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55: Strange Tales #108 (v1) [A Story]

" The Painter of a Thousand Perils! "
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Strange Tales #108a (v1)
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Cover Artists:
Writers: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Dick Ayers
Letterers: Terry Szenics
Cover Date: May 1963
Release Date: February 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,252                 Times Rated: 670
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #107 Go to Issue #108d

Amazing Spider-Man #1b (v1)
Journey into Mystery #91 (v1)
Strange Tales #108a (v1)
Strange Tales #108d (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #2a (v1)
53: Amazing Spide...
#1b (v1)
54: Journey into ...
#91 (v1)
56: Strange Tales
#108d (v1)
57: Amazing Spide...
#2a (v1)
Expanded Order
Amazing Spider-Man #1b (v1)
Universe Tag
Journey into Mystery #91 (v1)
Universe Tag
Strange Tales #108a (v1)
Universe Tag
Strange Tales #108d (v1)
Universe Tag
Amazing Spider-Man #2a (v1)
Universe Tag
Amazing Spider-Man #1b (v1)
Journey into Mystery #91 (v1)
Strange Tales #108d (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #2a (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Wilhelm van Vile, a counterfeiter put away by the Human Torch has escaped from prison by using an alien artifact, a painter's tablet with the power to make the user's paintings come to life! His only limits are his imagination and the desire for revenge on the Human Torch!
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #1b (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Fantastic Four #13 (v1).
  The Painter
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Painter in the mainstream continuity. The Painter next appears in Web of Spider-Man #74 (v1).
  Scar Tobin
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Scar Tobin in the mainstream continuity.
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-20 00:36:39  
  A pair of flaming scissors? Seriously? Smoke ring lassos? Really?
"If crooks weren't stupid, they wouldn't be crooks!" Did he really say that?

Must be pretty tricky to smuggle a shovel into a prison cell.

"I can tell the age of the picture from its style! It's about a million years old!"

Fire hydrants extinguish Torch's flame, but last issue he was submerged in the ocean and came out flaming.

  Hertz1991 Says:    
  2011-12-13 21:38:35  
  Halfway through it seemed a mildly interesting story, but some of Stan's plot solutions seem to be questioning just how stupid the reader may be...  

  rebelmswar Says:    
  2011-12-22 10:48:56  
  "... your beach lacked litter baskets..." really Stan? Really?  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-06-30 12:57:39  
  This was just bad. Mid-way through the story things were going as decent as a Human Torch story can go, and then they pull out some horribly dumb ending.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-13 23:32:28  
  I hate you so, so much, Human Torch solo stories.  

  Aurdazur Says:    
  2012-10-04 12:27:22  
  £&?! me pink!!! that's the worse story I ever read in my entire life!!!!!!  

  cmp_doctor Says:    
  2012-10-07 12:43:26  
  This was not one of the better solo human torch stories  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-23 10:31:26  
  Eh, I didn't hate this one the way that I do some other stories in this run, but that doesn't mean that it's good. The way that Johnny defeats The Painter is bullshit.  

  edgar987 Says:    
  2012-12-23 19:10:47  
  lol this is just bad.Not even bad enough to be good. Nothing redeeming story wise.  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-01-13 15:27:05  
  You know, it hasn't been too long since i read this issue, but i literally can't remember anything about it. That's how bad it was.  

  Robareid Says:    
  2013-01-25 13:38:31  
  "I can tell the age of the picture from its style! It's about a million years old!" Wait, what?!!!!  

  TaoTaomona Says:    
  2013-02-13 08:54:48  
  My first single star, hoping I wouldn't have had to give one of these. A major stretch from the Bullpen.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-19 18:25:41  
  This story has me seriously considering skipping the Torch stories, but I got in this for the long haul so....  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-19 18:27:41  
  Maybe the key is to keep telling myself "SHIELD starts in 135".  

  cloud21287 Says:    
  2013-08-26 19:15:23  
  This is the 47th book I've read in the order and the first time I've felt the need to comment. Even by Human Torch solo standards this is bad. This is not nit-picky plot hole bad. This is not even enjoyably bad. This is "why am I continuing to read this? Oh yeah I have OCD but this may be the cure" bad. Skip unless you have an irrational desire to read everything.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-08-28 05:00:50  
  There is really a lot of stupid lines in this issue... GOD! how can you tell an alien painting's a million years old by it's style?? It's Alien for gods sake!  

  dpaone Says:    
  2013-09-05 11:19:06  
  ummmm...all I can say in Lincoln's sideburns are the best part of the story...  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-09-08 21:16:36  
  Introduction of Van Vile who they bring back in the 90's to fight Spider-Man. Aside from that, nothing else worth mentioning. The story was not good. Art was average. Ending was just plain stupid.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-09-18 11:33:44  
  how the hell did torch figure out the painting element?  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-05 05:23:14  
  One of the better Strange Tales so far. I like this villain and wouldn't mind seeing him again. I also like the idea of an organized crime syndicate against the Torch. One think I don't understand though, why would the radio announcer only call for Torch? Why would have have called for all of the Fantastic Four. It seemed a little too convenient.  

  ChinstrapLarry Says:    
  2013-10-25 16:47:33  
  Since beginning the order, this is easily the worst comic I've read so far. Wow. I wish i wasn't such a completionist or I'd skip this series.  

  VenomousIntent Says:    
  2013-11-15 16:44:31  
  I was really enjoying this comic up until that terrible ending.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-01-08 05:37:52  
  I wish there was a zero star rating.

Cover Me - Ok, the cover is cool, but it looks like Sue is doing the Cha-Cha!

King Kirby - Wow! The 1st time a three-headed gorilla didn't help the story!

Crime Doesn't Pay - Who makes fake 1's and 5's? What a waste of time!

Right Place, Wrong Time - How convenient that Johnny has a day job.

Daredevil Aliens - How tough are those aliens to fly on the outside of their spaceship?

Seeing Double - Hmmm....Scar Tobin looks a lot like Baron Strucker.

King Kirby II - Even giant creatures from outer space don't help the story.

'Nuff Said - "Bah! Your greed disgusts me! All you think of is riches!"-Van Vile

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-01-14 01:59:45  
  1. The cover looks like its going to be a bad one.
2. Flaming scissors and smoke rings...seriously.
3. Page 4 panel 8 - nice one by Kirby
4. Silly premise for a villain, and the telepathy makes it worse.
5. Double flashback and a silly origin...gotta love it.
6. Can't he just paint a dead Torch and a bunch of money and call it a day?
7. Ugghh...silly finish and yet another flashback.
1 star.

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-02-01 19:00:11  
  Interesting enough concept, although it TOTALLY falls apart on the last page. Really, just a terrible ending. "Your beaches had no litter baskets!" Really? And "Your Fantastic Four had no numbers on their chests" which is clearly shown on the cover. Rip. OFF!

The rest of it was handled pretty poorly too. He finds a painting of a bunch of aliens that he is able to date to 1 million year old based on the STYLE?!? Huh what?!?

LOL I was going to give this 2 stars, but upon reflection, it gets 1 star and a BAH!

  zengosm Says:    
  2014-04-17 08:58:02  
  Started decent enough, it's a cool idea for a villain. But the ending was just awful.  

  AngryTree Says:    
  2014-05-07 18:38:50  
  40+ issues in the order, and the only 1 star ratings I've given are for the Human Torch stories. This one lives up (down?) to that legacy.

So Van Vile can read hieroglyphics from a million years ago, but he's too lazy to paint The Blue Boy blue?! Makes me (almost) long for a good old 1-dimensional Commie villain.

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-06 10:27:00  
  Yikes! I can't wait 'til we're done with the whole "flaming scissors" and "smoke rings" stuff... Honestly though, Van Vile could read hieroglyphs? How? And that was such a lazy ending. All that said, I've seen worse.  

  Johnny Darkness Says:    
  2014-10-28 16:18:38  
  Didn't like Jack's art very much here. And I don't understand why Torch got so many solo adventures, considering he's one of the weakest characters.  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-02-20 01:33:52  
  I fail to see how The Painter has "the soul of Satan himself". Is Stan trying to say something about the afterlife? Are some of us going to be stuck with some dumbass who forges dollar bills?  

  Hovis Says:    
  2015-09-14 19:46:23  
  Wilhelm van Vile....nuff said. 1 star  

  hendrica Says:    
  2015-10-24 21:31:37  
  Convenient that the aliens wrote their instructions in Egyptian hieroglyphics in a cave under New York.  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 10:46:32  
  THE ABSOLUTE WORST STORY YET. I congratulate you Marvel: This is probably your worst story of all time (not counting the golden age)  

  thegraaayghost Says:    
  2016-01-28 02:50:19  
  This is probably the worst comic in the order so far, but I'm becoming numb to the Torch's suckiness.  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-11 17:54:42  
  • What? People just stand and wait for the Painter to finish his painting? Because unless his magic paint can project itself in a flash, anybody would have the time to knock him out or simply shoot him, like… the moment he turns his back to pick his brush, right?

  • He can tell the painting in the cave was a million years old by its… “style”? What does he know about alien “style”? This is total bullshit!

  • It is probably this series’ most stupid villain!

  • And what an improbable ending. I hated this story. It is bad on so many aspects I don’t even know where to begin! That would deserve a zero star score.

  • Let’s all pray that we’ve hit bottom and that this story keeps its "Worst Ever" title.

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-13 13:41:36  
  I didn't hate this issue as much as others but it was a bad issue.  

  Shentenza Says:    
  2016-07-16 21:01:59  
  When you can spot all plot holes in this issue you get a cookie!

  RedLaugh Says:    
  2016-09-05 10:03:21  
  if crooks weren't stupid, they wouldn't be crooks  

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-10-25 16:52:58  
  As everyone else has said, this is bad. But it' a Torch solo comic, so I can't say I'm surprised necessarily at the disappointing quality, I just keep hoping it will get better  

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-07 02:37:21  
  It took two writers -- not *one*, mind you, but TWO; one of 'em Mr. "STAN LEE PRESENTS," no less! -- to come up with "Wilhelm van Vile"...?!?

My favorite imbecility from this particular abomination: the aliens so unbelievably macho, they hotdog through the freezing, airless reaches of the intergalactic void clinging resolutely to the OUTSIDE of their spaceship! They're like little, green Howling Commandos! ;)

  ScottG12 Says:    
  2016-11-17 16:04:52  
  I wish they would've just used the Puppet Master  

  CrazyforRAMU Says:    
  2017-04-18 14:36:26  
  It's easy to be disappointed with this tremendously dumb story if you're a grown-up reader in the 21st century. I like to think that a young boy plonking down his 12 cents to buy this in 1963 would also be severely disappointed. You read through this mountain of words to finally, finally, finally see Johnny Storm vs the Fantastic Four and what do you get? Fake-Reed tosses a grenade at the Torch and calls it a day. Laaaaaaaame.  

  qwybie Says:    
  2017-07-20 08:18:25  
  As others have said, probably the worst thing in the order so far. The villain doesn't even start to go after the Torch until page 9, and his attempts are laughably stupid. On top of that, the cover is basically a lie; the "fight" consists of somebody throwing a grenade and everybody leaving. And the Torch's method of figuring out what was going on was nothing short of absurd.

If there was a zero star rating, this is the first thing in the order I would give that to.

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-12 11:39:37  
  Wasn't there a JLA alien who painted things into life?
This was an easy 1 star for me...Johnny needs to leave this title, time for a new hero.

  wrmsnicket Says:    
  2018-01-20 09:53:44  
  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first comic in The Order to have the classic Marvel panel in the top left corner of the cover.  

  UncannyAddiction Says:    
  2018-01-23 20:23:26  
  Another poorly written Human Torch story. Painful. I want to like these but I just can't.  

Issue Detail Divider
Essential Human Torch, Volume 1
This collection includesStrange Tales #117a (v1), Strange Tales #101 (v1), Strange Tales #102 (v1), Strange Tales #103 (v1), Strange Tales #104a (v1), Strange Tales #105 (v1), Strange Tales #106 (v1), Strange Tales #107 (v1), Strange Tales #108a (v1), Strange Tales #109 (v1), Strange Tales #110a (v1), Strange Tales #111a (v1), Strange Tales #112 (v1), Strange Tales #113 (v1), Strange Tales #114a (v1), Strange Tales #115a (v1), Strange Tales #116a (v1), Strange Tales #118a (v1), Strange Tales #119a (v1), Strange Tales #120a (v1), Strange Tales #121a (v1), Strange Tales #122a (v1), Strange Tales #123a (v1), Strange Tales #124a (v1), Strange Tales #125a (v1), Strange Tales #126a (v1), Strange Tales #128a (v1), Strange Tales #129a (v1), Strange Tales #130a (v1), Strange Tales #131a (v1), Strange Tales #132a (v1), Strange Tales #133a (v1), Strange Tales #134a (v1), Strange Tales Annual #2
Marvel Masterworks: The Human Torch, Volume 1
This collection includesStrange Tales #101 (v1), Strange Tales #102 (v1), Strange Tales #103 (v1), Strange Tales #104a (v1), Strange Tales #105 (v1), Strange Tales #106 (v1), Strange Tales #107 (v1), Strange Tales #108a (v1), Strange Tales #109 (v1), Strange Tales #110a (v1), Strange Tales Annual #2
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There are no letter pages submitted for this issue. If you would like to transpose and send at letters page, you can send it to tstarnes@gmail.com. Check in the forums for information about formating the letters page.
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Date User Name Update
   December 3, 2017 TStarnes
   November 24, 2017 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   April 17, 2017 fragsel Added Scar Tobin to the issue.
   January 22, 2017 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
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