Tag Archives: Mad Thinker

Tales of Suspense #72, Dec. 1965

Tales of Suspense #72, Dec. 1965

Stan Lee, writer
Don Heck, penciller
Mickey Demeo, inker
Artie Simek, letterer

Stan Lee, Sultan of Script!
Jack Kirby, Lord of Layout!
George Tuska, Archduke of Art!
Sam Rosen, Tired of Lettering!

They just keep trying to make the Mad Thinker a relevant villain, but he’s so goddamn useless that he gets beaten immediately and nothing he does makes any sense. For instance, in this Iron Man story he’s approached by a countess to find out Iron Man’s secret identity and she has to pay him a THOUSAND DOLLARS (OOOOO!) for this service, but he first says he doesn’t need money at all then says that he could make more money than she’s even imagined if he wanted to. So… why the fuck is he doing this? Why would the Thinker care about Iron Man? I fucking hate the Thinker.

Iron Man gets home from defeating the Titanium Man last issue, and almost immediately gets captured by the Mad Thinker’s Awesome Android. You know, the big guy with the grey eraser head that he stole from Mr. Fantastic? Anyway, the android brings Tony Stark back to the Thinker’s hideout so he can ask him who Iron Man is (that is his plan), but he manages to get away and turn into his super-powered alter-ego and he beats up the android (who copies his suit’s power because that’s what the android does) and leaves him to die when the building explodes. Aww, poor eraserhead.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Captain America’s WWII exploits that have been going on in this magazine were just tales he was telling to his fellow Avengers. After a bad dream, Cap remembers that the Red Skull once told him that in 20 years there would be three “Sleepers” who awoke and brought the Nazis back… and that it’s 20 years later NOW! Cap boogies over to Germany to find a giant Nazi robot that shoots electricity from its hands is tearing up the countryside, and that this is just the first of the Sleepers. Uh-oh.

I fucking love this giant, goofy Nazi robot. It’s like something out of a 50’s sci-fi movie, except somehow even sillier. It is really nice that the Captain America stories are back to “modern” times instead of WWII adventures, though. It’s just way more interesting when he fights huge robots and supervillains and stuff instead of vaguely evil Nazi commandants with monocles. Seriously, just look at this panel and tell me that you wouldn’t want to read this story. You can’t. There’s no way.


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.

Strange Tales #131, Apr. 1965

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!

Strange Tales #126, Nov. 1964

Strange Tales #126, Nov. 1964

Stan Lee is our inspired writer
Dick Ayers is our admired penciller
Paul Reinman is our desired inker
S. Rosen is our tired letterer

Written by: Stan Lee, prince of prestidigitators!
Illustrated by: Steve Ditko, lord of legerdemain!
Lettered by: Art Simek, nabor of necromancy!

Man, the Human Torch/Thing story in this is fucking retarded, but Dr. Strange is at his absolute best. You can’t imagine how happy I am that Ditko’s finally started drawing a bunch of his insane alternate dimension-scapes. Or maybe you can, once you see a bunch of these things. It’s like… art, man. With monsters and a dude in a cape in them. The best kind of art.

The Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker have teamed up again, with the same exact plan they always have. Puppet Master controls the Thing and has him attach the Torch, who almost dies except the Thing randomly turns back into Ben Grimm so the Puppet Master doesn’t have control over him any more, and he saves Johnny. They go to Reed Richards to see what was happening, and he immediately realizes it was the Puppet Master, because HE’S DONE THIS LIKE TEN TIMES NOW. Reed builds a fancy hat for Ben to wear which makes the Puppet Master’s next attempt backfire on him and knock him out. There’s a handy device.

The Ancient One summons Dr. Strange because of a major danger: the dread Dormammu may be approaching Earth! To give you some sort of scale here, Dormammu is one of the guys that Strange mentions while casting spells. Dr. Strange is completely fearless and just waltzes into this horrible demon of death’s dimension, fighting crazy magic enemies left and right, until he’s approached by a hot chick with some crazy alternate dimensional hair. She warns him that Dormammu wants to kill him (duh), but he doesn’t even give a shit and walks right up to the dude (who’s head is fire) and tells him to leave Earth alone. His response? FIND OUT NEXT TIME!

What the hell went through Steve Ditko’s mind that he came up with some of this crazy stuff? I can’t even come up with a funny quip about it, it’s such a weird and alien series of images that I have no point of reference to come at it with. Maybe if I knew more about abstract art, but I don’t. I can’t even imagine what sort of drugs it would take for images like that to come to your mind, but I’ll tell you one thing, I fucking want them.

The Fantastic Four #28, July 1964

The Fantastic Four #28, July 1964

Written by: Stan Lee (The Leader!)
Drawn by: Jack Kirby (The King!)
Inked by: Chic Stone (The Master!)
Lettered by: Art Simek (The Letterer!)

I think I’ve reached a conclusion: It’s only the comics where Artie Simek letters where there are jokes at the expense of the letterer, so I’m going to say that he’s the guy who, at least partially, comes up with the joke titles. Or maybe Stan Lee was more comfortable making fun of him than Sam Rosen, probably one of those. In either case, I love it.

The Mad Thinker is back, and he’s got another overly complicated master plan. This one involves the Puppet Master creating a doll of Professor X and controlling him, so he can tell the X-Men to defeat the Fantastic Four. However, first the X-Men have to bring the FF to a specific plateau where the Thinker has planted traps designed to get rid of them. Then the Puppet Master commands Professor X to put the X-Men to sleep, and then they win! Except the Beast manages to snatch the doll from the Puppet Master just before he falls asleep, freeing Professor X so he can stop the Thinker’s otherwise unbeatable Awesome Android.

This is a pretty decent issue. Unlike the team-up with the Avengers the Fantastic Four just did, this one had a pretty good reason, and a logical team-up of villains behind that reason. I can totally buy the fact that the Puppet Master couldn’t mind control Professor X without the Thinker’s calculations of using a precise amount of his radioactive clay. That not only explains why he didn’t do it before, but is also a good setup for good ol’ heroes fightin’ heroes. Plus I just like the Awesome Android and his big grey eraser head.