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Jun 5 08 7:56 PM
Whoosh. For Austex's posts alone, this marathon's gotta keep chugging.
I agree. That's why I would prefer to see the Marathon chug along, even if we don't get SA Human Torch Vol.2 in the immediate future.
All the other stuff is there, and also the Human Torch stories can be obtained elsewhere (Essentials).
Whoosh. For Austex's posts alone, this marathon's gotta keep chugging.
I agree too! I would rather continue with the Essentials if necessary than stop. I am facing the same thing with THOR 2, which is out of print and I
don't have a copy, so I will probably pick up the Human Torch and Thor Essentials just to keep going with the Marathon, unless something dramatic changes
with the next Masterworks Announcement.
Jun 6 08 6:25 AM
Jun 6 08 9:02 AM
Jun 17 08 1:45 PM
Do you mind clarifying which four books are in the next installment? The original schedule shows
PART 30 - 22 June 2007 - TOS #50, ST #117, JIM #101 (IM 1, HT 1 complete)
But that's only three issues....
Jun 17 08 11:51 PM
Yikes--better get my posts up for this one quick (it's been a hectic month). I've actually been working on writing up the family's Spider-Man #9
comments today, as a matter of fact (including the Spouse's views on Ditko vs. Kirby!). If the Mods could put off archiving this section to the
"Marvel Books: Discussion and Review Threads" board for just a bit, I'd appreciate it.
Jun 18 08 1:37 AM
Jun 18 08 1:42 AM
Jun 18 08 1:48 AM
Jun 18 08 1:56 AM
Jun 18 08 3:15 PM
Storytime Comics wrote:
time to gush about another perfect issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Glad to see a return to full-length stories after last issue's two-parter. Lee and Ditko
really know how to craft a 22-page story in this series. Over in FF, the Lee/Kirby full-lengthers sometimes seem a bit padded, but here in ASM the stories
are just perfect. I'd be tempted to give the credit solely to Ditko, but I don't think that Lee was really using the Marvel Method yet, so I have to
give kudos to both of them. Every turn of the plot seems organic and not only advances the story but also develops the characters (Flash is having second
thoughts about Pete, Pete feels bad about cheating JJJ, Max Dillon was a heel even before he became Electro, Betty comes through for Pete but has this
mysterious secret, etc.). Just a great, great read. Oh, and like the other folks above, I love that Spidey doesn't know Dillon when he unmasks him at the
end--another knowing touch by Stan and Steve, once again tweaking the genre conventions.
The art--well, wonderful as always. Even if you give Stan credit for constructing the basic plot, you really have to stand in awe of Steve's
storytelling. I particularly love his panel choices on page 3:
I like how it moves from the long-shot of Peter rushing home with the medicine to the close-ups of Pete worried by her sickbed, then that
wonderful bird's eye view in the center panel that Comicsdad noted, with the heavy shadows (it really conveys Peter's loneliness and anxiety), then
the switch to the villain, seen only from the neck down and then from a distance to build mystery before the close-up of his face and finally the scene where
he's about to strike. Nice, nice, nice. Ditko's pacing is also phenomenal (as usual), building the story with a bunch of eight- and nine-panel pages
to start the issue before opening things up with all those six-panel pages during the climactic battle.
Finally, as a complete aside that I'm sure none of you care about, it occurred to me while reading this issue out loud to my kids that Betty Brant should
speak with a thick Brooklyn accent, kind of like Miss Adelaide from Guys and Dolls (you know, "Take back ya
mink/Take back ya poils/What made ya think/That I was one a' those goils?"). Suddenly, the character really clicked for me. Make of it what you
Always enjoy you and your families comments. This is an enjoyable issue and one of my earliest S-M memories. Ditko provides sensational storytelling and
appears to be maturing with every issue.
As far as plotting goes, it is entirely possible that Ditko plotted this story, as Stan was working Marvel method at this point, at least with Kirby and Ditko.
According to Ditko, he never recieved a complete script from Stan, not even on the five page fantasy stories. Stan provided a plot synopsis and worked that way
with Kirby likely from the beginning as well (Lee's plot synopsis for FF 1 exists). Lee likely began working Marvel method with Ayers, Heck and others when
Robert Bernstein, Ernie Hart and Larry Lieber stopped writing the super heroes and Stan took over all the strips. The plotting on ASM 9 looks very much like
Ditko. The foreshadowing of Betty's troubles and the bad guy as a nobody in particular.
Betty as Flo with a Brooklyn accent works for me!
Jun 18 08 4:59 PM
Jun 19 08 12:03 AM
Spragg wrote: As far as
plotting goes, it is entirely possible that Ditko plotted this story, as Stan was working Marvel method at this point, at least with Kirby and
I didn't realize Stan was working in the Marvel method
so early. Well, then, I guess it's pretty clear why these early Spidey (and Dr. Strange) stories are so tightly constructed: Ditko's a frickin'
Jun 19 08 12:26 AM
Son of Storytime the Elder says about TTA #52's "Wonderful Wasp Tells a Tale":
It was a little weird! When the guy was explaining about the other planets. One planet was where the plant eaters on Earth were meat eaters, and the meat
eaters were plant eaters! It's just really weird! And the place that sounded like Earth, but like hypnotizing
with the flowers! That was really weird.
[Interviewer: Did you like this story?]
Yeah. I liked the part where he explained about the meat eaters.
[Interviewer: Anything else?]
Well, um, the story was kind of bad.
Jun 19 08 12:29 AM
Jun 19 08 12:32 AM
I know I'm biased, but I've got to say I found my son's comments more entertaining
than the story itself. Calling this a throwaway might be generous. As Comicsdad notes . . . it's there.
Aug 19 08 8:49 PM
Aug 20 08 3:35 AM
Wow, I needed this issue of FF so badly. This restores my faith in the early FF. For about eight issues I'd been kind of bored by the series. Without
going back and reviewing, I'd say this is my favorite FF issue since 12-14. I'd have to reread 14 to see if I like it better than this. Maybe this is
my favorite since 9, 10, and 14, and probably better than those. I'm just so glad to read such a good FF story again. At least now I know I'm not
crazy. I was starting to think that I was just not an "early FF guy", and I wondered what everyone else was seeing that I wasn't. But now I think
that there are just legitimately lesser and pronouncedly better issues. To get FF 23 only a "week" after Avengers 3 is a real treat. Just can't
say enough about how great it is to be enjoying the FF again. (And with 25-26 around the corner, this is making for a wonderful little mini-run.)
Part of what makes this story so good is Doom, but actually that's only one small part of it for me, namely the final two pages. Well, that's a lie
I guess. The cover is fantastic. I love this cover. First of all, I wish it was clearer to me who the inkers are for the covers in all the Masterworks. Should
I assume that whoever inked the interior of each issue also inked the cover in each and every case? The credits (before the Table of Contents) don't
specifiy who drew and inked the covers, so maybe I'm supposed to know that the covers are always by the same two artists responsible for the interior.
Anyway, Kirby (and Roussos?) did a really stellar job on Doom's face on this cover. Superb. The eyes, and the nose and mouth, have rarely been so good.
It's the best FF cover in my opinion since FF 16 (Doom again). It's not like I'm some huge Doom fan, but he is the best FF villian so far
obviously, and I guess it's just coincidence that I think 16 and 23 are the best covers so far in V2 and V3. It's because of the facial expression
they're giving Doom on these covers. His eyes and his mouth are just so well done. And 23 has the bonus of one of the best Thing faces I've seen. Very
good comedy mixed with suspense and drama, and all without a word of dialogue! Just look at Thing's expression. It took me a few seconds of actually
studying the cover to see what the danger was for the FF in that room, and once I saw it, I was blown away. This is one cool cover. Can't get over it.
It's also somewhat akin to the cover of FF 5, Doom's first appearance. I don't know if this was a conscious move on Kirby's part or not. But
both covers from 5 and 23 show Doom manipulating controls and watching the FF about to perish in a holding cell. The biggest differences are where Doom and the
FF are positioned on the cover and also the perspective, i.e. this time the reader is in the same room as Doom whereas on the cover of 5 we were with the FF.
Doom's expression is much better this time around. I don't think there's any contest between the two covers, this one is way better, because of
Doom's expression, the nature of the danger, the lack of dialogue, and the colors. I just love it. Oh did I mention that Reed and Sue are clutching each
I'm even having trouble deciding which issue I like better, 5 or 23. 5 has so much to recommend it - betrayal by Ben, the Sinnott inks, the entire pirate
sequences, the arrival and origin of Doom. But aside from the betrayal by Ben, #23 has much more enjoyable interactions and dialogue for the FF, and a more
Hmm, I seem to have neglected to include the Annual in my comparisons above. The Annual was the best FF story I'd read since 14. The Annual is probably
better than 23, but not by a really huge margin.
This was the first time in a good long while that I wasn't bored silly by the "jokes" and the fights between Thing and Torch.
Someone mentioned earlier in the Marathon that the FF left Doom's functioning time machine in Doom's castle at the end of the Rama-Tut affair in 19.
(That was the only non-Annual issue that did much for me in between 14 and 23, although the Thinker had his moments early on.) So it's nice to see Stan tie
up what could have been considered a loose thread. It makes for a good attention-getter on the splash, and a good way to start the storyline of "Reed vs.
the other three".
Before I get into that, I do want to say that I'm getting a little fed up with the inconsistencies of Johnny's powers. The water from a potted plant
douses his entire flame?? Moving on...
Reed: "It's too bad that my so-called partners don't work as well as Doom's machine! Can't you do anything right??...You
were too busy with your childish bickering. In case it's slipped your alleged minds, the work we do here means something!...Am I the only one who takes his
job seriously around here?"
I'm with Reed here. Sometimes it seems like Ben is not even a grown man. I guess he just has too much pent-up energy from the Thing power he hardly ever
gets to use. But he acts like another teenager. I love Reed's phrase "alleged minds".
Ben: "Listen, skinny! I always thought you were a stuffed shirt, and now I'm sure of it! But I'm not takin' that kind of talk from
Reed: "Stop flapping your lips, and get back to work, Ben...and all of you!"
I like this. Some may feel that Reed is unnecessarily brusque or rude, but I think he puts up with a lot from a supposed adult like Ben. I'm kind of glad
to see Reed give Ben a dressing down. But on the other hand, they are all friends, so I can also see that maybe Reed shouldn't sound quite so
Ben: "Mister, that does it! I say it's time we elected a new leader! Hey, listen when I talk to ya!"
What's hysterical here is not only that the rest of the FF think they could lead the team and tell Reed the best course of action, but that Ben tells Reed
to listen while Reed just goes back to his machine and basically ignores them. It's classic. Never have I seen Reed give them the brush-off like this. He
really sharpens his sentiments by completely ignoring their protestations and not even looking at them. I'd like to see this scene adapted somehow for the
third FF film.
Sue: "I can't let my personal feelings for you affect a decision like this, Reed! I agree with the boys!"
Really, I'm laughing.
Wonderful pacing here. S&K pick a great time for a scene shift, a two-page introduction of Doom and his Master Plan to the story. And when the FF are seen
again, everyone but Reed is gathered to vote on a new leader. This implies that Reed never did look up from his machine again. Just classic. Now for some truly
hilarious dialogue and characterization:
Ben: "We each wrote the name of the one we think should be the new boss of the FF! So let's see who's elected and why I was!" What a great
great line! Then they each reveal that they all voted for themselves. This is really too much. It's so funny. Not only the action itself, but the way Kirby
presents it. The panel shows all three hands showing all three slips of paper and their writing. Something about that makes it even funnier. Especially Thing
Ben: "I accept the job with my usual heart-warmin' modesty!"
Ben: "What's your favorite hospital?" Now that is a great line. In my opinion Stan was really really on his game this month. Much
funnier than the usual FF banter.
Reed: "Look at the three would-be leaders of the FF!...you two clowns..."
Johnny: "We both let our tempers get the best of us!"
Ben: "Everyone knows I never lose my temper!"
Reed: "If you think I like being the leader of a group of temperamental primadonnas, you're crazy! But someone's got to
do it, and I'm the only one who can stand you!...If anyone wants to quit, you know where the door is!"
I mean, you go, Reed. You just go. Reed is awesome here. He's really coming into his own. I remember in the very early issuse where he
hardly had any personality. S&K have really honed him and given him a backbone.
Look at Sue's expression while Reed says all this. A great illo of her. Eyes closed in frustration, hands on ears, nice hairdo and dress.
Well it was four issues since Thing had changed back to human Ben. I really did forget how often that happened in these early issues. I wonder if Doom now has
the ability to force Thing to change anytime he cares to whip out the cosmic-beam gun. Why doesn't he use it later in the story? I'd like to hear in a
future story that this was a one-of-a-kind prototype lost in the solar wave, or else craft a whole new story around its use and have it destroyed. This gun is
the equivalent of Banner's gamma ray machine.
A wonderful page of interaction and characterization for Reed and Sue on pg14.
Sue: "I'll thank you not to call me 'dear', Mister Richards! I'm still angry with you!"
I have to laugh. OK, you go be mad, little girl.
Reed: "Just like a woman!! Everything I do is for your own good , but you're too scatterbrained and emotional to realize it!"
Sue: "Oh, go polish a test tube or something!" What a great line. And look at her pose while she says that - haughty, disinterested, aloof. Turning
away with her eyelids drooping. "That man! I know he's right...and that's why I'm angry! If only he understood females better!"
More than any love scene between Reed and Sue (as if there have even been any), this is the best scene I've seen for the two of them in the whole series.
Real human dynamics. Great to see them fighting, if only because it makes them seem so real. And it adds to the depth of the relationship and romance. I
don't usually expect Reed to chance losing Sue by telling her off so demonstratively, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see Sue bring the Namor
picture out of the drawer. Anyway, nice poses and illos of her in both bottom panels of pg14.
I think that Stan's dialogue and characterizations moved up a notch this month in FF, X-Men, and Avengers.
A nice moment when Sue gives Reed a mental acknowledgement and we see that she took his advice even while mad at him. This speaks well of Sue, she's more
mature than the preceding page made her out to be. "Lucky Reed warned me to be on guard! I held my breath while holding the flowers..."
I mean it's already page 16. It's pretty rare for me to not even be paying attention to page numbers like I was in the previous eight non-Annual FF
issues (like watching the clock), and to suddenly notice that I'm two-thirds into the story.
A dramatic plot development now as Reed is fooled by a Doom robot. We get so used to Doom robots that we can hardly blame Reed, but on the other hand, it's
his declared job to know Doom's abilities, and the Doom robots are one of his most obvious talents. But how is Reed supposed to always and everywhere check
for Doom robots? Maybe he should build a device they can all wear that beeps when not detecting lifesigns from the humanoid form in front of them.
Doom: "Too bad you forgot...I'm a master robot designer! But, that one oversight will cost you...your very life!"
One thing I don't understand is why does Doom enter the FF's room again on pg18? Why didn't he just activate the solar wave already?
Ben: "Some crummy way to treat a guest!"
On pg 20, panels 4 and 5, we see evidence that the Thing hit Doom and knocked him off his feet. It's a cool two-panel sequence, because we don't
actually see the blow, but we're led to infer it, because suddenly Thing is in the panel and Doom's feet are perpendicular to the floor. Cool stuff.
Now comes the resolution of the argument from the story's beginning, as we all knew it would:
Reed: "Some leader I'm turning out to be! If not for you three..."
Johnny: "Skip it, Reed! From where I sit, we all need each other!"
Sue: "Reed, darling...I was so worried!"
(If Reed was the sarcastic or vindictive type, he could say, "I'll thank you to not call me 'darling', Miss Storm!")
Kind of a good moment at top of pg21 when Doom lands a good one on Ben.
So now...the solar wave from that great cover.
"The floor is dissolving! And you can see outer space outside!...Space is closin' in on us!!" We get about four really really good illustrations
of this. It almost reminds me of a Doctor Strange illo. I love these four panels, Kirby did a pretty nice job with it, the ragged edge of the room getting
closer and closer to the FF. I like the visual effect of the stars and planets in the same panel as the walls and floor of the room. The best panels are when
Doom has one leg in and one leg out, and the one at the bottom of the last page where there is only a little section of wall left and Thing is dangling in
outer space. It's a great visual and concept to imagine for real in your mind's eye, and I also like how the room rapidly dwindles and disappears just
as the story does the same. The room and the story run out at just about the same time, like they're both squeezed out of existence by the page itself.
Sue saves the day yet again (is this getting to be a habit?) by trapping Doom, knowing that if there's any chance of escape, Doom will now be forced to
Doom: "The world must not lose a magnificent brain like mine!...Keep away, you brainless gargoyle!...Hellllllp..."
Yet another classic "death" for Doom to escape from. This is one of the most entertaining features of the series. This one was a doozy right
up there with #6, #10, and also Puppet Master in #14.
Maybe it was just because I liked the script so much, but Roussos seemed to do a better job in this issue, not making the inking so noticeable in a bad way.
I'll be able to read 2 or 3 slightly boring FF issues now, just because I have this one to look back on, like a satisfying meal. So 24 and 27 and 28 can
all be duds for all I care.
Aug 21 08 12:46 AM
Aug 21 08 1:39 AM
I think we can thank the Wasp for actually defeating the villain (first I thought he pinched the Black Knight's butt, but then I realized that
she pinched the horse
on page 16, for example. Look at the way Giant-Man's body turns! It's just impossible
The past few months the Comics has had a "can you identify Ditko's planted character and appearances" contest in the letters section.
It has not concluded yet, but when it does it should clearly identify Osborne as the Green Goblin.
Something that struck me this month was, from the moment Doc Ock went insane and became a super-villain, Stan Lee never brought it up again. Before
his identity was revealed, there was no hint (if you don't count that costume) that The Green Goblin was insane-- in the Ditko stories he always struck
me as a clever, scheming, ambitious would-be mob boss. I wonder if, once Ditko left, Stan got his villain's states-of-minds confused?
Reminds me of Peter Cushing's "explaining" why the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside in the movie DALEKS' INVASION EARTH: 2150 A.D. Total gibberish!
Is there something funny with perspective where Johnny and Sue are?
Aug 21 08 7:56 PM
Something else that amused me was when JJJ said he was going to sue Pete.
Does he think that this teenager who lives with his old aunt has tens of thousands of dollars socked away??
What's even funnier is that maybe JJJ feels that he, in his infinite generosity, has actually paid out that much to Pete over the course of their
association. Selective Memory Syndrome.
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