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77: Strange Tales #111 (v1) [A Story]

" Fighting to the Death with Asbestos Man! "
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Strange Tales #111a (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Dick Ayers
Inkers: Steve Ditko
Letterers: Terry Szenics
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: August 1963
Release Date: May 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,200                 Times Rated: 628
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #110c Go to Issue #111c

Tales of Suspense #43 (v1)
Fantastic Four #15 (v1)
Strange Tales #111a (v1)
Strange Tales #111c (v1)
Fantastic Four #16 (v1)
75: Tales of Susp...
#43 (v1)
76: Fantastic Fou...
#15 (v1)
78: Strange Tales
#111c (v1)
79: Fantastic Fou...
#16 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Professor Orson Kasloff has become the ultimate defense against the Human Torch; as the Asbestos Man! This defense will be invaluable as Orson turns his great scientific mind to crime.
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Fantastic Four #16 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Fantastic Four #16 (v1).
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Fantastic Four #16 (v1).
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). The Thing next appears in Fantastic Four #16 (v1).
  Asbestos Man
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Asbestos Man in the mainstream continuity. Asbestos Man next appears in Fear Itself: The Home Front #6d.
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Fantastic Four #16 (v1).
New York Police Department
New York Police Department last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). New York Police Department next appears in Fantastic Four #18 (v1).
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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:    
  2011-11-22 08:36:09  
  Wonder how easy it is to find a castle right outside of NYC nowadays?  

  Webslinger Says:    
  2012-04-10 04:32:45  
  Dr. Strange was simply.. strange! And Sue Storm was with a classy hair make-up, wasn't she?  

  chrisWhite Says:    
  2012-06-28 18:36:04  
  Torch was — as usual — a disappointment but I again enjoyed Doctor Strange. It's great to see a foe that wasn't eithier yet another 'the most powerful evil geniuse ever,' the reds or an alien. I 'm looking forward to more deversity with the arrival of the mutants.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-07-03 15:34:38  
  I never thought I would see the day where a villain's super power was causing cancer. Poor Johnny, Stan and company just keep smothering you in everything asbestos.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-15 22:18:23  
  Asbestos Man?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Torch sucks as usual, but this one was above average because of him getting humiliated by Asbestos Man.

Dr. Strange was great. Only two stories in and already I'm anxious for more.

  Loki120 Says:    
  2012-10-10 00:11:39  
  Ah the Asbestos Man, back in the day when Asbestos was the kryptonite for all heroes with flame powers. It's amazing Johnny hasn't contracted lung cancer from his youth. I think there was even a feature in one of these issues that showed he had asbestos drapes, and a lab where he concocted chemicals to enhance his flame powers.  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-26 17:41:19  
  I give the Human Torch solo story 2 stars and the Dr. Strange story 4 stars, averaging out to 3 stars.  

  ringsting Says:    
  2012-10-30 19:57:39  
  Torch turd as usual but an extra star for dr strange...at least he is freshening things up  

  olgamon Says:    
  2012-11-06 11:39:20  
  not just asbestos... SUPER ASBESTOS  

  TStarnes Says:    
  2012-11-06 11:47:33  
  Super Asbestoes .... now with extra cancer.  

  Maidel Says:    
  2012-12-09 10:52:50  
  It was one of the 'least bad' torch episodes, was actually vaguely interested in how he was going to win. Only vaguely though...

Dr strange is looking good, waiting to see him in all his glory so to speak later on, but I think I can see why he becomes an 'on/off' comic line, he's quite far removed from super heros.

  edgar987 Says:    
  2012-12-26 14:54:27  
  I think this one needs to be essential for the first appearance of Baron Mordo ?  

  Dopey Says:    
  2013-01-08 07:24:53  
  Skin-Covered Nitrogen Strands!

"We're gonna go work on our income tax report with Sue, [and do other grown-up stuff.]" Screw you Mr. Fantastic. You evil A-hole. Could've prevented all of this by being there for the teenage testosterone-filled Torch, but you chose to ignore it. I'll bet he secretly hopes 'it's curtains' for young Johnny.

Sue, after trying to console Johnny, turns the radio on to see what the media has to say about the debacle. (Good idea, Sue...) More and more I feel that the Invisible Woman is written to be a ditz. We find that the Asbestos Man is indeed a criminal, and Johnny exclaims "my reputation - everything I stand for - is at stake!" This is more evidence that Torch was meant to be written as a young brash ash hole and is not just the product of poor writing, as many fellow commenters tend to claim.

The advent of Asbestos Man was something that I think we all knew was coming. I mean, already we've seen many of the residents of Glenville pull asbestos-coated-somethings out of their back pocket that I was not surprised in the least to see this guy.

Good to see Sue Storm having input, when she points out the obvious to Johnny towards the end of the story. I don't think Dick Ayers is very strong at human profiles either, so there is no stars going into my ratings for his Torch work here.

  Dopey Says:    
  2013-01-08 07:25:37  
  Steve Ditko, on the other hand, I fall in love with more and more. His work on Doc Strange really moved me. Not so much for the psychedelic style this time around, but I really got a feel for the way Strange's and Mordo's incorporeal selves were taking their fight inside of walls and objects, and there was one beautiful series of panels that showed an art style we've yet to see. Wonderfully done!

As for the story itself, apparently there is a slew of other first appearances here, again, none of which I know about, but still, I will keep an eye out for them in the future. I don't know what to think of [the Ancient One] as of yet, but I love the back story that has been set up for Dr. Strange so far. It's almost as if they've developed a backstory for this character. I've said it before, this is rare for the bullpen at Marvel so far.

It's hard to really love a story that is only given five pages to work with, but Doc Strange is doing a good job so far.

One star for Ditko. One star for Strange's development. One star for Blackie the Mobster's chauffeur, who shows much more wit than any of the gangsters I've seen as of yet.

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-01-27 23:24:45  
  "You can never play with fire without... Getting burned" ...... Seriously, torch? You went there?! Boooooooooo!  

  Bruce Banner Says:    
  2013-02-07 03:13:40  
  I must say that i did enjoy the Dr. Strange story... its funny how close the 1990's Spiderman cartoon version echoes this one. The Torch on the other hand... 2 stars.. .i am tired of abestos...  

  TaoTaomona Says:    
  2013-02-14 14:14:13  
  Again, Strange is great, but Torch drags this issue down.  

  rebelmswar Says:    
  2013-02-25 06:22:11  
  Cant stand the bloody Human Torch...

Best book for him so far in my opinion because

A) He gets hisa**handed to him
B) He looks like he is about to cry in many of the panels
C) He whinges across his bed, looking pitiful until big sis gives him kisses

Why does Dr. Strange not have eyes?!?!

  Sugarbee Says:    
  2013-03-14 00:54:13  
  i need a ranking system for Dr. Strange that is separate from the Human Torch!  

  TStarnes Says:    
  2013-03-14 16:55:20  
  I know it doesn't help now, but eventually I am going to go back and split these duel story issues into a/b listings.  

  spbailey9101 Says:    
  2013-03-18 18:19:52  
  Love Dr. Strange. Love the Human Torch. Hate hate hate that they always use asbestos or water in his solo comics.  

  duncanm Says:    
  2013-07-12 16:54:15  
  So did he ever come back as Terminal Cancer Man?  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-21 14:19:02  
  After all this time, Johnny decides it's time to study up on asbestos. I guess we know who the dumbest character in the Marvel universe is. Dr Strange saves the issue again.  

  wedgeskywalker9 Says:    
  2013-09-04 03:15:11  
  This series' love affair reaches it natural conclusion in this issue with the premier of Asbestos Man. I really don't think I need to say anything more than that. Strange's story was solid, but not as good as the last one, and not nearly good enough to salvage the trainwreck that is Asbestos Man. 1/5

Fun Fact: Asbestos Man returns in Fear Itself: The Home Front #6, still wearing his Asbestos suit but now lugging around an oxygen tank, as he is a cancer survivor by that point.

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-09-15 21:16:08  
  Didnt like the Torch story as usual but Strange was great!  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-09-20 10:18:31  
  how is the first appearance of baron mordo not "essential?"  

  Redsvetz Says:    
  2013-09-20 10:22:38  
  -@Anon: You're right. Fixed.  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-11 09:31:54  
  This issue only slightly scrapped by with a 3. The Torch story was a little better than average, but it was the inclusion of Doctor Strange in this issue that pushed it over the hump. I love reading stories about the new heroes and Doctor Strange is so interesting and intriguing.  

  gonzo Says:    
  2013-10-27 10:44:19  
  Asbestos Man! The most carcinogenic villain in the Marvel Universe?  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-11-10 15:00:14  
  I barely got through that Torch story. I kind of enjoyed the Doctor Strange story though. That definitely saved this one.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-01-25 21:03:54  
  2 stars for the Asbestos Man putting Johnny in his place.

Abracadabra - The Asbestos Man must also be a magician. On page 2 and 3 his gloves disappear and reappear almost on every panel. His yellow hat seems to do the same thing also!

See You In The Funny Pages - Blackie Barker's chauffeur looks like he came from a old newspaper comic strip.

'Nuff Said - "I presume you received my letter and are, at the moment, filled with the sensation of fear!"-Asbestos Man

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-02-19 22:30:37  
  I like Dick Ayers' artwork in the Torch story, and it was interesting to see how Johnny's story echoed Peter Parker's from back in ASM #3 when Doc Ock mopped up the floor with him. In that issue, it was Johnny's visit to Pete's school that got Pete back in the game.

Always like the Dr. Strange stories. Interesting to note they make a point of it being "black magic".

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-02-21 20:29:57  
  1. Finally...a villain with the power of asbestos. The cover drawing of him does look very cool though.
2. Page 3 panel 2 - Blackie's driver is a classic comic book tough guy
3. I love the non-sequiturs - well...we are going to go work on our income taxes...very quaint
4. He should know about asbestos by now. His apartment is made of the stuff.
Nothing special but it's a good superhero story...3 stars.

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-08 01:22:39  
  I wonder if Stan Lee is ever embarrassed looking back on his constant use of asbestos in these comics. I mean honestly, Asbestos Man? That's sad... Watching the Human Torch lose to Asbestos Man actually qualifies as funny. That said, it's nice to see they're trying to flesh out Sue's character a little more. As for Dr. Strange, these comics are so refreshing. We really needed a change of pace, makes me look forward to the X-Men. I wish I knew Dr. Strange a bit better though, I mean at this point we only have a vague idea of what he can do, but I suppose that'll come.  

  rook420 Says:    
  2014-08-20 23:03:43  
  In New York, just how many old castles are there that are far from other habitations but in rural areas close to town? I need to get out more!  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-02-27 10:40:33  
  OK, so Johnny's great solution is to melt a chandelier and trap Asbestos Man in a room of fire, which technically he should have just been able to walk out of, being impervious to flame and all? Why not just tackle him or hit him with a bat? I mean, come on, Johnny Hothead doesn't really seem to aggressive. I think the picture of him defeated and crying pretty much sums up his character. Sue, go cook him some breakfast.  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 10:58:53  
  Oh boy cancer!  

  JimboJangles Says:    
  2016-03-01 07:05:36  
  Forget the play with fire get burned line, it's all about Torch's line just before: "He'll team up with lots of criminals ... behind bars!" Years before the mainstream recognized the brutality of our prison system, one teenager from Glenville knew enough to crack wise at the expense of Asbestos Man's sweet rear end.

Also - way off topic btw - I'd love to see a Marvel & X-Files crossover, just for the best villain duo ever: Asbestos Man and Cancer Man, together for a short time only!

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-18 23:22:23  
  • That’s my line – “Use your head, boy! Think!” (Invisible Girl)

  • Well, there was an Asbestos Lady who fought the original Human Torch in the Golden Age. It is no surprise they would bring someone similar in the Silver Age, right?

  • Asbestos Man’s costume is so not cool!

  • With everything in his room made with asbestos, Johnny only decides now to learn more about the mineral. Well at least, the writers did their homework this time and got some data right.

  • Sue’s look is so vintage!

  • Not the worst Human Torch story, but nothing memorable. Art was good though. 3 stars.

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-22 12:40:39  
  It seems Johnny forgot the advice he gave back at Peter Parker's school and 'get back in there and never give up'. Another okay issue but nothing stellar.  

  MattDog37 Says:    
  2016-08-22 15:22:38  
  I find it interesting that this is the first and only appearance by the Asbestos Man in the order. It really is a shame he never appears in the order again, as near as I can tell.  

  KnuckIfYouBuckley Says:    
  2016-09-11 10:32:58  
  Shame knowing the Asbestos Man doesn't appear again in the continuity. I was really looking forward to him showing up again as Dying from Cancer due to his Overexposure to Asbestos Man.  

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-05 02:54:55  
  The Asbestos Man looks disturbingly like an angry baby elephant with a gladiator fetish.

There. I said it.

  Calion Says:    
  2017-04-02 20:55:29  
  • Stan seems to have an extremely warped notion of what scientific geniuses are like. They're generally too busy doing science to think about getting rich, or what crimes they'd like to commit—or to pick out and wear snazzy, rich-people clothes.
  • “Fire…the basic element!” Clearly this guy is no scientist at all, but some deluded rich dude.
    • And he's supposedly a chemist, no less. I bet he has the real scientist locked in a room somewhere.
  • Another iron-melting formula? These must be easy to make. First the Melter, now this guy.
  • How many castles are in downstate New York? You'd think this was England or Ireland, with castles and keeps littering the landscape.
  • So the guy makes synthetic asbestos, and instead of making a fortune by selling a safe alternative to asbestos, he uses it for crime. I guess mesothelioma hadn't been heard of yet. Still, it points to a larger flaw: He could earn far, far more money by making it than by stealing it. But that never seems to occur to Stan, except, I guess, with Tony Stark.
  • Um…did you buy that castle in your own name, dude? You really are new to this "criminal" thing.
  • Okay, the idea of genuinely defeating him and letting him escape is clever. Smarter than most comic villains.
  • Aaah, but he's an idiot after all. He should certainly have thought of those elementary tactics. A random street hood wouldn't have, but a scientific tenuous certainly should have.

There have certainly been worse Torch Strange Tales, but I'm really wishing for a better writer than Ol' Stan. ★★


  qwybie Says:    
  2017-11-05 16:48:37  
  4 stars just for how much I laughed at the whole thing.

Asbestos Man.

Seriously, Asbestos Man.

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-12 21:36:30  
  Asbestos Man died of cancer 15 years later and missed the class action lawsuit.  

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
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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
   January 14, 2018 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   March 30, 2016 TStarnes Added Dick Ayers creator listing.
   March 30, 2016 TStarnes
   December 13, 2015 fragsel Added Asbestos Man to the issue.
   January 25, 2015 TStarnes Deleted listing of Hamir the Hermit.
   January 25, 2015 TStarnes Deleted listing of Baron Mordo.
   January 25, 2015 TStarnes Deleted listing of Ancient One.
   January 25, 2015 TStarnes Deleted listing of Doctor Strange.
   November 29, 2014 Neskit Added New York Police Department to the issue.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   March 4, 2014 Loki120 Updated the listing for Hamir the Hermit.
   March 4, 2014 Loki120 Added Hamir the Hermit to the issue.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Thing.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Invisible Girl.
   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.
   September 20, 2013 Redsvetz Changed comic details.
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