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68: Strange Tales #109 (v1)

" The Sorcerer and Pandora's Box "
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Strange Tales #109 (v1)
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Cover Artists:
Writers: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Dick Ayers
Letterers: Martin Epp
Cover Date: June 1963
Release Date: March 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,154                 Times Rated: 608
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #108d Go to Issue #110a

Journey into Mystery #93 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #3 (v1)
Strange Tales #109 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #44 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #42 (v1)
66: Journey into ...
#93 (v1)
67: Amazing Spide...
#3 (v1)
69: Tales to Asto...
#44 (v1)
70: Tales of Susp...
#42 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
The Sorcerer was a bitter hermit in his mansion until he found Pandora's Box, the Greek legendary artifact that contains 100 evils. Using ancient incantations the Sorcerer commands those evils to do his bidding and his will is to destroy the Human Torch!
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #3 (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Strange Tales #110a (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #14 (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Strange Tales #110a (v1).
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #14 (v1). The Thing next appears in Strange Tales #110a (v1).
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Fantastic Four #14 (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Strange Tales #110a (v1).
Cameo Appearance First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Circe in the mainstream continuity. Circe next appears in Eternals #3 (v1). This is flasback appearance. This is a cameo appearance.
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Pandora in the mainstream continuity. Pandora next appears in Chamber of Darkness #3c. This is flashback appearance.
  Sorcerer (Dorian Mudstone)
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Sorcerer (Dorian Mudstone) in the mainstream continuity.
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Fantastic Four #14 (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Fantastic Four #15 (v1).
New York City Fire Department
New York City Fire Department last appeared in Captain America Comics #12e. New York City Fire Department next appears in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1a.
Issue Detail Divider
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 20:58:07  
  Me thinks Torch overstepped his bounds by lighting the guys yard on fire and threatening to imprison him for trying to keep people from trespassing on his property.

"I'm going to pull every peroxide hair our of your head!" I love it.

Glad to see black magic making an appearance in the old MU.

  Webslinger Says:    
  2012-04-07 06:34:14  
  Well, Torch just oversteps every now and then, at least Strange Tales got an well told tale, far better than in the first issues.  

  lmcontaldi Says:    
  2012-05-15 22:15:12  
  First admission by Thing about his hidden love of Johnny! Awwww.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-07-02 00:51:50  
  One of the few Torch solo stories that is tolerable. The beginning interaction between the Fantastic Four was the highlight of the issue.

But Torch appeared to be jerkish when dealing with the whole defending against trespasser ordeal. And we all know that making the hero the biggest jerk in the story is probably not the best idea.

  instantdeath999 Says:    
  2012-07-23 18:17:45  
  Pretty standard Torch solo issue (meaning quite boring), but I do like that the Thing is finally getting some character development. And I actually somewhat liked Johny requesting to die by fire.

But yeah, Torch threatening to imprison the Sorcerer for wanting privacy is a dick move.

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-15 09:44:07  
  Why does this character get solo stories? He's an insufferable jerk. First he starts a fight with Namor for NO reason, and now in this issue he sets a guy's yard on fire because he doesn't want kids trespassing on his property. The Human Torch is a grade A douchebag, and regardless of how much better of a story this was, this character is so irritating that I'm busting out a rare one star for this issue. This is probably the most unlikable this character has been so far, and seeing the rest of the Fantastic Four talk about how much they love him in this issue made it that much worse.  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-24 14:40:07  
  Eh, this issue is alright. I did really enjoy the look of the various imps. I love me some Kirby monsters.  

  ringsting Says:    
  2012-10-27 18:13:14  
  I hated this.....the worst torch one so far

A nd that's saying something

  Dopey Says:    
  2012-12-21 05:54:23  
  Robert Bernstein is doing good things for the solo torch stories. Particularly in the character development department. He really gives me a glimpse of adolescence in Johnny Storm. And the story ends in a celebration of Johnny's cockiness, which leads me to believe that the brash acts and bullying manner of his is meant to be there.

This is displayed most vividly with the overreacted and unkind way in which he deals with the Sorcerer. As mean or cruel as it seems to us while we read this issue, how many of us can really say we didn't act overly rude or bullying some times in front of our peers. Torch revelling in the awe of a couple fans while he's bullying the local crazyman isn't all that far off from what I'd expect from any high school kid out to have a laugh. The fact that the guy is a washed up follower of the occult doesn't help him either.

I feel that the new 'wall of fire' ability is kind of overpowered - at least in the scope in which it was used in this issue - but oh well, these abilities seem to change by the month, so I'm not too shook.

Pandora's Box was shipped through air mail to a crazy man, accidentally. Um... I don't know what to say about that, aside from unbelievable.

Never mind forgetfulness being an EVIL of the flesh, but sleepiness? Paralysis!? FLOOD!? Yeah those were pretty bad too. Pretty pretty pretty prettyyyyy pretty bad.

One star for Mr. Bernstein doing good for the comic. One star for a firm sense of Johnny Storm's character. One star for lazy bullets and the way that Hatred was used.

  edgar987 Says:    
  2012-12-24 19:21:19  
  One for the the sorcerors face.One for the imps. Two stars it is.  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-01-15 21:15:21  
  Not as awful as I had feared. Yeah the evils were dumb (as was the villain) but at least it was mildly entertaining.  

  Robareid Says:    
  2013-01-26 15:02:44  
  Johnny looked REALLY ugly here in some of the earlier panels  

  gonzo Says:    
  2013-06-18 23:12:03  
  Seemed like the depictions of Torch and the Sorcerer differed from page to page and sometimes panel to panel. I must have missed something in the story the rest of you saw. 1 out of 5 from me.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-20 22:16:52  
  Usual Torch fare. Just keep repeating SHIELD in 135.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-09-03 08:59:00  
  One of the best Torch comic so far but he's such a Jerk! at least he face black magic instead of atomic things/aliens  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-09 09:33:18  
  A fairly solid Human Torch story. I think this one could have been better if it was a little longer, but it was okay at is present length.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-11-03 09:54:17  
  OK, so we have the gems which make you invincible from Fantastic Four #5 and now Pandora's Box that Johnny threw into the ocean. Boy, if Namor gets ahold of this stuff, the surface world is gonna be in some serious trouble. Yeah Johnny was a punk in this issue, not cool. Poor crazy old man.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-01-16 05:43:19  
  2 stars for those kooky creepy Imps.

Cover Me - The Green Imp at the top of the cover looks a lot like the Kosmos Creature that will appear next in the order in TTA # 44.

Hidden Years - Yet another FF adventure without poor Johnny. A Commie adventure no less! I smell a story here!

Nuthin' But Net - Well, if the superhero gig doesn't workout. Johnny could always play for the NBA!

HGTV - I wonder if the Sorcerer and a certain doctor that will appear next issue both have the same interior designer?

Voodoo - On page 7, panel 7 the Sorcerer has a chickenfoot for a hand!

Hothead - It's a good thing that Johnny's on fire. So you don't see all the smoke coming out of his ears with all that thinking he's doing!

Bozo - That Imp of Foolishness is such a clown!

'Nuff Said - "Ha, what is evil to society is a pleasure to me!"-Sorcerer

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-01-22 22:45:01  
  Not bad but somewhat boring...2 stars.  

  opusaug Says:    
  2014-02-06 21:53:01  
  What does it say about the Torch's solo adventures in Strange Tales that I'm overjoyed this issue at least doesn't have any gaping holes in the plot and the monologuing is kept to a minimum? The third star comes mostly from the fight scene in the bank.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-02-11 05:43:50  
  This one was pretty laughable. Nice back-and-forth with the FF in the beginning, but once the story gets going, it's fairly lame. Over the last few issues in the order, Johnny doesn't seem to be written with any sort of consistency. Especially jarring is Johnny's appearance in Spider-Man #3 where he's at Pete's high school assembly saying "Stay in school, kids!" and in this very next story he laments about having to be in school and wants to quit.

The police in this story aren't very good, are they? "But why do all the crimes occur near Glenville?"

Favorite quote: "Bah! I hate blondes!"

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-07 11:04:04  
  "But why do all the crimes occur near Glenville?" Boy these police officers are a little laughable... Pretty average issue, but I gotta wonder: How is it that the Sorcerer wasn't affected by Imps until the very end? Was it some sort of Black Magic thing? I feel like I'm missing something...  

  rodyoungerblood Says:    
  2015-05-26 08:24:31  
  Strange Tales has been consistently terrible. When will it end?  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 10:53:28  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-14 22:53:29  
  • That’s my line – “Black magic went out with moustache wax… years ago!” (The Human Torch)

  • I find it odd that the Fantastic Four leave the Torch out for some missions. On the other hand, I can’t blame them. He probably gets on their nerves too!

  • The Human Torch pushed his luck a bit when he interfered with the Sorcerer at the beginning of the story. The man had every right to his privacy and the Torch was a real nuisance here. A true teenager!

  • That hate scene at the bank was hilarious.

  • Had I been Johnny, I would have concluded that people at the bank had been… lemme guess… hypnotized? Nope! Not this time!

  • With Merlin’s trinkets, this is the second time they leave dangerous artifacts in the ocean for Namor to grab. In addition, with everything people dump at sea, no wonder Namor hates humans!

  • In this story, the Torch pretends that his flame kills all viruses. Yet Spider-Man meets him at a hospital where he is treated for a virus in another story.

  • The two cops’ hysterical laughs were contagious! It got me!

  • Lazi slugs! Good one!

  • That story was so Kirbidiculous that it was actually fun! We’ve seen worse, so for a few good one-liners, 2 stars.

  • Nincompoop!

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-17 22:46:02  
  A Human Torch story that's Pandora's Box meets "you dang kids stay off of my yard". Odd tale but it was a tad different. No aliens but Commies were briefly mentioned. For me, better than average for Strange Tales and the over the top Johnny.  

  anetella Says:    
  2016-06-07 15:14:25  
  That's the second Human Torch story where I was hoping that the main character would fail. What does it say about quality of this series?  

  KnuckIfYouBuckley Says:    
  2016-09-08 22:29:23  
  Three positive things I can say about these solo Human Torch stories: 1) The Fantastic Four occasionally show up and we (albeit briefly) get to see their great dynamic at play, 2) Fantastic Four villains are introduced, although they need some work (Wizard's costume has yet to change and Paste-Pot Pete hasn't dropped that terrible name yet) and 3) They're only thirteen pages long. Otherwise I can do without these.  

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-04 03:59:52  
  If, as this story plainly states, flame is "one of the evils" meant to be eternally contained within Pandora's Box, for humanity's protection... then doesn't that make Johnny Storm, by logical extension, an actual embodiment OF evil?

Mind you, given how jaw-droppingly gawdawful these Human Torch stories have been thus far, I certainly wouldn't *quibble* with that particular interpretation... ;)

  qwybie Says:    
  2017-08-01 16:51:42  
  The Torch terrorizes an old man. That's the real story here.  

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-12 18:46:43  
  Felt like a DC Silver Age story and not the same universe as FF even with the FF in it.  

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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Issue Letters Page

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
   November 24, 2017 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   March 23, 2016 fragsel Updated the listing for Circe.
   March 23, 2016 fragsel Added Pandora to the issue.
   May 15, 2015 Neskit Added Sorcerer (Dorian Mudstone) to the issue.
   September 8, 2014 Neskit Added New York City Fire Department to the issue.
   August 28, 2014 vanhornluke Updated the listing for Circe.
   August 28, 2014 vanhornluke Updated the listing for Circe.
   August 28, 2014 vanhornluke Updated the listing for Circe.
   August 28, 2014 vanhornluke Added Circe to the issue.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Invisible Girl.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Thing.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for Mr. Fantastic.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Human Torch.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Fantastic Four.
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