Tag Archives: Electro

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.


Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964

Written by: Stan Lee
Drawn by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by: S. Rosen

Man, if this was 1964 and there was anybody who didn’t pick up a copy of this annual, they were missing out in a big way. Not only does it have Spidey fighting the Sinister Six, featuring his six best villains to date, each with their own full-page action shot, it also features cameos from just about every other Marvel superhero (not counting the Hulk or Daredevil) and a short featurette in the end with a fictionalized account of how Stan Lee and Steve Ditko come up with their ideas for the comics. It’s a damn entertaining read.

Spider-Man recalls the time his beloved Uncle Ben dies and how he still feels guilty for his death. Suddenly, his powers seem to go out! Oh shit! This is doubly problematic, as Dr. Octopus has just gathered together a legion of other supervillains, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, the Vulture, Mysterio and Sandman to form what he calls the Sinister Six. Their plan: Kidnap Betty Brant (whom Spider-Man fought Doc Ock to save a couple times) and make him go through them, one by one, weakening him until he’s eventually defeated.

When Electro and the Sandman go to kidnap Betty Brant, it just so happens that Peter Parker’s Aunt May is there as well, making a social call to the girl she thinks has been upsetting Pete. The villains nab them both and stick them in a castle with Dr. Octopus. Even though he has no powers, Spider-Man has to try and save his girlfriend and aunt, so he goes after Electro. During the fight, he realizes that he actually has his powers after all, it was just a psychosomatic effect from all the guilt, and happily cleans up the entire squad of baddies. He finally rescues the girls, only to find that Aunt May has taken a serious shock… she missed the Beverly Hillbillies! But wasn’t that Dr. Octopus such a nice and gracious host?

Just like Spider-Man mentions in the final battle of this issue, the major flaw of the Sinister Six is that they all split up and tried to take him one-on-one, which basically completely defeats the point of teaming up in the first place. Apart from that, this is an excellent issue that’s full of great action, excellent comedy (we spend so much time with J. Jonah Jameson, you know it’s gotta be funny), and just an all-around solid story. Hollywood, if you ever wanted to adapt an old Spider-Man comic into a movie, you could do way worse than just reading this annual.

Daredevil #2, June 1964

Daredevil #2, June 1964

Story: Stan Lee
Art: Joe Orlando
Inking: Vince Colletta
Lettering: S. Rosen

One of the things I like about this review blog format is that I get to include a funny or cool panel from each of these comics, which would be fun enough to do by itself. In this issue, I had to choose between like, sixteen different hilariously bad panels, to finally end up with Daredevil slingshotting an engine at a car with a tire. The rest of them were just barely less stupid.

Our issue starts in the offices of Nelson and Murdock, where the Thing from the Fantastic Four has come by to ask for their legal services. There’s something about a lease and something, but it’s mostly just Ben Grimm making bad jokes. Meanwhile, Daredevil, aka Matt Murdock, blind lawyer extraordinaire, is busting up a carjacking operation, which is apparently run behind-the-scenes by Electro, the Spider-Man villain. Why was Electro stealing… Never mind. When Matt gets back to the office, his partner Foggy Nelson tells him about the FF contract, and Matt heads downtown to do some legal crap.

Little does he know that Electro has already infiltrated the Baxter Building, and has used his power over electricity to disarm all of Mr. Fantastic’s security measures. Matt senses something’s up, so he changes to Daredevil and barges in, engaging in a fight with Electro. Electro manages to knock Daredevil out and stuff him in a rocket, then shoot it into space, so Daredevil (once regaining┬áconsciousness) has to fly the rocket back down to Earth, then hitch a ride on a helicopter so he can drop down on the Baxter Building from above and take Electro by surprise again. Daredevil finally wins the day… but he never got around to doing the lawyer stuff and lost the Fantastic Four as clients! Wanh wanhhhh.

Most of this issue is terrible, like, idea-wise. However, one thing I liked was that Daredevil was constantly saying (in thought bubbles) what it was that he was sensing, so he was able to keep up with the bad guys. Normally this would be annoying, but filling a second issue of a series up with it is a very good idea. It’s pretty much the one place where doing that helps a lot and is interesting. So one point to Daredevil. ONLY ONE.

Amazing Spider-Man #9, Feb. 1964

Amazing Spider-Man #9, Feb. 1964

Written by: Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by: Art Simek

So how is it that Electro, of all people, hasn’t changed his incredibly ridiculous outfit since the 60’s? Is it just that it’s so iconically retarded that you couldn’t change it? Maybe Max Dillion just really likes that hat, or he paid a lot for it and he’s really committed to using it as long as he possibly can.

Peter Parker has a unique challenge in this issue that Spider-Man can’t help with at all: His Aunt May is sick, and she needs an expensive operation. Parker’s only source of cash is the skinflint J. Jonah Jameson, and he doesn’t give loans or advances if his life depends on it. Jameson offers Pete a thousand dollars (exactly the amount he needs!) if he can get proof that the newest electricity-based supervillain Electro is actually Spider-Man in a different disguise.

Spider-Man finds and fights Electro, but he’s outclassed. Desperate, he super-imposes parts of the pictures of Electro with pictures of himself as Spider-Man, then presents them to J.J. as the proof he needs. Aunt May’s operation paid for, Spidey’s free to use his brain to defeat Electro. Turns out all it takes are some rubber gloves and a water hose, and down goes electricity man.

I love this panel. I especially love that it was made so early on, as if to say that the costumed hero/villain thing was kinda silly, even in it’s own world where like a fifth of the population are super powered and they all wear masks. Who the fuck is going to recognize Peter Parker or Henry Pym, anyway? I doubt that the Vulture has a photographic memory of every high schooler in New York’s face.