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Core points of Gamers

The First Namor/Human Torch Fight Wasn’t Created Over One Big Group Weekend


In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, we tried to come to terms with which fight between Namor and the Human Torch came about through a group marathon crafting session over the course of a weekend.


Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eighth installment seventy-five in which we examine three comic legends and determine if they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends. This is the latest in a group of installments that were all Namor-centric, honoring the historical Marvel character making his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

NOTE: yes my twitter page I hit 5000 followers, I’ll do a bonus issue of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? so go on my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

COMIC LEGEND:

Namor and the Human Torch’s first fight came about via a marathon group comic-making session over a weekend.

CONDITION:

I go with false

If I were to try to sum up the origins of just about every fake comic book legend I’ve ever made in one word, I probably couldn’t do it, but one word that would come close is “confusion.” That covers two of the most common types of fake captions, namely “phone game” style captions, where a person says X, but gets lost in translation over the years until they say Y instead. The other example is when the person directly involved in the legend interprets the story incorrectly because she simply couldn’t accurately remember something that happened decades before. This is a funny thing about the advent of sites like Baseball Reference, which keep very detailed game statistics, so suddenly all these players who used to tell stories about their old games can now be verified in twenty seconds.

It is that last area of ​​confusion that we are addressing with this legend.

RELATED: How A Namor/Wolverine Team-Up Honored The Tragic Untimely Passing Of A Marvel Executive


WHAT IS THE STORY OF THE HUMAN TORCH AND NAMOR’S FIRST FIGHT?

Namor and Sub-Mariner first met in battle in Marvel Mystery Comics #8, with Bill Everett and Carl Burgos each cleverly doing a story in which their respective characters see the altercation from their perspective, first Namor (Everett) and then Torch (Burgos).

So, for example, we’d see Namor causing trouble in his story, and in the second story, we’d see Torch fix his problems. It all led to a cliffhanger..

marvel-mystery-comics-8-3

Marvel Mystery Comics Then #9 was made with Everett and Burgos working together for a joint lead feature (with John Compton working with them)…

marvel-mystery-comics-9-1

And the joint performance was really just one long battle…

marvel-mystery-comics-9-2

After the no. #9 ended with another cliffhanger, everything was resolved quickly in Marvel Mystery Comics #10.

Granted, Bill Everett always used to tell a fascinating story about how this issue came to be (the main impetus behind this was simply that he and Burgos told them it would be a good idea to increase sales of the comic). Mark Seifert transcribed the story of Steranko’s story from the comics (and helpfully corrected some typos) in a piece on Bleeding Cool about Marvel Mystery Comics #9.

“Carl and Bill sat down at their drawing boards and composed the first two pages without having the slightest idea of ​​the story. John Compton came in and started drawing up a script. Then Jack D’Arcy of Hillman Publications came along, found a corner, and began work. Mike Roy and Harry Sahle followed and began doing breakdowns and backgrounds. George Kapitan and Hank Chapman were next to lend their writing talents. Then Joseph Piazza, unable to find a place to work, set up his writing office. in the bathtub. Breakdowns were penciled as soon as page-by-page synopses were completed. Finished dialogue was written directly onto the pages, then lettered. Everyone came together to produce the page-by-page story The floor was littered with reams of paper. Bottles were piling up in the corners. Everyone was shouting their own ideas at each other. The artists and writing res slept in shifts. More than a dozen showed up over the weekend. The radio and record player were going full blast. Neighbors complained and called the police. The phone never stopped ringing. It was the comic book industry’s version of duck soup.”

Everrett told that story several times over the years.

But it’s true?

RELATED: How Did Marvel Acquire The Full Rights To Namor?

WAS THAT STORY REALLY ABOUT THE FIRST HUMAN TORCH/NAMOR FIGHT?

A year later, Namor and Torch had ANOTHER big fight, this time taking up 60 pages in Human Torch #5 in 1941…

human-torch-5-1

In the introduction to the Golden Age Human Torch Marvel Masterworks Volume 2the great Roy Thomas wrote about Human Torch #5…

{T]here’s another minor Marvel mystery on this topic. I mean, THIS is the famous comic Bill Everett told me about in 1969-70, the one that was completely written, drawn, and lettered over one wild and crazy weekend, with everyone working together in a rented hotel space and at the same time? minus a writer banging his typewriter in the bathtub for lack of other space? If it was in fact, like Bill, a full 64-page comic produced that way, it almost has to be Human Torch #5, because by the time of the next feature, nine months later, both Bill and Carl Burgos were on the military service, due to the entry of the United States into World War II in December 1941.

It’s hard to say who did what in this story. Everett probably penciled Namor’s faces and perhaps the basic figures, with Burgos doing similar work on the Torches; but by then Bill had already had some help inking one or two of Subby’s stories, and the work of assistants like Harry Sahle and Edd Ashe on the Torch stories was noted in Volume 1. If this is that “end of the long lost week”, Bill specifically spoke of there being “writers” involved… and while it’s hard to understand how two people could have written this story, it’s clear that at least one writer could have been involved, perhaps Ray Gill, though probably not young Stan. Leeward.

Simply put, it makes too much sense NOT to be the truth. Not only that, but it is very important to keep in mind that art in Human Torch #5 is VERY different than art in Marvel Mystery Comics #8-9.

human-torch-5-2

It seems very apparent that various artists worked on Human Torch #5 in ways that weren’t clear in the same way to Marvel Mystery Comics #9.

human-torch-5-3

I think it’s a pretty clear case that Everett simply didn’t remember WHAT Namor/Human Torch fight he worked on over a weekend (it also wouldn’t make sense to put two issues together over a weekend like it would for a single 60 page story).

So I’m going with a fake on this one, but I wouldn’t be SURPRISED if I was wrong.

Thanks to Roy Thomas, Bill Everett, Jim Steranko, and Mark Seifert for the info!

SOME OTHER ENTERTAINMENT LEGENDS!

Take a look at some entertainment legends from legends revealed:

1. Did Black Widow almost get her own movie before Iron Man or Thor?

two. Were there “back-up” mothers on How I Met Your Mother?

3. Was Robert Downey Jr. cut from his own character’s wedding episode on Ally McBeal?

Four. How did Wheaties save a radio jingle?

PART TWO COMING SOON!

Check back soon for part 2 of this installment’s legends!

Feel free to send me suggestions for future comic legends at cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com





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