Strange Tales (Vol. 1) #125

Credits:

Cover Date: October 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

“The Sub-Mariner Must Be Stopped!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Dick Ayers

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Dick Ayers

Inker: Paul Reinman

“Mordo Must Not Catch Me!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Steve Ditko

Inker: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)

What’s Going On?

In “The Sub-Mariner Must Be Stopped,” The Human Torch and Thing decide to fight Namor, without the aid of their fellow teammates in the Fantastic Four.

In “Mordo Must Not Catch Me,” Baron Mordo has captured the Ancient One, and Doctor Strange must battle to save his mentor’s life.

Details:

In “The Sub-Mariner Must Be Stopped”:

    Ben and Johnny were upset when some reporters showed up to the Baxter Building and didn’t want to interview either of them. When a proximity alarm notified them that Namor was approaching New York harbor, they decided to attack him on their own, and not notify the rest of the Fantastic Four —- that way, they wouldn’t have to share the media’s attention as much.

  • Attacking Namor head-on in the water isn’t a great idea, though. When he notices their ship speeding toward him, with no indication of stopping, he simply sinks it.

  • The three fight for a bit, with Namor relishing the action and taking great joy from pummeling the Thing. Eventually, a news helicopter notices the battle and broadcasts the location; this grabs the attention of Me. Fantastic and Invisible Girl, who rush to the scene.

  • When Namor sees the Fantasticar approaching, he quits the fight and swims away, upset.

  • It turns out that Reed had invited Namor to make peace with the Fantastic Four, and these two boneheads just ruined everything!

In “Mordo Must Not Catch Me”:

  • Baron Mordo appears in Doctor Strange’s sanctum sanctorum, boasting that he has captured the Ancient One, and is now more powerful than Doctor Strange.

  • The two sorcerers begin to battle, and quickly assume their ectoplasmic forms to battle on a plan of existence where there will be no innocent victims. No matter where Strange went, though, Mordo was able to follow.

  • Strange had an ulterior purpose for flitting across the globe, though. He was searching for —- and found —- Mordo’s hidden base, and the Ancient One!

  • Despite Baron Mordo’s strength, Doctor Strange seems to have an edge.

  • Having defeated Mordo, Doctor Strange frees the Ancient One. At the Ancient One’s insistence, they leave Mordo without taking retribution.

Is It Good?

It’s okay, but not good. The first story is fairly dumb, as either side could have stopped the fight if they had only stopped to talk. I especially dislike the fact the there will be no repercussions for the Torch and Thing acting like idiots.

The Doctor Strange story isn’t much better. The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense —- why does Mordo try to distract Strange, or attack him in his sanctum sanctorum? —- and the action in the story is kind of dull. Still, a below-par Ditko story is still visually entertaining, so it’s certainly not bad.  The art is a little worse than usual, since Ditko isn’t inking his own pencils; the rendering and detailing that are hallmarks of Ditko’s work are missing here.

Continuity:

  • Namor last appeared in X-Men #6.
  • Namor uses his electric eel abilities again.

  • Baron Mordo last appeared in Strange Tales #121.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • BAH!

  • BAH! Again!

  • The Thing and Human Torch ruined peace talks with a powerful nation. And this is their reaction? I really wish there was some awful fallout from them acting like idiots.

  • Uh…that’s not the Eye of Agamotto. That’s the Orb of Agamotto, dunce. Obviously.

  • What is going on with Baron Mordo’s hair in this issue? It looks like he’s wearing an elbow-skin-hued swim cap, with some hair sticking out.

  • BAH! Yet again!

<<<Strange Tales #124

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