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Dig these two short stories from Strange Tales #101. The issue also had two Human Torch stories that guest-star the Thing, marking the debut of the Torch’s popular run in this title. We like these sci-fi/occult backups by Steve Ditko and Don Heck. The splash pages are super fun, and the stories aren’t bad either!

Collector’s Guide:
– from Strange Tales #101; Marvel, 1962.

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If you like What is X-35, you may also enjoy a similar but wordless treatment by Thomas Ott in the even-creepier The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8. (It’s sold out at Fantagraphics currently but is scheduled for reprinting in a soft cover edition in 2014. Until then you can see some other samples of Thomas Ott’s works in our archives.)

More about Strange Tales #101:
Human Torch solo series begins in “The Human Torch!” Plot by Stan Lee, script by Larry Lieber, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers. Fantastic Four origin retold. Also in this issue: “The Impossible Spaceship” with art by Don Heck and “What Is X-35?” with art by Steve Ditko. (Lee and Lieber may have written these last two stories.) There is also a 2-page text story, “Sdrawkcab.” Kirby/Ayers cover. Cover price $0.12.