Episode 64: Super-smart, super-evil? The (Strange Tales #110) -- June 1963

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the jailbreak of the Wizard. In the past week, at least three super-geniuses have been involved in criminal activity (the Wizard, the Thinker and Egghead). Is there something about super-intelligence that leads people to becoming master criminals? Does this mean that other hyper-intelligent people like Bruce Banner and Tony Stark are at risk? What should we as a society do to prevent more geniuses from going over the edge?

In this issue:

Strange Tales #110

Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, reminisces about his short but eventful crimefighting career, including his takedown of the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete. Meanwhile, Pete breaks the Wizard out of prison and proposes a partnership to take down the Human Torch. Their devious plan begins by planting a story about the Human Torch being a spy. It turns out that the Wizard has impersonated the Torch and committed treacherous crimes, fooling the world. Johnny tracks the villains down and singlehandedly defeats them.

Fantastic Four #15

Reed Richards summons his teammates to their headquarters for an urgent mission. He has learned that the top mobsters in the country have headed to New York for something big. Meanwhile, the Thinker meets with the same mobsters to explain how he intends to declare himself the ruler of New York. The mobsters do not believe him, citing the Fantastic Four and the threat they pose to their criminal schemes. The Thinker brushes away their concerns as he explains how he has set into motion a scheme to deal with the Fantastic Four once and for all. For you see, he has laid in motion an incredibly complicated plan to cause the Fantastic Four to break up. And his plan works, leading the Fantastic Four to all do different things, i.e. the Thing becomes a wrestler, Mr. Fantastic is hired by a top company, the Human Torch joins the circus, and the Invisible Girl becomes a star on Broadway. The Four remain broken up for some time, but they all come to the conclusion that they’d rather be part of their original team of adventurers as the Fantastic Four. And so they get back together and return to New York, whereupon they learn that the Thinker has taken over their headquarters. They try to retake their headquarters, and their attempts are originally rebuffed. At one point, an artificial life form created by the Thinker, the Living Android, battles the Four to a standstill. Eventually, Mr. Fantastic outthinks the Thinker by doing something so out of the ordinary as to completely disrupt the Thinker’s plans. Victory for the Four!

Tales to Astonish #45

Egghead, depressed and alone after his defeat at the hands of Ant-Man, is living in a flop house. He overhears criminals discussing Ant-Man and the Wasp and is inspired to devise a plan to destroy them both. He disguises himself as an expert on insects, and he then sets a trap for the two heroes, who nonetheless break free and defeat Egghead once more.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are starting to question why leading scientists are turning to lives of vice and crime.

This episode takes place:

After the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete have been defeated.