Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #109

Credits:

Cover Date: October 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“When Magneto Strikes!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

“Tales From Asgard: Banished From Asgard!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

 

What’s Going On?

Thor fights Magneto, mostly because Magneto was being a jerk.

 

Details:

In “When Magneto Strikes”:

  • Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are looking for the X-Men’s hidden base of operations. Magneto has used his mutant power to narrow the possibilities down, and he sends his underlings out to investigate.

  • While he is waiting for the Brotherhood to return from their investigation, Magneto passes the time by experimenting with the extent of his mutant powers.

  • Not surprisingly, floating cars is something that gets Thor’s attention. He uses his mystical hammer to track down some lingering magnetic forces, and is drawn toward Magneto’s submarine.

  • Thor breaks into the submarine and is face-to-face with Magneto. Rather than immediately fight, though, Magneto tries to make an ally of Thor, by appealing to his greed.

  • When that doesn’t work, Magneto offers Thor power. When that doesn’t work, Magneto attacks.

  • As they battled, Thor threw his hammer at Magneto. It missed, and Magneto was able to use his magnetic powers to keep the hammer away from Thor.

  • Without his hammer, Thor transforms back into Donald Blake. Luckily, a heavy wall separates him and Magneto, so the villain doesn’t press his advantage. Instead, Blake does his best to avoid Magneto’s blind attacks.

  • Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was successful in their attempt to find the X-Men. But instead of finding the X-Men secret base, the X-Men actually found and attacked the Brotherhood. Needing more power and leadership, the Brotherhood frantically called Magneto for help.

  • Before Magneto can rejoin his underlings, though, Donald Blake finds his walking stick and transforms back into Thor. This time, Thor opts for a brute force approach when attacking the villain.

  • Knowing that his powers can not withstand Thor’s fury for long, Magneto tries to escape.

  • Before he escapes, though, Magneto tries to set off an atomic bomb to kill Thor. He is stopped by the X-Men, who have apparently invaded the sub and chase Magneto off the ship.

  • In the end, Thor sinks Magneto’s submarine base, but Magneto escapes both Thor and the X-Men.
  • On the bright side, Donald Blake and Jane Foster seem to be getting along.

In “Tales From Asgard: Banished From Asgard”:

  • When Thor is banished from Asgard for unknown reasons, an Asgardian, Arkin the Weak, brings the news to Knorda, queen of the Mountain Trolls.  And yes, an Asgardian helping Mountain Trolls ambush a prince of Asgard is considered betrayal.

  • Knorda’s forces chase Thor into a deep valley, thinking they could trap and kill the Thunder God.

  • Little did they realize that this was all a trap! Thor escaped, as planned, through a narrow passage. When Knorda’s troops realized that they were surrounded by the Asgardian army, they were forced to surrender. You see, Thor’s exile was just a plot to draw out and defeat the Mountain Trolls.  Oh, and identify a spy in their midst.

 

Is It Good?

Well, it does answer a fan question: can Magneto use his mutant power to lift Thor’s hammer? The answer: I dunno, Magneto didn’t actually try it, so…maybe? At least we know he can affect the hammer with his magnetism.

Aside from that, this is kind of a dumb issue. It’s fine for a big fight issue, it just makes some weird choices (like not showing the X-Men on-panel).

While the issue as a whole isn’t that special, it does have some solid Jack Kirby art. Check out this cool sculpture of Thor! I really like how Kirby envisioned Thor’s twirling hammer in sculpture form.

 

Continuity:

  • This is the first time Magneto has met Thor.
  • Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants last appeared in X-Men #7.
  • It’s been a while since there has been any indication that Thor and Donald Blake are separate people. But…maybe they are, kind of?

  • Magneto may or may not be able to lift Thor’s hammer with his magnetic powers. He can, however, control it to a certain extent.

  • The X-Men still have not met Thor. They almost appear in this issue, but technically do not. The closest they get is showing up between panels, like this:

  • Apparently, the X-Men have a submarine. And it’s hidden near the docks. And they’ve monogrammed it.  That all sounds safe and logical.

  • This is the first appearance of Knorda and Arkin the Weak.

 

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Why do Marvel covers so frequently mis-color Magneto and the Scarlet Witch’s costumes? They’re red, not purple! It’s even in the Scarlet Witch’s name!

  • Throughout the issue, you will notice that Magneto is drawn (and colored) with bare hands, instead of his normal gloves. It’s kind of funny, because Kirby certainly knew that Magneto wore gloves, since he has drawn all of his appearances to date; Chic Stone also inked Kirby’s Magneto in last month’s issue of X-Men, so he should have known, too. However it happened —- Kirby forgot about the gloves and drew bare hands, or Stone drew in fingernails because he assumed Kirby meant for Mags to be bare-handed —- it does look weird.

  • First of all, it’s Spider Hyphen Man! Get it right! Second, it’s funny that the supposedly mysterious X-Men are well known enough to have their own sculptures.

  • Having a submarine with a fake tree on top is pretty useful if you don’t move your submarine, and stay in waters shallow enough to have trees growing. As a rule, though, submarines move and go in deep water, so maybe this isn’t a great design, Magneto.

  • Looking at the device in this panel, you might assume that this is something that amplifies Magneto’s mutant power. But apparently not. It’s just an awkward-looking magnet chair that he uses to levitate a bunch of metal stuff in the city for no particular reason.

  • These are sciencey words, but they have no basis in science. Weird, right?

  • Magneto used to be absolutely nuts. He’s going to set off an nuclear bomb to kill Thor, even though he will definitely be caught in the blast radius, even if he reaches an escape pod? He’s not even suicidal. He’s just a lunatic with minimal comprehension of risks.  Just look at that face: it clearly has no concept of self-preservation:

  • Wow. These two sure are blowing a ham and cheese sandwich out of proportion.

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