"The Mysterious Radio-Active Man!" - Journey Into Mystery 93 (June 1963)
Reader Rating: Average; Thunderbolts Interest: Extreme
Summary: When Thor takes sides against their army, the military leaders of Red China turn to their scientists for a way to strike back. Dr Chen Lu accepts the challenge, using the opportunity to complete experiments that transform him into "The Radio-Active Man." Traveling to NYC, R-Man challenges Thor to a showdown.
Continuity: Chen Lu is transformed into the Radioactive Man. He displays the ability to melt bullets in flight, to repel Thor's hammer and resist his lightning bolts, and to create a swirling, hypnotic radioactive pattern. Thor hurtles R-Man back to China, and Chen Lu appears to explode on landing. He survives, somehow, and is soon recruited by Heinrich Zemo.
To read about Chen Lu in a bizarre variation of this story, see the What If...? page.
Comments: Welcome to the dawn of the Marvel Age of Comics, where men are heroes, women swoon, and nobody worries too much about the plot. This one sets up the "Radio-Active" Man as incredibly powerful and dangerous, then completely ducks the question of how to fight him. After Chen Lu hypnotizes Thor into throwing away his hammer (and it doesn't come back!?), the rest of the story is Don Blake's hilarious adventures retrieving it. Once he's got Mjolnir back, Thor whups R-Man in exactly two panels. With Jack Kirby supplying the art, it's a shame no one saw the opportunity for a knock-down, drag-out fight.
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This page was revised on June 26, 2007
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