Tag Archives: Beetle

The Fantastic Four Annual #3, 1965

The Fantastic Four Annual #3, 1965

Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by Jack Kirby
Inked by Vince Colletta
Lettered by Artie Simek
Catered by The Bullpen Gang!

The original story in this issue features a whopping 19 superheroes and 20 supervillains, not to mention Uatu the watcher, Patsy Walker (from the girl magazines they did, and a decade before she’d join normal Marvel continuity as Hellcat), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby themselves. I’m not going to mention all of them in my little one paragraph review, but I actually kept track in the tag section if you’re interested, and I’m so sure that you are.

It’s the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, the most beautiful event in any comic book person’s life. Unfortunately, they are comic book people, and that means they associate with a lot of super-powered folks. Also, Richards was mean to Dr. Doom back in college, so he’s decided to invent a machine to make every villain in the area try to kill him. After a ridiculously massive brawl, the Watcher shows up and (without interfering at all) gives Mr. Fantastic a machine that’ll send all the villains back to where they were with no memory of what happened at all. Okay, whatever. The happy wedding goes on happily and everyone is happy forever. Except Lee and Kirby, who are turned away at the door because everyone thinks they’re bums.

The reprint stories are that one awesome issue where Dr. Doom and Namor team up to throw the Baxter Building into the Sun and the two half stories from issue #11 where the Fantastic Four answers fan mail and deal with the Impossible Man. There’s usually another one in these annuals, but the huge brawl took up a lot of space, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Yeah, that’s a dumb ending to this excuse to fit every character possible into one comic book, but who cares? It’s all in good fun, and Giant Man didn’t show up at all, so I couldn’t be happier with it! Plus, his worst enemy, the Human Top, is taken out by a single punch from Quicksilver, who doesn’t even have super strength or anything. LOVE IT.

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Amazing Spider-Man #21, Feb. 1965

Amazing Spider-Man #21, Feb. 1965

Deliciously written by: Stan Lee
Deliriously illustrated by: Steve Ditko
Delightfully lettered by: S. Rosen

I really hate these Spider-Man/Human Torch teamups they’re always pushing. I know they’re the two most popular characters in Marvel at the time, but they just have such an annoying dynamic between them. Nobody likes Spider-Man because they aren’t sure whether he’s a bad guy or not… and because they don’t like him, he’s a dick to them. Not helping your case, Spidey. Though, in the case of the Torch, I really can’t blame him.

Johnny Storm is, of course, having relationship problems with his horrible shrew of a girlfriend, Dorrie Evans. When she has a chance meeting with Peter Parker in the street and he returns the wallet that she drops, she realizes that her boyfriend is a big dumb jerk, and that she wants him to be more like this nice Parker kid. When the Torch visits Pete at school to tell him to stay away from his girl, he decides to fuck with the asshole and hit on his girlfriend while dressed as Spider-Man. They’re all teenagers, okay? It makes sense to them.

Unfortunately, this immature girly issue gets interrupted when the Beetle, lying in wait for the Human Torch, is found by Spider-Man, and they fight. Johnny eventually appears on the scene, once Beetle’s kidnapped Dorrie and ran off, so Spidey has to keep from being attacked by the Torch AND follow the Beetle. Once they finally all catch up to each other, the Beetle goes down pretty easy, and Spidey learns a valuable lesson about not caring about anything the Human Torch ever says or does. A lesson we would all benefit from.

Ms. Evans makes a deal with Johnny that she’ll dump him if he flames on in the next 24 hours, which also just happens to be the timeframe in which two super-peoples are beating the shit out of each other in her back yard. Let this be a lesson to all you secondary non-super characters who know superheroes: If you’re somehow responsible for a superhero not using his powers, YOU will be the one in danger. 100% of the time.


Strange Tales #123, Aug. 1964

Strange Tales #123, Aug. 1964

Written by: Stan Lee (‘Nuff Said!)
Illustrated by: Carl Burgos (who was the first to draw the Torch ‘way back in the Golden Age of Comics!)
Inked by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers
Lettered by: Smilin’ Sam Rosen

Written by: Stan (Miracle Man) Lee
Illustrated by: Steve (Marvel Man) Ditko
Inked by: George (Mystical Man) Bell
Lettered by: Art (Magical Man) Simek

Oh boy, the Beetle. He’s another one of these dumb B-string super-villains that always gets put into big super-villain groupsĀ because he’s just too damn goofy on his own. I mean, look at him! He’s got a purple helmet that somehow makes him three times stronger than normal, big metal wings that let him both fly and dig holes in the ground, and gloves with big suction cups on the end of them that can lift heavy weights. Who comes up with this stuff? Oh yeah, Stan “The Man” Lee. What a crazy dude.

The Human Torch and the Thing are going on a double date with their girlfriends Alicia and Doris Evans, when an idiot in a bright purple bug suit starts causing a ruckus. The Fantastic duo chase the Beetle all over the city, eventually cornering him at the World’s Fair. The Beetle mainly uses evasion tactics to get away from his pursuers, which turns out to not be the most effective thing. Eventually Johnny Storm’s just gonna get bored and try to melt you, and the longer you stay out of his grasp, the more Ben Grimm wants to punch you. You really don’t want to be punched by that guy.

Meanwhile, Loki’s hanging out in Asgard trying to come up with new things to do when he notices Dr. Strange. He devises a plan to pretend to be locked up by Thor, and tells Strange that only his hammer will be able to save Asgard and the world. Strange agrees at first, but realizes that he doesn’t sense any evil in Thor’s hammer, so it must actually be Loki who’s the bad guy. There’s a contest of magic in which Dr. Strange is actually scarily outclassed, but Loki leaves just before Thor gets there, who just wanted to know why the hell his hammer started floating away from him.

So that gives you a bit of an idea about how powerful Loki really is. Basically it comes down to what they say in the comic, despite all his power, Dr. Strange is still a mortal, and even at best he can only fight a losing battle against a Norse god. Luckily magical rulers of other dimensions aren’t as powerful as Loki. Either that, or Dr. Strange just gets more powerful as time goes on. I’m pretty sure that’s the case.