Review: Captain America #600

You’ve got to hand it to Marvel. Even though most of their comics cost 3.99 now, they always make sure you get your money’s worth on the big, anniversary issues. Captain America #600 is a billion pages long, and features an army of artists, most of them great. However, even with all the weight and pretty art, is the giant page-count necessary? I actually don’t think so.

We start off with a two-page reprint from Paul Dini and Alex Ross. It’s great, but it’s a reprint, so who cares? Up next is an “In Memoriam” story (I’m saving Brubaker’s tale for the end). It ends well, but it goes on way too long, and is ultimately just filler. After that comes a story from Mark Waid and the newly Marvel, Dale Eaglesham. This tale promotes memorabilia, and, especially after seeing Pixar’s “Up,” that message seems worthless. The real treat here is to get an early peek at Eaglesham’s Marvel work. It looks great, as always. What follows is a brief letter from Captain America creator, Joe Simon. It too is meaningless filler. And, of course, the issue ends with an old Captain America reprint written by Stan Lee. The problem? It’s not drawn by Jack Kirby! The Kirby estate must have a problem with Marvel. Otherwise, why in the hell wouldn’t Kirby’s art be part of a Captain America anniversary issue?!

Final Word on Bonus Stuff: Skip it, unless you really, really want to see a brief, but bad, Mark Waid and Dale Eaglesham story.

Now, onto the main event. Well, seeing as how this issue came with the Captain America: Reborn news, and the fact that issue #50 didn’t contain anything big, and the expectation that a big, anniversary issue would contain some startling events, you’d think the world would explode, right? Nope. This is one of the two major problems I have with Brubaker’s Cap. It’s too much setup and not enough payoff.

Having said that, I really don’t have many complaints about the story itself. Just, for the love of God, don’t expect anything big, only hints of big things to come. Actually, without all of the hype, this would probably be one of the better Captain America issues. Multiple artists are on board, and if the guests aren’t better than the regular team, at least they don’t suffer from the horrible Frank D’Armata coloring. My favorite guest, of course, is David Aja (Get him a good, regular gig, Marvel). He illustrates a wonderful Crossbones and Sin segment. My other major problem with Brubaker’s Cap is Bucky. Since this issue contains multiple perspectives, we only see a little of him, and we’ll hopefully see even less in the coming months!

Final Word: Stellar main attraction, but due to the bloated page number and price, this issue’s overall quality suffers.

Grade: B-

For more comic goodness, go here.

The best Captain America bonus:

Review: Thor #600


The best issue of Straczynski’s Thor is here! But, I haven’t been a fan of his run at all, so that’s not saying much. Kudos to Marvel for offering an anniversary issue that is near irresistible. You get a double-sized issue of your scheduled programming, plus a ten or so page tale by Stan Lee and David Aja. Some humorous Mini Marvel action and about twenty pages of Lee and Kirby reprints round out one hell of a package. Though tossing a fin will be troubling, you do get 104 pages for your cash.

Straczynski’s Thor has been meandering and depressing. When Thor re-launched, I gave the first three issues a shot. The first issue was decent, but the second and third were incredibly awful. I later borrowed the first trade and still found it to be bad. Fortunately, the last six issues have been better, but Straczynski’s Thor has got to be one of the most overrated runs that I know of.

The issue begins with a resurrected Bor, Odin’s father. He’s wreaking havoc on New York due to a distortion spell from Loki-Sif. Basically, Loki puts Thor in an unwinnable situation and the rest of the issue is smashing, bashing, and thunder. That makes for a nice jumping-on point as well, since this issue is mostly action. The story, what little there is, is pretty good. It sets up a new status quo for Thor firmly based in Marvel’s Dark Reign for better or for worse. This title has struggled between Straczynski going off on his own, and the fact that Asgard is in Oklahoma. Whether it was Straczynski’s decision or Quesada’s, the future for Thor lies in continuity.

The battle itself is mostly spectacular. Coipel makes this book his own and begs even those most disenchanted with what Straczynski’s doing, like yours truly, to purchase this book solely for the art. Marko Djurdjevic joins Coipel this time, but the two don’t perform randomly like Land and Dodson did on Uncanny X-Men #50o. Coipel handles the normal stuff while Djurdjevic renders Bor’s spell-induced nightmare. Both artists did a remarkable job. Coipel shows the action, emotion, and even an “Avengers Assemble!” masterfully. And Djurdjevic has a lot of fun demonstrating Bor’s distortion, like when Spider-Man appears to be Venom in Bor’s lens.

My main complaint with Straczynski’s tale is perhaps the direction it’s taking. The Dark Reign moments were my least favorite parts. When Thor cries “Avengers Assemble!”, only a few jokers show up. I won’t spoil it, but why would only those guys appear? There must be close to a hundred heroes, and villains actually, that could’ve answered the call. It’s a ridiculously contrived moment. The status quo change is interesting, but the guest appearance on the last page is not. You can count him on your “most appearances in Dark Reign list” along with Osborn.

The bonus material is fun. The Lee/Aja tale is much like the main one; you can ignore the words and just gaze at the art. Aja produced some amazing work and Lee’s “story”… is pedantic to say the least. Thankfully, we’re also treated to some classic Thor stories as well where Lee redeems his good name. Stan Lee is in top form in these reprints and Kirby is, as always, the king, though these are some of the Vince Colletta-inked issues that are very controversial among Kirby fans. The last addition, by Chris Giarrusso, is hilarious. It pokes fun at Straczynski’s run so as you can guess, I had a blast.

The love outweighs the hate here. Marvel offers quite a hefty tome filled with glorious art that makes up for a bit of lackluster story. Good anniversary issues are rare, but you can count Thor #600 among them.

Series Review: Amazing Fantasy #1: “TORR”


The story of Torr is one of intergalactic frustration and interspecies penetrations:



…erm. Hrm. Uh, what? Did that—I mean, did that just happen? Amazing fantasies indeed.


Later, much later, after the rape, Paul Ramsey (that’s the blond guy in the rape scene) gets a hold of a policeman’s gun. What does he do with it? I’ll let Paul explain in his own words:




So, what have we learned? Sexual assault by a giant orange alien man will lead to “saving the world” and this:




No reason? Paul, did you hear that jive? Don’t they know about the anal ruptures? The bleeding? The pain and suffering that will last years after the insurance stops paying for the therapy?  Well, he gets his revenge at least, and that my friends, is something we can all get behind.

Get it? Yeah! Did you see what I did there? Oh, yes. I know you did. Perv.

The Archives: Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Part 2

This is a bit of a strange one as you can tell by the cover. Supermen, multiple Jimmy Olsens, and a Hulk like Jimmy. This was some of that Countdown bull but handled much better. Also, I like how Superman is being handled in this book. He’s not just a famous cameo, he plays an important role. Still, this issue was a bit silly, but that’s the beauty of it. It seems to have a point, and craziness with a point is brilliance isn’t it? Plus, the art is still pretty and that is always a plus.

Forever People v.1 1.jpg

This is another enjoyable read. There are a lot of first appearances in here which are always fun to see. Still not a lot of back-story, but that’s fine. You can tell that Kirby wants to write a lot about these characters and doesn’t want to reveal too much. Superman is in this one too. It’s always good to have a star link your stories together. This is a genuinely intriguing and entertaining story. The highlight to me was the first full appearance of Darkseid. We get to see him in person instead of through a tiny screen. I love to look at a famous icon when he was being developed. Darkseid has little eyes that are normal human looking instead of red. He also has a cape. Yes, there is a lot to love in here.

The Archives: Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Vol 1

For those of you who have been enjoying my Fantastic Four Omnibus reviews, I apologize but that has to take a back seat for a while. However, if you’re looking for old school Kirby, look no further because I will be reviewing these omnibus books for a while. If you’ve been paying attention to DC lately, you’ll notice that they are drawing heavily on Kirby’s Fourth World. I’ve never read these stories before and so I thought it’d be very topical to read and then review them on here. Oh and same deal, these are classics so no stars. Go out and read them!

This was one jam packed issue! Jimmy hangs with the Newsboy Legion. They have a new Whiz-Wagon. Morgan Edge has control of the Daily Planet. The Newsboy Legion enters the Wild Area. They take out a dude and then Jimmy is the new leader of the “outsiders”, no not the Batman ones.  Oh yeah and Superman is in it too! Like I said this is a bunch of good stuff. I’m also enjoying the subtle things in here. The Wild Area is Vietnam. Kirby is commenting on youth with the Newsboy Legion. Superman is the old man who is adjusting to the times, he even runs into a hippie like character. I love all the crazy gadgets and you can tell Kirby is responding to technology. If this any indication of the upcoming issues, it’s easy to see why these are classics.

I still love this stuff. This probably wasn’t as good as last issue, but it’s more important. Yes friends, this is the first appearance of Darkseid. It’s in a little T.V. device so you just see his head. Still, it’s a pivotal moment in comics to me. Darkseid is one of if not supes’ best villain so that alone is awesome. Darkseid also inspired Thanos and Mongul, two other villains I like. Also, I didn’t mention it in the previous issue, but Kirby’s visuals on this book are stunning. As I mentioned, Kirby is drawing lots of technology and gadgets and some of them are pure gorgeous. There are two pages of visuals in here using a technique that I’ve never seen in a comic before and they are mind blowing. This is truly an impressive issue.

Bruce Castle Archives: Fantastic Four Omnibus Part 6

Before this issue we get another introduction by Stan Lee. The first story in this issue is a fun one. It has the first appearance of Willie Lumpkin. It is mainly a story to address all the questions and concerns the fans have had about this book. It begins with the FF walking by a newsstand with people buying their comic. That should let you know what you’re in store for. The second story features the first appearance of the Impossible Man! Oh yeah! This is the one you’ve been waiting for! Ok, maybe not. Still, this is marvel’s answer to Mister Mxyzptlk. It’s a fun zany story. Certainly not the best but it’s not the worst either. Overall, this is a good solid issue. We get a pin-up of the Sub-Mariner and the letters column is expanded to two pages.

This is the first time the Thing fights the Hulk! Sadly, it’s not quite as impressive as I thought it would be. Like FF #6, the Fantastic Four take a back seat to a guest hero. This time it’s the Hulk and at this point, he’s not nearly as interesting or as well-written as Namor was. I don’t think Stan Lee was writing that great of a Hulk when this issue came out. Still, the story is certainly intriguing, Kirby’s art is fantastic, and the Thing even beats the Hulk!

Bruce Castle Archives: Fantastic Four Omnibus Part 5

This is a fun issue. First off, the FF has money problems! Yes this is just one more thing that made the FF great, they argued, they didn’t really want to be heroes, and they even had money problems. There are some genuinely funny moments in this issue and of course we also get some action. Jack Kirby’s art is great as always. The only thing that is a bit weird is that Namor was pretty much a hero when he last appeared. But in this issue he seems to have misplaced his nobilities. At the end, we get another Feature Page that gives more details about the Human Torch.

This is the first appearance of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! Wait, what? Yeah they make an appearance in this issue. In a pretty zany way too, oh well that’s what’s great about the Silver Age right? Doom’s character begins to evolve into the one we know today. He goes from a villain who shares a past with Reed to a tormented figure obsessed with destroying him. Kirby’s art is stellar here. I personally enjoy how he humanizes Doom. The facial expressions between Reed and Doom in this issue are fantastic! We also get a pin-up of the Invisible Girl.

Bruce Castle Archives: Fantastic Four Omnibus Part 4

This is a bit of a silly one. This features Kurrgo, Master of Planet X! I think that the name of the character alone pretty much lets you know what’s in store for you. It’s a bit funny that after such a great issue last time, we get this questionably good story. Oh well, there is some great Kirby art and the comedic magic of Kurrgo! But other than that, we kind of have a goofy sci-fi story. Oh well, it was the 60s.

Ok, now this one is more like it. This features the first appearance of Puppet Master and Alicia Masters. They’re actually still around unlike old Kurrgo. This was a pretty good story that had a nice fast pace. Alicia Masters was a welcome new character and the Puppet Master is a fun cool villain. This story has an especially good conclusion and after last issue, this certainly does seem like great stuff. At the end we get a nice Feature Page that describes in detail some of the things about Human Torch. It’s kind of funny, one of the people in the letters page says he wants a Fantastic Four movie. That poor guy has a long wait ahead of him. And when he finally sees it, he may be a bit let down.

Bruce Castle Archives: Fantastic Four Omnibus Part 3

First appearance of Doom! Yes the best FF villain has made his appearance. This issue was pretty good. The art is really starting to get fantastic now. You can tell that both Lee and Kirby are refining the character of Doom. Considering the large amount of diabolical schemes this villain has concocted over the years, this one seems a bit silly. It’s still a lot of fun though. Especially what happens to Ben. The letters are still intriguing. The highlights are someone complaining about the fact that all the FF’s identities are known and a guy who asks why the Thing has four fingers instead of five.

Why not take your two best villains and team them up? That’s exactly what happens here and it happened quickly. Doom just made his debut last issue. This story is really good, it’s really starring Namor though. He’s the most interesting thing about the issue. Doom gets more evil which is always a good thing right? This seems to kind of be a test story to see if Sub-Mariner could have his own book. If it would have been done by Lee and Kirby and I would’ve been alive back then, I probably would have picked it up. This is a great issue.

Bruce Castle Archives: Fantastic Four Omnibus Part 2

Unlike the last two issues, this one doesn’t really have that impressive of a villain. This issue features the debut of Miracle Man, who is not nearly impressive as the Mole Man or the Skrulls. This issue also has the first appearance of the Fantasticar, the Pogo Plane, the Baxter Building, Fantasti-Copter, Fantasti-Car, and the Fantastic Four uniforms (yay!). The famous tag line of “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!” was added. Well, in this issue the tag line was “The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World!” but it’s the same thing. Oh and the issues got more expensive.

Sadly, the Miracle Man kind of brings this issue down a bit. He doesn’t really have any important motivation, nor does he really have impressive powers. Is this Stan’s way of making fun of magicians? The art is still developing. The Thing even has a helmet and his chest covered in here that you don’t really see much of again. Still, Kirby does a fantastic job. A monster and the interior of the Baxter Building really look impressive.

The FF argues in this issue more than ever before, The Human Torch even leaves the team by the end of the issue. There’s a pin-up page of the Human Torch on the last page. The first letters column is also included in here. A letters column in a collection is rarely seen. All of the letters were positive except one. He complained about the art in issue one and that the Thing should be able to change into a human at will. I found this stuff to be pretty interesting. This is probably the worse issue so far, that’s what they get for bragging.

Last issue was the worst so far, this one is the best. This features the first appearance of Sub-Mariner in the Silver Age. Stan writes Namor in a brilliant way by having the Atlantean serve as a bit of a hero and a villain. He has just as many savage and destructive qualities as he does endearing ones. Kirby’s art continues to improve. This issue features a big cool monster as well as good old Namor.

Sub-Mariner is definately the best villain that the FF have faced so far. I think this probably started to transform the Fantastic Four from new unfamiliar characters into the icons they are today. The reintroduction of an old character like Namor was genious. The destruction of New York in this issue is presented on a grand cinematic scale. This issue has a more realistic feel to it. This issue features a pin-up of Mr. Fantastic as well as another letters column. This time all the letters are positive. A contest is even started regarding some trivia about the second issue. Hey! I know the answer. Should I write in and get five bucks?

Bruce Castle Archives: Fantastic Four Omnibus, Part 1

Would you believe I’ve never read these stories before? Crazy, huh? Well, I recently got a craving to read some Jack Kirby comics and I figured this would satisfy that craving in a big way. I’m going to be reviewing these in parts covering about 2 issues per post.

I will not be giving any kind of rating because I feel that these are classic stories that should be read by all regardless of how I feel about them.

I’ll just summarize each issue for you and give my feedback on them. I’ll briefly comment on the format on the omnibus. This collection will cost you 100 dollars. Pretty steep huh? Well, for that you get Fantastic Four #1-30 and the first annual. Just for comparison, these issues are also in the marvel masterworks collections. These are also in hardcover format and contain pretty much the same special features and also look about the same. However, this omnibus includes the same material that are in the first three masterworks volumes, the omnibus costs you 100 bucks, the masterworks route will cost you 150 bucks. So, if you can handle the physically hindering format of the omnibus, it is definitely the best way to read these stories. Now, onto the comics!


The first issue begins with the words the fantastic four written in smoke in the sky. It seems someone has fired a flare gun up in the sky and this is the message the flare shows. We see an invisible woman, a large rock-like creature, and a man on fire assemble. These are of course the fantastic four! Their names were featured on the first page. We then get their origin story. The four were attempting to reach the stars. “Ben, we’ve got to take that chance…unless we want the commies to beat us to it!” This is a quote from Sue Storm which seams humorous now, but this was written in 1961 and of course we didn’t land on the moon until 1969. They made it into space but they were soon affected by cosmic rays! Their ship crashed and that is how they gained their powers.

The reason why Mr. Fantastic fired the flare earlier is because he has some pictures to show the four. It seems that atomic plants all over the world are disappearing and are being replaced by big holes in the ground. We then see one of these events occurring and it seems that a giant green monster is the culprit. The creature also seems to be controlled by a man. The fantastic four then travel to Monster Isle!

They fight some monsters and when they travel below Monster Isle they discover a valley of diamonds and the mole man! They try to fight Mole Man but discover he is hard to hit because he has developed special senses “like those of a bat!” Mole Man calls his monsters to help him out. The four escape and “the entrance to the mole man’s empire are sealed forever!” The island then explodes and the fantastic four fly back home.

This issue was fun. It included the first appearance of the Fantastic Four and Mole Man. It should also be noted that the four didn’t have any costumes. Also, Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm don’t seem to be a couple.

The issue opens with the thing destroying “a lonely Texas tower”. The Invisible Girl swipes a very rare gem. The Human Torch melts a new gigantic monument. Mr. Fantastic switches off the power to the city. My goodness. Are the Fantastic Four evil?! Nope, they’re just skrulls. It is explained how the skrulls were able to impersonate the four. The Fantastic Four are hiding out in a cabin and are puzzled as to who is doing this. We then get a retelling of their origin story.

The military captures the four and imprisons them. They break out of the prison and return to their headquarters. The torch and Thing begin to squabble. They come up with a plan to figure out who is impersonating them. The Human Torch acts as bait. The skrulls bring him back to their hideout thinking he is one of their own. Johnny shoots a flare to alert his teammates. The skrulls and the FF fight! The four win and tie up the skrulls.

It seems the skrulls were getting rid of the four to ensure plans of a total skrull invasion! So, the FF travel in the skrull’s ship to the skrull mother ship. The FF impersonate the four skrulls by just trying to act skrully and keep their same appearances. The Fantastic Four talk to the skrull leader and tells him that an invasion of Earth would be impossible. That the FF couldn’t be beaten, that Earth has giant warriors to protect the planet. The FF uses clips from Strange Tales and Journey into Mystery, a nice comic ad. The skrull is fooled and even gives Mr. Fantastic a medal. The Fantastic Four then return to Earth. On the way back though, they pass through more cosmic rays and the Thing changes back into Ben Grimm!

Sadly, the transformation doesn’t last long. The FF are then arrested when back on Earth because they are still thought of as criminals. The skrulls that were tied up have escaped and begin wreaking havoc. The FF defeat the skrulls and the cops witness the skrulls transformation and that proves the Fantastic Four innocent. The skrulls then confess that they don’t want to be skrulls anymore. So Mr. Fantastic hypnotizes the skrulls into believing they’re cows!

Wow! Superheroes fighting amongst themselves? Superheroes not wanting to be superheroes? Shocking stuff! This sounds like old news now but back in the days where every superhero had no personality, this was revolutionizing stuff. It should be noted that this is the first appearance of the skrulls and of the Thing and Human Torch fighting. Also, there were only three skrulls that were hypnotized into being cows. Apparently the fourth one escaped. This event will later be addressed in the Kree Skrull War. Lastly, at the end of the issue, there is a pin-up of the Thing.

Bruce Castle Archives: Marvel Visionaries Jack Kirby Vol 2

Well, I bought this collection recently because I was in the mood for some Kirby so I thought I’d review it on here. This volume includes:

Captain America Comics #1- This cover says it all!


Man I love that cover! Not sure if this ever occurred in the comics, not in this issue for sure, but it’s still awesome and I believe Billy put it on his top five Captain America moments. This is a fun little red skull tale that is written by Joe Simon.

Marvel Mystery Comics #1- This is a short little yarn about the Vision. No, not the one we all know and love. This is also written by Joe Simon.

Yellow Claw#4- This is another short little story featuring some goofy but fun 50s antics, written by Jack Kirby.

Strange Tales#89- The first appearance of Fin Fang Foom! It doesn’t really include an origin story but rather a fun little tale featuring an orange Foom and written by Stan Lee!

Teen-Age Romance #84- Meh. It was an ok romance story but not really what I’m into. It was written by Stan Lee believe it or not.

Two-Gun Kid #60- Featuring the origin of the Two-Gun Kid woo hoo! Ok, maybe not, but it’s still kind of interesting and it is written by Stan Lee.

Love Romances #103- Again, who cares? Other than it is some Kirby goodness. It doesn’t say who this was written by.

Strange-Tales #114- Ok, this one is cool. It’s some early Human Torch stuff and it features Captain America…and he’s stealing! Oh no! Oh wait, that’s not really Cap, this was just a story to test if you wanted to see Cap come back. I wonder how that turned out. This is written by Stan Lee.

Tales of Suspense #59- Some early silver age Cap? Yes please! Written by Stan Lee of course.

Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandoes #13- This is a cool story written by Stan Lee that even features Bucky and you get a WW 2 story.

X-Men #9- Written by Stan Lee and this issue even features the Avengers. Nice!

Fantastic Four #57-60- This is that Doctor Doom Silver Surfer story written by Stan Lee that Billy talked about in a review a little while ago. I suggest you look at his review for more details.

Not Brand Ecch #1- This is pretty hilarious. This comes from Stan Lee and of course Jack Kirby and it is a parody of their Fantastic Four stuff. Particularly from the issues featured in this collection. Pretty funny stuff.

Thor #154-157- This is an awesome story featuring some old school Thor written by Stan Lee. This story was awesome!

Devil Dinosaur #1- Written by Jack Kirby, this story is pretty good but it kind of ends on a cliffhanger with no resolution in this collection.

So that’s a brief summary of what you’ve got in this collection. Now, for my review, I can’t really critique Kirby’s art because let’s face it, even if you don’t dig his art, he is arguably the most influential figure within this medium. So, all I can really comment on is the format. This costs 34.99 and for that you get 344 pages of old comic goodness. This is presented in pretty much the same style as the masterworks I believe which is oversized and printed on great paper. This stuff looks great considering its age. My main problem with it is that we just get a Kirby sampler for the most part. We get two big stories about the Fantastic Four and Thor which is awesome. The rest is just one issue stuff. Most of these issues have resolutions but not all of them. So, basically, if you’ve never read any of these stories before or at least you don’t own them in masterworks format, this collection is for you. You don’t have to slam down 50 bucks and you get a wide range of comics so you can choose maybe which ones you do want to pay 50 bucks for. Also, if you are just a huge Kirby fan and are wishing to collect everything Kirby in nice hardcover format, this collection is also for you. I doubt they will ever have a Teen-Age Romance Omnibus. However, if you already own a lot of these and/or you’re just looking for a good story with some Kirby art, you may be disappointed. For those people I’d recommend saving your money and either buy a masterworks collection or a Fourth World Omnibus for 15 dollars more.

3 stars out of four


Hey, look at that! Another week and another Origin Stories. HAZAH! Another trip into the Silver Age! Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite stories and how we translated it to Vs. The story in question takes place in the first volume of the Fantastic Four, issues 57-60, during the height of the Lee/Kirby run.

READ ME FIRST: The thing you have to remember about comics from the 60’s and especially about comics written in the “Marvel way”, is that they didn’t have story arcs in the way we recognize them today. No part 1 (of 4)’s and stuff like that. The comics ran with one continuous storyline that could go on for years, perhaps decades (okay, maybe not decades). One of the ways they got away with this was by seeding multiple subplots throughout each issue… kind of like the way soap operas are written… not that I would know. Anyway, within the four issues I’ll be reviewing, there are multiple subplots starring such notable heroes and villains as Wyatt Wingfoot, Black Panther, Sandman, The Inhumans, and of course the Silver Surfer and Dr. Doom. Sometimes the different plots intersect. So, if all of a sudden the Inhumans show up in the Doom story, don’t be confused. I’m only showing you part of the story, the part that’s relevant to the Vs. cards that were inspired by this chunk of issues, so bear with me. If you’d like to read the issues without commercial interruptions, then you can find them reprinted in Masterwork or Essential collection form. Alright, on with the show.

PREMISE: Dr. Doom lures the Silver Surfer to his court with the cheesiest of royal invitations. Those panels will also serve as exhibit A in proving a case for the Surfer’s extreme gullibility. Doom greets the Surfer as a “humble servant of my people”. Some of you may recognize that line as it has appeared as Vs. flavor text. Okay, here’s where things turn sour. Like, if a dude invites you to his castle and then starts talking about how power has ever been his god, warning bells should be going off in your head. Seriously, how naïve is the Surfer? Now, I know back in the day, his origins had yet to be fully fleshed out, but this guy is still a full grown man on the planet he’s from, he can’t be this dumb! He just can’t! No one who could understand t he sacrifice it would take to turn an immoral being such as Galactus away from his home planet could be this naïve. Anyway, Lee addresses this later in a little caption box seen here, so I’ll leave off for now.

Next, Doom convinces Surfer to show off a little of that Cosmic Power. Oh Surfer, how wonderfully the good Doctor has played you. With a weapon like that, he could destroy the entire universe! Quick, get it away from him!

“Give it to daddy, son.”- Silver Surfer

In this wonderful full page spread, Jack Kirby just shows the heck off. You go, Jack! Yeah, you figured correctly, Silver dude. Doom is a ruthless, conniving basticth. Don’t trust him. Hey, we know this guy, right? Yeah, we’ll get back to him. Heh, funny. I know this was written in the 60’s, but Doom’s dialogue sounds like it was lifted right out of one of our President’s speeches on “glowbull terrah”. OOP, let’s not get political…

“Ah, to be on the London stage again…” – Dr. Doom

The Doom figure in the second panel is my favorite of this entire issue. He just looks so ridiculous. You kind of almost believe him. Especially the part about the peasants dancing in the streets. But then—

“Not the ultimate punishment!”- Lowly Peasant

I’d really like to know what the “ultimate punishment” is exactly, but unfortunately, we never get to find out. At least not with the Silver Surfer watching. Of course, Doom recovers nicely.

“You had me at hello.” – Silver Surfer

Losing Patience, Doom puts his foul plan into motion. While distracting Surfer with the tranquil images of space, he orders his scientists and robot lackeys to help him get dressed… and then gives it to him from behind. Yeah. He steals his powers.

“I can’t believe you fell for the oldest trick in the book!” – Dr. Doom (or, Dark Helmet)

And what does Doom do with unlimited POOOOOOWWWWEEEEEER?

“WEEEEEEEE!!!” – Dr. Doom

Oh, and scare the locals. And tear up their property. Man, Dr. Doom is a bigger dick than Superman.

Well, it’s one issue later and Doom is still a douchebag.

“I got you so bad!” – Dr. Doom

These next couple of scans are ridiculous. Doom repeatedly visits the Surfer just to taunt him. Jeez, man. Isn’t there a world out there you need to conquer or something?

Finally, he decides it’s high time to enact his ultimate master plan. The name of said plan?

Now, let us turn our attention to Doom’s thrilling battles with the Fantastic Four!

How to take down the Fantastic Four in 4-Easy-Steps:

Predictably, after the defeat of the greatest super team in history, Dr. Doom can’t help but gloat.

STATION BREAK: Enjoy this word from out sponsor… (…I have no idea.)

OUT-OF-CONTEXT: Surf’s up!

Reason #1 why the Silver Surfer is very, very lame.

Reason #2 why the Silver Surfer is very, very lame.

WHAT-THE-RANDOM: Who was asking about the Watcher?

I love the Silver Age. So many “meanwhile, back at the ranch…” moments. This is just an example of one of the many outdated devices used back then. Because the Marvel Universe was touted as a “shared universe”, Stan Lee needed to explain why every time someone like Dr. Doom was about to take over the world, the rest of the heroes of the Marvel Universe didn’t show up in each other’s books and kick his steel-played ass. This time, for some odd reason, he felt it was necessary to explain why the Watcher hadn’t shown up to help the Fantastic Four. Understandable, I guess, since he was introduced in this very comic less than a year earlier. But the reason Lee gives is utterly riddick. Birth of a new species? Get outta here!

Ok, so how does this travesty conclude? Well, Step 1, get Reed Richards to build an Anti-Cosmic Flying Wing. Step 2, program it to annoy Dr. Doom. Finally… oh, who cares? Click here for the wordy explanation.

Wow, that was a long and painful journey, huh? Where did we end up… oh, it’s time to fill more white space with art descriptions!

Dr. Doom, Latverian Monarch
: High above Castle Doom, Latveria
Action: This piece depicts the story wherein Dr. Doom robs the Silver Surfer of his Power Cosmic. There’s a hole in the roof, and through it we can see Doom’s laboratory, a Dr. Frankenstein style workspace. Dr. Doom hovers above the Castle, having just burst through the roof of his lab. His back arched and head tilted toward the sky. Green energy explodes from his gauntlets, producing energy trails and highlighting his armor. We get the feeling that he’s laughing maniacally beneath his steel mask.
Focus: Dr. Doom
Keywords: Frenzied, Ultimate Power

Another less well known “character” was also snatched out of this story and later debuted in the Marvel Legends expansion. That’s right, we saw him earlier. Here’s his art description:

“Pacifier” Robot
: Latverian Village – DAY
Action: The Pacifier robot stomps through a Latverian Village, firing randomly with his hi-tech head and arm-mounted guns.
Focus: The Pacifier Robot
Keywords: explosions, chaos, hulking armor

This is the part where I tell you about the prototype designs for 8-drop Doom and the Pacifier Robot. Well, not today! Surprisingly, both characters managed to hold onto their initial designs all the way through development. Huh, it just happens sometimes. What can I say? Or, I’m lying. Damn, dude. Scanning and cropping all that art is serious work. I’m tired.

So, like last time, I want to toss out some extra Vs. System art. This time, instead of artist related, I’m going to give you character related and obviously, that character is Dr. Doom. Enjoy.


Whew! That was a doozy of trip to the 60’s. Come back next week and perhaps we’ll talk about the newly released Marvel Universe. As always, feel free to hit me up with all your Vs. System related questions and comments. Speaking of… this Friday marks the end of my weekly preview wrap-up articles over on Make sure you check out the final episode as its chock full of answers to all the questions you’ve been asking for the past couple of weeks on VsRealms and