Cover Date: August 1962
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott
“Thor and the Mighty Stone Men From Saturn!”
Writer: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Joe Sinnott
What’s Going On?
Rock creatures from Saturn land on Earth and prepare to conquer the planet. However, they happened to land in Europe, near where American Doctor Donald Blake is vacationing. He happens upon the aliens, and hides to avoid them. While hiding in a cave, he discovers a hidden room and a weird-looking cane.
By striking the cane, Blake is transformed into the mighty Thor, demigod of Norse mythology!
With Thor’s might, the aliens are driven away from Earth.
Is It Good?
Not especially. Space aliens seem like a silly way to introduce a character from mythology, and the arbitrary rules about Thor’s powers are just weird. The art has some impressive moments, though. I especially liked the cover and the corresponding scene that explains that Thor doesn’t fly, he is basically riding his thrown hammer. That’s not an easy concept to illustrate, but I think Kirby pulled it off.
- Thor’s hammer has many abilities. It can be used to fly (kind of? See above), it returns when it is thrown, and it can control weather.
- Doctor Blake walks with a cane, which will explain why is is carrying a gnarled stick in future issues.
- This is the first appearance of Doctor Donald Blake, Thor, and Mjolnir (though Thor’s hammer remains unnamed in this issue). This is also the first appearance of the Stone Men from Saturn; this alien race is later revealed to be called the Kronans.
- Donald Blake must be holding Mjolnir to become Thor. Specifically, he needs to strike the wooden cane to become Thor.
- If Thor is without the hammer for 60 seconds, he transforms back into Donald Blake.
Comics Are Goofy:
- The aliens monologue about their abilities amongst themselves. There are five more (completely unnecessary) panels just like this:
- That’s a lot of writing on Thor’s hammer. I wonder how often we will see any of it drawn on the hammer in fight scenes?
- The rules for working Thor’s hammer are silly, and at some point will definitely be dropped quietly and forgotten.
- Typos happen.
Journey Into Mystery is another of Marvel’s anthology titles. There were three other stories in this issue, but nothing else with super-heroes, so I’m ignoring them.