Monday, June 21, 2010

Journey into Mystery # 83

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 83
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: August 1962


This issue of Journey into Mystery, as well as many of these early Marvel comics, contain several different stories.  I’ll only be posting about the ones that are applicable to the MU.  In this case, that’s the story of Thor!  I'll also only be posting the writer/artist info that's relevant to the stories I'll be covering here.

Brief Summary:

Earth can’t catch a break, as a bunch of alien stone men, vaguely reminiscent of a Thing who didn’t drink milk in his youth, show up to conquer earth.  Vacationing Dr. Don Blake has to run away from the aliens, and stumbles into a cave.  There, he finds a stick, swings the the stick, it turns into a hammer, and bam!  He’s Thor.  While he’s playing with his new powers and making it rain (no, not like that), the stone men are tricking the army into thinking they’ve got a bunch of mighty monsters in their arsenal, so Earth should let itself get conquered.  Thor takes the fight to the aliens, and gives them a solid beat down.  The aliens, not knowing how many more earth creatures might be like Thor, quit the scene post haste.  Before the army shows up, Thor returns to his mortal form as Dr. Don Blake, thus keeping the power of the Norse god a secret.

Commentary: Now we're working in some mythology to our story lines, which is fun.  Still, I'm surprised to see the origin of Thor focus on yet another alien invasion.  Being as how Thor's story comprised of only a part of this comic, Stan didn't take as much time to get into the meat of Thor's character.  A lot of the story was spent on explanations of how Thor could use his hammer.  There's a lot more unanswered questions on this one, such as why is Don Blake a cripple, where did the stick that turn into Thor's hammer come from, etc.  Guess that's why it's called "Journey into Mystery."

Quick Thoughts:

  • Whenever aliens attack, show them the most powerful version of your species. This is usually a good way to send them scampering.
  • Blake seems to be channeling the power of Thor here; he's very much aware that he's still Don Blake. Different from the Hulk/Bruce Banner situation.
Favorite Panel:  A pretty sweet shot of Mjolinir, Thor's hammer.  The inscription is a classic.

Favorite Quote:   “There! I release my whirling hammer for a split-second, catching the unbreakable thong, and then – I am pulled along after it like the tail of a rocket!!” - Thor.  Also, that’s what she said.

Next: Amazing Fantasy # 15!