Today I review the human torches story in Strange Tales #109, titled. “The Sorcerer and Pandora’s Box”. I think the title alone, combined with the cover can easily give you a good idea of what this comic book’s story is all about. but lets give just one more quote to build upon that.
In this world of scientific marvels, the power of black magic and sorcery is largely scorned and ridiculed! But one day The Human Torch makes the spine-chilling discovery that sorcery is far from an old wives’ tale when he encounters… the sorcerer and Pandora’s box
I feel the story of this issue, was a bit on the lacking side, the cover and the introduction I feel gave it such promise, but in execution that promise faded. How many villains seem to fail more do to their utter stupidity, and then, how the human torch seems to be the next Sherlock homes. As such, this story had a hard time keeping me in the state of suspended disbelief, it had a strong start but quickly fell down hill.
Further more, The attitude of the torch, as well as the Fantastic Four seemed a bit off, I am not sure why that is, but nothing read quite right as I was reading the story.
Where the story was lacking, the art was good. from the Sorcerer and his dogs, to each of the imps we seen come out of Pandora’s box. the whole issue seemed to be a live, and moving. That is one of the things I like about Jack Kirby’s work, compared to other artist of the day.
Originality & Continuity
Outside of Loki, this is the first Villain we have seen that uses Magic, real magic. as opposed to an illusion or trickery. I am sure we could debate some of the things we have seen, such a the pants used by the Painter in Strange Tales #108.
But the Sorcerer is just what his name says he is, while he uses Pandora’s box as a weapon throughout this issue, I have no reason to doubt that he may have other powers and tricks up his sleeve
Characters & Development
The Human Torch
This issue builds us a good understanding of Johnny Storms greatest difficulty, balancing school with being a superhero. It’s a balancing act that would be tough for anyone, as being the human torch is not exactly a part-time job.
This shows though with the Fantastic Four going on missions without him, a great reason to use to leave him alone for the solo stories we read.
The thing, and his relationship with the Torch gets some attention in this issue. It is clearly stated for the first time what I think we all, already knew. the thing says ” Y’know, I love that hot-head like a brother! and I’ll Brain the frist guy who ever tells ‘im” I sure hope I am not the first!
Comic Book Review Summery
To put this in as few words as possible, I feel this story had great promise, a bit of good development for a “supporting character”, and good art. Its story however did not live up to my hopes and expectation’s, and the dialog and execution of the main story could have been better.