Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #115

Credits:

Cover Date: April 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“The Vengeance of the Thunder God!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Frank Giacoia (credited as Frankie Ray)

“Tales of Asgard: A Viper in Our Midst”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

What’s Going On?

Thor battles the Absorbing Man on Earth, while Loki maneuvers him into a serious situation in Asgard.

Details:

In the main story:

  • Picking up from last issue, Thor rushes to fight Loki and save Jane Foster. Despite Thor’s strength, the two gods are evenly matched; Loki has his own enchanted weapon, a sword, and magic spells at his disposal.

  • Odin interrupts the fight, but can’t tell which of his sons is in the right. Loki and Thor must go through a “Trial of the Gods” to determine the appropriate actions/punishments.

  • Thor is granted 48 hours to return Jane safely to her home and wrap up his fight with the Absorbing Man. After that, he must return to Asgard for judgement.

  • While this was happening, the Absorbing Man was hiding in an isolated country house and giving the couple that lived there a hard time.
  • When Thor caught up with the police, they had found the house and were prepared to attack. Thor used his Avengers clearance to pull rank and command the police to stand down; Thor wants to handle the Absorbing Man himself.

  • The two are still evenly matched, since Creel can absorb the power of Thor. Thor counters by mixing up what Creel is touching (and can, therefore, absorb). It doesn’t help matters much, as Creel appears to be able to absorb just about anything, even multiple things at once!

  • Thor opts to use a previously unmentioned power to transmute matter into other forms, and he transforms the Absorbing Man into helium. The villain then drifts, helplessly, into the atmosphere.

  • The battle over, Thor heads to Asgard to face trial. To be continued…!

In Tales of Asgard:

  • Young Loki is jealous of Thor’s position as a leader, so he plots against him.

  • While hunting a rogue Storm Giant, Loki makes the Giant seemingly disappear, making Thor’s mission a failure.

  • Later, after the rest of the party have returned to Asgard, Loki removes the spell that had disguised the Giant. It pledges loyalty to Loki, and Loki is satisfied with his first “alliance with the forces of evil.”

Is It Good?

Tales of Asgard was an okay, but not particularly revealing, snippet about Loki’s descent into villainy.

The main story, though, was fun. It was very dumb —- the Absorbing Man can become…heat??? —- but it was entertaining. Keeping the plots moving quickly does wonders for this title. I am glad to see them treating this as a serial story (like the Hulk’s feature in Tales to Astonish), because juggling subplots and continuing them in future issues keeps this book from being formulaic —- which has been a problem for it in the past.

Continuity:

  • At the end of Journey Into Mystery #114, Thor had abandoned a battle with the Absorbing Man to rescue Jane Foster from Loki. Absorbing Man was last seen approaching an isolated house to lay low in.
  • Loki has pledged to never harm a mortal? That seems very off-brand, but it appears to not include causing harm indirectly (by, say, giving super-villains power enhancements).

  • Thor can apparently wipe away memories. This doesn’t appear to be done with his hammer, so maybe it’s a godly ability?

  • The Avengers outrank local police with their A-1 priority rating.

  • Thor can control heat/fire with his hammer now.

  • The Absorbing Man can apparently absorb the properties of abstract things, like heat.

  • Thor can also change molecular structures with his hammer now?!?

  • Harris Hobbs, the reporter, and Thor leave on good terms.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • This would have been a good opportunity to use the fire/heat power Thor showed off later in the issue.

  • “I, Thor, am pledged to not harm any mortals. Here, Jane, have some brain damage.”

  • These don’t seem like strategic improvements, Creel.

  • Absorbing Man absorbing the power of heat is just silly. That’s like saying he can absorb the power of space. (Please don’t tell me that he absorbs space at some point)
  • Thor’s line might be the best summary of Marvel’s Silver Age in a single sentence.

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