strange tales #117: it's... asbestos 20
Written by: Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Dick Ayers
Lettered by: Art Simek
The Eel really isn't one of the classic Marvel villains. B- and C-list seems like too good a grade for him as well. He had the curious fortune to first appear in a story written by Jerry Siegel, but completely failed to make any impact in that story. In this follow-up, he does everything he can to goad the Human Torch, then reveals that he thinks he will be OK because he has covered his costume with asbestos grease. For a villain whose only unusual ability is to have a lubricated costume, it has to be said that introducing a fibrous substance to that lubrication seems like a particularly ridiculous move for him. Not only does it act as insulation against the electrical current which he has previously used to shock anyone who touches him, but it also reduces the lubrication of the grease.
Just prior to this moment, there was a particularly suspect moment where he embraced the Human Torch, reminding Johnny that he was a teenager whilst he was a grown adult. It's not a particularly compelling defence to the charges of pederasty...
Check our our coverage of Strange Tales #117 on our twenty-third episode: (Asbestos) Grease Is The Word