Cover Date: January 1964
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky
“The Master Plan of Mr. Hyde”
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Don Heck
“Tales of Asgard: the Storm Giants”
Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Scripter: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Paul Reinman
What’s Going On?
In “The Master Plan of Mr. Hyde,” the villainous Mr. Hyde continues to terrorize Donald Blake. Hyde kidnaps Blake and Jane Foster en route to trying to steal a nuclear submarine. Will Thor be able to save the day without revealing his secret identity to Jane?
In “Tales of Asgard,” Thor and Loki try to steal some golden apples from the storm giants. Thor learns quickly that Loki isn’t much of a team player.
First, in the main story —
- The police want to arrest Thor for robbing a bank (in Journey Into Mystery #99). Thor is confused, because he didn’t rob the bank. However, he quickly (and correctly) surmises that Mr. Hyde is responsible for framing him.
- Thor decides to transform back into Donald Blake to avoid detection by the police. It’s just as well that he did this, because he and Jane Foster have a date that night. Mr. Hyde overhears Blake confirming the date with Jane.
- Hyde interrupts their date and kidnaps Don and Jane. Blake can’t turn into Thor without compromising his secret identity, so he chooses to play along.
- Mr. Hyde’s then leaves Blake tied up in his hideout. Hyde takes Jane with him while he enacts his ultimate plan: to steal a Polaris submarine and live like a pirate, with Jane as his unwilling bride!
- Blake manages to transform into Thor and escape his restraints. He quickly tracks Mr. Hyde to the submarine and the two begin to fight. Unfortunately, Jane assumes that if Mr. Hyde loses, Don Blake will be killed by the time bomb. She decides to hide Thor’s hammer during the fight to help Hyde.
- Jane’s interference causes only a brief problem, as Thor quickly finds his hammer. However, she interferes again and Hyde escapes.
- Odin was observing the evening’s events from Asgard. He determines that Jane will never be worthy enough to be granted immortality, which means she and Thor can never be married.
Then, in Tales of Asgard…
- A young Thor and Loki observe some giants stealing the golden apples that give Asgardians their long lives; the two decide to steal the apples back. Unfortunately, teaming up with Loki means that Loki inevitably betrays Thor.
- Thor managed to fight off the giants, while Loki located the apples. They escape and return to Odin, who correctly credits Thor more than Loki for the heroics.
Is It Good?
It’s not very good, but it had some promising moments. I would have liked to see the story do more with last month’s cliffhanger ending, where it looked like Thor had robbed a bank. We see the police looking for Thor, and we see him guessing that Hyde framed him, but we never actually see a detailed explanation of what happened. Isn’t Hyde supposed to be monstrously ugly, while Thor is super-handsome? Where did he get replicas of Thor’s hammer and helmet? Is Mr. Hyde a master of makeup and props?
Aside from that frustration, Hyde’s plan is just dumb. What is he going to do with a submarine, when he’s dozens of sailors short of being able to operate the thing?
It was nice to see Don and Jane on a date, after a year of silently longing for each other. I can tell that the “Jane’s not worthy” subplot is going to be annoying, but at least it feels like progress, even if it’s not.
The “Tales of Asgard” backup story was fun. We finally get a story that isn’t just narration, and it actually shows character interaction. It isn’t great —- how good can it be in only five pages? —- but this is the type of story I was hoping for when this feature started.
- Don and Jane go on their first date, and Blake lays it on a bit thick.
- Thor can apparently create tornado-strength winds without the use of his hammer.
- The Tales of Asgard story is the first where we see a young Thor, before he was worthy enough to lift Mjolnir.
Comics Are Goofy:
- Is that guy in the green jacket floating? Is anyone in this panel standing on solid ground?
- Thor immediately assumes that Mr. Hyde framed him for the bank robbery. He’s right, but doesn’t that sound more like something Loki would do? He doesn’t suspect Loki, even for a second!
- I guess the implication here is that Hyde is following Blake, but why not go incognito as Calvin Zabo? Also, it’s nice to see a monstrous jerk taking the time to put on a string tie.
- Is Mr. Hyde the most melodramatic Marvel villain yet? It’s got to be close.
- Hyde’s plan is to steal a submarine, so he interrupts Don and Jane’s date, ties up Don and leaves him with a ticking time bomb, and then takes Jane with him to steal the sub. It seems like there may have been some unnecessary steps in this plan.
- It should be worth noting that submarines typically have a crew of over 100. Is Hyde planning to operate the entire sub by himself?
- Really, Jane? You’d rather Mr. Hyde obtain a nuclear submarine than risk Blake’s life? He still has almost 24 hours before the bomb goes off, you know. He has a history of being “saved” by Thor, too. Oh, and you know where the bomb is. All you have to do is let Thor win, and then guide him back to Mr. Hyde’s hideout, but nooooooo…
- Jane asks a good question, but draws no conclusions.
- It is worth noting that we never see Thor disable the time bomb. As far as we know, it exploded the following night.
- This might be the only time you ever see Thor defeat someone with a pepper shaker.