Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 1) #122

Credits:

Cover Date: November 10, 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Wally Wood

“Where Mortals Fear to Tread!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

“Tales of Asgard: the Grim Specter of Mutiny!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

What’s Going On?

In the main feature, Thor battles Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man! Again! He also deals with a blackmailer.

Details:

In the main feature:

  • While the Absorbing Man managed to knock Thor down at the end of last issue, our hero is not out of the fight.

  • But just before the Absorbing Man’s resolve is shattered by Thor’s valor in battle, though, he is transported to Asgard by Loki.

  • Thor quickly realizes where Absorbing Man must have been transported to, but before he can act, he is distracted by a cry from a nearby window —- Jane Foster needs his help! He goes to rescue Jane, but finds her unconscious.

  • Reasoning that Dr. Donald Blake would be able to help Jane more than Thor, the hero transforms into his mortal form. When he does, though, he is surprised by the pop of a flash bulb —- someone has observed and photographed Thor’s transformation into Donald Blake!

  • That “someone” is reporter Harris Hobbs. Hobbs tries to blackmail Thor into giving him an exclusive scoop on his dual identity, but the Thunder God has other ideas…

  • Thor scares Hobbs enough to give up on his blackmail scheme, and Hobbs agrees to destroy his photographic proof. In exchange for this, he wants a Thor to take him to Asgard. Thor agrees.

  • Meanwhile, in Asgard, Loki has convinced Absorbing Man to be his underling/hired muscle.

  • Loki is now ready to openly defy his most recent punishment. He leaves Ularic’s workshop with the Absorbing Man at his side. When they have drawn enough attention from other Asgardians, Loki instructs Creel to attack. And the Absorbing Man happily begins beating every Asgardian he can.

  • Creel battles his way through the rank and file Asgardian soldiers until he reaches Odin himself. Does even Odin stand a chance against the Absorbing Man’s powers?

  • To be continued…!

In the “Tales of Asgard” backup feature:

  • Despite Thor’s best efforts last issue, the Sea of Fear is proving too much for the Asgardian crew to overcome. Loki leads a mutiny against Thor.

  • During the fight, we get to see some of Thor’s allies in the spotlight: Fandral the Dashing…

  • …Hogun the Grim…

  • …and (less spectacularly) Volstagg.

  • While they were all fighting, Balder the Brave has ascended to the top of the ship’s figurehead and is blowing a mysterious horn. How will that help them survive the deadly Sea of Fear?

  • To be continued…!

Is It Good?

It’s okay! I enjoyed seeing Thor truly whoop on Crusher Creel. I also liked seeing Creel take on all of Asgard. The Harris Hobbs subplot is ridiculous and dumb, but I’m glad it appears to be wrapping up. Jack Kirby got to draw some wild stuff this issue, though, and that makes up for a lot of plot deficiencies.

“Tales of Asgard” is still taking quite a while to get anywhere with this plot —- having only 5 pages each month to work with will do that —- but having a hero other than Thor highlighted this issue was a welcome change. It looks like Stan and Jack are making an effort to actually develop some supporting characters, and it is about time.

Continuity:

  • This is the third chapter in the current main storyline.
  • It seems that there is an upper limit to the Absorbing Man’s powers. Is it just a mental block, or is it a physical limitation? Only time (and future writers) will tell.

  • Jane Foster has been rescued from her kidnapper. She has been held against her will by a masked man since Journey Into Mystery #120. The masked man was revealed to be Harris Hobbs. He kidnapped Jane to draw Thor into revealing his secret identity.

  • This is the sixth chapter in the Odinsword saga in the “Tales of Asgard” backup feature.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Jack Kirby is well-known for his use of forced perspective to convey a dramatic moment. So in case you paused to wonder why Odin appears to have Hellboy’s hand on this cover, keep that in mind. (The hand is quite large, though.)

  • Thor is not allowed to harm a human! This rule always holds true!

  • Thor is not allowed to harm a human! Unless it’s a bad guy, in which case it is sometimes okay!

  • Doesn’t this sort of thing seem like it should have been shown happening in the story? Jane is absolutely useless most of the time, but when she does something risky and brave, it is relegated to a caption!

  • Unless Hobbs has unbelievable timing, this picture proves nothing. He took a single photo of Donald Blake holding Jane Foster. He didn’t capture the split-second of his transformation from Thor, and there wasn’t a sequence of photos taken to establish a before and after scenario. Sure, Hobbs knows Thor’s secret identity, but that photo is worthless.

  • What, exactly, was Hobbs’ plan? He kidnapped Jane —- not exactly a minor crime —- and left zero clues as to her whereabouts. How did he expect Thor to find her? Wasn’t Thor finding Jane essential to his plan?

  • Mortals are not allowed in Asgard! No exceptions!

  • Mortals are not allowed in Asgard, unless Thor says they’re cool!

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