Strange Tales #142, Mar. 1966
Stan Lee, writer! (our answer to Bond)
Jack Kirby, penciller! (our answer to UNCLE)
Mike Demeo, inker! (our answer to Brand Echh)
Artie Simek, letterer! (our answer to Rosen)
Extravagantly edited and written by… Stan Lee!
Painstakingly plotted and drawn by… Steve Ditko!
Lovingly lettered and bordered by… Artie Simek!
It’s a little tough trying to remember where I was in these comics a year ago, but luckily it’s easy enough to pick up again. Basically, Nick Fury and Dr. Strange are awesome, and everything else will makes sense eventually. Also, there are just a million things going on in every given panel of this issue, and it’s a crazy difference between the 60’s and modern comics. They just have to tell you every single thing that’s going on, and if they can throw some extra shit that doesn’t matter in the background too, well the more the better.
Mentallo, a guy who can read minds and somehow NOT appear on Johnny Carson, seeks out the underwater lair of the Fixer, a guy who can make all sorts of fancy gadgets. They team up to take out SHIELD, going straight after their headquarters from beneath the Earth. Still, SHIELD is so prepared, there are traps for those who try this subterranean method, but with the combined powers of knowing everything and having an invention for every purpose, they break through them easily. Even worse, they knock out Nick Fury and his squad, then put a fancy mask on Fury himself, making him their brainwashed slave!
Meanwhile, Dr. Strange returns home from all his magic mucking about to find that some dick planted a bomb in his house, just a normal everyday non-magical bomb. As he goes to dispose it, he’s captured by some of Baron Mordo’s minions, and not only put into magical stasis, but put into an iron mask with big iron gloves, so he can’t cast any spells or say anything or see or move whatsoever, and also his cape and amulet are taken away from him. This mildly inconveniences Dr. Strange for a few minutes, but he’s pretty easily able to escape the building they were holding him in, albeit he still didn’t get his shit back, and he has iron crap all over him.
For most superheroes, tying him up in such an all-encompassing way would keep them from doing just about anything, but for Dr. Strange this is going to be a two issue problem, max. Being stuck in an awesome metal helmet and some big dumb iron gloves? Well, all the better to PUNCH you with, my dear! His solution is that he can still turn into his ethereal form, so he basically just uses that to guide himself around. But really, how are you supposed to be expected to keep Dr. Strange tied up? That’s a better effort than what I would’ve come up with.