Strange Tales #103:Prisoner of the 5th Dimension

Review By:


Strange tales #103 where the human Torch is the prisoner of the 5th dimension, was a well written, and fairly well drawn story.  This time, the little care needed to explain why he is investigating this alone is taken.

just 1 panel, greatly helped this story fit in with a level of acceptability with the other Fantastic Four stories.  everything from there falls into place.


The story is a simple one, the inhabitants of the 5th dimension are planning and preparing for an invasion of earth, however they don’t want human’s discovering them and the secret portal to their world until they invade.

For this reason, they are sabotaging a housing development in swampland. The Torch investigates, finds the creatures and is captured, taken back to their Dimension.  The story that continues is well written, and offers just a tad more development then we have seen so far for our Human Torch character.


The art of this issue, just like the last, seems to have steady fallen into meeting with my expectation’s without exceeding them.   meeting my base standards as well as what I consider base for the time, quite well.

The design of the inhabitants of the 5th dimension is fairly generic, not so unlike human’s in their features or look to note much of anything about then. Perhaps this is to make them more like us than unlike us.

Originality & Continuity

This story is at least more in line with the Fantastic Four Continuity then the last two, I do not feel that they went to any lengths in ether Strange Tales, or Fantastic Four to really rectify many of my concern’s, however at least this time, they did have Johnny consult the team before acting on his own.

One panel makes a huge difference for continuity, but I feel there is still some strong steps to be taken to bring both series’ in line with each other.

Characters & Development

This stories strong point is in its Character’s,  While this is an alien invasion story. it is unlike the ones we have seen from marvel of that era.   Unlike the Toad Men, or the Stone Men, or the Skulls, the inhabited of the 5th dimension are more ‘human’.

While the leader and his dream of conquest may not be easily swayed, not all inhabitants of the 5th dimension stand behind his dream. There is even a resistance, and a feeling that most of the populace stand with the resistance but are afraid to act.

This is deep for alien’s of the time; and perhaps telling us more about ourselves and groups on earth than anything.  I challenge anyone who reads this to find an alien story in comic’s TV or movies that predates this one where the group was divided. I am sure the numbers are slim.

Book Information:
Cover Date: Dec 1962
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • Jack Kirby
  • Larry Lieber
  • Dick Ayers
  • Art Simek
Review Ratings:
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734&#9734
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734
Realistic Races&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733
Locations And Things:
  • the 5th dimension






2 responses to “Strange Tales #103:Prisoner of the 5th Dimension

  1. Mike Schau Avatar

    However it has a great cover..look at the outfits the minions are wearing and the look on the guy on the bottom…

    1. Drew Avatar

      Indeed, the cover of this issue was well done, offering both creativity and detail.

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