Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13: Journey into Mystery #84


Journey into Mystery #84
July 3, 1962


  • This story, as was Thor's initial outing last issue, is pretty short at only 13 pages. Journey into Mystery - like Tales to Astonish and several of Marvel's comics of the time - was an anthology magazine. Thor might have instantly grabbed the lead story for each issue, but he would continue to share the comic with smaller, done-in-one stories for the next two years.


    That bum leg is but one of the many reasons Dr. Blake is lame.


  • Now that the requisite origin story is done away with, Donald Blake - the doctor who discovered the thunder god's hammer, and is now Thor's alter ego - returns to the States. The short page count prevented us from learning much about him in the first issue, but this second story immediately sets to fleshing out his supporting cast, including nurse Jane Foster. Taking a cue from the Clark Kent / Lois Lane / Superman love triangle that had worked for several decades, Blake pines for Jane from afar - while by story's end she only has eyes for Thor. Oh, the irony!


    I don't think that's how science works.


  • After the ridiculous aliens found in Thor's first appearance, his second outing features a more realistic villain in the form of the communist dictator of a small, oppressed country. In fact, it's quite reminiscent of many of the Golden Age comics from the late 1930s, where brightly-colored and sometimes-powered heroes would be set against entirely human menaces such as gangsters, kidnappers and racketeers. And Thor's offensives are occasionally on the same level; while he attacks the jets and tanks directly, one of his more creative strikes involves summoning winds and rain so the attacking troops are washed down the side of the mountain pass on which they perched. Still, it needs to be said: The war-torn country of San Diablo? Take a second to translate that. BEST. NAME. EVER.


    The Mighty Thor, thunder god and commie smasher.