STRANGE TALES 122-123 (1964): 1st Beetle!

The cover to #122 has that classic “Doctor Doom does not appear in this issue blurb that John Byrne copied in FF #238…


Issue #122 has a throw-away Human Torch story, where he loses a fight to an asbestos sheet.  About 20% of the content simply reiterates Fantastic Four #22.  Anyway, after being kidnapped via the sheet thing…

…he’s tied up with asbestos rope and stuffed in an asbestos trailer.


Issue #123 is a bit better.  Beetle is introduced.

I always thought of him as a Spider-Man villain.  Anyway, guess what Beetle uses to fight Torch?  Re-read what happened in #122, and guess.

Thaaaaaaaat’s right.  Asbestos.

Thing guest stars.  And he likes his meat bloody.

Then the twosome act like assholes to autograph seekers.

In the other half of the book, #122 has Nightmare versus Dr. Strange.

He falls prey to the scoundrel because he’s sleepy.


The art continues to be fun, but the stories feel like the same thing over and over.  After he beats him, Stephen makes a dramatic speech.

Then in #123…

It’s Stephen versus Loki.

The Norse master of trickery meets his match.

Dr. Strange stories: Lee/Ditko, C+

Human Torch stories: Lee/Ayers, D

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