Strange Tales #101: Flamin' 'Eck 2

Strange Tales #101, page 8, panels 1-4 Uncredited Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Uncredited Artist: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: Dick Ayers

Uncredited Letterer: Art Simek

I trust that if you've been listening to the show for any length of time, you'll have an idea of where today's commentary is going...

I really dislike the idea of Johnny being able to create and control flame duplicates. It's one of those things that crosses the line from 'acceptable Silver Age goofiness' into 'downright stupid'. In fact, combine this with Johnny's desire to protect his secret identity, and you have possibly one of most ridiculous sequences in the entirety of Johnny's Strange Tales adventures.

Johnny's smug expression in the final panel at tricking the crowd with the equivalent of inflating a life-size balloon replica of himself and letting it float free just sums up how misguided the whole thing is.

As this is the last entry for this comic, I would be remiss if I moved on without briefly mentioning the climax of the story. The saboteur, obsessed with destroying tall fairground attractions, is the local newspaper editor and a communist spy, eager to cover his tracks because he's stupidly chosen a spot right by the fairground to hand over secrets to the crew of a Red submarine. There are so many things I could go for, so I'll simply ask what kind of secrets might there be in a sleepy New York suburb that Russia would commit a submarine to ensuring their safe passage?

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