Saturday, July 3, 2010

Marvel History Post 21: Journey into Mystery # 86

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 86 Writer: Stan Lee/Larry Lieber Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: November 1962 Brief Summary: We are on earth, but three centuries in the future, where one evil scientist named Zarrko intends to to conquer the peaceful planet where there are no more weapons. He builds a time machine to go back in time to get a nuke. He arrives in the middle of an anti-missile missile (no typos there) test by Thor, and runs off with a bomb, disappearing after he steals one. All he leaves behind is one strange piece of metal. Thor asks his father Odin for help to go into the future to find the man. Thor has the power in his hammer, and so goes to the future, where the evil Zarrko has become a dictator with the power of the bomb. Thor chases after Zarrko, fighting off some robots in the process. Zarrko vows that if he cannot run the world, he will destroy it with a cobalt bomb. Thor manages to get the bomb, but in the ensuing chaos, Zarrko loses all memory of who he was. Thor then returns to our time, where news of his bringing back to the c-bomb hits the papers, as Don Blake's nurse Jane can attest. Commentary: Well, it's always nice to have a storyline without communists, and in that sense, this issue delivered. We also have some early time travel in the MU. The Fan 4 went into the past a few issues ago, and now Thor has gone into the future with the aid of his...urm...hammer. Nevertheless, the future displayed here, a peaceful one, is more of a utopia than the typical dystopian futures that are popularized in later Marvel comics, notably in X-Men stories. We also get a longer appearance by Odin, as Thor asks him for help with the whole time traveling bit. Thor has yet to visit Asgard though and meet more of his Asgardian brethren. Also, Thor seems to be both the actual Norse god and Dr. Don Blake at the same time, as he does refer to Odin as his father. I'm curious to see how the dynamic develops between the two. A lot of the early Marvel heroes' powers are linked into some sort of transformation that occurs, such as Thor, Hulk, and the Human Torch, to a lesser extent. Quick Thoughts:
  • Stan Lee enjoys the double R in his villains names, with Zarrgo following hot on the heels of Kurrgo from Fan 4.
  • Thor can spin through time! Dunno how long that power will stick around...
Favorite Panel: Robots of the future. Sentinels they ain't. Next: Strange Tales # 102