Sunday, October 2, 2011

Marvel History 140: Journey into Mystery # 104

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 104
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: May 1964

The issue begins with Loki berating The Enchantress and The Executioner for failing to defeat Thor.  Stan's Norse god stories are pretty consistent in how they weave together, as Stan tries to create a narrative running through all of Thor's stories.  In fact, I would say that's been an increased focus of the stories of late.  While most stories are still just one part long, a sense of chronology and some forward progress is beginning to take shape.  

Forward progress isn't necessarily the best term, as superhero comics are designed to create an illusion of change.  We have to consider that even though Stan's creations have not yet become icons, he is still hesitant to do too much with them.  Take, for example, the Hulk, who seems to move back and forth between various stages of intelligence and monstrosity, all the while on the run from the government.  Nothing has substantially changed in his story, despite the fact that he's built up a supporting cast, and made enemies with the majority of the other early heroes.  Perhaps it's unfair to pick on Hulk, as he hasn't had his own book in quite some time, but his story has failed to evolve, just as Thor's has.  This is despite the fact that Stan is building a more cohesive narrative within his universe.  I believe the stories will start to evolve to a point, and I'm looking at Spider-Man to pave the way.  

Oh yeah, and Thor fights storm giants and demon god's for the survival of the planet.  That happens, too.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Odin transports the entire human race to another dimension.  Don't mess. 
  • Surtur claims to have the power of a thousand blazing suns, just like this guy.
  • Thor briefly trades in his hammer for Odin's sword
  • The backup story tells the origin of Heimdall
Favorite Panel:

Odin on earth, and looking pretty snazzy, I must say

Next: Sgt. Fury # 7