strange tales #122: flame on #67
Rapidly written by Stan Lee
Speedily sketched by Dick Ayers
Instantly inked by Geo. Bell
Lazily lettered by S. Rosen
We're back to Strange Tales today, with a story that quite literally nobody asked for - the return of Doctor Doom's underwhelming henchmen from Fantastic Four #22 (or #23, as the cover would have it). In a move which never bodes well for a story, almost the entirety of the first three pages are flashbacks, with Dick Ayers redrawing the work of Jack Kirby to recap the issue.
Not much better is the plan of the henchmen, which involves one of the trio (Handsome Harry, with his power to hear things) turning up on Johnny's doorstep and enticing him into joining him in a garage to look at a car. With his dark glasses, long coat and suspicious hat, it's very hard to read this scene without remembering the advice of every parent - don't accept cars from strangers. Was it cars? It might have been sweets...
Johnny eventually rumbles the plot against him. And by 'rumbles', I mean 'has the plot revealed to him' and reacts by flaming on. I'm not sure I really like Ayers and Roussos's depiction of Johnny flaming on - he looks like his limbs are too small for his body, and the exterior inking lines are very thick. And why exactly does he fly around so much in such a small space?
Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #122 on our thirty-first episode: Just Three Of The Guys, with special guest-host Shawn Engel.