We hope you enjoyed our little romp through the archives of Marvel’s Strange Tales series this week. To close it out, we present a selection of splash pages that appeared between 1960 and 1962, approximately. You will see artwork from Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman, Don Heck, and Dick Ayers. You won’t find many copies of the originals around any more, but you might get a kick out of Marvel’s high-quality hardcover reprints: Marvel Masterworks – Atlas Era Strange Tales. Enjoy!
What a great page from Steve Ditko! The rest of this issue of Strange Tales is pretty awesome, too – a personal favorite of ours. Jack Kirby and giant ants to lead off!
– From Strange Tales #73; Marvel, 1960
Prototype issue (Ant-Man). “Grottu, King of the Insects!” with pencils by Jack Kirby; “I Saw the End of the World!” with art by Steve Ditko; “I Was Captured By the Mole Men!” with art by Don Heck; “I Am a Walking Time Bomb” with art by Paul Reinman; plus a two-page text story, “The Tree.” Kirby cover pencils. Cover price $0.10.
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!
– from Strange Tales #101; Marvel, 1962.
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.
Let’s set the time machine for 1959! Take a look this week at a stack of Marvel’s Strange Tales. You’ll find fast-paced science fiction stories with an occasional occult theme thrown in for good measure. (Strange Tales ran more horror in the early 1950’s, before the Comics Code Authority nonsense began.) Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby feature prominently alongside other masters of these classic short-form comics.
– From Strange Tales #67; Marvel, 1959.
“Trapped Between Two Worlds!” (art by Steve Ditko); “I Seek the Sea Serpent” (art by Don Heck); “I Was the Invisible Man!” (pencils by Jack Kirby); and “The Man Who Never Was!” Joe Sinnott cover.
Medusa, a member of the Inhumans, comes to New York City to study the humans. She tangles with Spider-man on the rooftops – all a big misunderstanding, of course. Then she decides to study people by… getting a job?! But the sleazebag who hires her to promote his line of hair products only causes more grief for the ol’ web-slinger. We took the liberty of editing out all the sub-plots from this issue so you can just kick back and enjoy Marvel’s hottest heroine and the amazing wall-crawler going toe to toe.