STRANGE TALES #130 March 1965
Jack Kirby and Chic Stone original artists
Here it is, folks--one of the all-time great disappointments spewing forth from the original House of Ideas. Seven months following his Torrid Twosomes confrontation with The Beetle, Marvel head honcho Stan Lee set up a situation that led directly to Johnny and Ben's encounter with (yes) the Beatles! However, hip as he was, apparently good ol Stan had absolutely NO idea how best to handle such a fraught-filled confrontation between two burgeoning cultural behemoths! And assigning the art chores to the talented but badly miscast Bob Powell--making his Marvel Age debut, no less--did the former Eisner associate no favors, lemme tell ya!
But rather than repeat myself, let me simply direct you to a "Dateline:@#$%" strip that I did back in 1997, one that exhaustively details my deeply-felt disenchantment with this whole misbegotten enterprise. Squint at your screen whilst attempting to read my laborious lettering, friends, and you'll get chapter and verse as to why the meeting between the Fab Four and (half of) the Fantastic Four was such a tremendous let-down on so many levels. I expected nirvana (no--NOT Nirvana...), but all I got was misery. I should have known better. Oh well--not a second time...

I suppose I should say a little something about the good Doctor, he of the rare cover spotlight basking. In its own way, this is a pretty cool cover, even if it does commit the cardinal sin of reducing the much-anticipated meeting between the quartets to little more than a gimmicky side-show. Jack Kirby sure draws a nasty looking Baron Mordo, and his Dr. Strange ain't too bad either! Had he actually gone back and taken a peek at one of Sturdy Steve Ditko's stories for costume reference, why, gosh, it may've been even better!

And what about Ditko? Stan was nice enough to turn over the cover to the Mystical Mage--why not his ink-stained sage as well? Not only would that have given Jack a chance to maybe eat lunch that particular day, but we also would've been treated to the almost unimaginable display of Johnny and Ben, adorned with Beatle wigs, Ditko-style!! Now, THAT'S something I would've loved to have seen!

Any time at all!...