Review:Journey into Mystery #105

“The Cobra and Mr. Hyde!”,Published: April 2nd,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Art Simek

Journey into Mystery #105 is a big turning point for Thor. The story itself is a fun romp featuring another cameo by the Avengers and the momentous first team-up of two of Thor’s past villains,Mr. Hyde &Cobra,and Thor gets bumped up to eighteen page stories.

After Thor leaves an Avengers meeting,the story switches to Cobra. Cobra has to be the unluckiest man in Journey into Mystery. In his first appearance,he was bitten by a radioactive cobra after killing (of all people) Blake’s former mentor. While on the run from Thor,he took Jane Foster (of all people) as a hostage. Cobra’s not any luckier this time around. He basically stumbles across Thor on accident and then,while trying to escape,he breaks into the lair of Mr. Hyde (of all people) and proceeds to get his ass kicked until he mentions Thor.

At least I think they're fighting...

In a moment of unintentional hilarity,the duo simply stops fighting and begins to compare notes. And yes,a team-up is in order! Normally,I wouldn’t be that excited about it,but my all-time favorite villain team-up is Hush &Prometheus. They were both lame,but somehow lamer together. This is eerily similar.

The dastardly duo,ironically,initially disagrees about how to take down Thor. Cobra,who primarily relies on his tech over his powers,thinks they should confront Thor with brute force. Hyde,who takes a potion to become a really strong dude,wants to confront Thor with technology. Yep,this is definitely going to be a Hush/Prometheus team-up…

If the 'Montage' Gun wasn't funny before,
Hyde installed a 'Zoom' feature to boot!

Hyde has a rather bizarre invention cooked up. It’s essentially a “Montage Gun” that replays images of where its target has been in the last few minutes. This isn’t the worst invention in the comic,that title still belongs to the remote hammer finder,but it’s pretty damn close. The plan is to use it on Thor and find where he lives! Yes,it sounds perverted,but if you think about it,it’s kinda like Facebook.

The plan would’ve worked,but there were two problems. The first one was cool – the gun,when aimed at Thor,only worked when Blake was Thor and mysteriously stopped (to them anyway) whenever Thor went inside Blake’s office. The second problem,not so cool – that’s actually enough information for the villains to use,but they’re too dumb to know it.

It's at least funny watching Hyde
fall over when the cane becomes
a hammer. Luckily,he doesn't notice.

Unsure why the machine showed Blake’s office,they head there to inquire the whereabouts of the thunder god. At this point,I did get pulled out of the story a bit. One,Cobra is taking Jane hostage for the second time and two,Hyde is in the office of Dr. Blake – the very man he created the Hyde potion to destroy. And neither brings it up. Cobra,I could forgive,but Hyde making no mention of his vendetta against Blake? Sigh. Then again,he doesn’t mention his desire to be King of the Seven Seas here either…

Anyway,while I was chewing that oddity over,the story featured its weakest moment. In a ridiculously dangerous gamble,Blake has Hyde stamp the hammer (under the guise that it would summon Thor) while Hyde,Cobra,and Jane look out the window to watch for Thor. Facepalm.

Since this is a 1964 comic,it totally pays off. Thor appears and gives some lame excuse about Blake running out the door. Never mind that these two villains (&Jane!) now think Blake has a cane that summons Thor. Sure hope they don’t try and steal it later.

Strictly speaking,that's not good.
Might be time to modernize those enchantments...

If you don’t let yourself get caught up in the head-scratcher,a fantastic distraction comes along in the form of a big three-way battle. For the rest of this issue,we’re treated to a great fight scene between Thor and (mostly Mr. Hyde). Cobra only makes one move,but it is devastating – he captures the hammer in the inner workings of a hydraulic lift where Thor can’t reach it.

While Thor has sixty seconds left until he becomes Blake,readers don’t even get that. Thor’s dilemma serves as our cliffhanger…

I really enjoyed this issue. The Avengers cameo and some short scenes with Jane provided some ongoing plot details for the overall story of the title while the team-up of two of Thor’s “greatest villains” was a great current story that drew on issues before. Hyde &Cobra are fairly incompetent,but it’s for the best since Thor’s methods of dealing with them aren’t always particularly well-thought out either. Despite a few misgivings,I enjoyed the issue and I eagerly await the final installment tomorrow.

I loves me some Kirby-tech.

Speaking of anticipation,I was also looking forward to this issue of Tales of Asgard. After setting up Heimdall as the perfect sentry last issue,this issue promised to show the one-time Heimdall failed. The story opens with the King and Queen of the Storm Giants scheming for a way to get past Heimdall. They recruit an air creature (which looked a lot like a fairy). Since he can become part of the breeze,they believe he can get past Heimdall.

And he does. Sorta. Heimdall senses something,even going so far as to swat at “nothing” when the creature passes him by. We get a quick tour of Asgard as we follow the air creature,Heimdall warns Odin about something being around. Odin uses his powers to make all of Asgard motionless and exposes the creature. Heimdall seeks punishment for his failure,but Odin won’t have it. The fact that Heimdall was honorable enough to admit his uncertainty proves him more worthy. Aww!

It kinda reads more like an after school special,except that after reaffirming Heimdall’s confidence,Odin rides off with the Asgardian army to slay himself some Storm Giants! Aww!

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As we close,here’s a bigger look at the cover of #105 along with some of the scenes from Thor’s epic battle with Hyde &Cobra…

The Cover,and Thor versus the so-called 'two worst menaces on Earth'.

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