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Strange Tales #114: Review

Nov 1963
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Human Torch Meets…Captain America

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Strange Tales #114 Review by (March 8, 2011)
Comments: a) The story was a test to gauge interest in the return of the real Captain America. The real Cap finds out about this adventure in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY #11. The genesis of this tale is related in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY #6. Revelation: Johnny Storm collects comic books. b) Text story. c) First appearance of Victoria Bentley, who does not reappear until issue #160. How did Strange know that snuffing the candle wouldn’t kill him just as quickly as if it had burned itself out? And why was the spell effective on a “mental projecto-image” anyway? Beats me, I don’t understand magic, especially the comic book variety.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Strange Tales #114 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, is speeding around the obstacle course on his front lawn when he is interrupted by his pals bringing big news. The distraction forces the Torch to swerve to miss the boys and he rams into a water barrier. The soaked teens ask Johnny if he remembers Captain America. Sister Sue, hearing this, pronounces all teen-agers nuts and storms off. The guys tell Johnny that the long-lost hero Captain America is appearing at the antique auto show in town, so they all head there, hoping to catch a glimpse of the superhero. At the show, a pair of crooks steals an antique racing car and zooms off, with Johnny in hot pursuit. Suddenly a red-white-and-blue figure leaps from the audience and lands on the hood of the racer—Captain America has arrived. The Torch melts the road to bring the car to a gooey halt but Cap does not appreciate the assist and hurls mud at the fiery teen. While Torch is shooting fireballs (little ones) back, the thieves escape—only to run right into the hands of the police. The two heroes take their separate leaves.

Later, at the home of his girlfriend Dorrie Evans, Johnny reads about the exploit in the paper—and is annoyed at the adulation Cap is getting. Dorrie thinks he’s just jealous of the attractive veteran, making Johnny so steamed that he causes her soda pop to boil and burst. Running for the kitchen, he inadvertently sets the linoleum on fire. She pauses to throw him out while ordering new linoleum over the phone.

Elsewhere, Captain America breaks the two car thieves out of jail and orders them to lead the police on a wild chase while he proceeds with phase two of his plan. The Torch spots the police pursuit and joins in, burning the tires off the car and heating the lake where the crooks try to swim away. When caught, they confess that Captain America planned the escapade to distract the police while he robbed the bank. Torch heads over to the bank in time to see Cap loading the robbery loot onto his floating sky platform. When Johnny intercepts him, Cap takes off in an escape rocket then parachutes to the ground. Cap leads the Torch into a sporting goods store where he employs a huge bow to launch a wet mop into Johnny’s face. When Johnny is dry enough to flame on again, he pursues Cap to the desert where Cap tricks him into the back of an asbestos-lined truck. Recalling his earlier experience with the soda bottle, Johnny increases his heat, causing the truck to pop apart. He then traps the bad guy and unmasks him as Carl Zante, the Acrobat, and turns him over to the cops. At home, Johnny searches his comics collection until he finds the adventures of the real Captain America and wonders whatever happened to the old-time hero….


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> Strange Tales: Book info and issue index


Story #2

The Bridge

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


Story #3

The Return of the Omnipotent Baron Mordo!

Writer: Stan Lee. Plot: Steve Ditko. Plot: Stan Lee. Penciler: Steve Ditko. Inker: George Roussos. Colorist: Stan Goldberg.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dr. Strange receives a late-night phone call form London: Sir Clive Bentley urgently requests his help. Strange agrees to come to his aid, unaware that "Bentley" is really his enemy Baron Mordo in disguise, luring him into a trap. Strange arrives at Bentley Castle and enters to find the place deserted. He then discovers he is paralyzed by the vapor from a magic candle. Baron Mordo enters to reveal that, as the candle burns down, Strange will grow weaker and weaker until it burns itself out…at which point Strange will die. The trapped sorcerer receives a mental message from his teacher, the Ancient One, offering his aid but Strange refuses; he must extricate himself from this trap by his own sorcery to prove himself a worthy disciple of his master. Strange sends out a mental summons for help, which is answered by Victoria Bentley. She arrives at the castle just in time to put the candle out, rescuing Dr. Strange. She awakens from her trance and recognizes her surroundings as her late father’s castle; Strange recognizes that she has a dormant talent for sorcery. Mordo returns and attempts to enslave Strange’s mind, ordering him to kill Victoria as a possible threat. Strange surprises his enemy by walking in the door; it seems that to this point Mordo has been dealing with a mental projecto-image while the real magician took a plane to England. The two sorcerers battle on another plane and the villain is vanquished. Victoria requests to become Dr. Strange’s disciple but he tells her she must wait until he can be sure she is safe from Baron Mordo.

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Jack Kirby
Dick Ayers
Stan Goldberg
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Dick Ayers (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Plot: .

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)

Plus: Acrobat (Carl Zante), Ancient One, Dorrie Evans, Victoria Bentley.