The Human Torch #4 [1975]

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This issue reprints the 13-page Kirby/Ayers Torch story from STRANGE TALES #104 [1963], “The Human Torch Meets Paste-Pot Pete”. Yes, Paste-Pot Pete, the villain whose name is three kinds of stupid (the Paste-Pot nonsense, giving your real name in your villain identity and the annoying alliteration).

Johnny first runs into Pete at a bank, where he’s unable to act openly for fear of revealing his identity. Yes, this was when he briefly tried to keep a secret identity. He does manage to send out a flame-double of himself to follow Pete, not a power (creating doubles that apparently can act with some independence) that you see him use much later. Clearly there were still feeling out the character at the time.

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The Torch eventually catches up with Pete as he’s moved on quickly from bank robbery to theft of experimental military missiles. The Torch is briefly pasted to one as his flame fails, but escapes. Pete manages to escape before being captured, left to ponder where he went wrong. Surprisingly it would take a while before he figures out that his name is one of the place.

The early Torch solo stories are all over the map, and this is one of the weaker ones in terms of the story, but the Kirby/Ayers artwork is, by contrast, excellent stuff.

Published 1975

1 thought on “The Human Torch #4 [1975]

  1. Nick Caputo

    I always liked the silly names of some of these characters. you can’t beat such goofy characters like Pete, the Ringmaster and the Scarlet Beetle, to name a few.

    Reply

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