The Last Human Torch Story

Here's the answer to a weird bit of Golden Age trivia: which two long-running super heroes debuted in 1939, had their last solo story in 1949, and featured the character's origin in both that first and last issue of their anthology titles? The answer is the Flash and the Human Torch. (Somebody will point to … Continue reading The Last Human Torch Story


During this time, I was continuing to regularly pull comics from the Big Bin of Slightly-Older Books that was maintained by my local drugstore chain, which is where I got this issue of MARVEL TEAM-UP. I still wasn't much on Spider-Man, but the Human Torch was my guy, and so it was a no-brainer that … Continue reading BHOC: MARVEL TEAM-UP #39

Lee & Kirby: The Narrative Techniques of Jack Kirby 2

It's been a few weeks since I started analyzing the narrative techniques that Jack Kirby used in a particular story--this meeting between the Human Torch and Captain America (or, more properly, shared the analysis that I developed to show to younger Marvel editors.) And, honestly, part of the reason for that was some of the … Continue reading Lee & Kirby: The Narrative Techniques of Jack Kirby 2

Lee & Kirby: The Narrative Techniques of Jack Kirby

Back in the days when he was the Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics, Jim Shooter had a particular story that he liked to use as an example when explaining to people what he thought needed to be on the page in a well-crafted Marvel story. It was this one, the Human Torch story from … Continue reading Lee & Kirby: The Narrative Techniques of Jack Kirby

Great Covers: Marvel Around the World

One of the many things that fascinates me about the history of comics is the manner in which these stories and characters were exported around the world--the mad, slapdash, haphazard manner in which the Marvel super heroes made their way across the globe. It was typical that color guides might not be provided, resulting in … Continue reading Great Covers: Marvel Around the World

Lee & Kirby & Ditko: The Minor Mystery of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8

The early Marvel titles are filled with all manner of mysteries, large and small. The greatest of these concern who among the various contributors were they key creative minds behind the success of the imprint--and that's a conversation that I don't think is ever going to abate, given that every faction has their own favorites … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ditko: The Minor Mystery of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8


I bought FANTASTIC FOUR #189 at my regular 7-11--I can remember biking home up Granny Road with it. But the book was about to hit a prolonged production snag, as it turns out, and like CAPTAIN AMERICA #216 before it, it was the second seemingly-new Marvel title that would turn out to contain a reprint. … Continue reading BHOC: FANTASTIC FOUR #189


On that same weekly trip to the 7-11 I came across and was delighted by this issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA, a title that I didn't normally read. And it had everything to do with this cover, where, rather than Cap's usual masthead partner the Falcon, the co-star in this particular issue was the Human Torch. … Continue reading BHOC: CAPTAIN AMERICA #216