Review:Journey into Mystery #110

“Every Hand Against Him!”,Published: September 1st,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Sam Rosen

JiM #110 is a great issue that sees the three different worlds of Thor (his life as Blake,his heroics as Thor,and his Asgardian heritage) come crashing together. It starts off with a bit of unintentional hilarity,but quickly kicks into action and doesn’t let up clear through until the cliffhanger.

Like many a Thor story,this issue starts off with Loki hatching his latest plot. This time,he’s in need of allies and looks no further than the jail of the 14th Precinct. Hyde &Cobra are being held there pending trial. And Loki does exactly what you’d expect him to do to get them out.

He pays their bail.

That's 500k down the drain...

After paying half a million dollars for the release of Hyde &Cobra,he sets the next part of his plan in motion. He doubles their power and sends them to kidnap Jane Foster. They don’t really understand*,but are happy to comply so they can test their newfound power on Thor.

*-Now,I have to stop here a minute and point out that this will be the third time that Cobra has kidnapped Jane Foster as well as the third time that Blake is somehow involved in Hyde’s dealings with Thor. And again,the previous match-ups go without mention. I know that it may not serve the purposes of this story,but in a comic trying to form a heavy tapestry for Thor,it seems odd that the villains get little to no continuity between appearances. Am I supposed to perceive this pair as inept? Should I forget their history and just marvel at the threat they present? I really can’t tell.

Unfortunately for the pair of villains,their power ups don’t allow them to successfully escape with Jane. Instead,they force Thor to bargain for her life. Thor agrees to come after them and is instructed to wait for the villains to contact him. Thanks to Loki,Odin watches the events unfold from above and admonishes Thor. When he hears that Thor let them escape to save Jane,Odin only becomes more enraged.

He was prolly expecting to get some Thor time in. Guess you should be careful what you wish for...

Odin banishes him from Asgard for his trouble,but Thor won’t have it. He deduces that only one villain could amp up the others,that only one villain could have told the criminals to kidnap Jane,and,hey,Loki didn’t show up during his fight with Magneto… so it’s highly likely Loki’s the bad guy this time around. (Okay,I added that last one).

Heck,even I want to punch Loki here...

Loki,though,is in Asgard. But Thor wouldn’t let a little ol’ thing like banishment get in the way,right? And Loki,after Thor battles his way through nearly three-pages of Asgardians – including Heimdall,isn’t the slightest bit concerned.

Technically,Hyde,Thor blew himself up...

In a great scene,Loki strolls along a garden path and smells flowers while Thor threatens him. Loki doesn’t raise a hand against Thor and Thor,surprisingly,doesn’t beat the crap out of him. Loki,sure that Thor will be defeated,tells his half-brother Jane’s location just before Odin banishes Thor back to Earth.

The rest of the issue is filled with Thor’s travails in saving Jane. After evading death traps and a tear gas attack from Cobra,Thor faces Hyde. During the battle,Thor inadvertently ignites the leftover gas and creates an explosion powerful enough to knock himself out. Hyde runs off to show Cobra his achievement (I am really starting to question their relationship…). When Thor comes to,he finds Jane in the wreckage of the lair,near death. With Hyde &Cobra closing in for round two,Thor calls upon the near limitless power of his hammer to slow time for Jane and hope it buys him enough time to defeat his enemies and save her life. Can he do it? We’ll find out tomorrow…

Do I have to pay another 12¢ to see the X-Men? C'mon!

This issue was a fun read from cover-to-cover. I laughed out loud at Loki paying bail for the two villains,but that hilarity was quickly erased with the seriousness of Jane’s kidnapping,and the fantastic fight scenes waged against Heimdall &Hyde especially. My favorite moment though was easily the tense dialogue between Thor &Loki. That scene was explosive,but the exchange and location forced it to be calm and made for a great “quiet” scene in an otherwise action-packed book.

Yeah,Odin... you totally
lost on purpose.

The Tales of Asgard backup featured the legions of Asgard facing off against a rebel enemy. We’re quickly caught up to speed through some big captions. The rebels have been at war with Asgard for awhile. Their King recently died and the rebellion is now lead by his son,the prince. The rebels lack faith in their new leader,but are emboldened when fiery geysers burst from the ground and repel Odin’s forces. Odin signals retreat. This earns the rebel prince the loyalty of his army (and a “Fearless”moniker) while Odin reveals to Thor that his true reason for retreat was to let history show that any enemy can be defeated and that hope should never be lost. Sure,Odin,sure…

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As we close,here’s a bigger look at the cover of #110 along with a scene from Thor’s battle in Asgard…

The Cover and Thor fighting his way into Asgard. Doesn't it look like the lizard in the foreground is talking?

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