Journey Into Mystery #101-103
Issue(s): Journey Into Mystery #101, Journey Into Mystery #102, Journey Into Mystery #103
Review/plot: Thor is steaming mad and doing a little rampage through New York. He's probably been stewing over his father's refusal to allow him to marry Jane Foster during all his recent Avengers appearances (you can tell he's a little anxious in the beginning of Avengers #5), and he's resolved to fly to Asgard and give his father the what-for. First the Avengers (minus Cap) show up and try to get Thor to stop using the NYC streets as his punching bag, but Thor barely notices them.
Somehow Loki has gone from "the guy we have to keep chained to a rock because every time he gets lose he causes major problems for us" to Odin's right-hand adviser*. Odin is pissed at Thor for not giving up his love for a mortal and Loki is milking it for all it is worth. He gets Odin to reduce Thor's power by half and bar him from Asgard.
Loki takes advantage of the situation by projecting into the future and reviving the memory of Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, who grabs a robot and goes back in time to get his vengeance on Thor.
With Thor at half-strength he is unable to defeat the robot (where are the Avengers from earlier this issue?), and he is forced to submit to Zarrko and agree to travel back to the future with him to help Zarrko take over the world in his time period. Odin does not like this development at all.
In the future Thor beats up the passive denizens of the future so that Zarrko can conquer the planet. Once Zarrko has actually conquered the planet, though, Thor feels he is released from his bonds and he turns on Zarrko, defeating him. This time Zarrko is actually imprisoned instead of brainwashed.
Thor returns to Earth and finds that his powers have been restored to him. But Odin is still mad that Thor loves Jane Foster, so Loki suggests that they send the Enchantress to Earth to woo Thor. The Enchantress is really cute in her original costume, which is a very mod-60s sort of thing.
On Earth she dresses more elegantly, but while she manages to get Jane very jealous, she fails to seduce Thor.
The Asgardians all know that Thor is Don Blake, which makes them much more dangerous than Thor's average villains.
Realizing that Thor won't go for another girl while Jane is in the picture, the Enchantress summons the Executioner...
...who (probably like all Asgardians) is enamored with her and he agrees to kill Jane. Thor is also looking for Jane, however, since she ran out when she saw Don Blake making time with the Enchantress. and he runs into the Executioner, who has already sent Jane into another dimension (lame: "Life and death are almost meaningless to those who dwell in Asgard! To them, there are many ways to execute a victim! It is not necessary to take their life from them..." He's got a BIG AXE and he's called the Executioner!!).
After an inconclusive fight, Thor agrees to give the Executioner his hammer in exchange for returning Jane to Earth. Then the Enchantress shows up and starts casting spells at the Executioner for betraying her. Since he couldn't lift the hammer anyway, he releases Thor from the vow and Thor takes his hammer back and vortexes both of the evil gods back to Asgard.
Don then catches up with Jane and tries to make up with her, and Odin gets mad.
*It could be all an act. Odin sent Thor to earth to teach him humility and infuse him with a love of humanity. Only by truly struggling as a human, including struggling with romance, can Thor learn to these lessons. Therefore it is possible that Odin is deliberately being a dick about Jane in order to make Thor suffer through his experience more, and he's stringing Loki along in order to keep the challenges up. Either that or he's just an irrational Norse god.
Also in these issues, warlike aliens are tricked by peaceful aliens into getting stranded on a planet with no fuel, and an evil scientist in the future inadvertently turns him self to stone in his quest for immortality.
And in the Tales for Asgard, Asgard is under siege, and young Loki pokes a hole in their defenses and tells only young Thor about it, figuring he will get killed.
But young Thor fights heroically until the other gods arrive and is rewarded by gaining additional strength that he will eventually use to lift Mjolnir.
Then the fates tell young Thor that he will gain Mjolnir only when he meets death, but this turns out to mean visiting Hela. We also meet Sif in this story, although she's nothing like the Sif that will appear when we meet her again in the modern era.
Finally, a young Thor, wielding his hammer, gets an air-ship from the dwarves...
...and travels to the god Mirmir, fighting some cool stuff on the way.
Thor hands him a branch from Yggdrasill, the tree of life, and Mirmir uses it to create life on earth.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The lack of an appearance by Captain America in the beginning of issue #101 here might suggest this takes place before Avengers #4, but it's just as likely that since Cap is new to the team and doesn't know Thor, there was no point in having him come out to talk to him with the rest of the team.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: JIM #102 in Essential Thor vol. 1. (JIM #101 and #103 are originals)
Inbound References (5): show
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