Journey Into Mystery #97
Issue(s): Journey Into Mystery #97
Review/plot: *Sigh*. So close to being interesting. Don Blake almost reveals to Jane Foster that he is Thor and that he loves her....
...but he once again decides not to and then goes to talk to Odin, who tells him that it's impossible for a God to marry a mortal. Which makes sense, except it's Odin who put Thor in a mortal body and mixed up his head like this to begin with. Jane is fed up with all this nonsense and she leaves him to work for a rival doctor who has always had a thing for her.
Blake wanders around in a daze, but luckily finds a distraction. A lava creature from yet another underground race who was brought to the surface by Loki is attacking the army.
Thor and the Lava Man (whose name will be revealed to be 'Molto' in Avengers #5) fight...
...and Thor uses the tornado trick again to send the Lava Man back to his underground kingdom, and then seals up the volcano he came from.
There's a bit in the beginning where Thor starts to get claustrophobic around a group of reporters (and "well-wishers").
Seems a little out of character for a Thunder God, but we've all got our hang-ups.
Only escapes a D rating because it sort of does something with the Blake/Foster romance.
Tales of Asgard also begin in this issue. This story is the cow-laden history of Asgard itself.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Probably after Avengers #1 because Jane Foster was still working for Thor at that time.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Someone mentioned in another thread that this was the first "true" issue of JiM and where the "Thor Saga" begins...not sure about it due to the Lava Man, but I'll give it credit for where Tales of Asgard begins...with all those cows.
Posted by: Ataru320 | December 30, 2014 12:45 PM
I remember commenting prior about this JiM when someone said the "classic run" begins here, but I decided to do a bit more research over some of the Thor credits recently and discovered that this probably is the first true JiM because...its the first true "Lee/Kirby" issue. Prior to this issue, the first ten tended to have someone else in the way or something that prevented it from being purely Lee/Kirby like they had with the F4, as I found through this:
#83 (first Thor): Lee/Lieber/Kirby
It's only from this issue that we get the Lee/Kirby combo that defines the book from here on out. Considering how much work Kirby was doing with the company at this point, I do wonder how he came around to really working out Thor and defining him from here on out, but somehow it really does work out for the better.
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 24, 2015 3:56 PM
Since Don Heck inked "Thor" here and then did the art for three issues, it's possible Lee brought Kirby in for this issue to rejig the feature and at this point meant Heck to continue on "Thor" while Kirby did "Tales of Asgard".
Kirby had drawn stories with volcano monsters for TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #22 (DC) and TALES OF SUSPENSE #7. Both were cover-featured, and the latter issue's cover was clearly the model for the present issue's.
The first "Tales of Asgard" instalment, with its scenes of Viking life and captions-only script, reminds me of PRINCE VALIANT. Kirby was a fan of the strip, so it may have been his model.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 26, 2016 4:09 AM
George Roussos inks look great on "Tales Of Asgard" and the cover of this issue. His Lava Man on the cover looks markedly different from Don Heck's version in the main story.
I agree that this issue makes a good case for Stan Lee's contributions to the Marvel Thor character, as Stan moves from plot to script credits with this issue. As many have observed, late 1963 marks a big jump in not only the number but also the quality of Marvel Age stories, in this title and others, as the company continues to respond to their steady growth in sales.
Posted by: James Holt | August 7, 2016 7:57 PM
I put this one and #98 between Avengers#1 and 2
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 24, 2016 10:35 PM
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