Strange Tales #123: Flame On 69 / Flamin' 'Eck 48
Written by: Stan Lee ('Nuff Said)
Illustrated by: Carl Burgos (Who was first to draw The Torch, way back in the Golden Age of Comics)
Inked by: Darlin' Dick Ayers
Lettered by: Smilin' Sam Rosen
Our look at the debut of The Beetle concludes here. Johnny gets a 'Flame On' so underwhelming that I wonder if anyone involved in that panel remembered that this was a catchphrase. Sam Rosen gets some credit for using a heavier brush stroke for these words, but it barely stands out at all.
More interesting is the unusual use of flame that comes from this, as Johnny creates a ring of fire where the Beetle is burrowing away. The wheel excavates the area, exposing the villain. I'm calling it our because earlier in the story, the Beetle had no problem flying or using the asbestos on his armour to withstand the heat. Here, because there's only one page of story left, he just decides to give up and submit to the teen hero.
Can you imagine how ineffective Zemo's Thunderbolts would have been if he'd have recruited this version of The Beetle?
Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #123 on our thirty-second episode: Now With Genuine People Personalities