Friday, July 16, 2010

Marvel History Post 35: Journey into Mystery # 89

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 89 Writer: Stan Lee/ L.D. Lieber Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: February 1963 Brief Summary: Um, Thor has to use a mannequin to maintain his secret identity. It's nothing like this. After that, Thor's origin is recapped, as is his feelings towards Nurse Jane, who has the hots for Thor and his counterpart Don Blake. Outside, a criminal is escaping for the law named Thug Thatcher, but he catches a bullet. His cronies capture Don Blake and Nurse Jane so they will help heal their leader. Blake patches up Thatcher, who then orders him killed. Blake makes a mental plea to Odin, who summons a force that knocks away Blake's cane, which he then grabs and turns into Thor. The force is too bright, so no one notices him do it. Thor handles the criminals, except Thug Thatcher escapes, and he's still got Nurse Jane captive. He orders Thor to drop the hammer, or its curtains for Jane. Thor does so, but then throws his voice across the room, which confuses Thatcher, giving Thor enough time to get Jane to safety. Thor then goes after Thatcher, and catches him with a little help from lightning. Thor also removes the memory of Thatcher from the mind of Thatcher's girlfriend. Commentary: Thor spends a lot of time keeping Don Blake's identity a secret, although Thug Thatcher at one point notes that he has read somewhere that Blake and Thor are frequently together, so perhaps a few people are on to the jig. The sad saga of Blake and Nurse Jane continues, as neither will reveal their feelings for the other. We'll see this play out in other comics, notably in the early romance between Scott Summers and Jean Grey in X-Men, and to a lesser extent we've already seen something similar between Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Girl. Quick Thoughts:
  • Apparently Don Blake carries the brain of Thor around in his head.
  • Thor has super-developed vocal chords. He also already appears the part to play a role in an opera, so maybe this will work out for him some day.
  • Thatcher wears an eye patch, making him a predecessor to someone we'll see shortly.
  • Thor has to pound his hammer four times to summon lightning.
Favorite Panel: A terrifying alternate reality where Thor gets a haircut. This does make one wonder how Blake's hair grows so quickly when he turns into Thor. Because that's the only part of these stories that doesn't make sense. Next: Strange Tales # 105