"The Coming of the Plantman!" (1963/10/01) from Strange Tales 113 (October 1963)
Reader Rating: Average; Thunderbolts Interest: Extreme
Summary: Gardener Sam's own warped experiments mix with a fortuitous bolt of lightning to create a device that gives him complete control over plants. Sam dons a green costume and goes on the usual crime spree, clashing with the Human Torch one time too many.
Continuity: Sam is not given a last name yet. He is drawn here as a hulkingly large man. Sam eludes capture by hiding in the hollow trunk of a tree.
Some years from now, we will learn that the lightning bolt was actually the work of the alien H'ylthri, plant people with a long term plan to use Smithers as their agent on Earth (see "Root of Evil", 1991/12/01).
Comments: Apparently Stan Lee was burning all his genius up during working hours, then plotting the Human Torch adventures in his sleep. There's no logic to the story, no pizzazz to Joe Carter's script and no dynamic to Dick Ayers' art. And, anyway, "Plantman"? I suppose we should be grateful Stan didn't call him The Human Asparagus.
Previous Thunderbolts Next
Previous Smithers Next
TOC * Home
This page was revised on July 5, 2004
Comments? Corrections? Make Contact