Marvel Comics (1939) #1a: The Human Torch

Happy Comic Book Day.

I’ve gone back to the beginning with Marvel Comics #1.

The first story, The Human Torch, is pretty sad for how short it is.

The Human Torch has no control over his flame and is imprisoned in airless environments, hunted by people afraid of him, and used by people wanting to make money off of him.  You hardly ever see his face, and before he’s even spoken a word, you feel for him.

It’s interesting looking back at such an old comic book style.  The writing is very different (I’m pretty sure our hero actually brutally murdered a few people).  The artwork is very different.  Rather rudimentary, not a whole lot of emoting in the faces and body language.  The way Burgos drew the fire was pretty cool, though the human torch manages to cast a shadow, despite literally being a ball of fire.

Look at that pretty fire!

Even the little independent flames are casting a shadow?

In a weird way, I actually find the quality of the story-telling, drawing, lettering (oh wow! the spelling mistakes!) kind of encouraging.  People’s expectations were probably very different back then, but if Marvel could start there, and become what they are today, I can’t really let my current skill level stop me, can I?

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