Strange Tales #106:The Threat of the Torrid Twosome

Review By:


As I am sure you already know, I been less than thrilled with some aspects of the human torch stories in the strange tales comic books up to this issue. Mostly in relation to the other members of the Fantastic Four, how they treat the Torch, and on the Torches issue of secret identity.

This issue however, does do a bit of a Retcon and helps to address  the issue of identity. Read on and I will tell you what I think.



Our story begins with The Human torch using an obstacle course that Reed Richards built for him to stay combat ready, at the same time he gets a visitor at his home, whom waits for him.  The visitor whom goes by the name Carl Zante, tells Johnny how he is the most important member of the Fantastic Four and that there taking advantage of him, he offers a team up with him instead, Johnny considers it, and after a conversation with Mr. Fantastic, agrees to the deal. Unfortunately for our hero, things are not all that they seem.


Human Torch showing off Torrid Twosome outfit to sue storm

I am going to get into the Continuity and Retroactive changes below in the Continuity section.  From the beginning of reading this one, I felt that it was wonderfully done.  the plot , script and art all fell together to make a great story.   Human Torches gullibility is a little laughable though.

I do feel while the Mal-intent of Carl Zante is quite apparent to us the reader’s.  how he tricked the touch is quite within the realm of reason.


Human torch Changing clothing, look at the details and wrinkles in the clothing.

I feel Dick Ayers did a wonderful job with this work.  While I do love what Jack Kirby does,  I feel it good that sometimes others get a crack at it.  and Dick Ayers did a great job on what I was considering a fairly average book for the six issues overall that I reviewed.

Key things I liked include the detailed inks that make the clothing look wrinkled, and the hair look alive. I see this at several points in the issue, and it gives the wardrobes of all the cast a real feeling to it.

Then there is the uniform design for the Torrid Twosome.  I feel it did a good job, to both pay homage and parody to the Fantastic Four look , as well as to set it apart.

In this issue, the artwork is likely a key part of what took the plot and made it into a good story. while its hard to say what detail was in Stan’s Plot,  the art that Larry Lieber was given to work with for a script from what top notch.

Originality & Continuity

Retroactive continuity

This comic book review is the first time I really talk about retroactive continuity or retcon for short. While I offer you a link to Wikipedia on the subject, alow me to sum up what retroactive continuity is in my own words.

retcon, is when there has been something established, and assumed to be fact; that is changed retroactive across the history of the stories.   this is typically to fix something that has not been working, or to change an established fact in favor of future storytelling needs.

in long running comic stories, the need to retcon something inevitably comes up.  be it minor detail’s or something major. if done well, and fits into the story, it can be a good thing, but if done poorly it can strain disbelief  or even be counter to what we understand, and leave us the readers wondering.

for my comic book review of Strange Tales #106, I see the first big and greatly needed Retroactive continuity change occurring.  from the beginning of Human Torches stories in Strange Tales, Secret Identity has been a big deal for him, while in the other Fantastic Four stories it has not been.

In this issue, it is revealed that the town, knows and has known he is the Human Torch.  but as he never talked about it, they respected his privacy.  While I do feel this could have been done better, or even from the start. it is a good attempt and mostly believable retcon of the Human Torches secret identity crises.

Characters & Development

The Human Torch grows in this issue, both though the retcon, and though the other action’s. By leaving the Fantastic Four, realizing he made a mistake and fixing it. We are still not diving into the human stories I would love to review in this comic book with Johnny.  but I can’t look positive development in the mouth.  Johnny storm grew up a little in this issue.

Book Information:
Cover Date: Mar 1963
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • Larry Lieber
  • Dick Ayers
  • John Duffy
Review Ratings:
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733½&#9734
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733¾&#9734&#9734
Strange Teamups&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734
Referenced In:
Locations And Things:
  • Baxter Building
  • Glenville, NY






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