Strange Tales #102: It's... ASBESTOS!!! 4

Strange Tales #102, page 8, panel 2 Uncredited Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Uncredited Artist: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: Dick Ayers

Uncredited Letterer: Art Simek

(Or is it panel 3? There's a massive chapter heading at the top of the page that I'm not quite sure whether to count as a panel or not...)It's a brand new year, and with Christmas out of the way, it's high time this blog got back to what it's supposed to be doing. So, let's do so with some asbestos.

The Wizard has lured the Torch back to his house (a plot that Marvel surely wouldn't approve nowadays), doused his body with fire-retardant chemicals, and now he locks him in an asbestos-lined prison cell. Now, the US Army tried this (way back in Fantastic Four #2) and it didn't work too well for them, so it's surprising that the Torch is contained for an entire two pages before he escapes.

Now, as any budding scientists reading this blog will know, asbestos was highly prized for its properties of insulation and the fact that it didn't burn. So, the Torch's method of escape - burning really hot - isn't one I'm putting a lot of stock in.

The interesting visual of Johnny's head ablaze whilst his body stays normal comes from the fact that the Wizard only covers his body with the chemicals. It clearly wasn't a popular visual as we would almost never see it again, although it does invite comparisons with Steve Ditko's creation from a couple of years later, The Dread Dormammu.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #8 - with special guest Joshua Lapin-Bertone - on our sixth episode: Like A Puppet On A String