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Book Information:Cover Date: Apr 1963
As you know from my comic book review Strange Tales #106 had left me on such a high note, and unusual feet for the Solo tales of The Human Torch, it left me wondering what to expect in Strange Tales #107. Then As I sat down to read this months issue and took in the cover for the first time, it began to speak volumes.
Before even reading let alone reviewing the comic book. you see the cover. and this one was amazing. the blue sea backed by the lighter blue sky. with the human torch and the sub-mariner facing off on the cover. It left no doubt on what kind of story I would find on the pages in between.
But would this story be as hot as the cover suggest, or would it be a wash? that is what was left for me to decide as I read and review strange tales #107
Review of the story
The background concept of the story is simple, even if it’s not what that I agree with, it is one that I can follow and understand, even expect from a teenage superhero on a team.
The Human Torch, out to prove himself to the Fantastic Four even more so, decides he needs to take on a true foe. in that he seeks out The Sub-Mariner with the goal of finding and defeating the one foe the Fantastic Four have struggled with several times so far.
I do greatly approve how the story both references directly the events of last months issue, as well as indirectly the events of the ongoing love interest between Sue storm and Namor.
Review of the Art
I am quite happy with how Dick Ayers handled the art of this issue. I feel he is doing a good job with the Solo tales of The Human Torch. my one complaint would be that it seems to be that Namor is smiling a bit too much though this issue. But that could be a sign that he see’s this combat as more of a game.
One of the parts that impressed me the most was the sky writing, in the few panels where it is seen, you are able to read part of it from the different angles, where it’s not always shown straight on. This artistic detail in the comic book, and the attention paid to it I find to be a great addition to the issue and story.
Originality & Continuity
I feel this issue, builds upon both the Fantastic Four comics as well as the prior strange tales features of the human torch. This is just what this comic run need’s, to fit its solo story in with the events that have occurred in Fantastic Four issues.
I feel this issue does this in a way that would not lose a new comic book fan picking up its first comic book. That is an art that I feel has been lost over the ages, something that modern comic book writers & artist should strive to recapture.
Characters & Development
The Human Torch
In this issue we get to see more of how the human torch is a kid, and as all kids do, wants attention. This story directly builds upon the events of the last, our hero being a boy trying to prove himself. This common theme in growing up stories however has a super human twist. as Johnny storm, the boy trying to prove himself is the super powered human torch. I do not feel that the Fantastic Four have any ill respect for him, as he see’s it. but it does make for a great reason for his continued solo stories.
Namor The Sub-Mariner
Namor act’s just like I would expect him too, he is not evil in this battle, or down right nasty, he see’s the torches actions for just what they are, the acts of a kid. Namor is likely one of the first “likeable” nemesis that comics had. he is not down right evil, or out for things of pure greed. In his own mind there is no doubt he is right.
This issue shows that he is not the villain that others are, and that he is somewhat likable. Dr. Doom would have Doomed the torch for efforts such as this issue, but Namor showed mercy for the boy, and I feel it’s not just for his love of Sue Storm.