Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #111

Credits:

Cover Date: December 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“The Power of the Thunder God!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

“Tales of Asgard: The Secret of Sigurd!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

What’s Going On?

In the main story, the action picks up where it left off last issue. Thor fights Cobra and Mr. Hyde, with Jane Foster’s life hanging by a thread!

In “Tales of Asgard,” Thor meets a foe that cannot be beaten by force. What can a man with a hammer do to such an enemy?

Details:

In “The Power of the Thunder God”:

  • This story picks up where last issue left off.

  • With the power boosts they received from Loki, Cobra and Mr. Hyde attack Thor. They stack up pretty well against him, too.

  • Thor breaks away from the villains long enough to find a safe spot to leave the injured Jane Foster before returning to the fray.

  • In Asgard, Balder sings a song that reminds Odin of the time, many centuries ago, when he loved a mortal woman.

  • Back on Earth, Cobra and Hyde begin to argue amongst themselves and Thor takes the opportunity to fight them one at a time.

  • Back on Asgard, Odin decides to help with Jane’s condition. He writes an order to create a cure for what ails her, and commands Loki to bring the order to the healer Hardol. Knowing Loki’s evil nature, Balder takes the order, instead, and leaves to find Hardol.

  • On Earth, Thor makes quick work of Mr. Hyde…

  • …and then reprograms some of the traps in the building to draw Cobra out from his hiding place. Weakened by some electrical shocks, Cobra quickly succumbs to Thor’s attack.

  • With his enemies defeated, Thor returns to the wounded Jane. He doesn’t really have a plan to save her, though.

  • In Asgard, Balder had to face several dangerous trials, but he eventually reached the healer. Just as Thor removes his time warp on Earth, Balder’s sword —- and some medicine —- tears across dimensions to reach Thor in time! Jane’s life is saved!

In “Tales of Asgard: The Secret of Sigurd”:

  • Returning home one day, Balder, Loki, and Thor find their way blocked by Sigurd, who craves battle.

  • Loki eggs Thor into fighting Sigurd, and the Thunder God obliges.

  • Thor lands many mighty blows, but Sigurd seems to only grow stronger.

  • Balder figures out the Sigurd gets stronger each time he is knocked down. With this knowledge, Thor opts to throw Sigurd into space, ending the fight.

Is It Good?

The main story was kind of fun. The plot is awfully suspect —- I don’t buy “Thor, mechanical genius” whatsoever —- but the fight with Cobra and Hyde was pretty good. I also liked the brief insight we get into why Odin won’t abide Thor’s love for Jane Foster.

I kind of wish they had stretched this story out a bit longer, though. We haven’t really seen Balder do much, so giving him a dangerous quest was a good idea; squeezing his entire adventure into (essentially) two pages was not.

The Tales of Asgard story was another inconsequential, one-note adventure. It did give Balder an opportunity to differentiate himself from the other Asgardians, though, and that’s something that is overdue in this title.

Continuity:

  • “The Power of the Thunder God” continues the story from Journey Into Mystery #110. That issue ended with Jane injured, Cobra and Hyde about to attack, and the building they were in was removed from the time-stream, so no time passes where they are.
  • Balder the Brave last appeared in Journey Into Mystery #107.
  • This is the first time we’ve learned of Odin’s love of a mortal woman.
  • Thor’s banishment from Asgard (imposed last issue) may or may not still be in effect. It isn’t mentioned.
  • We have a Loki pin-up!

  • This month’s letter page has a No-Prize winner: an explanation for how Thor and Donald Blake can share the same body. I don’t like the explanation, but the No-Prize makes it as close to an official answer as we’ve gotten thus far.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Just because you’re friends with a mechanical genius doesn’t mean you can hack and reprogram stuff, Thor.

  • I’m no equestrian, so maybe I’m underestimating him, but I can’t imagine a scenario where the horse doesn’t fall over and die here.

  • First of all, why is Balder so tiny here? Second, Thor’s solution is to launch Sigurd to drift endlessly in space?!? That seems harsh.

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