Review:Journey into Mystery #112

“The Mighty Thor Battles the Incredible Hulk!”,Published: November 3rd,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Sam Rosen

This is a strange issue. For one,I’m pretty sure this is the first issue not to feature Donald Blake. But what makes it truly odd is how the story gets started. It’s primarily a flashback tale and the story begins as Thor comes across two groups of “youngsters”,minutes away from a West Side Story showdown,as they debate a question that has long plagued mankind. What serious matter has drawn battle lines among otherwise friendly teens,you ask? Well,if you must know,one group believes that Thor could take the Hulk in a fight while the other is certain that the Hulk would be triumphant.

And in a very special Journey into Mystery,Thor sits down with both groups and recounts the story of the time he fought the Hulk back in ye old Avengers #3. Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #111

“The Power of the Thunder God!”,Published: October 1st,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Art Simek

Last issue,Thor was in quite the predicament. He had caused an explosion that left Jane’s life hanging in the balance,but couldn’t help her due to his being under the combined assault of two of his enemies,Cobra &Mr. Hyde. To make matters worse,they’d each been given a power upgrade courtesy of Loki. In all,the cliffhanger left Thor in a pretty bad spot.

And it’s up to Journey into Mystery #111 to get him out of it. This issue has a lot of things going for it – plenty of intrigue at the story’s beginning,some creative (&humorous) problem solving by Thor,and a “b”story so great that that Asgardian almost steals the spotlight… Continue Reading…

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. Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #109

“When Magneto Strikes!”,Published: August 4th,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Sam Rosen

Well,here’s a crossover I certainly wasn’t expecting. Journey into Mystery #109 features Thor going toe-to-toe with… Magneto?? And he’s not the only Marvel character spotlighted either,the opening of the story serves to remind the readers of the awesomeness that is the combined Marvel Universe.

We start off simply enough as Thor attends the unveiling of a Thor statue as part of a “Hall of Heroes” exhibit. This little interlude gives Jack &Stan reason to show off almost the entire Marvel line. Statues of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers are on display while statues of Spider-Man,Daredevil,&X-Men are mentioned. What,no Doctor Strange? Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #108

“At the Mercy of Loki,Prince of Evil!”,Published: July 2nd,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Art Simek

Well,they can’t all be great stories. After having such a terrific run for this entire week,I may have gotten my hopes up for this issue. Journey into Mystery #108 features a guest spot by Doctor Strange and the return of Loki – it’s been all of three issues since he made himself a nuisance,so,I guess he was due?

After a strange intro that finds Thor destroying miles of city streets to create a “ripple” (i.e. earthquake) that prevents a boy from being hit by a runaway truck and a quick dismissal about how the Avengers can afford to pay for the damage (thanks,Tony),we’re off to actually start this story… Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #107

“When the Grey Gargoyle Strikes!”,Published: June 2nd,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Art Simek

This job is getting too easy. I’m sure there’ll be more than a few less-than-stellar Thor comics in my future,but this week turned out to be a blast. Thor had a truly Asgardian adventure,fought the combined “talents” of two of his earlier foes,and today,he takes on a new one,the Grey Gargoyle.

While the Gargoyle is interesting enough as a villain,the real excitement in this issue is that the hero of this tale is actually “lame” Donald Blake. Thor does his part,throws the hammer,what have you,but this issue is a great story for Blake and for his relationship with Jane. An interesting villain rolling out of it was really just a bonus. Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #106

“The Thunder God Strikes Back!”,Published: May 5th,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Art Simek

Last issue,Thor was in a bind. Well,the hammer was in a bind. Thor was just kinda screwed. With his hammer beyond reach,Thor had less than a minute to come up with a solution. When a similar situation has appeared in Journey into Mystery up until now,that usually forewarns of a quick and out ending,something that succinctly solves Thor’s problem and gives him victory immediately.

There’s just one problem. We’re at the beginning of a story,an eighteen page story no less. This isn’t time for a quick and out and all,the creators have to drag this baby out. And they do. Masterfully. Continue Reading…

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. Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #104

“Giants Walk the Earth!”,Published: March 3rd,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Artie Simek

Up until recently,Thor (by means of Stan &Jack) has been doing a great job of keeping Earth &Asgard relatively separate. Other than Loki’s mischief,his problems on the mortal coil tend to come from Earth. The cover to Journey into Mystery #104 lets us know right away that things are going to be different. We’ve got a Storm Giant rampaging through New York City (!) and Surtur bursting forth from the center of the Earth (!!).

With Thor’s two worlds basically colliding,I expected great things from this issue and I’m happy to report that it delivered. Continue Reading…

Review:Journey into Mystery #103

“The Enchantress and the Executioner”,Published: February 4,1964
Writer: Stan Lee,Penciler: Jack Kirby,Inks: Chic Stone,Letters: Sam Rosen

Journey into Mystery #103 was made for me to love. We’ve got the first appearance of two new villains,carryover plot from last issue,intrigue for Donald Blake,a capable combatant for Thor,tons of more Asgard-related story,and a way out there back up that blew my mind. You can probably smell that favorite tag coming a mile away,can’t you?

The story opens with Thor returning home from his 23rd century misadventures last issue. If you’re the type of person who might feel confused jumping into a book that’s not a #1,there’s a quick recap of the events from #102 just for you. It’s not particularly relevant to this story,but it’s handled in a cool way –a dream sequence courtesy of an exhausted Don Blake. Continue Reading…