Journey Into Mystery #101-103
Issue(s): Journey Into Mystery #101, Journey Into Mystery #102, Journey Into Mystery #103
Somehow Loki has gone from "the guy we have to keep chained to a rock because every time he gets loose 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 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 himself 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 Insert? N
My Reprint: JIM #102 in Essential Thor vol. 1. (JIM #101 and #103 are originals)
Inbound References (6): show
Astonishingly, Gullin will appear a couple more times many years later. I'm not sure3 there're more than ten Silver Age characters who aren't revived or revisited somewhere down the line.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 16, 2015 11:11 PM
Just as a clarification: since Gullin (the awesome Boar God) only appears in the Tales of Asgard portion, i won't add him as a Character Appearing. But it is great that he appears again!
Posted by: fnord12 | October 17, 2015 11:04 AM
I keep forgetting the flashbacks rule!
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 17, 2015 5:45 PM
Now the classic Lee/Kirby Thor era is really getting started, some twenty issues after Thor first appeared. They won't waste a lot of time catching up and this book will quickly be one of Marvel's top 3, along with FF and ASM (personal opinion, not based on sales or anything). Some great ideas and designs from Kirby here, whether it's the cool Asgardian stuff or fun little things like the World Council's octi-robot! As always, Lee's scripting improves when he's working with a creative artist instead of journeymen like Heck and Ayers. It may read as overly melodramatic to some modern readers but it complemented the art well and really brings across the sense of excitement that was missing in some of the other titles. Just a fantastic, seminal run and it really gets its start here.
Posted by: Robert | February 5, 2016 8:29 PM
Hela must have been furious when she found out the flashback rule screwed her out of a first appearance mention in the HSR ;)
Posted by: Robert | February 5, 2016 9:18 PM
Where is HELA's 1st appearance tag, wasn't Journey into Mystery #102 her 6'6" 500 lb debut? Not exactly a take home to meet Mom type of girl but nevertheless a hottie!
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | June 6, 2016 1:30 AM
I think it's complicated that Hela here was introduced in a "Tales of Asgard" backup. He doesn't really track "appearances in the past" as first appearances I don't believe.
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 6, 2016 11:52 AM
The Enchantress = Kirby's Nordic Venus. Since Norse legends had no obvious equivalent to the Goddess of Love, Lee and Kirby just invented their own. I wonder how long it was before Marvel gave her the name Amora? I don't recall it being used in these early tales, but I could be mistaken about that.
Lov the idea that Odin conspiring with Loki here is all just part of an act, in his overarching efforts to manipulate Thor into becoming a "worthy" future monarch of Asgard (in Odin's patriarchal eyes).
Posted by: James Holt | August 14, 2016 3:09 AM
Actually, the Norse myths do have a goddess of love and sexuality in Freya, though that's not all she is. I always assumed the Enchantress was simply Marvel's version of Freya (with some of the mythic Freya's qualities later given to Amora's sister), until I found out they use her as a separate character. I'd still argue the Enchantress is closer to the Freya of myth than the actual Freya they have.
Posted by: Tuomas | August 31, 2016 3:52 AM
I placed #101 and 102 before Avengers#4 and 103 and 105 fits into a gap in Avengers#5.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 28, 2016 7:53 PM
I've been going over early Marvel time-travel stories recently, and just noticed something about these Thor stories that had previously escaped my notice.
JIM #101 is only the second Thor lead story in the series that has the Lee & Kirby team without using either Larry Lieber or Robert Bernstein (AKA R.Berns) as a script writer. This might help to explain why Thor, Odin, and Loki seem somewhat abruptly out of character in #101-103, when compared to previous issues.
JIM #83-89: Lee/Lieber/Kirby (plot/script/pencils)
The comic was retitled from "Journey into Mystery" to "Thor," starting with #126. The Lee/ /Kirby team continued for quite awhile, quite a bit longer than I have data compiled for it, which is only up to #127 (Apr 1966).
The Lee/ /Kirby team also gave us the Tales of Asgard 2nd feature, starting with JIM #97, and continuing in an unbroken run up to Thor #127, and beyond...
This data was compiled and verified using GCD at comics.org as my final authoritative reference.
Posted by: Holt | November 10, 2017 4:12 PM
It can't help the Thor/Loki rivalry when Odin literally calls Thor "my favorite son" with Loki *right there,* and then Odin asks Loki;s advice on how to deal with Thor's disobedience. More evidence that Odin is knowingly manipulating everything here?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 19, 2018 6:43 AM
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