Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #85

Credits:

“Trapped by Loki, the God of Mischief”

Cover Date: October 1962

Writer: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

What’s Going On?

In Asgard, the distant realm that is home to the Norse gods, Loki —- the Norse god if mischief —- escapes after long years of imprisonment. His first thought is to get revenge against Thor, because Thor is the one who captured him. Loki travels to Earth to pick a fight and (almost as important) wreak havoc and confusion. Loki’s tricks are no match for Thor’s might, and Loki is returned to Asgard, presumably to be punished again.

Is It Good?

This is certainly better than the last few Thor stories. Seeing him square off against a god is a welcome change, and having a villain that tries to outsmart Thor’s might is a good idea. The art is fine, highlighted by Loki’s “negative” people.

Sub-Plots:

  • According to Loki, no one in Asgard knows where Thor is, and he has been gone a long time.
  • To draw Thor’s attention, Loki turned some random citizens “into negatives.” Why they are posing like a hip-hop dance crew is left unexplained.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of Asgard, the Rainbow Bridge, Odin, Heimdall, Balder, Tyr, and Loki.
  • We learn that Thor’s hammer is made of the magical metal Uru.
  • When Loki first appears in disguise, Thor does not recognize him. When Loki reveals himself, Thor’s reaction is not one of familiarity. It is clear that “Thor’s” thoughts belong to Donald Blake.
  • This is the first issue where we have seen people who aren’t Thor/Don Blake try to lift Mjolnir.
  • Loki flies toward the Statue of Liberty, which means that Donald Blake, like the Fantastic Four, is based in the New York City area.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Loki has a mental link to Thor’s hammer? That seems like something that would regularly come in handy for the villain (and, likely, is never mentioned again).
  • Thor’s hammer can do what now?
  • Seriously, Jane? Loki? Do you swoon over everyone you meet?
  • Why is Loki surprised that Thor can fly? They already had a confrontation while flying earlier this issue.
  • I’ve eliminated the transformation moment that separates these two panels to illustrate how dumb people are about Thor’s alter-ego.
  • Thor controls…wind? I mean, okay, I guess —- I suppose that goes along with calling storms. But this kind of looks like he’s got super-breath. Or farts.
  • Not pictured: the train derailing, after Thor made it go airborne.
  • That is quite the toss from Thor, but my favorite part is Loki’s reaction: “Glub!”
  • Loki’s magic doesn’t work in water? Or when he’s wet? That sure seems like something that will be forgotten in future stories. Also worth noting: Loki and Thor are speaking underwater!
  • To send Loki back to Asgard, Thor ties him to Mjolnir and throws them both to Asgard. It takes just under a minute for the hammer to drop Loki off and return to Earth. How fast can Thor throw his hammer?
  • Yes, Jane is that common stereotype, the nurse who goes on foreign aid missions (and gets kidnapped!), and still finds her life dull.

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