Just added a new post to my blog, this one spotlighting the often-maligned JOHNNY STORM, THE HUMAN TORCH series.  The first 5 covers (so far), lovingly restored, in all their 4-color glory.
 

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I didn't think that was right, Luke, but I didn't want to say. ;)

It's good to speculate though. :D

George, I think you've got the general idea right,  but what i recall from writing from Evanier, is that it was a call or order from Goodman, panicked by reports of a new competitor gearing up, that mandated a slew of new ideas for books.  And Stan and Jack responded, started lining up ideas.  Just as soon as they got them together, the crisis was over, as the rumored entry by the competitor fell flat... and so, Jack had a lot of new concepts and characters to play with in the FF...and over time, they were worked in.

It was Goodman who backed off, after initially calling for the new books.

George Poague said:

According to "Marvel: The Untold Story," Lee and Kirby planned to introduce the Inhumans in their own title. But the distributor said no; Marvel was allowed only 8 titles a month then. So they debuted as supporting characters in the FF, and finally got half a book (in Amazing Adventures, IIRC) in 1970.

It's to Stan and Jack's (mainly Jack's I know) creativity and resourcefulness they would have come up with such interesting concepts as The Inhumans and an African super-hero (by whatever name), and was there to be a Wyatt Wingfoot book as well, I read? Rather than just come up with, say, solo stories of the FF or X Men members or another Spidey title. Something innovative rather than the already tried and familiar.

Me, probably. :) I was looking through my Essential FFs and noting how ruinous those inks were. What a pity after Dick Ayers and before Chic Stone. That cover is actually not half bad though, to be fair. The Thing has a 3D quality.

As I've previously told Robin, I have a sentimental attachment to Strange Tales 134, the last Torch issue. This is because it has my (I think only) published letter to the editor. I was complaining about the quality of the Torch/Thing stories. Their answer was that they were introducing big changes in the next issue.

Figserello said:

The one thing that kept boggling my mind was the amount of asbestos Johnny exposed himself to in the 60's. Even his house and all its furnishings were made of the stuff!! He should have died of cancer of the everything long ago.

Back then asbestos was viewed as a great thing. I believe it was the 1980s when it was determined to be toxic.

How funny.  I scored that issue at a flee market, and always thought that it was Kang's image on the front cover (Like in the Avengers #23) instead of the Watcher.  I guess the artwork style inside was  SO strange that I couldn't quite recognise what was going on.  It certainly felt like an odd episode.  And even the one or two before, "Prisoner of the terrible Time Trap" or something and even the appearance of the Puppet Master just threw me for a loop.  At the time, I hadn't recognised that it was the final Torch/Thing story, or that Nick Fury was about to replace them.  But I didn't get any other issues in that title until well after 150 and Steranko was starting to draw.  At least, who ever had bought the comics before me and donated them to the flea market had those tastes. 

Richard Willis said:

As I've previously told Robin, I have a sentimental attachment to Strange Tales 134, the last Torch issue. This is because it has my (I think only) published letter to the editor. I was complaining about the quality of the Torch/Thing stories. Their answer was that they were introducing big changes in the next issue.

 

 

And, Yes, George, you've nailed my understanding of why the Inhumans, Black Panther, and Wyatt were all developed. That's the story as I undersand it.  I don't think it quite plays that way in "Marvel Comics: The Untold Tale", but it is essentially the same explanation.

That was one of the scariest comics I ever owned, because of that giant robot that's threatening from behind. Plus, i could never figure out who that guy with the walkie talkie was in the back.  I thought maybe it was Wyatt Wingfoot, cause he showed up in the last issue in the lot that I initially bought.

I always felt that the Rabble Rouser was basically the Hate Monger and Psycho Man in another form.

Just take that cover, and shave the mustashe down to just a small upper lip brush, and give the guy a hair cut, and you'll see that he's really just another Hitler clone that has dressed in more modern/Mexican style for this appearance!

I remember someone pointing out that "The Rabble Rouser" started life as a sequel to "The Hate Monger", but somehow got changed.  But if you look, BOTH villains not only have the exactly same M.O., they both use the exact same piece of heavy equipment-- the "thru-the-ground-tank"-- which appeared a 3rd time used by The Fixer & Mentallo in ST #142.  The Fixer tells Mentallo that he got it from "Them".  This means, really, he got it from Hydra.  Do you think Adolph Hitler knew Baron Strucker was supplying his terrorist outfit?

Courtesy of some encouragement by my impatient daughter, and paint and photoshop, perhaps he should have looked more like this.....

OMG! They killed J.Jonah Jameson!   Those bastards!


Robin Olsen said:

Yeah, well he's got ANOTHER double NOW! Thanks, Kirk. Thanks a lot!

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