Today’s Comic book review is of the story “The Coming Of The Plantman!” that was published in Strange Tales #113. This story featuring the human torch is in some ways a milestone for the character and the series. Because it is with this issue, and story that he gain’s his first supporting character other than the Fantastic Four. In this issue we are introduced to Doris Evans, his current girlfriend, and flame of the human torch.
To summarize the story, a mad gardener invents a device that increases the IQ of plants but also make them his slave, using the device he both frames his former employer whom happens to be Doris’s father, and then heads down a path to conquer the city, then the universe!
I feel that the story read well, linking in the first appearance of Doris with a story that intertwines her and her family into the adventure we are about to read, this keeps the action, and romance tied closely together and allows the reader to get to know and see the characters, while there developing down the path of the story together.
Dick Ayers did a wonderful job with the artwork in this issue, I feel there is lots of detail in the characters, the world and the plants. the art added a lot to this story, it took what would have just been a good and strange tale and made it remarkable.
In fact I must say that the artwork did a great job bringing the plants to the forefront of the story, giving them character themselves even in their wordless pursuit and obeisance to their master. they add an added dimension that it took the artwork to bring out.
Originality & Continuity
Lets face it, Mad scientist stories seem to be a dime a dozen, Just last week i reviewed one that was released the same month as this featuring Ant-Man against the porcupine. But I feel that this madman’s tale is a bit more, mad and creative. but more importantly, they don’t over due his indigenous powers, keeping him much more focused to what would be expected then the porcupine was.
Character & Development
By adding Doris Evans and giving her a bit more depth then just a random date would have, we gain a platform for great character and development of The Human Torch and Johnny storm. Then by making her like Johnny but have some level of dislike for his constant need to show off his powers as well as be ‘flaming on’ offers us a bit of a contradiction to our character, as well as a motivation to be more down to earth. how this will play out though, only time will tell.