Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #113

Credits:

Cover Date: February 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“A World Gone Mad!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

“Tales of Asgard: The Boyhood of Loki!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

What’s Going On?

In the main story, Thor gives up his godly powers to be with Jane Foster. He times his choice poorly, though, because the Grey Gargoyle chooses this moment to threaten the life of Donald Blake!

In Tales of Asgard, we get a glimpse of young Loki choosing his path in life.

Details:

In the main story:

  • After some soul-searching, Thor decides to give up his godhood and live as the mortal Donald Blake so he can marry Jane Foster.

  • The first step: tell Jane that Thor and Donald Blake are the same man!

  • Meanwhile, some archaeologists are examining what appears to be a statue that was found on the bottom of the Hudson River. As it got cleaned up, though, the statue began to move! Yes, the Grey Gargoyle has returned and is free once more!

  • Elsewhere, Odin is observing Thor from Asgard, and he is furious that his son is revealing his identity to Jane. Upset, he blocks access to Thor’s powers; Donald Blake can no longer transform into Thor!

  • On Earth, Donald tries to prove to Jane that he is Thor, but his powers have been blocked by Odin. Jane is pretty nice about it, though.

  • The Grey Gargoyle, who is looking for Thor, chooses this moment to break into Dr. Blake’s office. The Gargoyle reasons that, since he saw Thor in Blake’s office before, the good doctor should know how to find the Thunder God. And he’s not wrong!

  • Back in Asgard, Thor’s friends decide to have one of them go to Earth and protect Thor while he’s stuck in his mortal form. Loki overhears the plan and does his best to sabotage it. But one Asgardian appears to have escaped Loki’s notice…

  • On Earth, Don and Jane are running away from the Grey Gargoyle, but the villain is gaining ground and losing his patience.

  • When a wall blocks Blake from the Gargoyle’s view, that mysterious Asgardian reaches out and grants Blake access to the power of Thor.

  • Thor makes quick work of the Grey Gargoyle. In Asgard, we learn that the mysterious Asgardian was Honir the Hunter, acting on Odin’s command. Odin ultimately decides to restore Thor’s powers.

  • Donald/Thor is now having second thoughts about giving up his godhood for love.

  • Even though he could prove to Jane that he is Thor here, he chooses not to, and Jane assumes that his earlier claims were the result of madness.

In “Tales of Asgard”:

  • A young Thor and Loki place a bet on the winner of a jousting match. When Loki senses that he will lose the bet, he uses a magical spell to help his guy win.
  • However, Loki is young and unsubtle, so the other Asgardians immediately blame him. Thor comes to his brother’s defense, offering to share the punishment. Thor’s selflessness inspires the others, and they forgo any punishment.

  • Young Loki seethes at the respect Thor has earned, and vows to attain as much power as he can in life.

Is It Good?

I liked this issue. It plays with a couple of recurring subplots —- Thor losing his powers for whatever reason, and Thor wanting to tell Jane his secret identity —- but it does so with small twists that we haven’t seen before in this title. It would have been better if those subplots advanced a bit, rather than returning to the status quo at the end of the issue, but I’ll take a solid one-off story when it’s offered.

Continuity:

  • Odin wants Thor to return to Asgard, full-time. Thor, for several reasons, does not want to.

  • This is the first time a mortal has learned Thor’s secret identity. I mean, Jane doesn’t believe it, but she’s been told the truth.
  • The Grey Gargoyle last appeared in Journey Into Mystery #107.
  • Honir the Hunter last appeared in Journey Into Mystery #106. This appears to be his final appearance.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • I cant decide whether I like it when Stan Lee is super-flippant about what Jack Kirby’s drawn, or if it seriously bothers me. On the one hand, he’s kind of getting out of the way of the artwork, which is cool; on the other, it’s like he is dismissing what Kirby drew.

  • If you can afford to pay your rent a year in advance, you are probably a monster and I am jealous of you.

  • Is…is this a metaphor for erectile dysfunction?

  • It’s really weird that Jane’s attitude here is “You clearly suffered from a mental break from reality, but it’s over now and will never need to be mentioned or treated again! What a relief!”

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