Originality & Continuity
At least they mentioned the other members of the Fantastic Four!? both on the cover, and in the book. But the action’s where just uncharacteristic of the team, “No we wont help him?” .. that’s not like them.. an excuse, any; would have been better.
This story went out of its way to keep The Human Torch as the hero and the focus, when he was the hero so many times already in Fantastic Four! or perhaps the story did not go out of its way, It just gave a poor excuse.
Characters & Development
With all this story, this vengeance; you would think there could be room for a bit of character growth, if you’re looking for it, don’t bother. In fact, Don’t bother reading this story.