Strange Tales #101: It's... ASBESTOS!!! 2

Uncredited Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Uncredited Artist: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: Dick Ayers

Uncredited Letterer: Art Simek

In his debut story in the anthology magazine Strange Tales, Johnny Storm hits a peak with the usage of asbestos to control the harmful side-effects of his flaming powers.

We see that someone (most likely, given that she is the only person to have shown any evidence of comptency with needlework, Sue) has woven asbestos fibres into his bedspread and carpet. Although given that the carpet is more of rug, one has to wonder what the floor itself is made out of... It is mentioned to be 'non-combustible', which suggests concrete, which can't be the most comfortable material to have for a bedroom floor.

We also have the ominous caption pointing out that pretty much everything in his room has been chemically treated to prevent it from  catching fire at any time. This brings up some interesting questions. First of all, the smell in Johnny's room (which already has a healthy dose of teenage boy) cannot be pleasant, tinged with strong chemicals. Secondly, someone surely has to pop by every now and again to apply a fresh coating.

I love both this panel and the panel we'll see tomorrow. They're great examples of a time when asbestos was a miraculous substance, a cheap method of insulation, and in no way a major public health hazard.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #101 in our fifth episode: The Strangest Tales Of All