Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) 1962 Year In Review

Splash page taken from Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #85.

How Many Issues?

Five superhero issues in 1962, published monthly.

Creative Team:

Writer: Larry Lieber (#84)

Plotter: Stan Lee (#83, 85-87)

Scripter: Larry Lieber (#83, 85-87)

Penciller: Jack Kirby (#83-87)

Inkers: Joe Sinnott (#83), Dick Ayers (#84-87)

Was It Good?

Not especially, but Loki’s first appearance was fun. The variety of enemies in these issues — aliens, Loki, a time traveller, and Communists — is about par for Marvel’s titles at the time, but the God of Thunder easily outclasses most of them, to the point of being boring. The abilities Thor displays in these issues are hilariously random, too, which leads to some lazy storytelling from Stan Lee.  “How will Thor escape this one?  Look at the time!  Let’s just say his hammer does something, and call it a day!”

Donald Blake is a horribly boring character at this point, and Jane Foster has less personality that any other Marvel romantic interest to date.  I have my fingers crossed that we will soon start seeing Thor acting like Thor instead of Blake.

Sub-Plots and Continuity:

  • Thor’s hammer — which has not been named yet, oddly enough — has a variety of powers that depend on how many times it is tapped or how it is rubbed.
  • Jane Foster is infatuated with Thor — despite not really having had face-to-face time with him — and frustrated by Donald Blake’s mildness. Blake loves Foster, but believes that his physical handicap makes him unlovable.
  • Thor helps the military test weapons in his spare time.
  • Loki has the ability to track Thor’s hammer. You would think Loki would use this to avoid Thor instead of seeking him out.
  • Per Loki, Thor has been missing from Asgard for a long time.
  • When Donald Blake transforms into Thor, it is Blake’s mind in Thor’s body.
  • If Thor is separates from his hammer for more than a minute, he will transform back into Donald Blake.
  • Thor’s hammer becomes an old walking stick when Blake is not Thor.
  • Odin implies that Thor should know certain things (like his hammer’s powers).  Does this indicate that Thor had a different (read: not Donald Blake) personality in the past?  What happened to that that persona?
  • Loki’s magic does not work on water or when he is wet, which is ridiculous and will likely be forgotten soon.

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