Episode 104: Parole for Supervillains (Strange Tales #117) -- January 1964


In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss Leopold “The Eel” Stryke. Leopold became infamous last summer when he accidentally stole a nuclear “briefcase bomb” with a deadman switch. If he had not been found in time by the Human Torch, all of New York would have been lost in an atomic explosion. Given that his crime was relatively minor, he is just now getting out on parole. But that did not stop the Human Torch from attacking him upon his release. Mike and Ed discuss the positives and negatives of our new world of vigilante justice, and whether criminals ever truly be reformed.

In this issue:

The Eel is released from prison. Although the newscaster carelessly reports that the Eel is “at large”, which the Human Torch overhears and freaks out about. The Torch heads to the prison and confronts the Eel, who has decided that it is a good idea to wear his supervillain costume as he strolls out of prison, only for the warden to intervene to explain that the Torch has been released. The Torch’s rush to judgment is reported on the news, and he is quite embarrassed. Although his instincts were not wrong; the Eel went right back to his life of crime. The Torch figures out where the Eel’s next robbery will be and confronts him once more, although the Eel escapes in his tricked out helicopter. They meet again, and the Torch comes out on top, defeating the Eel in a dramatic showdown at the aquarium.

This episode takes place:

After the Torch defeats the Eel.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are wondering if super-criminals should be locked up in super-prisons.