Saturday, 19 February 2011

Marvel Team-Up, No. 26 - The Human Torch and Thor


This comic, from 1974, is part of the Marvel Team-Up series featuring the 'Human Torch' (aka Johnny Storm) and 'Thor'. The story begins with the Human Torch noticing flaming footprints leading to an alleyway. He is attacked by a Lava Man named Molto who is under the assumption that he is an assassin sent to kill him. Molto collapses during the fight and reveals that he is dying, his mission is to contact Thor about a plot that could potentially destroy the world.

Thor has taken on many alter ego's throughout his history but this story is set in a time before his life got so complicated. He has taken on the identity of lame physician Dr. Donald Blake. The Lava Men's witch doctor has stolen one of the Mole Men's most powerful weapons and is going to test it on Mauna Loa (the worlds largest volcano in Hawaii). It is down to the Human Torch and Thor to prevent a potentially cataclysmic event from taking place!

And, well, it's no surprise to let you know that they do succeed in their mission, however, I was a little disappointed that the culprits responsible only get a slap on the wrists for threatening to wipe out life on earth... But the main reason I want to draw your attention to this issue is the fantastic artwork that adorns its pages. Pencils are masterfully executed by Jim Mooney, with shared duties on inking by Frank Giacoia and D. Hunt and finally stunning colours by Glynis Wein.

I particularly like the way Johnny Storms transition to the Human Torch is pulled off through four images of just his face. I also love the look of the machinery shown on the next page I have chosen; the combination of the metallic imagery and pink lava shown on the final page triggers memories of watching Akira. I also really like the use of colour on every page, especially in some of the swirling imagery surrounding Thor.

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