Marvel Fanfare 15: that night...

Writer, Artist, Inker, Colorist: Barry Windsor-Smith
Letterer: Kim Novak
Editor: Al Milgrom

The Stars:
      the Thing and the Human Torch

The Villain:
      well, the Human Torch, I guess

The Set Up:
      We start one evening with Johnny Storm carefully beginning... something. Toy trucks, drinking straws, glue, balloons, springs. We see him doing, well, something with all of these, and finally loaded a firecracker carefully into a cigar.
     Cut to the next morning, as Ben wakes in his usual manner, destroying his alarm clock yet again. From the "kick me!" sign on the back of his bathrobe, the the bedsheet being tied to his feet, to the morning stubble which turns out to be made of cut up drinking straws, it quickly becomes obvious something is up. We follow Ben in search of Johnny as the situation escalates...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Page 10, panel 1. Hot on the Torch's tail, Ben yells "It's Clobberin' Time!!" followed closely by "Wuh- wuzzat?!" as he charges onto a floor filled with skateboards and other wheeled toys...

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia in this issue.

Things of Interest:
      This is a hard issue to do verbal justice to. The whole point of it is the escalation of jokes and the flow of the morning, and I can't describe that here without giving away much of the jokes and what happens. However, this issue may be the single most classic example of the Ben-Johnny jokester rivalry. The myriad jokes are great too, though again, I'm hardly about to give them away here. In short, this issue is a "must have" for true Ben fans.
     Well, I think you'd be hard pressed to disagree with me on this point- this is quite simply one of the best Ben covers anywhere, anytime.
     In 2010, this was voted as number 8 / 9 in the "Greatest Thing (Ben Grimm) Stories Ever Told!" poll at Comic Book Resources.
     This issue is dated July, 1984. That puts it in the same month as issue 13 of The Thing, though the Marvel Chronology Project places it between issues 9 and 10 of The Thing (just before Ben leaves for the Secret Wars).
     There is a second story in this issue, a Daredevil back-up. I only mention it for completeness sake- it has nothing to do with Ben.