Saturday, November 30, 2013

With A Little Help From The FF

I am not ashamed to tell you that, when the Beatles were taking America by storm, I had my very own Beatles wig just like everyone else. They definitely cleaned up on those Beatles wigs. I'm not aware of a single person who hung onto theirs. The wigs must all be in the Smithsonian by now, or in someone's private collection. Imagine looking out into your audience and seeing just about everyone with your hairstyle. Think of the horror of a whole audience full of Vanilla Ice hairstyles. No one would be able to see the stage.

But never let it be said that Marvel didn't have its symbolic finger on the pulse of America, because in early 1965 an issue of Strange Tales cashed in on the Beatles bandwagon:

The Beatles were already well back in the UK by this time, so Marvel was a little late to the party; still, by the time of publication, the singing group had reached the height of their popularity in the states, and the Thing and the Torch on a comic book cover wearing Beatles wigs could definitely still tap into a great deal of fan frenzy from comics readers.

The story itself was all in good fun, as many Strange Tales stories featuring Ben and Johnny as a team tended to be. The pair "meet" the Beatles courtesy of their girlfriends, who manage to coerce them to see their show:

The Beatles themselves, however, are really featured only in passing, since the Torch and the Thing have to go into action shortly after arriving:

From there, we find ourselves watching this half of the FF facing off against gunmen who give them far more trouble than they should be capable of:

And just watch how the Torch breaks the fourth wall, which may be a first for a Marvel story:

At the end of the story, the pair return to the auditorium to finally see their idols perform, and the scene perfectly caps the comedic flavor of the tale:

Of course, with Ben and Reed being around the same age, we might have to face the prospect of Reed trotting out his own Beatles wig someday. Let's hope he had the good sense to dispose of it. We'd all probably be delighted to discover he mailed it anonymously to a certain Latverian monarch.

1 comment:

B Smith said...

They must have made Beatle wigs out of asbestos too, if that cover is anything to go by.