The only reason I really bought this particular Marvel Masterworks was that it was only $5 on Amazon, and I had really been wanting to see how they handled the trade paperback version of the series. I have to say that they did a pretty good job, and I’ll probably start getting some of the TPB volumes if I see them really cheap again.
This one reprints the first half of the Human Torch’s solo series that was originally in Strange Tales. It features the first appearances of the Wizard, Paste-Pot Pete, the Plantman, along with the Sandman, Sub-Mariner, and the first modern appearance of Captain America (albeit an ersatz one).
The book is predominated with artwork of the great Dick Ayers, who inks or pencils nearly every story. He does a very interesting version of the Thing that I kinda like. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko handle the art on the Strange Tales Annual reprint with Spider-Man, and there are even two stories by a fella named Joe Carter, who the world remembers better as Jerry Siegel, the co-creator of Superman.
This volume is a good, solid Silver Age read – nothing too monumental, it’s a good start for the first solo series of any member of the Fantastic Four. I’m hoping they manage to somehow put out the volume 2 hardcover in TPB sometime soon.