The first story in strange tales #124 features the human torch and the thing – starting this issue his permanent partner for this feature – working together the face-off against a newly improved Paste-pot Pete.
In this issue to meet up with a recently freed Paste-pot Pete, whom was given early release for helping the Avengers. With his newfound freedom – in typical super villain fashion – he chooses to pursue vengeance against human torch for his prior defeats.
But what makes him think he can defeat his old rival? That’s simple a newly revised suit and some newly revised paste.
Artistically speaking, this story was adequately done. While I find the new design for Paste-pot Pete lacking;The panels of this issue were quite adequate and sufficient in telling the story.
Characters and development
This issue offered little in the way of character development for our heroes. As has been typical for this feature, I believe to leave most developments for the Fantastic Four title. But even the limited support cast this title has offered ( mainly Doris) sees little and the way of development in this tale.
Paste-pot Pete, the featured tag antagonist is the one character to see development. And I find that mostly limited to the characters redesign. Even for him I feel it to be lacking.
Originality and continuity
In way of continuity we only see one real reference, and that is to the avengers issue that lead to Paste-pot Pete becoming free. There is nothing to tie this too the Fantastic Four other than the use of two key characters.
Furthermore the use of the red signaling ring disturbs me. I see no sign of this device in Fantastic Four, discounting that, even if it was to be used wouldn’t all of them be alerted? Like some of these stories before, I find it lacking in the way it ties to Fantastic Four
For all the reasons mentioned above I find this story quite weak. From the redesign of Paste-Pot Pete, to disrespecting the Fantastic Four as a team. This story is one I feel been better off not published.