How Dr. Don Blake and Thor Work With 1960s Marvel Logic

Journey Into Marvel - Part 69

One of those new ever changing powers of Thor.

One of those new ever changing powers of Thor.

Extremites, I was thinking about Batman. The concept of a mortal superhero is ingenious. Batman is full of the flaws of humanity yet he can challenge any mortal or extra skilled foe. He can face a human antagonist like the Riddler and an extra-human like Ra’s Al Ghul.

When it comes to Superman, his antagonists must be more powerful to pose a threat to the Kryptonian. Lex Luthor, begins as a  billionaire with an endless supply of resources and over time morphs into a superhuman cyborg just to keep up with Kal’El. At Marvel, Thor, a god, has this same problem. Read the rest of this entry

The Human Torch is a Punk Ass Kid

Journey Into Marvel – Part 68

Sue Storm being a 'mom.'

Sue Storm being a ‘mom.’

Extremites, I am once again confused as to why Human Torch is considered not only a hero but one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. He’s a prideful, arrogant, and rude character that has more in common with the villains he is defending humanity from than the heroes that are watching his back.

Sensationalism matchup issues are sometimes just too much. I love sensationalism as much as the next guy but I also love story. This story is a standard of matchup issues. Read the rest of this entry

What the Great Marvel Insect Rebellion of 1963 Shows Us About Henry Pym

Journey Into Marvel – Part 67

The Scarlet Beetle readies his forces.

The Scarlet Beetle readies his forces.

Extremites, mark this down. Tales to Astonish #39 is where Ant-Man jumps the shark. Stan Lee and Larry Lieber present us a story, that is so ‘off the wall’ hilarious, the world of Ant-Man has nowhere left to go.

In this story, we see what happens when the human world and the insect world collide. Read the rest of this entry

Getting In Touch With “The Doomside” of Mr. Fantastic

Journey Into Marvel – Part 66

Stan and Jack cower at the face of Dr. Doom.

Stan and Jack cower at the face of Dr. Doom.

Extremites, since his first appearance, where he was upstaged by pirates, Doom has never felt like a decent threat to the Fantastic Four. Although in later years he became that way, Doom began as just another comic villain. However, it’s clear that Dr. Doom and Reed Richards have a special conflict that transcends  personality clash. They personify the battle between magic and science. Read the rest of this entry

Examining The Human Torch’s Paste Pot Pete

Journey Into Marvel – Part 65

Look at this guy...Gimmick.. gimmick, gimmick.

Look at this guy…Gimmick.. gimmick, gimmick.

Extremites, the costumed villain is an absurd idea. A criminal coordinates a theme and then commits said theme into a plan of criminality. Although megalomaniac serial killers like San Francisco’s Zodiac or New York’s Son of Sam do resemble this in their crimes, most crime is faceless and brutal. Comic books embellish criminal acts and put an absurd character behind them. Strange Tales #104 has one of Silver Age Marvel’s most absurd villains at the centre of its story.

Modern Marvel readers will know the name Trapster. He’s a character that has featured in some story in each of the modern flagship line, with the exception of X-Men. In 1963, he went by the name Paste Pot Pete. Pete got his name from the fact that instead of using a fire arm he opts for a hose the shoots paste. This guy threatens people with a gigantic glue dispenser. Read the rest of this entry

How Loki’s Second Appearance Signalled the Coming of a Titanic Change at Marvel

Journey Into Marvel - Part 64

Loki has a Don Blake too!

Loki has a Don Blake too!

Extremites, what is it about Thor and Loki? Loki tries to take Thor’s hammer, either fails or briefly holds power until Thor rights everything and we as fans come back in droves to see versions of this story over and over.

I wrote an article that took Forbes to task for calling Loki “Marvel’s only decent villain.” Forbes is wrong. There’s plenty of decent villains in Earth-616. However, they are correct in noticing the mass appetite for Loki. But why? Read the rest of this entry

Hulk and Yellow Face: Stan and Jack Take On China’s Annexation of Tibet

Journey Into Marvel - Part 63

General Fang... and Yellow Face

General Fang… and Yellow Face

Extremites, you may not have known that in the Marvel/Atlas comic company  all of the creative team, with the exception of those who were to young like Steve Ditko and those who were rated 4-F by the draft board like Stan Lee — served in the military. Knowledge of the military often bled into the creative work of the period. The culture of the military bled in too, and sometimes, that culture was negative. That’s clear in today’s story.

You may or may not have run into a World War II veteran who has trouble discerning cultural differences when it comes to Asian peoples. That is the fault of American and Canadian (for me) propaganda. ‘Yellow-face: a caricature of Oriental Asians is still present, seen recently in Rob Schneider’s character in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. It was very prevalent in the 1940s and the decades after the cultural conscience came to terms with the horrors of that World War. When the Maoists took China this stereotype bled to combine with Communism. General Fang the central villain in this Hulk story is an example of the stereotype. Read the rest of this entry

Examining Tyrannus: The Hulk’s Knockoff Sub-Mariner

Journey Into Marvel – Part 62

Tyrannus is definitely a looker that's for sure.

Tyrannus is definitely a looker that’s for sure.

Extremites, a creative war floods every panel of the Hulk series. That greyish-purple Hyde knockoff monster of Issue #1 has disappeared into an altruistic, albeit selfish, Thing knock off. In comparison with the Fantastic Four series, which predates the Hulk by a few months, by their fifth issue they had solidified character intentions, traits, and even a few arch baddies. In contrast, in Hulk’s fifth we have Hulk who is barely defined as a character, Bruce Banner: who seems to both be a seeker of justice and a character that wants nothing to do with justice, and Rick Jones — I write with biting disdain.

Where’s the villains?

Hulk has no villains! Read the rest of this entry

How the Debut of Amazing Spider-Man Signalled a Coming Change At Marvel

Journey Into Marvel – Part 61

The Official First Spider-Man

The Official First Spider-Man

Extremites, up until now — aside from the tangent into 1963 when I couldn’t find the early issues — we’ve been progressing through the Marvel universe chronologically. The Marvel Universe doesn’t work like this. Some issues and stories occur before each other; regardless of date. This is why Amazing Spider-Man #1, which is issued March 1963, happens here even though my last review was issued December 1962.

SO TO SPIDER-MAN! Read the rest of this entry

Understanding Ant-Man’s Only Nemesis: The Dastardly and Brilliant Egghead

Journey Into Marvel - Part 60

The Marauding Brilliance of the Egghead!

The Marauding Brilliance of the Egghead!

Extremite, American sensibility is said to be different from the rest of the world because it elevates practicality over theory. Americans do things and Non-Americans think things. Although, I dislike this just on the grounds of generalization, I can see what and where this idea comes from.

What does any of this have to do with comics? Read the rest of this entry

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