Thursday, May 28, 2015

When Falls The Wizard!

OR: "The Wizard Slips Up!"

The first time the Wizard went up against the Human Torch, his only goal was to discredit and frame him, as proof that his brilliance could overcome even someone of the Torch's power. In their second encounter, it looks like he's moved up to outright assault:

Clearly, the Wizard isn't willing to take a "oh well, can't win 'em all" attitude and let this go. Unfortunately, he's currently tucked away in prison, and it's not likely they're going to release him so that he can engage in a grudge match with the Torch. But he has no intention on making prison his permanent residence--and it's a good bet a man who calls himself "the Wizard" is no slouch in the resourcefulness department. Of course, it helps if your prison's guards have the brains of an artichoke:

Not that the Wizard doesn't make the occasional blunder. Not many escapees head back to their residence after breaking out--but that's just what the Wizard does, and the law quickly tracks him down and surrounds the place. But that's all they can do, because the Wizard has thrown up a force field to prevent their access. So you might think this all comes down to a standoff--but the Wizard moves immediately to business, and challenges the Human Torch to a rematch, which the Torch accepts over the protests of his sister, the Invisible Girl, who chides him for using his power to settle a vendetta.

And so once the Torch arrives at the Wizard's estate, the Wizard adjusts the force field to allow him through, and the Wizard's game of cat and mouse begins:

While his devices keep the Torch busy, the residence registers an intruder alarm, which turns out to be the Invisible Girl who's apparently come to keep a covert eye on her brother. But thanks to her interference, the Wizard soon has the Torch at his mercy:

Good grief, there seems to be an utter lack of brains from just about everyone in this story! Though we'd have to give the advantage right now to the Wizard, who's rigged the cell holding the Torch and his sister with a bomb that will go off if he raises his temperature. But the Torch is quick enough to disable the bomb's trigger device before it activates--and as for the bomb itself:

Yes, it seems you can indeed make functioning equipment out of only fire. But PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.

With the Torch free, it looks like the writing's on the wall for the Wizard--or, rather, the water's on the floor, as the villain experiences an embarrassing set of capture maneuvers that will likely keep his prison buddies amused for days:

At least now we know where the Wizard got the inspiration for that helmet of his, eh?


George Chambers said...

As hokey and downright ridiculous as Johnny's "Green Lantern-envy" might be, I still prefer it to the alternative:


Rick said...

This story contains my favorite Stan Lee (presumably) gimmick: The model prisoner gaining access to the prison machine shop/hospital/laundry room, so they can whip up an escape device. Love that stuff!

Comicsfan said...

Well, Rick, we always wondered how these super-criminals ended up with such short prison stints--it looks like prison itself has done its part to make their stay as brief as possible!