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Book Information:Cover Date: Feb 1964
For today’s comic book review, I read the Human Torch Feature from Strange Tales #117 titled “The Return Of The Eel“. In this classic tale we have the return of the Eel, whom you may remember from Strange Tales #112 the issue where the human torch came the closest to being finished. But is does this tale live up to the five stars that the eel pulled on his last performance with the living bomb?
The story is a good real, filled with a few chances for the human torch to learn and grow, although I am not sure that they are sufficiently taken. We have the classic blunder of our hero capturing someone whom has not escaped but instead been freed from jail.
the story seems to go downhill over and over, with the Eel outwitting the human torch at every move, until the climatic battle at the not so secret aquarium where the eel works.
While this story is not badly written, it have plenty of room for improvement, and offered plenty of ways the story could have gone deeper, or been made more interesting or even believable.
Dick Ayers illustrations for this issue were done well, and offer us a wonderful level of details, lines and shadows. the panel i picked to choose is one of the eel, but unmasked. I feel this panel showed great the detail, the lines, and the shadows that this issue offered up for the readers.
Originality and Continuity
When it comes to continuity, this issue fell way short. It did little to recap the epic last appearance of the Eel, or to convey the emotion you would expect Johnny storm to hold against the menace whom nearly was his end. Having been given such a great role. This issue puts the eel on par with the wizard and the human torches other opponents, without giving him or the last story the respect it deserves.
Character & Development
Just as with the Originality, this story offers little in the way of character growth, in fact, I feel we are falling back into a blurry zone, where we are not even sure why the Fantastic Four are not helping him. this tittle has seen progress in months past, but I feel it is beginning to slide backwards.