Archive for October, 2011

Journey into Mystery #113: Thor

October 26, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
February 1965
A-story: ****
B-story: *****
Stan’n’Jack weave a complex A-tale. Dr. Blake reveals his secret ID to his nurse, which causes Odin to withdraw Thor’s divinity—just as his petrifying foe attacks! As a thrilling chase ensues on Earth, warriors look to help from Asgard. Also, flash back to boy Loki, resentful of his perfect bro.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #112]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #114]

Journey into Mystery #112: Thor

October 25, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1965
A-story: *****
B-story: ****
A title bout: Thor v. Hulk! With no clear victor, I give Thor the match on points. Stan’n’Jack slip this spectacular slobberknocker btw. the gutters of Avengers #3. Colletta’s inks skew another great Tale of Asgard. Odin, ridding the ‘verse of monsters, adopts a giant-king’s bantam son: Loki!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #111]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #113]

Journey into Mystery #111: Thor

October 24, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
December 1964
A-story: *****
B-story: ***
Lee & Kirby are stretching this mag in cosmic directions as Thor stops time to save his love! They elaborate on a standard ’60s confrontation w/ foes & deathtraps by crosscutting w/ the high fantasy of Asgard. More rollicking action after as Thor wrestles w/ a troll, a riff on Herakles & Antaeus.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #110]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #112]

Journey into Mystery #110: Thor

October 23, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
November 1964
A-story: *****
B-story: *****
In a spectacular panel, Loki reveals his splendor to mortals! The gods of Asgard are no mere superpeople, even when it’s Thor fussing w/ his usual foes Cobra & Hyde. Like Loki, Odin plays a cunning game: he orders the retreat before a human army on a boiling plain—to show that all is possible.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #109]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #111]

Journey into Mystery #109: Thor

October 22, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
October 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: ***
The X-Men hover just off-panel as Thor easily outclasses their archenemy. The mighty Magneto scrambles to jettison the god from his kirbytech sub—not knowing that he’s fighting Dr. Blake instead! Kirby slides a couple of A-1 panels into the formulaic B-tale (Thor leads giants into a bushwack).
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #108]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #110]

Journey into Mystery #108: Thor

October 21, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: ****
Last month, Dr. Strange fought Loki in Strange Tales; this month, he helps Thor do the same in JiM. But first, he’s revivified by Dr. Blake in the operating room—a snazzy 2/3 splash! For his part, Kirby seems to be the creative drive for “Asgard”, which sees Thor lead a slave revolt against trolls.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #107]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #109]

Journey into Mystery #107: Thor

October 20, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
August 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: ****
Once Lee & Kirby took over Thor in its second year, even the god’s conventional Silver Age adventures have shone. Take this one: it’s not the caped hero who defeats a French scientist w/ a medusa’s touch, it’s brave Dr. Blake. Or the backup, which sees Balder protected by a witchy “Norn Queen”.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #106]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #108]

Journey into Mystery #106: Thor

October 19, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
July 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: ***
To draw Thor out, two supervillains spark a riot at an industrial expo. The triple face-off inspires several bravura action sequences, incl. a 60-sec hammer-free match btw Thor & the ugly Hyde. Colletta’s hackwork squanders a fine B-story that highlights the infinitely compassionate godling Balder.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #105]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #107]

Journey into Mystery #105: Thor

October 18, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
June 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: ***
The mag dumps its C-story to be Thor in all but indicia. And Kirby’s evolved his familiar Marvel style: foreshortened poses, inky shadows, baroque hypertech. He & Stan set up a rematch against a tag-team of villains, the ogre & the cobra. In the backup, the guardian of Asgard catches a sprite.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #104]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #106]

Journey into Mystery #104: Thor

October 17, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1964
A-story: *****
B-story: *****
Thor inspires Kirby & Lee to the heights of creativity. When Odin visits Earth (dig his derby!) to chasten his son, he unleashes his dizzying cosmic powers to defend the realm from ancient enemies. Bonus backup: due to his divine hyper-senses, a warrior earns the post of Asgard’s sentinel!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #103]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #105]

Journey into Mystery #103: Thor

October 16, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
April 1964
A-story: *****
B-story: *****
Even when both are superb, the B-story outdoes the A. On an epic journey in 5 pages, Thor delivers a switch of the World Tree to a sorcerer-king, who fashions the first humans! In contempo superhero mode, Thor faces a pair of gods: a blonde sorceress who even Loki distrusts & her paramour thug.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #102]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #104]

Journey into Mystery #102: Thor

October 11, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
March 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: ****
Thor saves the future from a petty despot. Revisiting the 23C gives Kirby the chance to imagine a wild techno-vista (w/ a robo-octopus!), an early model of his gift for endowing setting w/ character. And at age 18, Thor faces Death herself to rescue a friend’s sister & earn his enchanted mallet.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #101]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #103]

Journey into Mystery #101: Thor

October 10, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
February 1964
A-story: ****
B-story: *****
Kirby’s back on the book fulltime, his burly style adding emo heft to the god’s adventures. Thor, denied the chance to romance his nurse, sulks so petulantly his Avengers pals intervene & his father halves his powers! King K’s even better on the backup, pitting the godling against fantastical evils.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #100]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #102]

Journey into Mystery #100: Thor

October 9, 2011

A-story: Stan Lee // Don Heck
B-story: Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1964
A-story: ***
B-story: ****
JiM hits issue #100 for Thor’s inaugural two-parter. Plot threads stay loose, offsetting a brawl w/ a gentleman brute aboard a Polaris sub & a romantic tangle w/ Nurse Foster. In the flashback backup, teens Thor & Loki steal golden apples from giants. Valor, it seems, will earn Thor his hammer!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #99]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #101]

Journey into Mystery #99: Thor

October 8, 2011

A-story: Stan Lee // Don Heck
B-story: Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
December 1963
A-story: ****
B-story: *****
Thor’s 1st two-parter sees him facing a powerhouse inspired by RL Stevenson’s Hyde. But more crucially, the god hopes that his dad will grant his g’friend immortality. The backup is classic Kirby, a saga for the Space Age! Odin’s battle w/ craggy trolls & a titanic fire demon sets the Earth spinning!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #98]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #100]

Journey into Mystery #98: Thor

October 7, 2011

A-story: Stan Lee // Don Heck
B-story: Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
November 1963
A-story: ***
B-story: ****
Heck’s lean, angular style & individual panels gives Thor a moddish look. The adventure—a face-off w/ a scientist bitten by a radioactive cobra—seems almost a parody of Ditko’s Spidey. Kirby’s B-story, which follows Odin’s epic battle w/ ice giants, has a rugged thrill unlike anything in Marvel.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #97]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #99]

Journey into Mystery #97: Thor

October 6, 2011

A-story: Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Don Heck
B-story: Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
October 1963
A-story: ***
B-story: *****
Lee & Kirby take the mag & mint a fantastic new creation mythos for Marvel in the new backup, “Tales of Asgard”, echoing Prince Valiant by eschewing dialogue. Kirby mainly provides layouts on the superhero A-story. But even that’s more keen, as Nurse Foster walks out on Dr. B after he flees a lava man!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #96]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #98]

Journey into Mystery #96: Thor

October 5, 2011

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Joe Sinnott
September 1963
A-story: **
A cameo from JFK & daughter can’t save this silly Gardner Fox-style face-off btw Thor & Merlin in downtown DC. The goofy robes & bushy beard of the mage from Camelot make it hard to take his threat seriously. The prologue is more compelling: Dr. Blake’s practice suffers cuz he’s out saving a bus.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #95]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #97]