Tag Archives: Melter

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.


The Avengers #16, May 1965

The Avengers #16, May 1965

Dazzling script by… Stan Lee
Dashing layouts by… Jack Kirby
Darlin’ artwork by… Dick Ayers
Delicate lettering by… Artie Simek

Well hey, it’s about time the Avengers got their sophomore lineup! The original Avengers are great, of course, but they’re honestly just way too damn powerful. I think that was pretty much the idea behind this change, which is mostly just taking out Thor and Iron Man. Also Giant Man, but it’s not like THAT’S a bad thing. Hell, that’s basically giving them team a boost. FUCK YOU, GIANT MAN!

We start by ending the battle from the end of the last issue, where the Masters of Evil think they have the Avengers beat because they’re in the middle of a city, and the good guys are pledged to not hurt any innocents. To everybody’s surprise, Thor just spins his hammer around and transports them all (save the Enchantress and Executioner, who see what’s coming and run away) to another dimension, where apparently attacking hurts yourself. There, the Melter and Black Knight beat themselves up and are easily tied up and shipped back off to jail.

Thor leaves to go do his Trial of the Gods thing in his own comic, Cap’s still in Africa burying Zemo, and the remainder of the team sit down and decide they deserve to take a vacation. Lucky for them, Hawkeye just happens by and applies for membership, and they realize they can just convince some other guys to take their places and they can take a break! When Cap returns, there’s been a changing of the guard. Iron Man, Giant Man and the Wasp are all taking a hiatus, replaced by Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. Thor, well, who knows how long he’s going to be doing whatever crazy god stuff he’s up to, so that’s pretty much the lineup for now.

Did I mention that I’m just super happy that Giant Man is taking a break from the Avengers? The less I have to read of that asshole, the happier I am. Really, this decision to change the team up makes sense from a publishing standpoint, because the members who are leaving are all well-established in their own books, and they’re constantly having to explain why they are or aren’t with the Avengers at any given time. It’s just annoying. Cap’s fine, since his standalone comic is currently taking place back in WWII, so there’s no overlap there. Also, I think it was mostly in reaction to fan mail saying that the three new guys aren’t really bad guys, and they should join up with one of the good guy teams. Of course, from a historical perspective, the three newbies are now thought of as original or classic members of the Avengers, so it can’t be that bad of a decision.


The Avengers #15, Apr. 1965

The Avengers #15, Apr. 1965

Script: Stan Lee
Layouts: Jack Kirby
Pencilling: Don Heck
Inking: Mickey Demeo
Lettering: Artie Simek

Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil are easily the best villains in these early Avengers issues. We’ve got most of ol’ Baghead’s team in this one, too; the Executioner, the Enchantress, the Melter and the Black Knight. All we’re missing is Radioactive Man, but that’s no big loss.

Zemo’s got the gang back together and he’s come up with the perfect plan to destroy the Avengers once and for all: Step one, kidnap Rick Jones, the young friend of Captain America. Step two, do the exact same thing they always do and just straight-on attack everybody. Step three, lose just like always. Wait, shit, there had to have been a better last step to this plan… Really, it ends up even worse than normal, because Zemo manages to get himself killed in a rock slide when he tries to shoot Cap with a ray gun. And, since this is a comic book, he is certainly dead and will always be that way forever. Poor guy. First he glues a bag on his head and now this…

I love this panel. The pretty girl that everyone’s looking at looks like a robot, the fat guy with the moustache and cop are just evilly leering unabashedly, and the other woman in the background just looks annoyed or upset for some reason. Meanwhile, Dr. Don Blake realizes that if this is really all it takes to keep people from noticing him turning back from being Thor, maybe he doesn’t even really need to bother with finding a back alley to change in. I mean, Superman changed clothes in a phone booth, and those things are like 60% windows.


The Avengers #6, July 1964

The Avengers #6, July 1964

Written by the inspired typewriter of: Stan Lee
Drawn by the enchanted pencil of: Jack Kirby
Inked by the gifted brush of: Chic Stone
Lettered by the scratchy pen of: S. Rosen

This is actually a pretty damn good issue. Captain America really easily takes the lead of the group, you get Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil, who consist of old Iron Man, Thor, and Giant Man enemies, and there’s even a cameo by the worst-named villain in Marvel history, Paste-Pot Pete! …I guess that isn’t really something to be excited about.

In Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, we were introduced to Dr. Zemo, a Nazi scientist who invented a death ray. Now it’s twenty years later, in the “present”, and Zemo appears to be the ruler of some small South American village, and also he has a hood glued to his head. We learn that it was because of Zemo that Captain America’s original sidekick Bucky died, and because of Cap that Zemo has a bag glued to his head. Zemo learns that Cap is back, so he assembles a group of former enemies of the Avengers by themselves, the Black Knight, the Melter, and Radioactive Man.

Zemo’s plan involves spraying New York with his special glue, called Adhesive X, which is impossible to dissolve. Cap and Giant Man get stuck in the glue during their first battle with the Masters of Evil, and the Wasp calls in a favor from the imprisoned Paste-Pot Pete, a glue-based villain who apparently has a substance that will dissolve any glue. It works, and Cap comes up with the plan to defeat Zemo: switch up who fights who. For instance, Radioactive Man’s power is that he can repulse Thor’s hammer, so let Thor beat the shit out of the Black Knight while Iron Man uses a radiation-controlling device to trap the glowing green Chinaman. Of course Cap reserves Zemo for himself, and delivers a striking monologue about liberty and justice as he pummels a guy who, and I can’t stress this enough, is so dumb that his HAT IS GLUED TO HIS HEAD. FOR TWENTY YEARS. How does the guy eat, that’s what I want to know.

This is one of the things I really like about Captain America, his little tirades about the American way as he punches the crap out of bad guys. I’ll admit that I’m not the most patriotic man in the world, but still… it’s pretty badass. I also like how Giant Man was helping Iron Man with Radioactive Man, and more or less messed up the plan of fighting other villains because he was too tired to take out the Melter for ol’ shellhead. Oh, Giant Man.

 


Tales of Suspense #47, Nov. 1963

Tales of Suspense #47, Nov. 1963

Written by: Stan Lee
Interpreted by: Steve Ditko
Refined by: Don Heck
Lettered by: S. Rosen

Before you ask, no, I don’t know what those vague credits mean. I guess maybe… Ditko did the layout and then Heck did the inking? Or… they both contributed drawings? I don’t know. I just don’t know, okay? Lay off, man, geez.

Stark Industries are under attack yet again, this time by a villain calling himself the Melter. Guess why he calls himself that. Go ahead, guess. WRONG! It’s because he has a beam that melts things. You weren’t even close. The real identity of the Melter is a competitor of Stark’s who lost all his business to the much better and less evil Stark Industries. So… of course, he’s melting Tony’s shit. He tries to take care of him as Iron Man, but the Melter melts off one of his arms. Good thing he didn’t get any of the molten metal on him…

Stark makes a new suit out of aluminum (dammit, that’s the reveal at the end. Oh well, I ain’t typing it over) and goes after the Melter the next time he shows up, because if he doesn’t stop this guy, he’s losing all his military contracts. Again. This time the Melter’s beam doesn’t do anything to Iron Man (because it ONLY works on iron, I guess) and he runs away into the sewers.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I absolutely love this panel. I’m pretty sure it was drawn by Ditko, because nobody else could make Iron Man look so sad to be rollerskating down the road. Also, what the fuck, Tony, just drive a goddamn car instead of speeding between other cars on your dumb rocket skates. What the hell are you, Wile E. Coyote? Maybe YOU don’t have to worry about traffic jams, but god knows how many accidents you’re causing just by doing that. What a dick.