Strange Tales #131, Apr. 1965
Story by: Stan (Prolific) Lee
Illustrations by: Bob (Terrific) Powell
Delineation by: Dick (Specific) Ayers
Lettering by: S. (Hieroglyphic) Rosen
Written in a Stygian Swampland by Stan Lee
Drawn in a Dismal Dungeon by Steve Ditko
Lettered in a Conjurer’s Castle by Artie Simek
So, the Mad Thinker is the worst comic book villain ever, right? I’m not alone in thinking this? His “power” is that he can predict things that couldn’t possibly be predicted, and yet he’s always foiled because he failed to predict something. That’d be like if Magneto couldn’t actually ever affect magnetic things, it just means you’re fucking bad at what you do.
The Thing and Human Torch stop a bridge from being destroyed, accidentally foiling a plan of the Mad Thinker’s to steal some money. In revenge, the Thinker builds a mechanical ball meant to take out the superheroes and lures them to a dam so he can kill them once and for all. His plan immediately fails, and instead they have to stop the ball from destroying the dam. More like the Mad SUCKER! OH BURN!
Dr. Strange is still in Hong Kong, chased by Baron Mordo’s little flying ghost ninja guys. Strange decides the best way to avoid detection is to take the most obvious course, which is to just take a plane back to the States. When the ghosts find him, he uses his astral form to disguise himself as one of them, and sends the rest back to their master. Pretty clever guy, that Dr. Strange fella.
One thing I’ve noticed with the Thing is that he’s constantly doing comic relief, but then the other members of the Fantastic Four will retort with, “oh, come on Ben, you know all about this whatever machine, blah blah blah.” Look, guys, maybe he genuinely doesn’t care about being invited to the opening ceremony of a dam. Maybe he doesn’t actually know anything about quantum physics. Or maybe he does, and he just would rather not talk about it all the time like the rest of you boring people. LEAVE BEN GRIMM ALONE!