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Tom Strong

 #15: Ring Of Fire!


Writer: Alan Moore
Pencils: Chris Sprouse
Inks: Karl Story
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Lettering: Todd Klein

Cover date: March 2002

Plot Summary:
This time we get another "full size story":

Security alert at the Stronghold: a volcanic explosion destroyed Tesla's room and Tom's daughter has disappeared! The footage that Pneumans' built-in camera has recorded shows: Tesla was abducted by some strangers looking like the Human Torch. Tom and Solomon remember that Tesla has already had an encounter with these salamander beings who live in the earth's interior (see #8).

Tom, Dhalua and Solomon are heading straight to the earth's interior to find Tesla. Meanwhile, the girl is welcomed by the salamanders' king Val Var Garm with a kiss. But Tesla gives him a two-fisted answer. Later, her parents arrive, equipped with heat-resistant 'gemsuits'. Tom acts totally as a caring father who does everything to get his daughter out of the grip of another man.

This is when Tesla steps in with a wonderful appearance: 'Testosterone alert, or what? I am in my sixties. And you're acting like some heavy dad on prom night.' She points out that this is her very own business and Val Var learns that Tesla is not totally out of reach for him. He surrenders and follows the Strongs to their home where Tesla starts teaching him the human language.


While the first appearance of the salamander guys was a bit dull, their comeback is an entertaining read with some soap opera elements. I love this scene where Tesla's getting upset about the boys' behaviour. And I think we have not seen the last of Val Var and Tesla - is there a little romance in the air?

Besides, there was a change in the creative team: from now on, Karl Story will provide the inks on Chris Sprouse's pencils instead of Al Gordon.