JS: Funny. I feel like I've been in Dimension ZZZZZZ!
JS: I think the contractor used unstable molecules...
PE: I’m staying tuned just to see if Janet can keep from blundering and calling Hank “Giant-Man” when he’s actually “Ant-Man” and vice versa. We’ve been told (endlessly) that, despite his “shrinkage,” Ant-Man retains all the power of his normal sized body when he’s The World’s Smallest Hero. Evidently, that adage does not hold true when Pym becomes Giant-Man, as he seems to have Giant-Man strength. My head hurts just keeping up with all this science.
JS: And if gi(ANT) man isn't enough to excite you, we've got the menace of The Eraser! It sure feels like they've had to come up with 100+ horrible characters to end up with a handful that deserve to stick around.
The Space Phantom can assume any human vessel he desires (forcing the real person into a limbo until the alien takes another form). The vessels he desires at the moment are the newly formed super-group The Avengers. One by one, The Wasp, Hulk, Giant-Man, and Iron Man are possessed by the crafty creature and forced to do battle with one another. It’s only when Space Phantom attempts to overtake Thor, who is a God not a human, that The Avengers are able to send The Phantom into his own limbo. The fighting takes a toll on the group though and The Hulk decides he’s better off a solo act (with no book to go to though). The remaining heroes ponder what may be in store for them in the near future now that the green goliath is roaming the free world without a leash. They’ll find out very quickly.
JS: Yawn! Okay, so at least we got the freakiest looking villain since old Longface himself (The Wizard). But Ye Ole Space Phantom has a Wolverine hairstyle, decades before it would become all the rage.
JS: What's with Thor pissing and moaning about The Hulk's shorts?
JS: Ah, just two issues in, and it's one big happy family.
Amazing Spider-Man #6
JS: Everyone's freaked out by a talking Lizard man, but no one questions the fact that he wears a lab coat and purple pants.
PE: I don’t think it’s spoiling much to reveal that The Lizard will return several times throughout the title in the next fifty years. The monster would get more and more vicious with every appearance, with the professor’s will evaporating each time, culminating in last year’s appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #631. The beast’s savagery hits an all time high (or low, depending who you talk to) when he attacks and devours his son Billy! Not a storyline you’d see developing in the Marvel Age of 1963.
JS: The Lizard was always my favorite Spider-Man villain—I always wanted the Mego doll. I even like him with his early look - the frog-like face. I do think it's kind of silly that when Doc Connors reverts to human form, he's missing the arm again.
The newly formed teenage gang of superheroes faces their deadliest foe yet: a mutant named The Vanisher who can...vanish. When The Vanisher steals top secret files and blackmails our government, The X-Men step in to save the day. But in the end, Professor X must reveal his secret super power to end the threat and return the files to the American government.
PE: I hope that the formula of this strip begins to vary soon. The novelty of watching The X-Men members train in their danger room was interesting in the first issue but a bit repetitive by the second. The in-fighting we have to endure has been done to death two years after the first issue of Fantastic Four.
JS: There were a few surprises—like when Jean places the Angel's admirers atop a movie theater marquee! And when Professor X 'projects' a mental image on the wall!
PE: Most of the Marvel comics characters didn't face their iconic foe until several issues into their run. The X-Men had the unenviable dilemma of unveiling its greatest villain in the first issue. Nowhere to go but down (aka Thor and Human Torch rejected bad guys like The Vanisher).
JS: The Vanisher wins the award for dumbest looking super villain yet.
PE: I'm still not sure why The Vanisher made a big deal of popping into the Pentagon to announce he would be ripping off top secret files in a couple days. Why not just steal them right then and there. A character in the strip actually asks the same pertinent question but Stan Lee's not around to give an answer.
Journey Into Mystery #98
“Challenged By The Human Cobra”
JS: I guess it was a bit early in the Marvel tenure for Jane Foster to go out the way of Gwen Stacy. I'm curious if anyone else had such a flash forward
JS: I thought a tale of Odin fighting Ice Giants would be a surefire winner, however the Tales from Asgard installment in this issue left me wanting.
Also this month