The first story of Strange Tales #126 features The Human Torch and The Thing, but this time with a bit more Fantastic Four support then we are used to. Of course the Duo are taking on another Duo of Former fantastic Four Villains, The Puppet Master and The Mad Thinker. In this story the Puppet Master and Mad Thinker team up, and have a plan to take out the Fantastic Four, part by part; first by getting the thing to destroy the human torch. But then, like all plans, nothing is ever as perfect as it seems.
Artistically I found this story lacking, While a smiling face on our charming looking heroes is nice from time to time; sometimes like in the heat of battle, or moments there after (even more so when battling your ally) it would be nice to see more emotion, something other than a smile. The overall detail beyond the characters was minimal as well, in the end leaving me less than satisfied with the issue as a whole.
Originality & Continuity
In many ways, this is not all that different from issue #116 of the same magazine. That time, the Human Torch was captured and used as a weapon against the Thing, this time… it’s just the other way around. But it does show that the plan is not all that ‘original’ and that they have not given much thought to the continuity, in my opinion. While I feel that the artwork of this story was sub part, so too was the planning, and then modeling it off a story that was not all that good to begin with, at least in my view.
The story as a whole, while not being an awful read, is far from great; offering the holes in continuity and feeling less than original adding too the forced feeling of trying to keep the attention on just the duo of hero’s, leaving Sue and Reed to fade to the background. While this could work well early in the issue, later… you can tell its forced. The series, seemed to aways be flawed, and while it has improved greatly from its early roots, stories like this, serve to remind me of the underlining problems.