So issue #115 had a Human Torch story followed with a Dr. Strange tale.
The Torch story had art by Dick Ayers. Mostly when Heck or Ayers had worked with the superheroes at this point it was over layouts by the unstoppable Jack Kirby. But the artwork in this one is so crude that I suspect that it was all done by Ayers, including the layouts. Mr. Ayers was a decent inker, but he was not among the most skilled of pencil artists. I always found his work to be very crude, and this story is no exception. The only thing that stands out about the tale is that the villain of the piece is The Sandman, from the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man comic as trumpeted on the front cover.
The backup story, however, is pure gold. In this one we see the origin of the character Dr. Strange. Strange had made his first appearance in issue #110 of Strange Tales, so his origin story was overdue. And Strange is one character that even Stan Lee admitted that he had nothing to do with creating. Even by the blowhard's own admission, Ditko was the sole creator of Dr. Strange, although that has not stopped him in later years from taking half the credit (none of which is due to him).
Sometimes Ditko would produce work that was--even for him--unusually adept. This story is one of those. Ditko's artwork in this story is pure magic. It holds up favorably with the finest of the stories he produced for The Amazing Spider-Man, and those are, to my way of thinking, the best superhero comics ever done.
Someday I may upgrade my copy of Strange Tales #115, but for now at least I have a copy.
|My low-grade copy of STRANGE TALES #115.|